New Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC: Key differences and main features

Blurred black and white background

Last week, Adobe Lightroom got a big update. One of the best application for editing and organizing photography has split into two different apps: a new cloud-based (syncs images and edits across devices) Lightroom CC and the regular (but also updated) local-file-focused Lightroom, now rebranded as Lightroom Classic CC.

New Lightroom CC main workspace
New Lightroom CC main workspace (Library)


New Lightroom CC key features:

– Edit, organize and share images from computer, tablet or phone.
– Original hi-res files and edits are automatically backed up in the cloud and synced to all devices.
– Cloud storage starting at 20GB or 1TB (depending on a plan).
– Powerful editing tools like in the regular Lightroom (almost) but easy-to-use interface.
– Integration with Adobe Portfolio – you can select any of the Lightroom Collections and transform it into a Photo Grid on your website.
– Adobe Sensei technology that automatically tags your images with searchable keywords.


new lightroom cc edit panel
Opened edit panel. There is no separate Develop module in the new Lightroom CC.
new lightroom cc adobe sensei
Adobe Sensei in action. You can find images by searching for what is in them, which is “hand” in this case.


Lightroom Classic key updates:

– Improved speed in major areas, including launch time, preview generation, switching between Library and Develop modules, moving between images in the Develop Module.
– New tools like Color Range and Luminance Masking for precise edits.


What we like about the new Lightroom CC:

The best and the main feature of the new Lightroom is the cloud file syncing. Now you can start ending images at home and finish in the office without bringing your hard drives.


What we don’t like:

1) Some useful features are missing for now:

– tone curve and split toning (you can use curves on mobile devices, though)
– camera profiles and soft proof
– print mode
– history panel
– smart collections
– color labels

2) There is only one general library, no separate catalogs.
3) Some edit controls are hidden (Masking slider in Sharpening as an example).
4) Many of the default shortcuts are different.
5) User presets are not synced across devices.


Lightroom 6 news:

If you don’t want to sign up for a Creative Cloud plan, today you can buy the stand-alone (pay once and use forever) Lightroom 6. But unfortunately, it is the last version of Lightroom you can purchase outside of the Creative Cloud membership. There will be no Lightroom 7, and Adobe won’t update Lightroom 6 with camera support or bug fixes after the end of 2017. That means, your new camera from 2018 won’t be supported, so you would need to use a DNG converter or subscribe to a Creative Cloud plan or use another RAW editing tool.


Lightroom CC is a good idea that will get much better in the future. But for now, it’s not for everybody. New CC will be a useful tool for people that mostly use mobile devices to take photos, edit them, then share on the go. For a quick edit (holiday photos using presets, for example) new Lightroom would also work really well. Especially, if you use different computers and devices. Just don’t forget to manually copy your presets as they don’t sync.

But if you are serious about photography and have many catalogs with terabytes of images that you don’t want in the cloud, just use the new “old” Lightroom Classic, that’s become much faster and got some new features.

Nevertheless, it is still worth to check out the new Lightroom CC and see if it’s right for you: it’s included in the regular Photography plan with 20GB cloud storage.


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