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Gear & Apps

Adobe Lightroom Is All New | The Good, The Bad, The Perplexing

By Wendell Weithers on October 18th 2017

Adobe is a long-tenured titan in the photography, design, and video industry; providing a cache of creative tools to assist the modern digital artist. They’ve cornered a huge portion of the market and are constantly challenged with the evolving needs of their subscribers, and today at Adobe MAX: The Creative Conference, they’re unveiling the newest generation of the famed Creative Cloud.

If you are in the creative field and rely upon the creative suite to manifest to your vision, this is an update you need to pay attention to because a lot has changed. Let’s see what Adobe’s latest iteration of the suite brings to the table.

Lightroom CC v lightroom Classic CC

Lightroom has been split into cloud-based and computer-based versions; promising improved accessibility and performance managing your files.  Here are some highlights to consider.

Lightroom CC (Cloud-based)

Lightroom CC is designed and built around 3 guiding principles:

  • Powerful Yet Simple—Lightroom CC will offer the powerful image editing that you want, while being simple and intuitive to use. Our goal is that it will have everything you need and nothing you don’t.
  • Seamless experience across all your devices—Lightroom CC will work the same across desktop, mobile, and web. This allows you to move across your devices without needing to relearn or figure things out. Your photos and edits are all where you’d expect them to be.
  • Cloud Based—Everything you do in Lightroom CC is synced to the cloud. This means that you can access and work with your photos from any device (including multiple computers), and can easily share photos with others. All of your photos and all of the work that you do with them will be automatically backed up all the time.

With tools such as the IPad Pro and other tablets providing viable means of mobile editing; it will interesting to see how well Adobe adapts to the ever-changing workflow of photographers. This looks like a good step in the right direction.

Lightroom Classic CC (Computer-Based)

As you’ve probably heard and experienced, photographers have a love-hate relationship with Lightroom, largely attributed its slow speed hindering an efficient workflow. With this update, Adobe is addressing those concerns directly.

Lightroom promises increased performance in the following areas:

  • Application launch time
  • Preview generation including in Standard, 1:1 and Minimal previews
  • Import selection workflow with “Embedded & Sidecar” preview option
  • Switching between Library and Develop Module
  • Moving from photo to photo in the Develop Module
  • Responsive brushing

We’ll address more problems shortly, but here are other things that you should know that aren’t quite so positive:

  • There is no printing in Lightroom CC
  • No HDR or Panorama merge at this point
  • No tethered capture
  • Abandonment of the Catalogue ability. You will have a single library connected to your ID. You will have no option to separate into separate catalogues.
  • It cannot, at this time, sense if you’re shooting in raw+JPEG mode so it sees and displays images at two separate files, unlike the version it replaces.

Photoshop – What’s New?

More advanced photo-editing usually requires more than one editing software to perfect an image but, the process can become tedious when shipping an image, in a clunky fashion, between Lightroom and Photoshop. Here is Adobe’s  solution to that problem. Adobe also introduced updates to the Pen and Masking Tools including:

  •  A new Curvature Pen tool
  • An improved Select and Mask tool
  • The ability to open and edit 360-degree spherical panoramic images

Per the official release:

This version of Photoshop is much easier to learn for the millions of beginners who try it for the first time every year. Test out the new learn panel and other ease-of-use improvements like the new Curvature Pen Tool. We’ve integrated Lightroom Photos into the start screen and search to save you time when working with mobile and other images you’ve synced via Lightroom CC. We also addressed a number of pro requests like your #1 request of all time – improved brush preset management, and much more.

What’s the Cost?

A monthly fee of $50 remains the sweet spot for anyone who needs more than three apps from Adobe. However, it may well be worth it if the improved file management, mobility, and performance promises prove true. You can find a full rundown of the pricing options here.

Official Lightroom CC Blog Post

Official Photoshop CC Blog Post

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Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Spencer Johnson

    Something that’s bugging me on the new CC: if I want to use curves, I have to do it on mobile. For some reason the curves adjustment isn’t on the desktop version.

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  2. Dan Donovan

    Lightroom Classic is the old Lightroom, except faster.  So, all of the features are still available!  Most established photographers will stick with Lightroom Classic.  The new Lightroom CC is cloud based and is more for new photographers and people who do not shoot a lot.  Lightroom CC has about 40% of the features of Lightroom Classic, but Adobe hopes to get close to parity in a year.

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  3. Ben Perrin

    What are they smoking over at Adobe? This sounds like a major step backwards!!!

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    • Ben Perrin

      Oh I just re-read this, under the classic CC header it looks as if you are talking about printing and tethering etc not being available but for the cloud based version (Lightroom CC). Does Lightroom Classic CC still have these features? If so you might want to change your article so that the headers are more relevant.

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  4. Kiran Fernandes

    No tethered capture? WTH? It’s like they made the new one crappier!

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