Editor's note: This month only – Use the code july5 at checkout to buy the 5 Steps to Better Black & White Photography and 5 Steps to Better Exposure ebooks for just $5! Click the links to learn more. Thanks for reading, Andrew.
Adobe recently (May 2019) changed the name of Lightroom Classic CC to Lightroom Classic (dropping the CC), successfully confusing photographers across the globe. Many of you have questions about the latest iterations of Lightroom. Here are the answers to the most common of those.
What is Lightroom Classic?
Lightroom Classic is the latest version of the Lightroom desktop application. Up until October 2017 it was called Lightroom CC (2015), then the name changed to Lightroom Classic CC, and now it’s simply called Lightroom Classic.
Why the name change?
In October 2017 Adobe launched a new application with the name Lightroom CC. This new program is a version of Lightroom mobile for desktop and has little in common with the old Lightroom CC (2015). In May 2019 Adobe changed the name of this app to Lightroom, which of course is what Lightroom Classic was called for many years.
Does that mean Adobe is going to stop updating Lightroom Classic?
There is so much negativity surrounding Lightroom Clasic that it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the name change indicates Adobe is planning to stop developing this version of Lightroom. I can’t see into the future but this seems unlikely to me for several reasons.
- Lightroom Classic has to evolve to stay ahead of the competition and keep Adobe’s market share.
- The cloud based workflow of the new Lightroom app (where photographers upload their photos to Adobe’s servers) is impractical and too expensive for most photographers. Take up of the new Lightroom app by Adobe’s current user base is likely to be small.
- Stopping development of Lightroom Classic would alienate a substantial and profitable part of Adobe’s customer base.
- The Lightroom app is a new product aimed at a different type of photographer who takes all their photos with a smartphone camera. It’s not aimed at the current Lightroom Classic user base.
- Adobe has committed to the continued development of Lightroom Classic. Yes, I know it also committed to keep developing a standalone version of Lightroom and hasn’t done so. But that’s not a good enough reason to abandon Lightroom Classic.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t stop using Lightroom Classic unless you have a really good reason to do so. The only reason that makes sense is if you find another application that does everything you want to and that you prefer to use. Remember, there’s no guarantee that any other software you might choose will keep evolving in a way that suits you either.
What new features does Lightroom Classic have?
Adobe has improved the speed of Lightroom Classic when compared to Lightroom 6. It’s faster and gives you several key performance improvements:
- Standard, 1:1 Previews and Smart Previews are generated faster (but only if your computer has four or more cores).
- Importing photos is faster if you select the Embedded & Sidecar option when importing new photos. This lets you view Raw files in the Library module using the embedded JPEG preview file.
- Lightroom pre-renders previews when viewing photos in Loupe View.
- Images load faster in the Develop module when moving from one photo to the next.
- There’s a shorter delay when moving between the Lightroom and Develop modules.
Color range masking and luminance range masking have been added to the local adjustment tools in the Develop module. This is a big deal as it means you don’t have to send your photos to Photoshop for luminance masking.
There’s a new process version. The developing algorithms haven’t changed, the new process version allows range masking to work and for more accurate Auto masking.
There’s a new Texture slider. Similar to Clarity, it helps you emphasize textures in your photos through global and local adjustments.
I’m new to Lightroom, which version should I buy?
The short answer is Lightroom Classic. For more detail read Which Lightroom Version Do I Need?
Will my old Develop Presets work with Lightroom Classic?
Yes they will, without any problems at all.
What happens if I cancel my subscription?
Adobe doesn’t want you to lose access to your photos or your Catalog, for the simple reason that it would prevent access to all the developing and organizing work you have done. This is what you need to know.
- You never lose access to your Catalog, or the developing work you have already done, or the ability to export your photos from Lightroom.
- You have full access to the Library, Book, Print, Slideshow and Web modules. Want to develop photo files? Just use the Quick Develop panel in the Library module.
- You can’t use the Develop module and there is no access to the Map module.
Hopefully these FAQs have answered your most pressing questions about Lightroom Classic. My advice is to ignore the negativity and enjoy using the best version of Lightroom yet. Do you have any questions that I haven’t answered? Let us know in the comments!
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