Adobe ditches the desktop and moves Lightroom CC into the cloud

Oct 18, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Adobe ditches the desktop and moves Lightroom CC into the cloud

Oct 18, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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So, the accidental leak from Adobe a couple of months ago over “Nimbus” is now here. And it seems that rather than being a cloud companion to Lightroom, it is a Lightroom replacement. Adobe have today announced that Lightroom CC is now an entirely cloud based application. The desktop based Lightroom that we’ve come to know and love (or loath) is now “Lightroom Classic”.

Lightroom’s been around for over a decade now. With the increasing mobile based world around us, shifting the whole thing over to the cloud seems to make a lot of sense, although you’ll have to pony up a bit more cash if you want the online storage to be able to fully utilise it.

YouTube video

Comparing the two, it’s an extremely cut down version of Lightroom – at least as far as the user interface goes. This seems to echo what we all expected the Lightroom companion “Nimbus” to be. Now it seems that Nimbus is the full on replacement.

Lightroom Classic isn’t going away, and Adobe aren’t completely abandoning it. A whole slew of new updates to Lightroom Classic are set for release, which include new colour range and luminance masking features. Lightroom classic will remain focused on a “traditional desktop-first” workflow, prioritising local storage and file control.

This video goes through the differences between the new Lightroom CC, and the newly renamed Lightroom Classic to see which workflow best suits your needs.

YouTube video

There’s three photography-specific plans available that include the new Lightroom CC.

  • $9.99/mo – The plan that many have been using for a long time which includes Lightroom CC, Lighroom for mobile and web, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop CC, Adobe Spark, Adobe Portfolio, and 20GB of storage.
  • $19.99/mo – For this, you get 1TB of storage space. Everything else seems to be identical to the $9.99/mo plan with one exception. You get Lightroom CC, Lightroom for mobile and web, Photoshop CC, Adobe spark and Adobe Portfolio. Did you spot the omission? Yes, that’s right, it doesn’t mention Lightroom Classic.
  • $9.99/mo – This is a new Lightroom CC only plan. For those who only use Lightroom, but not Photoshop, you get 1TB of space, Lightroom CC, Lightroom for mobile and web, Adobe Spark and Adobe Portfolio.

If you don’t need a desktop photography solution, a Lightroom Mobile plan for iOS and Android is also available with 100GB of space for $4.99/mo.

You can find out more information over on the Adobe website.

For me, I think I can say with some confidence that Lightroom Classic is still the way for me.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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36 responses to “Adobe ditches the desktop and moves Lightroom CC into the cloud”

  1. Thomas Joseph Avatar
    Thomas Joseph

    This is a very misleading title. Adobe did not ditch the desktop .

    1. Martijn Hermans Avatar
      Martijn Hermans

      They did, it is the last update the ‘classic’ Lightroom will receive. Meaning that newer cameras after 2017 will not be supported

  2. Don Smith Avatar
    Don Smith

    Horribly inaccurate title.

  3. Bjørn Breitzke Avatar
    Bjørn Breitzke

    But they do ditch the non-subscription license version of LR.

  4. Phillip C Reed Avatar
    Phillip C Reed

    Misleading headline.

  5. Moses Rodriguez Avatar
    Moses Rodriguez

    That headline is fake news…. they renamed it to Classic (desktop version), Lightroom CC is cloud based version

  6. Cynicaleye Avatar
    Cynicaleye

    So glad there are several very good alternatives to Adobe products.

  7. Mahdi Abdulnabi Avatar
    Mahdi Abdulnabi

    It’s great to have access, edit and export all from Adobe cloud, but I suppose that will require high internet speed especially with big raw files

  8. Jeff Whitford Avatar
    Jeff Whitford

    Well they kind of did since they wont be updating anything with new camera models accept on the cloud after 2017

  9. Aegir Avatar
    Aegir

    The headline is incorrect. Lightroom Classic is desktop

    1. Bernie Campoli Avatar
      Bernie Campoli

      Aegir is Correct!

  10. Van Gelis Avatar
    Van Gelis

    so Lightroom classic won’t be available as a stand alone outright buy?? I don’t want any plans! I lke my desktop !

  11. Dimitris Servis Avatar
    Dimitris Servis

    The title is absolutely accurate. Desktop software is the one I can run on my computer, no strings attached. It’s not bundled software to lousy cloud storage and/or other software I don’t need.

    1. Mario Dennis Avatar
      Mario Dennis

      The desktop has not been “ditched.” That’s the misleading headline.

    2. Dimitris Servis Avatar
      Dimitris Servis

      Yes it has been ditched

    3. Mario Dennis Avatar
      Mario Dennis

      So, the Lightroom Classic on my laptop and desktop are an illusion. Thanks for explaining and for the chuckle. ?

    4. Dimitris Servis Avatar
      Dimitris Servis

      LR Classic is not a desktop application. It is cloud based and financed by a subscription model and when you stop doing so, you will lose the editing capabilities of your existing files.

    5. Henry Rodgers Avatar
      Henry Rodgers

      The model available for purchase is referred to as the desktop application. It will no longer be supported by year’s end.

  12. JP Danko Avatar
    JP Danko

    This is great in theory – but I’m not willing to give up any functionality of old Lightroom. And what am I supposed to do with 1TB of storage space? Right now the best solution is still Dropbox Plus ($10/mo) with old fashioned Lightroom – all the functionality, cloud storage and local working files. When Adobe releases FULL Lightroom plus UNLIMITED cloud storage – sign me up!

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      And by full Lightroom, I mean the Library and Develop modules – feel free to trash whatever the other modules are ;)

    2. CAugustin Avatar
      CAugustin

      Exactly right about Dropbox – it is a vendor-independend cloud storage solution that plays nice with nearly *every* app and document type I can think of! And it has some nice companion apps too. When I look at Adobe Cloud, I see a lot of very Adobe-specific solutions that don’t play with anything outside of Adobe’s CC products, and I have to pay a premium. I don’t get it, but some might love it …

  13. Trisha Prince Avatar
    Trisha Prince

    Fuck the cloud. Never trust your personal stuff to strangers.

  14. Walther Siksma Avatar
    Walther Siksma

    There is no cloud, just other peoples computers.

  15. Gregoire Labadens Avatar
    Gregoire Labadens

    Wrong title. Lightroom Classic (aka lightroom 7) is still desktop and Lightroom CC is desktop AND cloud.

  16. Paul Snow Avatar
    Paul Snow

    So in a country like aus where internet is crap, how will cloud work if it takes 10 days to upload 100 photos?

  17. Ricky L. Jones Avatar
    Ricky L. Jones

    I hate when titles lie to get people to click on it.

  18. Tod Heckert Avatar
    Tod Heckert

    Goodbye.. I don’t want to use the cloud.. they just lost a costumer

    1. Ricky L. Jones Avatar
      Ricky L. Jones

      You can still use the “Classic Lightroom Tod” I think.

    2. Tod Heckert Avatar
      Tod Heckert

      but no more updates after this month..so you get stuck with what you have.. I will be switching to Affinity Photo a lot cheaper and better.

    3. Ricky L. Jones Avatar
      Ricky L. Jones

      Tod Heckert Hmm never heard of that, will have to look into that. Thanks Tod.

    4. Ricky L. Jones Avatar
      Ricky L. Jones

      Tod Heckert Thanks Tod!

  19. John G Schickler Avatar
    John G Schickler

    Typical Adobe BS. Switch to Affinity Photo for $50 and get all the feature and none of the Adobe BS. Use the trial version and check out the videos on Vimeo and Youtube.

  20. Bolkey Avatar
    Bolkey

    So long, Adobe. One customer lost.

  21. cbenci Avatar
    cbenci

    Let’s be realistic, Lightroom Classic will be dropped eventually. As long as they bring the feature set up to classic level, give us multiple catalogues and the ability to work locally instead of in the cloud, it shouldn’t be a huge problem… but that really means it’s just Classic with a new “user-friendly” interface (the waking nightmare of Acrobat DC comes to mind here).

    I don’t understand what Adobe are trying to achieve with this move. The average smartphone shooter couldn’t give a shit about Lightroom. They just want to put a filter on their “I’m showing off” social media photos and get the adrenaline rush of the likes and hollow praise that goes with it. The average pro just wants a fast and reliable with bullet proof cataloging.

    The idea of uploading a catalogue to the cloud is just unrealistic in most parts of the world. My upload speeds are pathetic here in Australia. My latest commercial food shoot would take just on 6 days to upload at my current speed.

  22. KC Avatar
    KC

    I have a few thoughts here: If what I’m seeing is the newest web version, it’s OK, but Google Photos has nothing to worry about.

    I’m not understanding the workflow at all, and never have. How do you get images from a camera (not a mobile device camera) to Lightroom CC (web) without a desktop? If you need a desktop, then you might as well use Classic.

    How do you go from a camera to a tablet or phone easily? Considering a notebook can cost less than a tablet these days, that’s not making much sense either. Android users still don’t have mobile app parity with iOS, not that there’s a lot of Android tablets.

    Then there’s “storage”. There’s a difference between syncing and storage and so far the syncing has been slow. Since getting images online, especially big camera images, can be time consuming, how is this faster than importing images to the desktop? Another aspect of storage is mobile devices don’t tend to have a lot of it. Is it just Smart Previews being stored? Smart Previews aren’t the same as working on a Raw file.

    I haven’t tried “Classic” with Raw files yet. I’m not expecting miracles in terms of speed. I suspect a 100 image Raw import to DNG will still take long enough to walk the dog.

    As for a new improved “Auto” correct, well that’s less “off”, but still “off”. I’m not sure why. I can take a SOOC JPEG or converted Raw image that looks 99% right, hit “Auto” and it’s just wrong.