Head to Head: Adobe Lightroom Basic vs Seize One 21: Digital Pictures Evaluation


Ever since that darkish day when Adobe made the shift from the perpetual licensing mannequin of the Artistic Suite to the subscription-based Artistic Cloud, many photographers have been trying to find a viable various to Adobe Lightroom. Fortuitously, there isn’t any scarcity of contenders: from open-source alternate options like Darktable, to Mac-only choices like Pixelmator, to common choices like On1 Picture RAW.

However one app has emerged because the de-facto various that is higher, or no less than extra broadly adopted, than the remainder: Seize One Professional.

Whereas no person has but managed to unseat Adobe’s Lightroom Basic because the “business customary” Uncooked photograph group and enhancing instrument, Seize One has arguably come closest, incomes a serious following amongst photographers who need a extremely customizable do-everything editor with tons of professional-grade options, layer help and, if the hype is to be believed, a lot quicker total efficiency.

A few of these claims are extra subjective than others, however right this moment, we will sort out one specifically: is Seize One actually quicker than Lightroom Basic? And if that’s the case, by how a lot?

The checks

As with our Ultimate Minimize Professional vs Premiere Professional comparability, we did our greatest to place these two packages on a good footing and take a look at them on all kinds of various computer systems with completely different specs.

Is Seize One actually quicker than Lightroom Basic? And if that’s the case, by how a lot?

We do not simply need to discover out if Seize One is quicker than Adobe Lightroom for one particular digital camera’s Uncooked file or on one explicit working system. The broader our testing, the extra we will study when, how, and why one program out-performs the others.

To that finish, we put in C1 and LRC on 4 completely different computer systems – two PCs and two Macs – and ran the software program by means of by means of the identical battery of checks, utilizing Uncooked information from 4 completely different cameras: the 20MP Canon EOS R6, the 47MP Nikon Z7 II, the 61MP Sony a7R IV, and the 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100.

Adobe Lightroom Basic CCSeize One Professional 21
Import and generate 2048px previewsImport and generate 2048px previews
Apply customized presetApply customized model
Export full decision 100% JPEGs (sRGB)Export full decision 100% JPEGs (sRGB)

To maintain the outcomes as comparable as attainable throughout cameras, we used the Uncooked studio scene comparability picture from every of our 4 cameras and duplicated it 100 occasions, leaving us with 400 uncooked information in all. Every set of 100 was then imported, previews have been generated, an equivalent customized preset/model was utilized in each packages, and variants have been exported as full decision 100% JPEGs to a subfolder on the Desktop.

Every take a look at was repeated a minimal of 3 times in a row to make sure consistency and remove outliers. Full {hardware} acceleration was turned on within the settings and, the place attainable, the cache and/or catalog have been cleared and this system was restarted between every run.

Lastly, since each packages are up to date fairly continuously with additional efficiency and have enhancements, it is essential to notice that we used the most recent variations of each Seize One 21 (14.3.0) and Adobe Lightroom Basic (10.3) as of August 1st, 2021.

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The computer systems

The Razer Blade 15 Superior reveals off how Lightroom and Seize One take benefit (or do not) of the most recent {hardware}.
Picture by DL Cade

To offer the broadest foundation for comparability, we ran our checks on two Macs and two PCs: one M1 Mac, one Intel Mac, one AMD PC, and one Intel PC. You possibly can see the total spec breakdown beneath:

M1 Mac mini13-inch MacBook ProfessionalRazer Blade 15 Superior2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14
CPUApple Silicon M1 8-coreIntel Core i7-1068NG7Intel Core i9-11900HAMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
GPUApple Silicon M1 8-coreIntel Iris Plus





RAM16GB Unified Reminiscence32GB 3733MHz LPDDR432GB 3200HMz DDR432GB 3200MHz DDR4


2TB Built-in SSD4TB Built-in SSD1TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD1TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD

13-inch Retina Show

15-inch 4K OLED14-inch QHD IPS LCD
Worth w/ 1TB of Storage$1,300$2,600$3,400$2,000

Admittedly, the PCs we examined are fairly a bit extra highly effective than both of the Macs, however this is not about evaluating working techniques. Utilizing these 4 machines allowed us to see what kind of affect a discrete GPU has on efficiency, examine M1 towards Intel, examine AMD vs Intel, and examine at 4 distinct value factors.

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The outcomes

In our testing, we discovered that Seize One is quicker total, however not throughout the board.

By way of navigation, copying edits or presets throughout tons of of information, and the smoothness with which a picture preview renders as you progress a slider backwards and forwards, there was no noticeable distinction between the 2 packages operating on the identical laptop.

It is because each Seize One and Lightroom Basic use GPU acceleration to assist with excessive decision shows and most elementary photograph enhancing duties, placing them on a good footing. And when it comes to searching photographs in your catalog, a current replace has pushed Lightroom forward considerably, making it attainable to speedily examine even 61MP Uncooked information at a tempo that the majority customers would look forward to finding in Picture Mechanic.

However again to our measurements. The place the 2 packages differ most is in precisely these duties that we determined to benchmark: Import/Preview Technology, and Export.

Import Check

In terms of import and preview-generation, it’d shock you to study that Lightroom Basic was quicker throughout the board. With customary previews set to the identical decision in each packages, Adobe by no means took greater than 50 seconds to generate previews, even with our largest 100MP Fuji GFX information, whereas Seize One slowed all the way in which right down to 4 minutes and 18 seconds on the Intel MacBook Professional—an 81% distinction.

This was on our slowest take a look at machine with the biggest information. As file sizes get smaller and {hardware} will get higher, the hole in efficiency decreases. Nonetheless, in our testing, Lightroom Basic continued to outperform Seize One every time.

On our two high-powered PCs, Lightroom was in a position to generate previews from the Fuji GFX information in roughly 40 seconds, whereas Seize One carried out the identical process in about 1 minute and 35 seconds— a 58% distinction.

You possibly can see all the knowledge within the tables and graphs beneath. Instances are minutes and seconds, and the winner for every laptop/digital camera combo is highlighted in inexperienced.

Blade 15M1 Mac MiniASUS G14MacBook Professional
Seize One00:3300:3700:3200:47
Nikon Z7 II
Seize One
Sony a7R IV
Seize One
Fujifilm GFX 100
Seize One01:3701:5301:3504:18

Sadly for Adobe followers, that is just about the tip of the excellent news. In terms of exporting full decision JPEGs at 100% high quality – the extra time-consuming process by far – Seize One 21 is far quicker in our testing.

Export take a look at

The outcomes of our export take a look at present that the extra highly effective the machine, the broader the efficiency hole between Seize One and Lightroom. It is because Seize One makes use of GPU acceleration for processing and exporting information, whereas Lightroom Basic doesn’t.

In terms of exporting 100% JPEGs – the extra time-consuming process – Seize One 21 was a lot quicker than Adobe Lightroom.

For our slowest laptop computer, the Intel MacBook Professional with built-in graphics, the hole was fairly small. Seize One was between 15 seconds and 1 minute and 48 seconds quicker relying on the file kind. However when you throw in a discrete GPU or Apple Silicon, plus {hardware} acceleration, the distinction is staggering.

Our ASUS G14 was in a position to export all 100 Fuji GFX 100 uncooked information, totally edited, in simply 6 minutes and 39 seconds when utilizing Seize One. This similar export, with the identical edits, took greater than 24 minutes in Lightroom Basic. Even the M1 Mac mini, which does not have a discrete GPU to select up the slack, noticed export occasions drop by as much as 27 minutes when switching from Lightroom to Seize One.

You possibly can browse the uncooked knowledge for your self beneath. As with the imports, the winners of every laptop/digital camera combo are highlighted in inexperienced:

Blade 15M1 Mac MiniASUS G14MacBook Professional
Seize One1:312:061:354:41
Nikon Z7 II
Seize One
Sony a7R IV
Seize One
Fujifilm GFX 100
Seize One7:1012:196:3926:06

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The takeaways

If you add up the whole time spent importing and exporting photographs, Seize One 21 is certainly quicker than Lightroom Basic CC. A lot quicker. However the dimension of that hole in efficiency is dependent upon just a few elements.

So far as we will inform, there are two main takeaways from the testing above.

1. It is all concerning the GPU

We mentioned it in our head-to-head comparability of Ultimate Minimize and Premier Professional, and we’ll say it once more right here: nothing beats a well-optimized app.

Whereas Lightroom Basic does use GPU Acceleration to assist with sure duties, the app makes no use of the GPU throughout import, preview era, or export. That is extremely irritating for PC customers, who usually tend to personal a system with a beefy NVIDIA or AMD GPU. When it comes time to export just a few hundred totally edited JPEGs out of your most up-to-date shoot, this lack of GPU acceleration leaves rather a lot of efficiency on the desk.

The identical applies to Apple Silicon Macs, which nonetheless profit vastly from Seize One’s {hardware} acceleration even with no discrete GPU.

Lightroom Basic makes no use of the GPU throughout import, preview era, or export.

For customers of Intel-based machines with no GPU it is mainly a wash between each packages with regards to import and export. However for M1 Mac customers and PC customers with discrete GPUs, exports from Seize One are between 40 and 72% quicker throughout all file sorts, with the hole getting wider as file sizes get bigger.

Even in a small-scale take a look at, the place we’re solely exporting 100 Uncooked information at a time, that interprets into 13 to 27 minutes saved per export when you’re working with a digital camera just like the Fujifilm GFX 100. Extrapolate that as much as tons of of photographs exported week-in and week-out as a part of an expert workflow, and we’re speaking about saving a number of hours of export time per 30 days, whereas giving up just a few minutes throughout import, in comparison with Lightroom.

2. Prioritize the {hardware} that matches your software program, and visa versa

Whether or not you are a die-hard Seize One fan otherwise you’re decided to maintain utilizing Adobe merchandise, preserve these ends in thoughts when making your subsequent laptop buy: to get probably the most out of your software program of selection, it’s best to prioritize the fitting {hardware} (and visa versa).

For Lightroom Basic customers, meaning betting closely on CPU efficiency and RAM. These are the one bits of {hardware} that Lightroom truly makes use of throughout import, preview era, and export, so until you additionally repeatedly use GPU-accelerated apps like Adobe Premiere Professional, you are higher off skimping in your graphics card and placing your cash elsewhere.

To get probably the most out of your software program of selection, it’s best to prioritize the fitting {hardware}.

For Seize One customers, your greatest guess can be to buy a well-balanced system, or go along with an M1 Mac. You most likely need not pony up for a system with an NVIDIA RTX 30-series graphics card, however you undoubtedly do not need to skip the discrete GPU completely. For the perfect worth, have a look at AMD Ryzen-based techniques just like the ASUS G14, or choose up a last-gen RTX 20-series laptop computer for even much less. You possibly can, in fact, additionally construct your personal PC, mixing and matching elements as you see match.

Simply know that you could get away with spending much less on RAM and CPU efficiency when you have an excellent GPU to select up the slack.

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Ultimate ideas

The 2 packages could look comparable, however there’s an enormous efficiency distinction between Seize One Professional and Adobe Lightroom Basic.
Picture by DL Cade
Adobe Lightroom Basic
Seize One Professional
  • Sooner at importing information and producing customary previews
  • Provides you the choice to generate 1:1 previews (when you have the time)
  • Seamless integration with Adobe Photoshop and different CC apps
  • Sturdy cloud integration and companion cell apps
  • Sooner at exporting closely edited information
  • Options vital GPU {hardware} acceleration
  • Higher optimized to benefit from Apple Silicon M1
  • Out there as Sony-only, Fuji-only, and Nikon-only variations for much less cash (or included with digital camera buy)
  • Out there as a one time buy
  • No GPU acceleration for import, preview era, and export
  • Export velocity is closely RAM dependent
  • Could ultimately be discontinued and changed by cloud-based Lightroom CC
  • Not everybody loves the subscription mannequin…
  • Efficiency is just like Lightroom when utilizing low-end {hardware}
  • No cloud integration or companion cell apps (but)
  • Professional-focused interface comes with a steep studying curve

For a lot of – probably most – photographers, the choice to change to Seize One Professional from Lightroom Basic can be pushed by the need to flee Adobe’s subscription mannequin. The power to pay as soon as and purchase your self a perpetual license is an enormous draw. Higher but, Seize One provides Nikon, Sony, and Fuji customers a good cheaper model that solely helps their digital camera model. (Although they do additionally supply a subscription possibility, so who is aware of what the longer term will carry.)

However there’s one different enormous purpose why individuals change, and that purpose is velocity.

As we confirmed above, Seize One customers aren’t mendacity once they say that C1 is quicker than Lightroom Basic. If you happen to’re rocking a brand new M1 Mac or a PC with a discrete GPU, Seize One is significantly better optimized to benefit from the graphics functionality mendacity dormant in your motherboard if you’re exporting batches of closely edited information.

Seize One customers aren’t mendacity once they say that C1 is quicker than Lightroom Basic.

For the fanatic customers who edit and export just a few pictures at a time, a few occasions per week, Lightroom remains to be most likely greatest. Cloud integration, cell help, and the power to transition seamlessly between Artistic Cloud apps is nice. Even when you hate Lightroom and the subscription mannequin, you might need to search for one other various with a extra user-friendly design and fewer concentrate on “professional” workflows.

However for skilled customers who’re working with hundreds of photographs week-in and week-out, Lightroom Basic will value you twice: as soon as if you pay that subscription price, and once more if you depend up the hours misplaced ready in your exports to complete.

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