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Adobe recently announced that it had changed the name of Lightroom CC (2015) to Lightroom Classic CC, successfully confusing photographers across the globe. Naturally, many of you have questions about the latest iterations of Lightroom. Here are the answers to the most common.
What is Lightroom Classic CC?
Lightroom Classic CC is the latest version of Lightroom. Up until October 2017 it was called Lightroom CC (2015). Now the name has been changed to Lightroom Classic CC.
Why the name change?
Adobe have bought out a new application and given it 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).
Does that mean Adobe is going to stop updating Lightroom Classic CC?
There is so much negativity surrounding Adobe’s latest new product announcement 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 CC has to evolve to stay ahead of the competition and keep Adobe’s market share.
- The cloud based workflow of the new Lightroom CC (where photographers upload their photos to Adobe’s servers) is impractical and too expensive for most photographers. Take up of the new Lightroom CC by Adobe’s current user base is likely to be small.
- Stopping development of Lightroom Classic CC would alienate a substantial and profitable part of Adobe’s customer base.
- The new Lightroom CC 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 user base.
- Adobe has committed to the continued development of Lightroom Classic CC. 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.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t stop using Lightroom 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 CC have?
Adobe has improved the performance. Lightroom Classic CC is fast and gives you several key improvements in speed:
- 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.
I’m new to Lightroom, which version should I buy?
The short answer is Lightroom Classic CC. For more detail read Which Lightroom Version Do I Need?
Will my old Develop Presets work with Lightroom Classic CC?
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 obviously unfair.
- 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.
Hoefully these FAQs have answered your most pressing questions about Lightroom Classic CC. The news is not as bad as some people would have you believe. My advice is to ignore the negativity and enjoy using the best version of Lighroom yet. Do you have any questions that I haven’t answered? Let us know in the comments!
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