Adobe has unveiled a new version of its photo manipulation and organization tool, Lightroom CC; rebranded as Lightroom Classic CC the current desktop-based app you know as Lightroom; and quietly killed off the standalone desktop version, Lightroom 6.
The announcement—which is already stirring significant controversy across photography forums, particularly among professionals—means major changes for the Lightroom landscape going forward. Adobe explains that the new Lightroom CC “is designed to be a cloud-based ecosystem of apps that are deeply integrated and work together seamlessly across desktop, mobile, and web. Lightroom Classic CC is designed for desktop-based (file/folder) digital photography workflows. It’s a well-established workflow solution that is distinct and separate from our new cloud-native service.”
Lightroom Classic CC
Given this separation of Lightroom Classic CC, with its file/folder based workflow, and Lightroom CC, with its cloud/mobile-oriented workflow, enthusiast and pro underwater photographers will likely be most interested in the former release. And Lightroom Classic CC has been given some major updates.
Significantly, Lightroom Classic will have speedier performance in areas such as launch time, preview generation, import selection, switching between Library and Develop, navigating between photos in Develop, and responsive brushing. The new app is also getting an enhanced Embedded Preview workflow and new edit tools for more-precise edits.
Otherwise, “traditional” Lightroom users, apparently, have no major cause for concern, provided they can live with Adobe’s subscription model: Adobe says it will develop Lightroom Classic CC alongside Lightroom CC, recognizing the need for distinct, but related products for different kinds of users.
Users of the standalone Lightroom 6 will be disappointed—but presumably not surprised—to learn that there will be no Lightroom 7 perpetual offering. Lightroom 6 will remain available for sale for “an undetermined amount of time,” but there will be no more camera support updates or bug fixes after the end of 2017. Incidentally, if your shiny new Nikon D850 has just arrived, you’ll have to wait till October 26, when Lightroom 6.13 is relased to support it.
Unlike the “Classic” version, with Lightroom CC, your images live in the cloud—RAW files included. As such, everything is made available to Lightroom apps for iOS and Android, in keeping with the preferences of mobile users, which the software is aimed at. At the same time, Lightroom CC is leaner and less complicated looking than Lightroom Classic CC.
Lightroom CC’s streamlined user interface allows powerful editing of full-resolution photos on desktop, mobile, and the Web, with changes made on one device automatically synced to all other devices. After your photos are pushed to the Lightroom CC cloud, it’s easy to share photos and custom galleries via a link.
With the demise of Lightroom 6.x, the last standalone version of the software, all Lightroom products will be subscription based. The pricing is as follows:
- Creative Cloud Photography Plan (Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Spark) with 20GB of cloud storage: $10 per month
- Creative Cloud Photography Plan with 1TB of cloud storage: $20 per month
- Lightroom CC Plan: Lightroom CC and 1TB of cloud storage for $10 per month
- Lightroom Mobile with 100GB of cloud storage: $5 a month
- Creative Cloud All Apps Plan (including all Adobe apps) with 100GB of cloud storage: $50 per month
If 1TB of cloud storage doesn’t cut it, you can purchase an additional 2TB, 5TB or 10TB for $20, $50 or $100 per month, respectively.
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