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Adobe has just announced the launch of a new version of Lightroom called Lightroom CC. In a move that can best be described as interesting it changed the name of the version of Lightroom subscribers have been using to Lightroom Classic CC. Confused? You can learn more in our Lightroom Classic CC FAQs. In the meantime, here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions about the newest addition to the Lightroom family.
Don’t I already own Lightroom CC?
If you’re a Photography Plan subscriber you’ve been using what is strictly known as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC (2015) and what just about everybody has been calling Lightroom CC for the last two and half years. That version of Lightroom is now called Lightroom Classic CC and the new Lightroom CC is something completely different.
Isn’t that confusing?
Yes it is! Lightroom beta testers have been telling Adobe that for months, but no-one listened. C’est la vie.
What exactly is Lightroom CC then?
Lightroom CC is a desktop version of Lightroom mobile. Adobe has updated Lightroom mobile so that the interface matches the one in Lightroom CC. The idea is to provide a seamless experience between using Lightroom mobile on a tablet, smartphone and computer.
Should I migrate my Lightroom CC (2015) Catalog to Lightroom CC?
No! No! No! From comments I’ve read on websites and forums it seems that some photographers have tried this already (thanks Adobe for confusing everybody). If you’re a Lightroom CC (2015) user then you need to use Lightroom Classic CC. Lightroom CC is a completely different application.
Do I have to upload my photos to the cloud now?
If you use Lightroom CC, it automatically adds any new photos you add to it to Adobe’s servers. Oh yes, and you have to pay extra for that cloud storage space. That’s why you shouldn’t use Lightroom CC unless you’re aware of all the implications.
If you use Lightroom Classic CC you don’t upload any photos to the cloud.
Who is Lightroom CC for then?
Lightroom CC is for photographers who take all their photos on a smartphone, don’t want to use Lightroom Classic CC and don’t mind paying for cloud storage space.
Is Lightroom CC any good?
Actually, it’s surprisingly good. It’s the next step in the natural evolution of Lightroom mobile. If you use a smartphone for all your photography you’ll probably love it. If you use a camera you’ll hate it – cloud storage is too expensive and impractical.
Can I use Lightroom CC anyway?
Yes you can. If you’re a photography plan subscriber your Creative Cloud app lets you install both Lightroom Classic CC and the new Lightroom CC alongside Lightroom CC (2015). When you open Lightroom CC for the first time it downloads and displays any photos that you have synchronized using Smart Previews and synchronized Collections (see the screenshot below). There’s no harm in installing Lightroom CC and checking it out. But whatever you do, don’t migrate your Catalog to it!
Can Lightroom CC be part of my workflow?
There’s two ways you can use Lightroom CC as part of your workflow.
1. To view and develop photos on two different computers. For example, you could use Lightroom Classic CC on your main computer and Lightroom CC on a laptop. Any photos in synchronized Collections will show up in Lightroom CC. Any photos you edit in Lightroom CC are synched back to Lightroom Classic CC. All you need to make this work is a good internet connection.
2. To develop photos taken with a smartphone and keep them separate from your other photos. You could conceivably use both Lightroom Classic CC for your regular photos and Lightroom CC for your smartphone photos, giving you the best of both worlds. But make sure you understand how much cloud storage space costs before you commit to this workflow!
What happens when the Creative Cloud license ends?
First, anything you may have read about Adobe keeping your photos hostage is nonsense.
If you’re a Lightroom CC user you won’t be able to use the application any more. The good news is that Adobe keeps your photos on its servers for 12 months after you cancel your subscription. You can download your photos using a new app called Image Downloader Utility.
But bear in mind that you should always back your photos up and keep copies on external hard drives at home. If you do this properly you don’t have to worry about what happens to your photos on Adobe’s servers.
Hoefully these FAQs have answered your most pressing questions about Lightroom CC. Once you understand exactly what Lightroom CC is and the type of photography it’s aimed at you’ll probably feel better about any negativity generated by Adobe’s recent changes to Lightroom. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions that I haven’t answered!