VSCO Vs. Lightroom: The Better Photo Editing App?

Jul 01, 2022

By AppsHive Team

VSCO vs. Adobe Lightroom

Since the evolution of mobile photography, the process of post-processing has evolved and become easier. With the various applications available, you can now edit the photos you have taken on your mobile phone and with professional cameras. Among them, the most popular applications are VSCO and Adobe Lightroom. Both of these applications can be installed on iOS and Android devices and can be used to edit photos.

VSCO vs. Adobe Lightroom is a debate that has been prevailing in the photo editing industry for a long time. In this article, we will put forward some of the aspects of both these applications on which we could find the better side of the debate of VSCO vs. Adobe Lightroom. So, sit up tight and enjoy reading.

Which Is the Better Photo Editing App: Lightroom Vs. VSCO

Let us take a glimpse of both applications.

VSCO, for a very long period, has defined itself as a "creative channel" that provides you with various tools and services to explore. VSCO prioritizes community and social functions.

On the other hand, Adobe Lightroom is a cloud-based service that offers you everything you need to create, store, share your photos, and organize your project. Adobe Lightroom provides enough tools to add extra effects to your photograph.

Both applications require a single account to operate, offering free versions. Moreover, Adobe Lightroom also offers the desktop version, which can be used on your laptops and PCs. Another important difference between the two apps is that VSCO supports video editing tools, but Adobe Lightroom is limited only to photographs.

Now that you have a fair idea of these applications let us compare them on different parameters.

Ease Of Use

Both applications are very user-friendly and offer various tools to make their interface easy to understand. However, Adobe Lightroom offers more efficient tools, which give it an edge over the VSCO. Some of the tools of Adobe Lightroom are very advanced.

VSCO opens and presents the studio section in its opening layout. In this section, you will see all your photos, and you can always add more of them by clicking the plus icon. The toolbar presented in the VSCO offers easy access and makes it an efficient platform.

On the other hand, Adobe Lightroom opens in the section of the library panel. Here you can see your imported images, and it also offers the feature of arranging your photos into different albums. In the toolbar of Adobe Lightroom, you can find three important tabs.

  • Shared- Here, you can find all the important items that you have shared
  • Learn- In this tab, you can access all the tutorials that the Adobe Lightroom provides
  • Discover- Presents the community feed to you. 

With these features, Adobe Lightroom has the edge over VSCO, making it more user-friendly.

Winner: Adobe Lightroom


Layout: VSCO & Lightroom

VSCO presents a very minimalist layout for its user to work on. You can also personalize the layout according to your use. Presets in VSCO can be organized according to your use, and you can customize the studio layout too. It also provides different themes for its application, like the dark theme and the light theme.

In Adobe Lightroom, though the layout is unique and user-friendly, unlike VSCO, you cannot customize the layout according to your use. Also, Lightroom presets cannot be customized similarly as they are in VSCO.

Hence be it Lightroom or VSCO, both the applications have an attractive layout, but the feature of editing the layout as per the user’s needs gives VSCO an edge over Lightroom.

Winner: VSCO

Community And the social media

Community: VSCO & Lightroom

The robust community of VSCO is very user-friendly and is very niche specific. Like any other social media platform, you can like other people's photos and follow somebody whose work you like. Also, to protect copyright claims, you are not allowed to repost the images posted by different users on the community page. You can share the VSCO post on your Facebook and Instagram profile via link.

Comparing The social platform of Adobe Lightroom to that of VSCO, Lightroom's social media platform is quite dull. The most appropriate reason for this could be that Lightroom recently launched its social media platform, and hence more developments are being made. That being said, being on Lightroom's social media platform is not worthless because it has some interesting features. The edited and shared photos on  Lightroom's social media page allow the other person to see the edits made on that photograph. This helps others enhance their editing skills and learn new editing techniques. Further, if you like some edits, you can save them as presets for future reference. So, here we can see that Lightroom has the upper hand.

Winner: Lightroom

In-App Camera

In-App Camera: VSCO & Lightroom

The VSCO and Adobe Lightroom apps offer a built-in camera feature, and both platforms offer a built-in camera rich in features.

With the camera of VSCO, you can take videos and photos and some particular types of videos such as looping and slow-motion videos. You can shoot cinematic videos or click pictures when you travel with the help of its built-in camera. Other features available with its built-in camera are similar to that of a normal camera.

On the other hand, Lightroom has a camera that is very rich in features and offers various modes by which you can enhance your photography. Lightroom’s manual mode gives you the feel of being a professional photographer and the freedom to adjust the brightness levels, snap speed, and ISO rate by which you can take the desired photo you want.

However, unlike VSCO, Lightroom doesn’t Provide the platform to shoot videos from its camera. Hence both the applications have a pretty good built-in camera, but as Lightroom is not capable of shooting videos, we can say that VSCO has the edge over the built-in camera features.

Winner: VSCO

Editing Tools

Editing Tools: VSCO & Lightroom

There are six presets presented to you as soon as you enter the editing panel of VSCO. These preset provide you the quality filters and pre-edited templates that you can use to edit your photos quickly. You can also change these presets and select from the ones you desire. Otherwise, you can always perform the step-by-step editing using the number of photo editing equipment available with VSCO. It offers all the basic photo editing app features, such as straightening cropping, adjusting the contrast, adjusting the brightness, shifting the white balance, etc. Other tools available which are a bit advanced are dodge and burn and the HSL tab. These advanced tools can help edit wedding photos and improve food photography.

On the other hand, Adobe Lightroom offers all the photo editing tools that are available with VSCO and has some specialized features. You can use Lightroom’s AI to adjust your selected subject, and Lightroom offers a distortion correction tool and an advanced feature of color grading along with the healing brush. Similar to VSCO, Lightroom also offers various presets that you can use to edit your photographs quickly and easily.

Winner: Lightroom


Price: VSCO & Lightroom

Both the platforms offer the free version but only provide selected presets and tools you can use. Hence to get access to the full application version, you will need to purchase their membership.

VSCO’s membership costs $20, and you get a week’s free trial. With the paid membership, you can access all the presets and advanced tools like dodge and burn.

On the other hand, Lightroom does not have its membership but comes along with the package of the Adobe membership plan. So, if you have to buy a membership for Lightroom, you will have to purchase the photography plan of the membership. This membership includes Photoshop, Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom mobile. This membership costs around $10 per month and gives you two weeks of a free trial.


Is VSCO good for editing?

VSCO provides some great features for editing your photographs and videos. Several pre-sets are available with the platform, and the built-in camera that VSCO provides is way better than the normal mobile camera. Hence, VSCO is quite good for editing images and videos on your mobile phone.

How useful is the mobile app of Lightroom (IOS)?

Though Lightroom offers the app's desktop version, the mobile version is equally helpful and comes in v The Lightroom AI does amazing work to your photograph that you can always use as your editing partner. So, Lightroom has become a handy photo-editing application for IOS users.


VSCO or Lightroom is a long-unsettled debate, and both platforms are excellent and feature-rich. So, selecting from these applications depends upon your needs and your budget.

If you have a tight budget, you can go for the VSCO membership, which is almost one-tenth the cost of an membership. Also, if you need to edit the videos, you must go with VSCO membership as Lightroom doesn’t offer the feature of recording videos and editing them.

Similarly, if you are more focused on editing the photograph with rich features and an advanced camera, you must go with Lightroom’s membership, as its features are way better than that of VSCO. Also, you can use Lightroom on your PC so you can work on more professional projects on Adobe Lightroom. Hence Lightroom or VSCO is a very user-specific topic and depends on your needs.

If you want to explore more Apps, then you can check out other best photo editing apps curated by our editorial team.