Are these differences between Adobe Lightroom CC vs Adobe Lightroom Classic CC? Is Lightroom CC better for professionals and Lightroom Classic for amateurs? Can Lightroom CC Mobile replace a desktop software? Let’s find it out.
Adobe Co. offers photographers and photo retouchers two versions of their color correction and raw photo editing software, namely new Lightroom CC and the old version Lightroom Classic CC.
Lightroom CC has many useful updates and creators fixed all drawbacks the previous versions had. But some users still prefer using Lightroom Classic CC.
Why is it so? Let’s find out what Lightroom version is better for your purposes.
The preset catalog is on the left, photo miniatures are at the bottom, the workspace is on the right, and the image you’re currently editing is in the center – everything is exactly as it used to be, a classic look without any notable changes.
You have access to a large number of color correction tools designed for both selective and batch photo editing, and can quickly switch between editing in Lightroom and Photoshop, transferring images from one program to another. The app also supports cloud Storage and seamless Adobe Stock image downloading.
The most impressive updated features of this version when comparing Lightroom CC vs Lightroom Classic are increased speed of browsing through large batches of photos, and new tools for more precise image editing (“Color range” and “Luminance masks”).
Moreover, Lightroom Classic 2019 became faster in general. Earlier this year, Adobe admitted that Lightroom 6 suffers from performance issues and this update is meant to solve them.
Depth range masking. Starting from this edition, you will find a new option called Depth Range Masking in local settings tools. Once you’ve created an initial mask by selecting a photo area with a corrective brush or radial/graduated filters, you can apply a depth range mask to adjust the masked area depending on the depth of field.
Improved Luminance masks. Luminance Range Mask was added to Adobe Lightroom Classic CC v.7 and allowed you to perform local edits that targeted only specific tone ranges. Now you can use the Eyedropper to select the tones that should be affected by clicking on the image or pressing and moving the mouse to pick a large area.
Single-click creation of HDR panoramas. Creating an HDR panorama is quite easy and you can speed up this process by merging several shots taken with bracketing into a couple of HDR photos and then stitching them together to create a panorama – all with a single mouse click.
Quick tether shooting with Canon cameras. Lightroom Classic CC secures large speed and stable connection with all supported Canon cameras. It also has a feature that allows tethering cameras made by Nikon and other leading brands.
Process Version 5. This function is meant to improve the quality of images taken at high ISO, reducing purple tones in photos with insufficient lighting, which decreases the amount of noise that appears when moving the Dehaze slider to the left.
User-customizable develop panel. By popular demand, users can now change the order of panels in the Develop module so that it corresponds to their established workflow. For instance, if a user rarely needs the “Information” panel, he/she can move it to the end of the module.
Cancel option when closing the program. Did you ever click “Quit Lightroom” by accident and changed your mind once you’ve realized what you pressed? To avoid such situations, Lightroom now will ask if you’re sure you want to close the program or did you click the wrong button by accident.
No backup copies. You can’t create a backup version of your RAW-files in the cloud, which is disappointing if you’re comparing Lightroom Classic vs CC. If you need one, you have to do it manually, outside the program. The only thing you can synchronize with the cloud is Smart Preview, but not the original images.
Not easy UI. When comparing the learning curves of Lightroom CC vs Classic, it quickly becomes obvious that learning how to use the latter requires a lot more time. Unlike CC, this version doesn’t have pop-up tooltips that explain each function if you don’t know its purpose.
In 2017, Adobe announced a new version of its RAW converter Lightroom CC. When comparing Lightroom CC vs Lightroom Classic, it’s worth noting that the former has the same functionality as the original Lightroom, but offers a new simplified user interface that allows performing complex image editing on full-resolution computers, smartphones, and online. The changes you make with Lightroom CC on one device will be synchronized with their respective Lightroom versions on other devices automatically.
Nowadays, it is a pure cloud-based version of the program that works simultaneously on all devices connected to Adobe servers. You get GB of dedicated cloud storage space, which you can use to upload your originals, and later sort and edit them in any way you want.
Such flexibility is very convenient, and, most importantly, it allows you to work on your photographs even while taking a bath or lying in bed, which is often discussed in Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic comparisons.
File management in Lightroom CC is simplified thanks to Smart functions such as automatic tagging together with a keyword search function supported by Adobe Sensei AI technology.
Cloud system. One of the main reasons behind creating cloud Lightroom version was to introduce the ability to transfer the entire photo library between several devices.
Lightroom CC uploads all photos, including RAW files, to Creative cloud by default, which synchronizes all images and changes made in Lightroom on your desktop PC, tablet, and phone, which is a huge plus in its favor in Lightroom Classic CC vs Lightroom CC debate.
Face recognition. This is the task that requires a large number of calculations and, consequently, a very powerful processor. In the new Lightroom CC version, the “People View” function works in the cloud – the library is indexed and processed in Adobe data centers instead of putting the stress on the user’s local PC.
AI search engine. When a user is typing something into the search panel, Lightroom offers possible metadata matches as you go along, including camera and lens models, photoshoot information, etc.
Each newly added term works autonomously so if you need to find a dog lying on a haystack, you first have to type in “dog,” press Enter, type in “haystack” and then press Enter again.
Easy transfer. You may look through and edit your library in any web-browser. It’s also useful for sharing albums and separate photographs via direct links as well as transferring the image files themselves.
Apple Photos import into Lightroom. The new Apple Photos Migration tool is available only to Mac users and can help you copy the contents of your Apple Photos library to Lightroom.
Local color toning. Now you can apply colors to specific photo areas using such tools as “Brush” or “Linear gradient.” When selecting the “Brush,” “Linear gradient,” or “Radial gradient” tools in Adobe Lightroom CC, you have to scroll down to the adjustment sliders to turn on the needed color.
Not many supported formats. Lightroom increases the number of supported import and export formats with each update, since camera manufacturers change their formats with each upgrade of their series. In the Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC battle, the former is the clear winner as it supports twice as many formats as Lightroom CC does.
No symbol watermarks. Many photographers add watermarks to protect their photos and a lot of them use their own symbol or logo instead of a name. In Lightroom CC, you can’t add a watermark symbol since the only available option is text.
Doesn’t have HDR and Panorama. This is a significant difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic and really bad news for landscape and urban photographers who rely on these tools most. In the Lightroom CC version, you can’t merge your photos into a panorama or create HDR images with a single mouse click.
Monthly Lightroom Classic CC subscription includes Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC which is very convenient for professional use. The main difference in two plans is the difference in the Cloud storage’s size (20 GB or 1 TB) and, accordingly, the price ($9.99 or $19.99).
Lightroom CC is included in both plans, as well as Lightroom Classic CC. But there is also a plan where you can use only Lightroom CC with 1TB of memory in the Cloud for $9.99 per month. This is a favorable offer if you don't use other Adobe programs.
There's also Creative Cloud All Apps plan that comprises more than 20 desktop and mobile apps, including Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, Illustrator CC, and XD CC, 100GB of Cloud storage, a personal website for portfolio, premium fonts, and tools.
The cost of this plan is $52.99 per month, for students and teachers – $19.99 monthly. It is very beneficial for Adobe fans and people, who use these programs on a regular basis.
If you use Adobe apps or softwares for the first time, it may offer you Lightroom free trial for all program versions (Photoshop free included), which will last 7 days from the installation date. If you like working with the program, you will be able to buy the plan and enjoy using it.
Summing up Lightroom CC vs Lightroom Classic CC programs evaluation according to 11 different criteria, you can understand which program is more suitable for you and take a look at the main advantages of the programs.
Advantages of Lightroom Classic CC. It stands out for its multitasking and is more suitable for professional photographers. It has advanced editing capabilities thanks to its wide range of features and adjustable tools. Due to the constant updates, there are more and more effective features and the speed of the program increases. This all will help you effectively edit your photos, saving much time.
Advantages of Lightroom CC. It has a simple and intuitive interface with all the features in one window. Thanks to the instant Cloud sync, you can work on multiple devices simultaneously, including mobile and web apps. The program is great for beginners, as it has Adobe Sensei machine intelligent learning. Besides, thanks to its speed, you can edit photos from the mobile application while on the road, quickly and easily, share works on social media directly from your application.
To truly understand and see the difference when comparing Adobe Lightroom CC vs Classic, the best choice would be analyzing how they perform identical tasks head-to-head.
Evaluating the workflow of both Adobe Lightroom CC versions, you can immediately see the big difference in visual appearance.
Lightroom Classic CC. It is divided into several sections, including both image editorial and library modules (Develop, Library, Map, Book, Slideshow, Print, and Web). Each program module includes many adjustable functions and useful tools for professional photographers.
Lightroom CC. It contains all the features for image editing and arrangement in one window, in the mobile, PC, and web versions. This platform is perfectly suitable for amateurs due to its simplified interface.
Adobe Lightroom Classic CC has many additional functions that are actually missing in Lightroom CC even though it is a newer version.
Lightroom Classic CC. It features a number of updated functions and tools essential for the work of any professional photographer. The functional system of Lightroom Classic CC is bigger and more effective than of Lightroom CC.
One of the brand-new functions of Lightroom Classic CC are Color Range and Luminance Masking. This local tool lets you use an adjustment brush, graduated and radial filters as well as alter the brightness and color range.
As these tools are separated, you may only use one without touching the other or get an automatic mask. One more new important feature is PhotoMerge function, using which you may create an effective panorama from your photos as well as blend them to create HDR within a few minutes.
Thanks to the large filters panel, you can quickly find the photos you need by rating, color label, flag, and advanced metadata. You can use many installed Lightroom presets or download/create your own ones.
You may also find out all the information about an image: the camera or lens used, etc. With Embedded Preview function, you can scroll through large sets of photos in order to select a subset of images much faster than previously.
With over 5 hours of video training material, the Decoding Lightroom online video course will help, fellow photographer, to better understand the software and make organizing, developing, editing and cataloging your images easier. Lightroom Classic CC won't have any more secrets for you after this.
Lightroom Classic CC powerful tools include a number of functions that aren't present in Lightroom CC:
Lightroom CC. It provides us with limited functionality in its simple interface. Nonetheless, it has 90% of the features that correspond to Lightroom Classic CC. As it has been mentioned earlier, Lightroom CC is limited in functionality compared to Lightroom Classic CC.
But as the main advantage of the program is its mobile version and web version, the program has all the necessary tools for quick and easy picture post production on your smartphone. Also, there is a possibility to take a photo with the camera in the program before you start.
Lightroom CC doesn't have such a wide range of filters as Lightroom Classic CC. But you can filter your photos by rating, flag, file type, cameras, location, and keywords. Before December 2017, Lightroom CC didn't have such panels as Tone Curve and Split Tone. Therefore, we hope that in the next updates we'll be able to get other necessary functions (camera calibration, mask range etc.).
Lightroom Classic CC. In this version, files are stored locally on your computer or removable hard drive. Images import is completed instantly, you select the folder from which you upload photos and all the files are transferred in a couple of seconds keeping their quality and resolution. View more about how to import raw files into Lightroom.
Lightroom CC. This version provides the Cloud storage for files in Creative Cloud. Everything you do with photos is synchronized to the Cloud and is available on any device or PC via your Adobe account.
Photos importing depends on your Internet speed. If the speed isn't high enough and you are loading the archive with photos, it could take some time. But as soon as the first photos are uploaded, you may already begin working with them whilst the rest are loaded.
Lightroom Classic CC. You may seek for images using metadata and keywords, photos are organized into collections. You may seek for pictures by using the filter panel, where you may set all the possible parameters. Save the filter settings and you'll be able to find images by these parameters any time.
In Lightroom Classic CC, the photos are organized into smart collections and sets or into folders on the desktop. Thanks to the before-mentioned filters, you can instantly find pictures by certain parameters.
Lightroom CC. There exists in telligent photo search by image content thanks to Adobe Sensei function. The images are saved in albums. You may look for the photos using keywords and artificial intelligence (Adobe Sensei) in the web version.
With the help of Adobe Sensei, you can automatically find the picture you are seeking for or similar one due to the recognition technology by certain parameters. This function can also single out the best images if you work in the online version.
In Lightroom CC, the pictures are saved in albums that may be combined into virtual folders sorted by date. However, you don't have the possibility to create smart albums like in Lightroom Classic CC.
Since 2018, Lightroom 6 hasn’t been updated and is the latest stand-alone Adobe Photoshop Lightroom version. In case you wish to avoid a monthly payment, you may purchase Lightroom 6, but it's important to note that it won't support new cameras because of the lack of updates.
Lightroom Classic CC. The version doesn't provide Cloud sync or automatic updates. It offers an option to sync pictures with Lightroom mobile version, but the image quality is lower. Thanks to Lightroom Smart Preview function, the app automatically processes low-extension preview images. In Lightroom Classic CC, you may share your collections online, making them public. And if a person is registered in Adobe ID system, he/she gets the opportunity to comment on the photos.
Lightroom CC.The program provides automatic synchronization with Adobe Creative Cloud and supports updates. Synchronization with the Cloud and modifications are done very quickly.
Once you upload the pictures to Lightroom CC Cloud, you'll be able to share the photos and galleries with other users just sending a link. You may work on the mobile device and PC simultaneously and all the recent changes will be saved.
It is very convenient – in case you are on the road and the laptop is dead, you may continue your work on your phone or tablet, share the photos with friends.
Lightroom Classic CC. A manual backup of files is provided. You may share both separate photos and entire collections activating sync functions. Besides, you may share a link to the collection and other users will be able not only to see your images but “like” them, even leave comments.
Lightroom CC. The version provides automatic file backups due to synchronization with Adobe Creative Cloud. You may directly share photos on social media and create custom Lightroom web galleries. Moreover, you may share the images with the help of Adobe Portfolio or share the entire album.
Lightroom Classic CC. The latest version differs from previous one with its higher speed. In the previous Lightroom versions (6 and earlier), many users complained about the operating speed. Therefore, Adobe has taken into account all the complaints and improved a new version, as speed plays a significant role for professional photographers. Now the program loads faster and you can quickly edit high-resolution photos. Regardless of all the changes, Lightroom Classic 2018 still doesn't match Lightroom CC speed.
Lightroom CC. Doesn't have any problems with the speed of photo editing and image import if you have a good Internet connection. Adobe made a lot of changes in order to speed up Lightroom CC and, with each update, the performance and speed of the program increased. As Lightroom CC is a simplified version of the program with limited functionality, it is logical that making it fast won't be a problem. This is the main bonus of the program. That's why you can enjoy fast import and image editing from any device.
Lightroom Classic CC. Adobe website has developed a lot of videos with tutorials for both amateurs and experienced users where you can find the answers to all the questions.
Lightroom CC. It uses Adobe Sensei machine learning technology to recognize people and other objects in photos.
Lightroom Classic CC. It supports a wide range of file types for export and doesn't limit the size for storing your files. It lets you zoom in photos to view at 11:1 scale, which gives you an opportunity to process images with a clearer resolution. Furthermore, in this version, you can use a secondary screen to work with two photos simultaneously.
In this program version, you may process an unlimited number of photos without additional payments. In Adobe Lightroom CC, when exceeding 1TB, you will need to pay extra for additional storage space. The program supports export JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PSD, and original files, as well as color space in sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto.
Lightroom CC. It can offer a small selection of file types for export and limited storage space depending on the paid subscription. It will allow you to zoom in photos to view at 2:1 scale, which isn't very convenient if you want to edit small details of a photo. The program supports JPEG files export and sRGB color space (color space for online photos), which is a less wide selection than Lightroom Classic CC offer.
The interface of the mobile version is as simple and clear as PC and web version has. It includes the same features and tools, supports the same file types as the PC version, you can use and apply Lightroom mobile presets. But it should be noted that the functions that are marked with a star in the blue circle are available only for users, who have full paid version of the program.
Adobe Lightroom CC mobile version perfectly synchronizes with Creative Cloud all your work in a full extension and allows you to quickly share photos through social media. You can set up only your favorite collections to sync, not all of your works, to save space in the Cloud.
Besides, with the help of Lightroom CC, you can take and edit RAW images using your phone or tablet camera through the program. The camera can work both in automatic and professional mode, but you should take into account that the phone is unable to provide you with high-resolution photos.
The mobile app gives you an opportunity to work anywhere in the world on your phone. It has enough functions and tools to do quality work.
You can highlight specific areas of photo editing rather than use the tool for an entire photo. Also, you can filter your photos, marking them with a flag. The app works very quickly, both when importing and using the functions.
Thanks to its simplicity, Lightroom CC mobile version is perfect for aspiring photographers and for quick professional work.
Any Lightroom version does not require updates and additions to support Lightroom filters (presets). Check out several image color grading freebies to use enhancing your pictures.
This preset is ideal if you editing outdoor wedding pictures. The preset will correct white balance and saturation of all colors.
If your photo lacks color or if you just want to have a preset that will suit almost every shot - this is your choice.
Drone urban photos look breathtaking but even the most beautiful city view will not look so without proper color correction. This filter adds warmth to the overall picture, saturation of the sky and contrast to the buildings.
This is the perfect preset if you need to improve your portraits in one click. White balance, color of the skin, hair and background, everything will become several times more beautiful.
Successfully catching a sunset on your camera is only half the professional photo, the second half is to make this picture really cool after color correction. Use this filter to make a perfect balance of light HDR and vintage leaks.