i am a "casual" user of CS2 in that I use a few of it's more common capabilities(levels, unsharp masking, etc), for my photography hobby.
I have downloaded the 30 day trial of LR, and really like what I see. i know there are numerous power users on the site who find it lacking, but it seems to fit my needs(except I can't figure out how to invoke unsharp masking inside LR).
My question: LR is $299 from Adobe, for $125 more, I can get a CS3 upgrade. I am wondering if the tight integration between LR and CS3 I have heard about would make it worth the cost to go ahead and upgrade from CS2?
thanks very much for your input....
I have LR and PSCS3. I think you sound like a great candidate for LR IMO. If you use CS2 for the light work that you mention, then you probably don't need PSCS3. Quite truthfully, its probably unlikely you would have to use levels for most things after you learn how to use the develop module in LR (a really good buy to get you up to speed is the Lightroom videos for $14.95 that Michael and Jeff did--including the new version 1.1)
Since I still have PSCS2 on my HD (why??? LOL) I just tried the 'roundtrip' I use into PSCS3 for any further processing with CS2. Works exactly the same--you choose your file, go to "Photo" in the menu and choose edit with another app--and then browse for the PSCS2.exe. The rest works exactly the same--so you don't 'need' CS3 to work with LR.
There is no USM in LR. You will do 'capture sharpening' in the develop module. If you are going to print you have 2 options--either use the printing setup in the print module or do that roundtrip into PS and do your sharpening there--the file comes back exactly as you wish--or you can print from PS. I don't use the web module since I resize, sharpen (PKS) and frame for the web in PS. Others can tell you about that module.
So--unless you feel you will use some of the new things in PSCS3 (of which there are quite a few--and very useful for those of us that use PS quite a bit), I'd just recommend you buy LR and use CS2 for your small bit of post processing not possible in LR.
But--if you do, spend the extra $14.95 and get those LR videos. You'll be glad you did.