Adobe announced today that their subscription based Lightroom CC software will now become Lightroom Classic CC. This potentially confusing name change is to make room for a new product which will assume the old products Lightroom CC name. Confused? Read on.
Lightroom Classic CC is what we have always known it to be for the last 10 plus years. It is computer based software and your images can be kept wherever you like. Other than a name change, a substantial speed improvement and one very nice feature upgrade discussed below, nothing has changed.
The newly announced Lightroom CC is designed for those wishing to store their entire photo database in the Adobe cloud. The software itself will still reside on your computer, however in the NEW Lightroom CC all your images will be stored in the cloud where they are always available and backed up for you. For photographers with sizable image collections this new approach is not terribly feasible. Cloud storage will be $10/ Terabyte each month. Also, unless you have a blazing fast internet provider, uploading large volumes of photo files is a slow process. The new Lightroom CC is potentially a good solution if you deal with small numbers of images and want to turnover managing the backup process to Adobe. For most of the photographers that I know we will be sticking with Lightroom Classic.
Lightroom Classic got a pretty significant speed upgrade as part of this revision, so I encourage you to update soon and take advantage. Once you have installed Lightroom Classic and launch it, you will be prompted to upgrade your catalog. Adobe automatically creates a new catalog with the same name as your current catalog with the addition of a -2 so your original is protected in the unlikely event something goes wrong. The catalog upgrade process can be under a minute for small catalogs to 20 minutes plus for very large catalogs…be patient.
Adobe also made a nice addition to the Local Adjustment tools (Gradient Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush) in the form of a new Range Mask option. Essentially Range mask allows you to target areas of your image based on Color or Luminosity. I’m still experimenting with it, but essentially it allows us to quickly draw out an adjustment and limit it to an area based on color or brightness. Very impressed with it so far.
Lightroom 6 will be the last version of Lightroom that you will be able to purchase outright. It is expected to be sold and supported through the end of 2017. After which time the only Lightroom option will be subscription based. I wouldn’t run out and buy Lightroom 6 at this point since support ends in a few months and it is already 2.5 years old.
Photoshop also received some attention, but I haven’t dug into the new content sufficiently enough at this point to elaborate. My chief concern was to get some clarification out there for the many Lightroom users in my universe.