A few months ago, Adobe released a brand new application into their product suite: Lightroom CC.
If you are wondering what Lightroom CC, what it can do, and whether it is the right application for you, then this is the very article for you!
In this blog post you will learn:
What Lightroom CC is
How it compares to Lightroom Classic CC
Who LIghtroom CC is for
Who Lightroom is NOT for
Why you might want to use BOTH Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC
Ready? Let’s jump right in:
What is LIghtroom CC?
Lightroom CC is a cloud based photo service, which means that all your photos are stored remotely in the cloud (not on your computer or a local external hard drive).
This allows you to access them from ANYWHERE you have an internet connection, and with whatever device you are using.
So you can access them from your work's computer, on your iPad at the airport, or your laptop in your hotel room, your mobile phone when you are out for a walk, or from your desktop computer at home.
Imagine you shoot some photos using your mobile phone when out for a walk. Although you could edit them then and there, you could also wait until you get home to edit them on your laptop - they will be sitting there waiting for you when you open LIghtroom CC. Then let's say you went over to your friends house and you want to show them the photos on your iPad - well you can do that too!
Essentially, everything you do is saved into the cloud, and can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection.
This means you are not tied to one device when using Lightroom CC, as your photos are available wherever you are.
This means that on any device, you can:
View all of your photos and videos
Organise them into Albums
Search and find photos
Edit your images
Share your work as galleries and slideshows.
Any changes you make on one device - such as editing your photos or adding keywords - is automatically synchronized to the cloud so that you see the changes EVERYWHERE.
How does Lightroom CC compare to Lightroom Classic CC?
Adobe fairly knew how to confuse people when they called this NEW app the same name as they had previously calling what is now known as Lightroom Classic CC.
If you are currently using LIghtroom Classic CC, don't worry, that product hasn't gone anywhere, and there are no plans to remove it from the product line - it just has a new name - LIghtroom Classic CC.
The main difference between the two is that Lightroom CC, as we just learnt, stores all your images in the cloud, whereas Lightroom Classic CC stores your original photos in local files and folders, either on your desktop computer, or an external hard drive linked to your computer.
So, Lightroom CC is cloud based, and LIghtroom Classic CC is desktop based.
In addition to a difference in the way you store photos, Lightroom CC is also different from the Classic version in that it currently doesn't have the same wide suite of tools available, although that is changing quickly - Adobe just announced new features for Lightroom CC which make it ever more like the Classic version.
Here is an overview of some of the tools available on Lightroom Classic CC that is not available on Lightroom CC, and you'll see there are a number of tools or options "missing" from the CC version. This seems to be deliberate, as it is designed to be simpler to use, so that it can be useful for photo enthusiasts who maybe don't need a full workflow solution like Lightroom Classic CC.
Here’s a comparison table so you can see the differences between the two:
So, who will Lightroom CC suit?
Those with fast internet access (you’ll need it if you want to upload loads of high-res RAW files!)
If you like the idea of having ALL your files stored in the cloud instead of locally
You take more mobile images than DSLR images
You work a lot remotely so don’t necessarily work from the same desk
If you don’t mind about creating photo books, slideshows and galleries
If you don’t mind about not being able to share images to Instagram, SmugMug, Flickr etc from within Lightroom
You are happy to continue to pay for storage year on year
Lightroom CC has all the features you need (see comparison chart)
Who would NOT suit Lightroom CC?
If you have a slow internet connection
If you don’t want the files stored in a cloud, and would prefer to keep them locally
You like to be able to create photo books or slideshows and galleries within LIghtroom
You have plug ins (like uploading directly to SmugMug and Instagram) that you want to keep using
If you have any features that are a must for you, such as watermarking
You don’t want to have to continually pay for storage month after month.
In which, case Lightroom Classic CC is your best option.
Why you might want to use both LIghtroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC
When you purchase the photography plan from Adobe, you get both Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC (along with Photoshop) so that you can actually use both, which is what I have been doing.
I use Lghtroom Classic CC for all my DSLR photos, because I need and want the features of Lightroom Classic CC, and also because of the volume I shoot, it wouldn’t be practical to upload everything to the cloud (both in terms of the time to upload, and the additional cost per month) but I use Lightroom CC for my mobile photos, and it is truly wonderful for that!