My Future with Lightroom Classic and Thoughts on CC

There’s big news from Adobe this week and it has left a lot of Lightroom users either totally confused or disappointed (mostly both). I’ve had a few days to mull things over, and I’m here to offer up my recommendations that may help you better understand this monumental shift in the Adobe ecosystem.

Wait – what’s happened to Lightroom?

There are many great posts out there that have already covered the specific changes extensively (a few are linked below), so I will not dilute the atmosphere anymore with my own explanation ….but here are the bullet points (in case you haven’t heard):

1. Lightroom CC is now called Lightroom Classic and has received some much-needed performance updates that many are enjoying….as well as a few new features.

2. Adobe introduced their new cloud-based program, which has now been crowned heir to the “Lightroom CC” name (hence the rebranding of Lightroom CC to Lightroom Classic). This program takes advantage of the fluidity and less complicated environment that only cloud apps can offer, but with several drawbacks that are leaving traditional Lightroom users reluctant to move – including me.

3. No more perpetual licenses for Lightroom. A move that is not entirely surprising given Adobe’s unwillingness to update Lightroom 6 with the latest features….but I was hoping Adobe would put this move off until CC was more widely adopted. Lightroom 6 users won’t receive any new updates after the end of the year.

Photographer Piet Van den Eynde has created a very nice overview of the new Lightroom Classic features…as well as briefly going over what Lightroom CC is. It’s very informative and to the point:

And here’s the information directly from Adobe. Our dear guide Julieanne certainly has her hands full with this one. In this video, she compares Lightroom Classic to Lightroom CC.

It’s really not the introduction of this new app that is making users anxious, it’s the subtext (and possible foreshadowing) that accompanies this news….specifically, the future of Lightroom Classic (the folder-based program) and whether or not Lightroom CC (the cloud-based program) will replace it.

I go into further detail below, but here’s the punchline:

Lightroom Classic is not going to disappear anytime soon, so stay put and let’s see how this plays out with Adobe. Whether you’re a CC – sorry, I mean “Classic” – Lightroom user or have a perpetual Lr6 license, there’s really no reason to jump ship right now….especially without an adequate lifeboat to jump into.

I’m not saying that I’ll be sticking with Lightroom forever, or suggesting that you do the same (as explained below)…but there’s no big red switch coming down. Let’s see how this develops…and more importantly, how Adobe responds to its customers’ concerns.

First onto the elephant in the room….the “Classic” rebranding of Lightroom CC.

I’m not sure who at Adobe decided that it was a good idea to rebrand a program currently used by many professionals and serious enthusiasts as “classic” and expect a good reception. Even worse, to simultaneously introduce an inferior cloud-based app and give it the Lightroom CC name. I’m baffled.

Now I understand WHY they moved the CC name over to this new cloud-based program, but surely they saw the potential confusion and possible foreshadowing that could be interpreted here when they chose to rebrand the folder-based application as “classic”.

Does this simply mean that Lightroom Classic is using a “traditional” setup of folders and local storage vs. the more-modern, cloud-based systems….which everything seems to be moving towards lately? Or does “classic” imply that Adobe will be phasing out of their folder-based Lightroom program at some point?

We don’t know what Adobe is planning to do (and perhaps they don’t either until they get more feedback on this bold move), but I’m betting that Adobe’s marketing team is regretting their choice of words.

Not only is this terminology confusing, but it makes “Lightroom Formerly Known as CC” seem archaic and stale, and a program that they will eventually retire…..while passing the CC crown to their new cloud-based app.

Will Adobe stop supporting Lightroom Classic?

I believe that is their current end-game, yes….but it won’t happen for a while (and depending on the performance of Lightroom CC, it may not happen at all).

Professional photographers represent a small portion of the “photography” market, so it makes sense that Adobe – being a business with shareholders – would try to tap into the amateurs.

Lightroom CC is essentially a very fancy, sophisticated app that amateur photographers can step into without being overwhelmed. If you remember, there’s a lot to learn about Lightroom Classic initially – importing, catalogs, keywords…let alone the Develop module. It’s a big barrier coming from a cell phone. Lightroom CC makes that initial learning curve much less steep.

I can’t imagine Classic being pulled until CC is a suitable replacement…and Adobe needs to hit a LOT of marks before that becomes a reality.

It’s also reassuring that Adobe has greatly improved the performance of Lightroom Classic (and added some nifty new features that Piet goes over in the above video), so they do plan on keeping Lightroom Classic around for a while.

However, with the unveiling of CC, it means that fewer resources are being diverted to Classic support and development….which can be worrisome for us who will most likely never use a cloud-based program as our main image organizer/raw processor.

My advice is this: If you are a Classic user, just wait it out. It will be a long time before Adobe stops supporting Lightroom Classic. Remember: they’re in business, so it would not make sense to kill a product without having an equal replacement for users to move to.

Are you a Lightroom 6 user (with a perpetual license)? I’d wait it out too – at least for the short term. Support ending at the end of the year is not Doomsday. The final support release for Lightroom 5 was back in November of 2014, and there are still many photographers using it (or even earlier versions of Lightroom).

Do I recommend using Lightoom CC then?

Not right now. I don’t believe photographers who are already familiar with Lightroom Classic are going to see any real benefit to adding CC to their workflow in its current state….and I definitely would not recommend Lightroom CC as a replacement for Lightroom Classic.

There are big concerns here for professionals and serious enthusiasts….program stability, file security (storing your trove of images in a cloud managed by Adobe) and of course reliable high-speed internet access for continual downloads and uploads. Since Lightroom CC is in version 1.0, there will inevitably be problems that Adobe will need to troubleshoot – so it’s better to let their team work out the kinks first before making any serious commitments to CC.

Now with that being said…Adobe is banking hard on Lightroom CC being a success. This is their new baby. I believe they will be swift and thorough to address program bugs and roll out features to rival Lightroom Classic. Also, Lightroom CC is a simpler program to use without catalogs, so bugs should be fairly easy to fix and program speed should not be much of an issue.

The biggest bottleneck I see here (and it is a HUGE one for many) is a reliable high-speed internet connection, so I’m curious as to how Adobe is going to address this. The new Nikon D850 has raw files in the 50MB range, so imagine uploading a couple hundred frames over a slow and spotty internet connection.

I’m spoiled here in Boston, but it was not too long ago I was tethering internet through my cell phone on an island (with a monthly limit on usage). This was not fun, and I could never use Lightroom CC for any kind of serious editing if I was still living there. I couldn’t even use Netflix.

In my opinion, internet availability and stability is not there yet for many serious photographers to support a cloud-based workflow.

That’s not to say that Lightroom CC is totally out of the question. If you’re a CC member, you get this program already as part of your monthly plan…so give it a spin. It can be very useful for off-site backup and initial editing/culling before you get home.

However, I personally will not be using it (not yet anyway).

Here’s my honest opinion of Lightroom CC….

I see Lightroom CC as a complementary program to Lightroom Classic and Photoshop…a nice feature for professionals and serious hobbyists to use alongside Classic, and a gateway program for amateurs to enter into the Adobe ecosystem. It’s kind of like how Elements is a stepping stone to Photoshop.

For those who are already invested in Classic and familiar with the program, CC is a big step backward with very little reward.

What will happen if Adobe ends support for Lightroom Classic?

There are alternatives to Lightroom Classic – fantastic alternatives – and I’ve been exploring those in order to bring you the best in digital darkroom education. Your success and enjoyment is my primary goal here at creativeRAW, especially for Lifetime members who rely on my courses. If Adobe ever decides to phase out of Lightroom Classic, that is not going to happen for a while….which gives me plenty of time to find a suitable alternative if needed.

I love using Lightroom and Photoshop cohesively and rely heavily on the synergistic relationship between the two….it’s just so fluid to jump back and forth between both programs. However, I’m not blindly in love with them. If the day comes that Lightroom is not the best choice for image organization and raw processing, and I’ve thoroughly tested a better alternative…I will absolutely switch over and create tutorials for that program.

Workflows change and evolve over time, and I am not afraid to jump into a different program….but not yet. This Lightroom overhaul will certainly invigorate the competition and not allow Adobe to get comfortable….which is great news for all of us.

Even if I do move to a Lightroom replacement, I will definitely be sticking with Photoshop as I highly doubt that Adobe has any plans to shake up their flagship program like they just did with Lightroom. These are their “bread and butter” customers, so I imagine they want to keep them very, very happy.

While Photoshop is still well ahead of its competitors, it would only take a few stumbles for programs like Affinity to lure customers away….so Adobe will probably take the straight and narrow path with Photoshop for a long time.

For now, I will wait and see how this venture develops over the next few months and will enjoy the recent improvements and features added to Lightroom Classic.

Thoughts or opinions? Many of you probably have a question (or twenty)…so please ask away in the comments below and I will get right back to you. Chances are other creativeRAW subscribers are wondering the same thing you are, so don’t be shy 🙂

EDIT 10/22/17 at 8:25 PM EST: Looks like the comments are not currently working. In the meantime, feel free to bring the conversation over to the creativeRAW Facebook Group to share your thoughts on all of this.

EDIT 10/22/17 at 9:03 PM EST: Comments are back up and working!

114 thoughts on “My Future with Lightroom Classic and Thoughts on CC”

  1. Like you I agree that the move will take a while. However, I think they will move away from it.
    Like you I am a professional and a looking for alternatives. What alternatives are you looking at? I plan to start looking at alternatives early in order to become proficient.

    1. Hi Roger – I think many agree with you. As a Lightroom alternative, I’m looking at Capture One Pro….seems to check all of the boxes I am looking for, but I’m not 100% certain yet.

  2. I’ve read various reports about Lightroom CC and Classic but you are the first to mention the problem of internet access. Here, on the edge of a metro area in Australia I can only get internet via “mobile” internet, ie similar to a mobile phone connection. Speedwise that is OK, but it is extortionately expensive and I can only afford 22Gb a month. Whether I was interested or not (which I am not) working in the cloud is just not a viable option.

  3. I disagree with your suggestion for perpetual license users of Lightroom. You say to not be in a rush to switch, but I think that’s wrong. I will start looking at alternatives now, rather than put a lot more effort into using Lightroom 6’s editing. It’s very unlikely that Adobe will release another standalone version, so you’re going to have to change to a new program unless you’re willing to maintain a computer without updating its operating system. And, with hackers and viruses, any computer that access the internet and *isn’* up to date is really asking for trouble.

    Any time I spend editing in Lightroom right now is basically wasted time. It’s highly unlikely that another program will be able to read the non-destructive edits from the Lightroom catalog and exactly mirror the behavior. So, I’m going to have to redo all my edits in any new program if I want to keep non-destructive editing. Sure, I can export the finished images from Lightroom as jpg, but I won’t be able to continue to edit them.

    I agree that you don’t need to switch to a new program tomorrow, but if you’re still using Lightroom 6 after next March or so, you’re really wasting your time.

    1. Tim, as I understand Chris he is talking about not rushing from Lightroom 6 to CC / Classic. Maybe he can clarify.

      Regards Philipp

      1. Hi Philipp – I actually meant both. If you are using a perpetual license right now, I would not upgrade to Lightroom Classic or jump to a different program just yet. Like Tim said, you will have to make a choice at some point….but I see many running to other programs without adequate research. I don’t want you to jump ship only to find out that another program is missing something big for you. Ask lots of questions, think critically about every aspect of your workflow and do your research. Hope this helps!

    2. Hi Tim – I agree with you, I just do not want to see photographers rushing in blindly to another program without proper research first to make sure that the replacement program checks all of their boxes. Adobe has already said they will not release another standalone version (unless you are referring to updates to Lightroom Classic).

      You may not have to redo all of your edits in another program though. Make sure you are pushing your changes to XMP files. Under Catalog Settings > Metadata, make sure that “Automatically write changes to XMP” is checked. This makes sure that any changes you make in Lightroom are written to that sidecar file which can be read by other raw processors. It may not be 100% accurate but gives you some extra security.

  4. “It’s kind of like how Elements is a stepping stone to Photoshop.” Except Elements has been gone for a while now.

    Thank you for your rational explanation and time.

      1. I apologize, you are right the program is still out there I was thinking of the support group and magazine options. They have moved to ON1 I think.

    1. Elements has been gone??? Huh? The brand new Elements 2018 was JUST released! It is far from gone! Not sure where you heard that.

  5. Adobe is making a somewhat similar error that Apple recently made, i.e. expecting high-speed internet to be the rule of the land. Apple recently removed IOS app syncing from users computer based iTunes app. The result: users using iTunes 12.7 must download apps and related upgrades on each individual device they own, rather than managing locally via their own computer. Further, if a user has to reset their device, that means they will have to download all apps again onto the device via the Cloud rather than simply syncing to existing IOS apps stored on a computer. For individuals with data caps via cell and/or wifi, this becomes quite a costly option. Hence, Adobe users facing data caps will find Adobe’s latest Lightroom cloud approach quite costly.

    MacPhun will release Luminar 2018 soon. Come sometime early 2018, this will include a Digital Asset Management module allowing cataloguing of images locally or via a variety of cloud services. Perhaps Adobe ought to rethink their app naming and cloud options before photographers start looking for alternatives that make financial and logistical sense.

  6. My thought is Adobe’s long range plan is to force customers to cloud based storage, not for any benefit to its customers, but as a new and lucrative income source selling data storage.

      1. Stephen Bastiman

        Charlie – that’s essentially true, but what isn’t made clear is that other companies leverage Amazon’s data storage and sell it as part of their service and not done transparently ie: the consumer is unaware, and of course with a mark up over what it costs them so it’s all profit as they don’t have to worry about server farms, maintenance, infrastructure costs.

  7. I have satellite internet which is very expensive and limited gbs only 40 per month. I simply can’t use cloud storage as I don’t have the capacity. A lot of customers don’t live in the big cities with unlimited bandwidths. Adobe needs to have a good think about what they are doing.

  8. In some regards I can empathize with LR users but can offer little as a recommendation on how to proceed with Lightroom Classic or CC. I am a long time user of Photoshop (currently CS6) and though it may not have all the bells and whistles of CC, it functions quite well for my purposes. It seems that to acquire new technology because it is available may not always be necessary or advantageous. I feel as though I am a novice compared to most of the photographers out there. I do it, photography and Photoshop, because it gives me purpose and I love what I produce, the good and the not so good. I keep learning new things about both. But I am so far behind the curve that I don’t even have a website to show or sell my photos. And maybe that’s a good thing.

    1. I’m still a fan of CS6 and would probably still be using it if it had linked smart objects. Same thing can be said with Lightroom perpetual licenses….many still use Lightroom 5 and the last update came out almost three years ago. There will be plenty of time to explore alternatives to Lightroom. I prefer to wait and let updates/programs work out their kinks and then decide the best way to move forward.

  9. I agree with the “lack of internet” in most places.. I have no intentions of using lightroom CC, since i love working with folders, off line more often, depending where I am. I am finally able to work with the flow of lightroom to photoshop and will be sad to have to learn something new. Will continue to work with lightroom classic, and search for other alternatives..

  10. Nice review Chris.

    Honestly, I have yet to hear a single experienced LR user have anything enthusiastic to say about the new LR CC “ecosystem”, as they are calling it.

    Perhaps Adobe doesn’t really get the workflow that many of us use in working with Lightroom. One of the biggest advantages of using this folder based system is that I always know EXACTLY where my images are on my drives.

    The notion that the new LR CC will find images from “anywhere on your computer” sounds like it is more for a person who has file system chaos and has no idea where their images are.

    Also, we have already invested in gear to deploy our backup strategies. Whether that is external drives, NAS systems, cloud storage or a combination of these things, having them come along and tell me they will now back up my original RAW file in the cloud isn’t much of a selling point.

    Also, I subscribe to the full CC package for $49.99/ mo. Apparently with that subscription, Adobe will provide me with a “WHOPPING” 100 GB of storage on the cloud! Seriously???Do they have any idea how many RAW images real photographers shoot?

    Yes, additional cloud storage is available, but above 1 TB it gets pricey pretty quickly.

    Personally, I don’t even plan to install or use the new LR CC. I don’t see a lot of real photographers wasting time with it either. We all need to let Adobe know how dissatisfied we are with LR CC – and at the same time remind them how much we depend on LR Classic in our workflow. We need to make sure they understand clearly that any notion they may currently have about eventually killing LR Classic needs to be IMMEDIATELY done away with!

    Rumor has it that Seif (the publisher of Affinity Photo) may be working on a digital asset management program to compete with Lightroom. I guess time will tell, but for now let’s all do our part to let Adobe hear our voices about this issue!

    1. Thank you Randall, and Chris for the very clear debriefing,

      Awesome analysis of the situation that Adobe has irrationally created for all photographers, pros and amateurs.

      Guys at Affinity, ON1, MacPhun, etc… are having a ball, thanks to Adobe.

      It has all been said and Lightroom CC for me is also a NO GO! I had already started looking for the best alternative, the sooner the better, from the competition.

  11. With the possibility of Adobe doing something to have Lightroom Classic users move to another programme, should we start saving files as DNG’s now to give us flexibility later if we transition to another programme?

    1. As DNG is ADOBE’s patented – albeit open -format, I already, pre the Classic announcement, import my files to my HDs in Canon CR2 RAW format. Being a Canon afficiaondo. Before importing to Lightroom.

      This means I am not dependent on a ‘standard’ that could mutate or not be supported in the future. I am I acknowledge putting my faith in Canon but I have a feeling that thier RAW. So overall I am relaxed about this furore.

      I would though totally balistic if I was to lose all the Developing data and Filing and Indexing data. That has taken 1,000’s of hours of work. So Lightroom or a 100% compatible+ successor needs to be around for a long time yet i.e. 20-30 years or more.

      1. Many people are in the same boat as you Andrew….years of cataloging, keywording, processing, etc. Most of the popular alternatives have special importers/migration tools for Lightroom that do a good job.

    2. Quite the opposite Philip. As Andrew pointed out, DNG format is patented by Adobe and there is no guarantee that other programs will support that format in the future. Best to keep your native raw files and you will have the option of converting to DNG if needed. Other programs have big incentives to support all raw files (more support = more customers), so it’s hard to imagine a raw file format that won’t be supported (at least not for very long).

  12. Licensing is another “gotcha” on the new CC mobile. If I use it on my phone or tablet, it takes one of the two licenses that I get with the existing “Classic + PS” monthly license I have. If they said “doesn’t count on Android or iOS” then you would have a number of us at least trying it. I’m not going to screw around trying to figure out why my notebook or desktop are not working because the license was used by my phone and I forgot to disconnect.

  13. Just FYI, I updated to the new release Creative Cloud, Photoshop and Lightroom Classic today.

    I have not been able to use it. It does not recognize my subscription.

    I contacted Adobe support and was in the queue around 2 hours waiting for a tech. Now it has been a little over two hours with him trying to get it to work.

    For me this has not been a good release.

  14. Hello! I recently made the move to Affinity because I am traveling and wanted to take just my iPad Pro and not my laptop. I LOVE Affinity. I can do the editing I did in Lightroom and Photoshop in just one app. I plan to start using the desktop version when I return from my trip for the majority of my editing. I use a camera lightening adapter to load photos from my SD card to my iPad for editing so I don’t need an internet connection.

    However, I am also finding the new Lightroom CC app very handy. I created a new catalog in LR Classic for my trip and synced it to LR CC. I now use LR CC exclusively to edit my cell phone photos. It is much more robust than the native Photos app on my iPhone. I store my cellphone photos on my device so I can access them without internet while I travel.

    After my trip I plan to use Affinity as my go-to app and LR Classic & PS as my alternate and continue using LR CC for my cellphone photos. Please, Chris, create a course for Affinity!

  15. Actually, I have already been extremely sick and tired of LR for the past couple of years now, because of unacceptable performance, that now, I just about don’t even care what they do anymore. I have been using Adobe since early LR3 and every time they updated or upgraded the program, it just continues to worsen and now I hate the damn thing. If I need to use the brush, radial filter, spot removal or any of the other edits or presets, it freezes up, screen goes black and then it takes several seconds to minutes to return and before I can even regain control of the program just so I can close it out and restart it so it will work again! It’s just intolerable to me as it is. I have a pretty new computer that has more than enough of the system requirements that is recommended, a lot more. I have read the same from thousands of other users that are experiencing the exact same problems as I am, so I know it is not just me! The big killer for me will be the fact that I live in a very rural and beautiful part of the country and I mostly shoot my incredible surroundings while hiking the woods and trails with my four dogs or riding the country roads with them in my Jeep and so much more. I only have access to satellite internet that is slow, expensive and constantly syncing large files will eat your monthly bandwith up in less that 24 hours! Adobe has been headed in the wrong direction with me for years now and soon, I am quite sure that I will just have to find an alternative and I think I really won’t even care.

    1. Every software update squeezes more power out of your system – smartphone makers famously do this so eventually we need new hardware. If LR etc updates we users sooner or later have to upgrade our hardware – fact of life. Or we can stay locked into an OS and software that works on our system and never upgrade. I’m sure many do that. I just bumped my system up from 16 to 32 gig RAM. I have a recent i7 intel cpu and X99 motherboard. However, as a retiree I hope this system I built will last for a while. It runs great and LR6 standalone is excellent. I don’t ever plan on joining CC – because then I’d have to always be thinking -can my hardware handle it? Two paths to consider. One thing I did buy was Affinity Photo to pair up with my Photoshop CS6 – which still chugs along nicely. Now it would be great if there was an Affinty Photo File manager too.

  16. I am a member of CC. My Lightroom mobile was synced to Lightroom CC. After upgrading to Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom Mobile is now synced to Lightroom Classic. I installed the new Lightroom CC, “just to have a spin”, as you say. Lightroom CC refuses to start. Tried various things, but no solution yet.

  17. I have been using Capture One Pro 10 for the past 18 months. As I have been concerned over a number of years of Lightroom’s performance and longevity.

  18. Stephen Bastiman

    Christopher – up front I’ll admit I’m a ‘legacy’ CS6 / LR6 user. This latest move by Adobe is the final straw for me, if Adobe think they can become playground bullies in the mobile app market, they better have another think, there are already better apps out there for the casual photographer so they’ll only be selling to the same ‘professional’ market they do now – all this confusion, for what ?

    I believe this move will also impact educators like yourself and those who develop ‘how to’ videos, creators of plugins and add-ons etc., as in order to stay relevant, all will have to develop to the new infrastructure so those of us on legacy will stop buying as the gap further widens.

    Finally, I agree with Tim, my search is on now for new workflow components (non-subscription) and of course all the necessary support materials and training.

    1. “Adobe thinks they can become playground bullies” I am probably off base here and even off topic, but I feel that Apple has even become one of those controlling abusive partners. Many of the “tweeks” and changes make absolutely no sense and many times I wonder why, why, why. My theory is that as technology advances and places like Apple, Google, Adobe and other big software developers they become more and more isolated from the “plain old consumer”. It is like they work and live in a bubble and the changes are centered around the “think tank” table.

      It almost makes me want to chuck it all, take fewer photos because most of them have been taken already, read books from the library and start sending snail mail. My final hurrah in my old age.

  19. Like many other users I could never use the cloud as I live in a rural area and rely on a private internet provider for internet access. It would take forever to upload raw photos and no doubt would crash due to time-outs… I’m not going there!

  20. My winter project was to learn Lightroom and Photoshop so I signed up for Creative Raw and was about to sign up for Adobe CC (now Classic) but with this shift in direction from Adobe, and like many others not having access to really high speed internet, I’m a bit unsure as to the best way forward. I am on fixed income pension, so didn’t relish the thought of monthly subscription but was prepared to put up with it for the benefits of Lightroom and Photoshop – but that’s a lot of learning to do to then be left high and dry as Adobe drifts off in a different direction and drops Classic.

    Does anyone have experience of moving from LR and PS to a different package, and how big of a learning curve that brings? At my age it’s hard enough to learn it once!

  21. No one is mentioning LRCC is sRGB. If I upload to LRCC then take it into LR Classic, have I lost the data obtained shooting in AdobeRGB? Why do I need to profile my camera and monitor if LRCC cannot use that data

  22. I left Photoshop when Adobe moved to subscription pricing. Despite trialling Lightroom then and liking it a lot, I did not adopt it because I felt Adobe would also in time move Lightroom to subscription pricing. They just have.

    I have therefore two years exoerience of using Affinity Photo as an alternative to Photoshop. It is superb for me as an amateur photographer because it matches PS in nearly all aspects as far as advanced editing of photographs is concerned. It is a no brainer to trial Affinity Photo now if you are disturbed by what Adobe are doing.

    I would note two points: first, Affinity Photo does not yet have the ability to go back to your RAW edit to change it unlike a PS smart RAW layer. (Your original RAW file is of course still available to return to but you can’t tweak your RAW “develop” once you have moved out of Affinity’s develop module. Apart from this, editing in Affinity Photo is a non-destructive operation.Secondly, you cannot transfer settings from one RAW develop to further RAW images. I would expect both these issues to be addressed by the highly cistomer focussed Serif development team. (there have been three huge free updates in the last two years.)But for now these issues may be stumbling blocks for some users.

    Finally, I would say that Affinity has indeed some differences to PS but it is an easy transition to learn if you are already a PS user. If you already know how to develop in Adobe Camera RAW/Lightroom then Affinity’s developp module is easy. If you know PS tools, adjustment and filter layers, masking, blend modes, sharpening, image and canvas resizing etc then Affinity Photo will quickly seem very friendly.

    Try it, at a one off price of under £50 in the UK, it is absurdly good value for money and, after five months its free compared with being with Adobe on their monthly photographic plan. Don’t wait for Adobe to back you further into a corner, make Affinity Photo your plan B! Learn it and then say goodbye to Adobe when iot suits you. Good luck!

    1. Thank you David Bailey for the clarifications. I shall definitely try Affinity Pro and will be happy to say Adios to Adobe.

  23. I recently transitioned to Affinity and really like it, especially the iPad Pro version. I also recommend giving it a try.

  24. I will be investigating alternatives now. Adobe has been updating their software for the better for since the beginning, however lately I have encountered changes that make none to little sense. It seems that what is going on with Lightroom will remove my photo processing out of the Adobe environment.

  25. Chris, Thank you for the thoughtful explanation and perspective. LR Classic is not an upgrade in my view. I updated to it and the program slowed down noticeably in both the Library and Develop Modules. I’m not going to move to CC — Internet speed being one consideration. What alternatives are out there to replace LR?

  26. I think everyone is missing one major point.

    That is (I believe) Lightroom CC is not aimed at the Professional/Serious Hobbyist market. It is aimed squarely at the “consumer” level.

    By that I mean someone like my Dad. He uses his iPhone ? for photographing the Grandkids. He’s no Pro/Serious user and needs something a bit more simple as a result.

    Now, My Dad uses the Photos app but, Lightroom CC would be ideal for him. It’s more advanced than the stock Photos app and cloud based so it can be run entirely through his iPhone. He doesn’t need to upload his phone photos to a computer, nor does he want to. He can use either the inbuilt camera app or use the RAW feature of the Lightroom CC camera app as a future developmental step.

    Should he ever move forward with his photography and take it more seriously then Adobe would already have him as a customer and could easily upsell him to The Photography Plan.

    In summary, there is a market of people Adobe is aiming at with this release. That may not be the majority of existing users but more of a push for new ones. It’s a gateway drug ie one that gets users in the door.

    At the end of the day, they’re a business who’s primary duty is to make money for its shareholders. Increasing its user base allows them to do that.

    Have said all that, the naming convention is unhelpful and something as a Beta user we informed them of.

    1. Stephen Bastiman

      Steve – not knowing your Dad, but will he really choose Adobe rather than any one of the apps available for cell phones – well he may – but I don’t think Adobe bureaucracy and pricing will attract those who are used to downloading low cost apps which upload images, which will hardly have a life span of a week, directly to the flavour of the month social media. As for upselling – they are having a hard enough job convincing existing users and though everyone like to gripe, they’re certainly losing my custom and I don’t doubt there’ll be others – so will there be a net gain – To me it smells of Coca-Cola’s ‘New Coke’.

      1. Perhaps I didn’t make my point clearly enough but I see it as a stepping stone for those users who need more than just the basics a free app gives but don’t need a full on photography package.

        I personally don’t see them getting rid of the new/old Lightroom Classic and actually I believe they will end up merging the two products back together some how.

        I don’t think there is any business case for them to move to purely a cloud only product and there will always be a “desktop” version though it will be subscription based and not one off pricing. Those days are long gone for Adobe as it’s clearly too profitable.

  27. Personally, I’m holding out, and waiting for the Aperture Pro update. I reckon it should be coming out right after the new modular Mac Pro hits the shelves.

    1. HI Zan,

      That would be wonderful if Apple could take advantage, like many others, of the irrational move Adobe just made.

      I am still using my Aperture software for all the photos that I never transferred to Lightroom.

      Fingers crossed it will happen.

  28. My biggest concern with a purely cloud based storage and program is bandwidth. I’m in a minority as I do not have unlimited internet bandwidth available to me. Being forced to store all photos online and for the program to run would be the surest way to force me to drop Lightroom totally.

  29. I tried the new Lightroom CC, I didn’t like it and I uninstalled it! I’ll be sticking with Lightroom Classic for now and hopefully Adobe will continue to update the classic version. They should have named the new version something like LR Cloud or LR Mobile. BTW, if you are using LR Mobile on a tablet, you’ll find that it has become LR for mobile & it is the new LR CC.

  30. Frankly I think you’re over reacting. I’ve used LR and PS just about since they were introduced. Adobe has always done it right. I remember the uproar when they went to CC. That turned out to be a lot of noise for nothing.
    The SLOW move toward cloud based solutions is inevitable as our world changes. This is obviously part of a long range strategy to stay positioned ahead of where we will all be someday. No company in this space wants to be 100% invested in horse-and-buggy software when horseless carriages come along. This move today is an important indication of where we will all WANT to be in the future. It’s not here yet, but it’s inevitable. Look at mobile photography. It’ll eventually replace our beloved DSLR’s. We’ll take images, edit them on the spot and publish in on quick and seamless workflow. Hard to imagine? Think about it. If Adobe isn’t there when it happens they’ll die a sad death.

    1. Stephen Bastiman

      Chuck – I’m not so sure that manually editing images will remain the ‘horseless carriage’in your analogy, perhaps it too will be ‘horse and buggy’in the near future as AI based software takes over the manual aspects, both in camera and hand-held / desktop devices – a team at Google have been able to produce “professional quality” photo editing for a batch of landscape photos where in blind testing, pro photographers rated up to 40% of the images edited by AI as semi-pro or pro level quality. Major image consumers (general advertisers, media outlets, social media etc) are concerned with utmost quality, only best quality for lowest rate.

    2. Hi Chuck – I get your point but I don’t see this as overreacting…simply suggesting to not make any drastic moves and let the “hysteria” die down and see where the cards fall, specifically how Adobe support responds to the recent feedback and where we see Lightroom Classic going over the next 6 months. I think for many though, this is the straw that broke the camel’s back after years of frustration with Adobe.

      There’s still plenty of users frustrated with the CC model, they are just silent because they have either A) moved on, or B) don’t have a choice and reluctantly adapted to the CC plan. If Adobe was listening to its customers, they could have offered both the monthly CC plan and a one-off payment (like with Capture One Pro) and gently phase out of the perpetual licenses…but customers got hit with the CC plan with no alternative.

      I agree with you that all is moving towards cloud-based technology and Adobe should position itself in that market. They need to innovate and predict what we need before we even know ourselves, but can do that while keeping customers happy. Lightroom Classic was not created for mobile photography so Lightroom CC is a good alternative and they should have made that more clear.

  31. I respect your opinion but I think you are dead wrong. Adobe will replace Classic as soon as they can build enough of a server farm as they can anticipate. I have dumped Adobe, I do not like the subscription but there are other factors. First off before the cloud versions they announced that with CS6 you could no longer skip an update, I had been using CS5 apps and they were getting ready time wise for the in theory CS7, and they said if you did not update by “x-date” then you would not be able to update to the new versions. So I updated all of my CS5 apps and then shortly after the deadline they announced CS6 was it and they were moving to the CC model. I was pissed. But they said LR would be available for “indefinite” period while that can be vague, they implied it would keep going. Well that has gone t0o, so Adobe is not to be trusted. Yes they had good programs, but they are now dead to me. I liked LR and I liked PS, hell I have had PS since version 3 and not CS3 but version 3 and I have had LR since it was Rawshooter. So I have had a vested interest. It is tough to move on but there are now programs that can replace them. I will replace them.

    Affinity Photo can do what PS did, and in some cases better, more installs and much, much cheaper.
    For raw conversions there are some up and coming and I will support them, Adobe will not get any more of my money. So I suggest that maybe you look at other venues and broaden your support, but that is entirely up to you and your business model. But if you think LR classic is going to be around for more than another couple of years you might be surprised.

    1. Thanks. I guess we’ll just have to see. I’ve actually liked the move to CC and the rolling updates, but I understand and respect different points of view. I’ve got a long IT background and get enamored with where technology is going for its own sake.

  32. I am seriously trying to learn ON1 and liking it as a possible replacement for Lightroom. Photoshop, however, is important for many reasons – I’m familiar with it although I need to learn more, and I can place text on images (greeting cards, posters). With this new download of Classic, I have issues with both LR and PS – arghhhh. Wish I could go back . . .

  33. I am still using LR6 perpetual license. I wanted to upgrade to LR CC many times but w satellite internet i hesitated. I actually thought original CC version used cloud based storage. So no way w satellite. Now i know i will need to find another database program. I have been frustrated like many w all the freezing etc…in LR and i have fast system. I will miss the PS intergration but mot so much I can’t adjust. I did buy Affinity months ago and will give it a try. ADOBE is just TOO GREEDY. Looks like back to the old days of good folder hierarchy!!!!!

  34. So if Adobe’s strategy is for everything in the cloud, that means serious photographers will need terabytes of cloud storage and a very fast Internet connection to use the system. That doesn’t make sense to me, especially right now.

    1. Exactly what I’m saying in a previous post..a lot of the hysteria and talk of moving away from LR doesn’t make sense (unless you don’t like LR). Adobe isn’t dumb, they are not going to drop their flagship software to try to rope you into expensive cloud storage. They are merely positioning themselves in the cloud based world. Yes over the years they’ll improve that offering, and when (emphasis on “when”) the time comes when it makes sense and their customers demand that kind of solution, they’ll be there with developed and refined software. In today’s world you can’t expect everyone to go away from file based local storage.

  35. I do use cloud based storage for my cell photos – I have Dropbox set to auto upload the cell photos. Very occasionally I’ll use LR Mobile to work one of these photos and then put it in a mobile collection which I can then bring into LR (now Classic). My point here is I already pay for 1TB in Dropbox so why not allow me to use that with the new LR CC if I wanted.

    All my photo uploads are at 25gb on Dropbox so I would exceed the 20GB that Adobe gives with the $9.99 subscription. My local storage is about 400gb. This can quickly become very expensive! Adobe will make a lot of money selling cloud storage to everyone.

    I’m not saying I will never switch to LR CC but I think I will just wait this out.

  36. Right now, I am exploring the Luminar/Aurora combination, ON1 RAW, Picktorial and other “utility” programs! For, some reason, I could forsee Adobe tossing Lightroom CC as we now know it and, of course, I could see all of the other programs going toward working on the “cloud.” So, for the last 2 months, I have been testing out the competition. Some of the programs are so much easier to use to do some things in the now-called Lightroom Classic. So, I am working on a massive article comparing them all!

  37. Wow, the hysteria here is off the chart! What is wrong with you guys. Okay, no more perpetual license, Not too much of a surprise – many were thinking that when LR 6 came put! Then new LR CC is pretty hokey at this point, but it is a 1.0 product. And it’s not like you have to use it. If you don’t want it, don’t use it. I have no plan to use it personally. Otherwise, all we are dealing with is a name change to Lightroom Classic (which in full disclosure I plan to still call it Lightroom)! Is that really worth all of this upheaval and panic? In my humble opinion, it sounds like most who are planning to bail on Adobe at this point we’re already pretty disenchanted and just looking for an excuse to “pull the trigger”, so to speak. Sure…go check out the competition! Because I’m a nerd, I like to play with software so I tend to have products from most major players in the industry. I am currently running all apps on a Windows 10 Professional 64 bit PC. One of the very best alternatives to Adobe that I have found is ACDSee Photo Studio 2018 Ultimate. This application is very fast, offers digital asset management, layers, blend modes, RAW processing, actions and much, much more. If I wanted to replace the Lightroom/Photoshop workflow with a single application, this would be the one! Anyway, I think, as Christopher has already said, we need to sit back and patiently wait to see where Adobe goes from here! We are far from having to make a knee jerk decision about who we are going to use tomorrow! Adobe continues to be the market leader in the creative world…and as for me, my primary workflow will continue being Lightroom based! I will, however, share my lack of enthusiasm about Lightroom CC with the Adobe Lightroom team – and I hope each of you will do that too…regardless of whether you plan to continue using Lightroom or not!

    1. Absolutely agree Randall! Whether or not Lightroom Classic is going to be phased out, it will be a long time before that happens. I don’t want to see customers rush into another program only to find out it doesn’t suit their needs. I said it above in another comment, but I think this was the last straw for many users who already had one foot out the door.

      Will have to check out ACDSee again, it’s been a while since I last played around with that program.

  38. There’s no “like” button. Amen. Why is it when something good gets developed and the company becomes successful we need to start hating it? Apple isn’t evil, neither is Adobe, and neither is profit. Deep breath.
    I did learn something though…thanks for all the tips everyone. I’m already trying On1 and love my Luminar/Aurora plug-ins. I think I’ll go look at Affinity.

  39. Hi Chris.
    Thank you for this extensive analysis of the current situation. I am taking your advice to sit still with Lightroom Classic to see what will happen.
    I think Adobe is making a big mistake. If we need to go through every photo to give it yet another tag, that is ridiculous. Adobe needs to be able to use what we currently have for keywords, to help out any conversion, if we were to go there. As to my view of what will happen in the future, I am more skeptical and believe that we are seeing the end of Lightroom Classic. Which is so sad for we true believers.

  40. I am still a bit confused after waiting on the phone with Adobe for over an hour with no response then getting some e-mails that were unclear–I have LRCC (Classic?) and PSCC–do I download anything such as an updated version of the old Lightroom CC (Classic)–my current LRCC does not have the versions that Piet discussed. Also one e-mail from Adobe Care said download Classic, Lightroom CC (new version), photoshop and a couple other items–what do I download? And the renaming is about as dumb as can be!

    1. Hi Les – I agree, the rebranding is very confusing. You would click “update” where it says “Lightroom Classic CC” which will update your current version of Lightroom that you have been using. The NEW Lightroom CC is an entirely different program that is installed alongside Lightroom Classic, and is the new app discussed in this post. It’s geared towards mobile photography and unless you take a lot of photos with your cell phone and want a separate program to manage that, I would not recommend clicking Install where it says “Lightroom CC”. You can also update Photoshop by clicking “Update” since Photoshop also got a big update. Hope this helps to clear things up, let me know if you have any questions! Chris

  41. Thanks did update but one of the features- the range mask didn’t activate— separate question: do you have or can you recommend a tutorial for moving between lightroom and photoshop and most important features in Photoshop to enhance lightroom images one item I haven’t found is how to move images from different folders into layers to work on them in layers— I am just now really exploring the tools in PS. Your email explaining LR changes was excellent— I am definitely sticking with Classic

  42. I think On1 is going to be the way to go. They are moving very quickly and listen to what they’re customers want. I have been using Lightroom for some time and I am very disappointed in what they have done. If I do indeed make the move it will be with On1.

  43. Hmm interesting, it would appear Julieanne certainly believes what she is saying. I have an Internet connection which is slower than a tortoise on mogodon which means there is no way I could go to the new Lightroom CC even if I wanted to; which I don’t. Only time will tell what Adobe have in mind. As a user of Lightroom since its inception, well before actually since I received a copy of the first iteration free when Adobe acquired Pixmantec whose raw editing software I was using at the time, I have been reasonably impressed with the continuous improvements made to Lightroom however, I am not wedded to it and will change if I need to. Additionally I have also retired so the cost of cloud storage is prohibitive for all the photos I have so hopefully Adobe will see sense and maintain Lightroom CC (oops I mean Lightroom Classic).

  44. Hi Chris:
    Thank you for the explanation of the changes to Lightroom. I had read a few other articles but they only left me a little more confused. For me all of this could not have come at a worse time. After years of procrastination, I had decided that this was the winter to break down and finally learn how to properly use Lightroom/Photoshop. I have been “playing” with LR5 for too long now. I was just about to move to the subscription LR/Photoshop.
    I had also decided that since I was going to do that, this would also be the time to investigate changing from my Windows machine to a Mac.
    And now this.
    Your post has at least helped me to understand the situation and make a decision on that route – the Windows/Mac decision is still up in the air.

    1. This is exactly my situation too. I’ve been holding off subscribing to Adobe Classic until I could dedicate enough time to studying and learning it, and now I’m wondering if it’s worth starting at this point, or if my time would be better spent learning a possible replacement in light of the possibility of Adobe dumping Classic. I don’t have enough experience of Lightroom or Photoshop to make a proper decision on a replacement, so I’m stuck firmly on the fence until I learn from those who are in a position to compare alternatives. Now my winter project might be to organize my files and folders in preparation for a future move.

      As an aside, have you researched the pros and cons of Windows vs Mac? I’ve been a Windows user since version 1 but I wonder if I’m missing something because I’ve never used Macs, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference in the hardware. I wonder how much is familiarity and how much is actually better. I would be interested in your thoughts on why you’re contemplating it.

      1. Well Jim – I wish I had some new and solid reason to give, but… To me it is a little like showing up at the local photography club I belong to and asking “I am thinking of buying a new camera and cannot decide – Canon or Nikon?” Then sitting back and watching the fun.
        To add another reason why I am looking at Mac, I am still running Win7. I need to upgrade very soon and am not that impressed with Win10.
        What is probably influencing me most is – most of the serious photogs in the local club do their post processing on Mac’s – whenever you watch a how to or guide or instruction video, they all us Mac’s. There has to be a reason for this. Add to this, Mac’s are much more stable and not as prone to get viruses and malware. My son-in-law swears by them and even converted my daughter who now also swears by them. I know, I know, all this logic seems to lack substance – right?
        But there are draw backs – mostly the price. Also, I believe that Apple has not done an upgrade to their iMac in over two years. I am told that it is expected to be turned out this February. However, based on Apple’s past rollouts, the price will no doubt go up.
        So for me, I will wait until February before making my decision and like you spend the winter months working on organizing my photo files. Perhaps by then, the concern caused by the recent Adobe announcement will have settled down. I would love for Chris to weigh in on this but fully understand that it would put him in an awkward position.
        As a complete aside p DxO’s taking over NIK applications from Google is great news. Can’t wait to see where this goes.

        1. I was thinking of moving to Mac also David, but ultimately I have decided to stay with a PC. Since Steve has passed, the company is really floundering and simply not innovating like the Apple we have all come to know.

          The only new device releases since Tin took over the helm is the Watch – not exactly a game changer! They are being slow to upgrade their legacy devices and rather than innovating and leading the industr forward, they are now playing catch-up with nearly every device simply trying to match the specs the competition has released in their devices.

          Wireless charging was a big “new” feature in this year’s iPhones, but Androids have had that for a couple of years! The iPhone 8 is the third iteration of the same phone with upgraded specs. The iPhone X looks cool, but again, they are playing catch up with a design that others have already had on the market!

          Really sad what is happening there these days.

          As far as you reason that you see others using Macs in webinars and so on, first of all I’m sure the rational side of your brain knows that is a pretty silly reason.

          Yep, there are a lot of followers out there who think because they see somebody they know/like with a Mac, then they need a Mac. In simplest terms, we call that “keeping up with the Jones’!” Buy the best computer that will run the software you use well! By the way, this is a huge misunderstanding and urban myth that “Macs don’t get viruses”. They don’t get as many because they are not targeted like Windows is. However if a malicious code writer wants to attack Macs for some reason, it is certainly possible to do.

          If you want a Mac, by all means get one. But get one because it meets your needs – not because that is what the crowd is doing!

          Good luck – whichever way you go!

      2. Jim, there is absolutely NO INDICATION WHATSOEVER that Adobe is even considering eliminating Lightroom Classic from the Creative Cloud. I will admit that the name change has caused undue confusion – but that is all! Just SUPPOSE that they had left the folder based application we all use as Lightroom CC and called the new app something different – say Lightroom CC Extended Mobile? With all else being equal, we wouldn’t be having these conversations!

        Photoshop and Lightroom Classic are key, very important pieces of the Adobe Creative Cloud! Adobe wants to strengthen their CC offerings to draw in MORE customers. They don’t want to trade a bunch of current customers for some potential new ones!

        Lightroom Classic is going nowhere! They are only expanding it’s reach into the mobile arena as more people are using mobile devices for shooting, editing and sharing. But there are still lots of serious photographers who use Lightroom Classic as their digital photography “hub”…and Adobe know that!

        All this talk of Lightroom going away is nonsense. It is just a bunch of hype and hysteria started because of a few people not understanding the name change.

        I STRONGLY encourage you to use Lightroom and to embrace it without hesitation! If everyone runs away from it because of misguided fear, that fear can become a self-fulfilling prophecy! Don’t buy into this crazy hype!

        1. Randall, how old are you? I have been in the computer/graphics biz for over 36 years. I have see a lot come and a LOT go! I have bought tons of software and saw them turn into virtual ghosts! I love Adobe products. However, look what has happened with Lightroom 6 users: no upgrade path! Think about it. As to Macs, they upgrade once or twice each year and the system software is more often updated. Just letting you know.

          1. Really??? Wow, sounds like you are quite the expert then so you’ve got this all figured out – regardless of any evidence other than your apparent life experience!

            Regarding the perpetual license, get used to it. More and more companies are moving to the SaaS (Software as a Service), or subscriptions based model! In addition to Adobe, several others I use include Microsoft Office 365, Norton Internet Security (and almost every other internet security company), Acronis True Image Premium, Raxco Perfect Disk, and many more. The annual renewal fee has become far more common than a perpetual license. It’s the way software is going to be licensed going forward – however that is NO INDICATION that a product is going to be cancelled!

            Oh yeah, not sure what this has to do with it, but I’m 58 and have been using these machines since I was 25. I don’t think this is an age/experience issue though. The markets are changing and you need to adapt if you want to stay in the game – simple as that!

            1. I actually anticipated subscription services years ago as a move by companies to fend off software theft and, by the way, I am not against such things! I will continue my subscription with Adobe only for the photo pack and am leaving the entire kith and caboodle because I have replaced the other programs with other products that proved to be better (replaced Acrobat, InDesign and a few others). This, alone, will save me $39.99 per month!

              Also, sarcasm will get one nowhere, I was not sure of your age and, were I to know your background, I never would have asked. Now, I learned something about you, which is nice.

              However, as I said before, I have had a plethora of software in my time and, well, much of them are just not around anymore! Also, I could not even find replacements for them. Having been down that road too many times to mention, my own experience has been pretty clear. I would gladly pay for the photo program with Adobe IF they allow my to use Lightroom Classic in the deal. Also, I don’t want to use the cloud because, where I live, the internet bandwidth sucks (I live in Kyrgyzstan, for now). I also travel a lot around the world and have Bishkek as my home base. It is inexpensive to live here and I have some good friends as well as speak the the same language here: Russian. So, the cloud is not an option for me. Unreliable at best and I have placed a complete backup of my photography on a Google Drive just in case as well as keeping two backups of my photo drive. I even rotate the drives with new ones every 6 months or so. I had stuff on the cloud once before, on Apple’s site. However, they are a bit of a putz when it comes to people without an address in the United States. They think that I should live there to have the privileges of an American citizen to use the App and iTunes stores. Silly me if I am a U.S. citizen and not living there! I work everywhere! So, in some ways, I can agree with you about not using Apple. If you stay in the US for the rest of your life, it could be dandy. Just don’t leave the US for, then, all of your licenses are no longer valid!

        2. Randall and Anyse, Thank you both for providing some perspective on the subject. My concern was that since I’m just starting down the road to learn Lightroom and Photoshop, I didn’t want to invest time and money and then have to learn it all again with a different product.

          On the PC front, I’ve been a computer tech since 1966 (yes, mainframes) but all my personal computing experience has been with DOS and Windows. I still run a computer consultancy and I have a few customers running Lightroom (LR6 and CC) so I’m familiar with the Library functions of it, but not the Develop stuff. I’ve never used Macs but like you, I see a lot of them around and in the past they had a reputation as the graphics kings, but I’m not sure that’s still the case. From what I’ve seen, there are more similarities than differences and I suspect it has become a question of what you’re used to.

          I think I’m getting the impression that whatever I learn of Lightrooom and Photoshop will not be wasted and much of it would transfer to other applications in the future.

          Many thanks.


          1. Your observations seem spot on Jim. I haven’t used Capture One which may be the leading professional digital asset management competitor to LR, but particularly in the case of Photoshop, many of the skills, hotkeys and other things you learn are very helpful in transferring to something like Affinity Photo.

            As far as your assessment of computer hardware today, I couldn’t have said it any better! Thank you for such a brief, clear summary of that topic.

          2. After taking courses on Photoshop and Lightroom, I am finding some of the more technical aspects of using them to be easier in EVERY program that I am now trying and for which I have also paid for! Expensive, but invaluable lessons! Learning one IS transferable if you can also translate the nomenclature of each program from one to the other.

    2. Stephen Bastiman

      As a holdout ‘legacy’ CS6 / LR6 user I too have been considering future direction. The latest announcement from DxO regarding their acquisition of the NIK applications from Google and the introduction of their PhotoLab has made my decision a lot easier and I foresee transitioning over the next 6 months / one year to a combination of DxO and ON1.

      1. I have no plans to give up either Photoshop or Lightroom at this point. Lightroom is my digital hub and all other things connect through it.

        I get that many people have their issues with Lightroom and/or Adobe, so if you feel the need to find a new workflow solution you should pursue it. There are LOTS of alternatives out there however most offer a free trial, so try them out before committing your money!

        I can not even begin to tell you how thrilled I am to see that DxO has acquired the Nik Collection from Google.
        Not only does that save the outstanding control point technology, but it also now has it in the hands of a high end developer who can now innovate with it for the benefit of the photographic community.

        They have incorporated it into Optics Pro which now is changing names to DxO PhotoLab! Remarkably there has been either no price increase at all, or it is very small. Optics Pro was already about $129 from what I remember and PhotoLab will keep that same price with an additional $30 off during the introduction!

        This is some of the best news to hit the post-processing world in a while.

        MacPhun is changing names to SkyLum in recognition of the fact that they are now a cross platform company. I’m looking for their creative kit applications to become cross platform as well over the next year or so. That will be especially welcome news for Nosieless and Tonality (b&w conversion).

        Exciting new innovation is coming and that is great for out industry.

      2. I LOVE the NIX software and am so happy that DxO is taking it under its wing. However, I also found that the people at MacPhun have a software set of plugins called the Creative Kit that also does the things that NIX did and easily! Yes, I purchased it because I knew that Google had no more plans for the product in the future. If they offer the NIX package for a reasonable fee, I too, will become their customer.

        1. I think the MacPhun stuff is great. Even with Nik in my arsenal, I will still use Tonality and Noiseless especially. Although checkout this automatic noise reduction feature in DxO PhotoLab called PRIME! Pretty awesome and all you have to do is click one button!

          As an aside, I have heard that some of the former Nik Software engineers are now part of the MacPhun team!

          Also, I apologize for my snarky sarcasm in another thread last night! Shouldn’t post when I’m tired!

  45. I have been looking for some time at other programs and, for example, Picktorial is quite lovely as is ON1 Photo Raw. I am a Creative cloud subscriber, having used Illustrator and InDesign (since it was Pagemaker 1.0 and even trained people how to use it!) as well as the Creative Suite for many years, I opted for the full-bore set at $49.99/mo, 12¢ shy of $600/yr. Now, that seemed to me to be a great deal. However, I have dumped Acrobat Pro for PDFPenPro and InDesign for Swift Publisher. Now, I only need the Photo subscription and will now save $39.99/mo. So, for me, it is feasible to hang in with the Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC until I may decide that I can use another extra $9.99/mo.

    One thing that people are not calculating into this mix is that we can’t keep our sensational photos and their edits forever! Were I to lose Lightroom, where I have done most of my work, I would be lost as to what to do with the work that I have done so far. I have NEVER seen a company in the software industry NOT toss their users under the bus for the sake of a greater profit! It is THIS that scares me most!

    Will Adobe assure us? I am sure that someone there would love to read the comments here and then measure their cadence and what they will do to keep us as long-term and satisfied customers.

    1. As long as you have your original image and the sidecar (.xmp) file with your edits backed up, many other programs will be able to see your edits. Even if the program should go away at some point (WHICH ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN) you would likely still be able to read existing files – you just would not be able to create new edits!

        1. Hi Anyse – They are generated next to your raw file, so wherever those are you will find your .xmp file. The Lightroom catalog and backup folder are separate from your xmps.

            1. Look at the folder where your original RAW files are. Are they on an external drive or somewhere other than your main system drive? If so, look there.

            2. Anyse you may have to generate the xmp files for your catalog; Lightroom does not do this by default. Go to Catalog Settings > Metadata > and tick “Automatically write changes to XMP” to get those generated. It may take a while with 500GBs of photos so plan for that.

    1. Wow Lyndon. That is something, huh? Do you know if they are legit? Sounds like a scam to me, but i’m typically skeptical of that kind of thing?

      I’d be very careful before putting any money on the line!

  46. Stephen Bastiman

    Randall – I think you are pointing your finger the wrong way – if a company wishes its’ users to understand their product direction it is the job of the company to communicate it clearly and unambiguously, but that no longer seems to be the direction taken by the big corporations – twitter, facebook, microsoft, apple, google and plenty of others tried to make major changes in direction, only to have to quickly backtrack.

    However, one thing seems to be clear (?) Adobe are only going to offer a subscription model for LR and for that reason, there are those of us who are not fans of the subscription model who are looking elsewhere – DxO, Affinity and ON1 are currently on my radar and, all things being equal, within the next few months some combination of them will replace my CS6/LR6 setup.

    1. I don’t know Stephen – I thought it was explained just fine. I understood it the first time they explained it! It didn’t make sense then and still doesn’t make sense now! But I understood what they were doing!

      I get it that some people don’t like subscriptions – for whatever reason…and that is cool and their choice. But this type of model is going to be spreading throughout the software industry. On1 already is messing around with some of this depending on whether you pay the annual fee to be a member of the professional level of their preferred members club.

      The smaller companies will be the last to go that way – so Serif, publisher of Affinity, probably will be a good choice for a while if you want a perpetual license.



    This my have been covered already, but how do I know which version I have? I updated this morning and the icon says Adobe Lightroom CC 2015 (square logo). But some of the features I am hearing about (masking slider) are not shown. I would like to use the Classic CC version.

    Am I missing something?


    1. Hi Ray – Doesn’t sound like the update went through properly. Does it still say “Update” next to Lightroom Classic CC in your Creative Cloud app? If so then you need to update again.

  48. hello looking on adobe site it looks like over few gigabites there will be an additional cost to use the cloud. There are several software such as Affinity, and on1 raw also. It has upped its game many times in software additions and both readily link to Photoshop cc sorry photoshop classic cc. Is this the case or have a made an error in my reading and will be glad to be put right..I| simplify my use of Photoshop and I am sure that shortly in the near future both On1 raw,and affinity could be used istead of photoshop at least in my case. I also use Topaz the old version which is free. but it looks like any additions to software will have to be paid for but not by me I will keep the old Topaz. best wishes

    1. You are quite right Ken! A lot of new programs out there that aim to replace Lightroom. Affinity can do many things that Photoshop can, but it is not an equal replacement yet. Photoshop is more versatile and sophisticated.

      Personally, I don’t expect to change from Lightroom in the near future since I enjoy the Lightroom to Photoshop workflow too much and there is no viable reason for me to replace Lightroom Classic. The biggest issue for me was the speed of Lightroom, but that has been improved with the release of Classic (which is kind of like Lightroom 7).

  49. I have a reliable high-speed internet connection and have used CC for 3 months. I find it a pleasure to use versus Classic. It does more and is fast. I migrated one smallish catalog at a time. Really don’t edit on iPad or iPhone, but I think the desktop app is terrific. I am waiting a bit until I migrate all catalogs.

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