Just when we had got used to running along comfortably with programmes we knew and loved (or otherwise) Adobe appear to have thrown all the cards up in the air and come out with updates, different names and maybe different ways to pay.
Please find below a piece sent by “The Lightroom Queen” ( Victoria Bampton) to Joy who has passed it on for wider circulation.
Hi Joy Whiting!
It’s the Adobe Max conference this week and there’s LOADS of Lightroom news!
In this edition…
- Lightroom Rebranded as Lightroom Classic
- Lightroom Classic CC 7.0 Release
- End of Perpetual Licenses
- Cloud-native Lightroom CC
- Lightroom for iOS/Android
- Announcement FAQ’s
Since the first Lightroom beta was released in 2006, the world of photography has undergone many changes. In those days, most people had never even heard of smartphones, and editing photos required sitting down at a computer. Today, photos shot on mobile phones grace the covers of top magazines, and billions of photos are captured and instantly shared online every single day.
Today, during the Adobe Max conference, Adobe will announce the future of Lightroom. There’s lots of changes and plenty of confusion, so let’s get an overview…
The folder-based version of Lightroom that we’ve known and loved for the last 10+ years is still going strong. It’s been rebranded as Lightroom Classic, because it continues to use the traditional desktop folder-based organizational system we’ve used for decades (as opposed to a modern cloud-based system).
Future development of Lightroom Classic is being refocused on improving performance and enhancing the editing tools. It’s become a bit of a jack-of-all-trades over the last few years, so this new focus is great news for serious Lightroom users.
Lightroom Classic 7.0 was released today, including the first wave of performance improvements, a new embedded preview workflow for faster culling, and a new range mask tool for color/luminance based selections, in addition to the usual new camera/lens support. There’s more information on the new features here.
Before you jump to upgrade, a word of warning is in order. Performance is a tricky thing. Making a feature faster on one computer can make it slower on another, and the code changes are so widespread, it can create bugs in seemingly unrelated areas. I’d recommend exercising a little caution because opening a catalog into 7.0 upgrades the catalog format, so you can’t easily roll back to 2015.12 if you run into problems. Lightroom 7.0 can be installed alongside Lightroom CC 2015, so if you’re an early adopter, perhaps test it using a clean catalog before upgrading your main working catalog, just in case. I’ll compile the early feedback into a blog post over the next week or two.
For the last couple of years, it’s been a subject of great debate… will Adobe keep selling Lightroom as a perpetual (standalone) license or not? We finally have an official answer… Adobe will continue to sell Lightroom 6 as a perpetual license, but Lightroom 7 and future versions will only be available to CC subscribers. At least they’ve said it now, and we can all stop guessing. They’ll continue to add new camera support to Lightroom 6 until the end of the year, and even at that point, your perpetual version of Lightroom will not spontaneously combust. If you’re currently a perpetual user, I’ve outlined some of the options here.
There’s a new cloud-native version of Lightroom, designed for the next generation of photographers. Because in this version everything’s synced to the cloud, your photos and edits are available on all of your devices, wherever you are. Since Lightroom manages your photos for you, this new Lightroom app is really simple to use (no more missing files!), but still has the non-destructive editing power we’ve come to expect from Adobe. It’s been rewritten from the ground up, so it’s relatively bug-free (hooray!).
It’s early days, so Lightroom CC doesn’t have all of the features of the Classic version, but it already has the essentials and will continue to develop rapidly. If you’re a Lightroom user considering moving to the cloud-native app, I’ve created a feature comparison table, so you can check whether it has the features you need for your workflow.
I know you’ll have loads of questions, so I’ve written a free Quick Start eBook, available for download right now (just fill in your name/email again and check the Lightroom CC eBook checkbox).
More extensive books for both Lightroom Classic 7.0 and Lightroom CC will be available soon in eBook and paperback formats, and I’ll let you know as soon as they’re released.
The iOS and Android versions of Lightroom have been updated with some fantastic new features including AI-based automatic tagging and search, keywords, album folders to organize all of your albums (prev. called collections), and the Android version now has the brush tool too. You can read all about the new features here.
The mobile apps are designed primarily to be a companion to the cloud-native Lightroom CC ecosystem, so they now use the new terminology (e.g., albums instead of collections). The mobile apps continue to sync with Lightroom Classic, as they always have done, but no new cloud features will be added to Lightroom Classic, so keywords and collection sets don’t sync with Lightroom Classic.
There’s sure to be a mass of questions about these announcements. I’ve preempted many of the questions I expect to see, and I’ll continue adding to the FAQ’s as new questions arise.