Adobe has announced the release of two new versions of Lightroom.
Lightroom Classic CC is a new name, but not different. The product we know and love remains the industry standard for desktop-based digital photography workflows. It has new features and works faster.
Lightroom CC is the brand new cloud-based, mobile-first application that keeps everything in sync across all computers and devices. It comes with automatic backup – not just for original photos but all of your editing develop settings also, including full resolution raw editing.
Which to Choose
Lightroom CC could be the future for those who don’t wish to worry about catalog management or having an independent backup strategy. It installs on desktop computers and the user interface nicely mirrors the UI seen on mobile devices which will already be familiar to many who shoot photos with a phone.
For those who prefer a catalog based DAM (digital asset management) Lightroom Classic will continue to meet their needs but Adobe has included a migration tool in the new Lightroom CC for users who may wish to switch.This release is the 7th version since the original Lightroom 1.0 and will be known in future as Lightroom Classic CC. For those customers using the current stand-alone version of LR6, Adobe will continue to provide support until the end of 2017/January 2018. There will not be a LR7 perpetual licence.
What’s New in Lightroom Classic
Process Version 4 (current) introduces some new and improved features using algorithms for range masking and auto masking. These tools become available when choosing one of the selective adjustment tools – graduated filter, radial filter or adjustment brush.
1. Auto Mask has been improved and now respects any noise reduction settings. This should prevent the noisy or speckled appearance of auto mask corrections sometimes seen in photos edited under P/V 3 or earlier.
2. New Range Mask: Color
3. New Range Mask: Luminance
The new range masking tools enable precise color and tone based selections. They are turned on as soon as a user begins brushing a rough selection or starts to apply a filter. Color range can be defined by dragging or by choosing a number of points using the color picker. Using a modifier key (Alt) in conjunction with the range sliders gives a visual display, enabling refinement of the mask based on the color or luminance selection.
The main focus in Lightroom Classic has been on improved performance. Users of modern operating systems, with quad core processors or higher and RAM of 16GB or above should see the most noticeable differences. However, even on more modest systems users should see a more zippy performance. I tested on a Windows 10 PC with 8GB of RAM, using the application installed on an internal SSD rather than a spinning drive and I saw good improvements. For example, importing after a photo shoot is much faster especially when selecting the embedded & sidecar method. Lightroom Classic will use the camera previews embedded with raw files meaning that culling and picking can start almost instantly. Most major DSLR cameras embed full-size jpeg previews; so choosing the best shots in Library Loupe view and then generating standard or 1:1 previews for the keepers, makes for a more efficient workflow.
As usual, profiles are available for recently introduced lenses and phone/camera models including the Nikon D850. These are also available in Adobe Camera Raw 10.0
This is just a brief summary of what the engineers have been doing under the hood. For more information go to:
The New Lightroom CC
The new Lightroom CC can do things not previously possible. All of your photos are always available wherever you are. On any mobile device, and computer; on your laptop on the train or plane; on your desktop at home and at work; on your tablet and phone; in the library or hotel; or anywher you have acess to a browser. This is something Adobe customers have been asking for; avoiding the need to carry a shared catalog and media files on external hard drives for plugging-in to different machines.
Lightroom CC installs like regular software in Program Files on Windows and in Applications on Mac. It automatically integrates with the Adobe Creative Cloud eco system fully synchronizing all imported media files.
Lightroom CC works seamlessly with the Lightroom Mobile apps for iOS and Android, Lightroom for Web and Lightroom for Apple TV.
Many modern phones are now capable of DNG raw capture making Lightroom CC an ideal tool for editing with the power of Adobe's renowned raw engine. It is also possible to ingest raw files from traditional DSLR cameras.
Lightroom CC is a streamlined application and is smarter at managing disk space than the traditional files & folders system in Lightroom Classic. It automatically manages proxies for efficiency. So originals quickly drop out of the cache when not being actively worked on. Lightroom CC can therefore be used off-line utilising the proxies as well as originals on first import or originals marked for local storage.
Adobe Sensei is built into Lightroom CC - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning using technology previews for Auto Tone and Auto-Keywording, the latter first seen in the browser app LR for Web.
Price & Choice
Adobe is offering customers a choice of pricing models. Existing customers to the Photography Plan can add the new LR CC without any extra cost e.g. $9.99 pm or local currency price, with an enhancement to 20GB of storage or 100GB for subscribers to the full Creative Cloud all apps plan.
For those who don't need Photoshop and only want the new LR CC (full eco system - everything automatically backed up and available on all devices and computers) $9.99 will get you 1TB of storage.
For existing subscribers an extra $10 buys an increase to 1TB of storage - with a discount to $14.99pm for the first year ($19.99 thereafter). Additional storage plans will become available - 2GB, 5GB & 10GB.
All prices are current at the time of publication – check local rates in all territories.
Click above infographic to enlarge
To find out more about the new Lightroom CC go to:
Download the new Lightroom CC
The new release of Photoshop CC now comes with Lightroom Photos built-in. So any image synchronized via the Lightroom Mobile eco system will be available for editing everywhere. This can be useful for special situations where the resulting image does not need to be saved back to the Lightroom Library. For example an image where text has been added, used in a design template or compositing to be uploaded to a web host; or a creation to be shared after editing is complete, directly on social media or to be emailed etc. However there is an optional button to save completed editing work back into the Lightroom Library where required.