Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC – which is better?

Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC – which is better?

Adobe Lightroom Classic It used to be a photo editing staple for photographers around the world, but in 2017, Adobe split Lightroom into two different applications, namely Lightroom ClassicAnd Lightroom. Both are part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, but Lightroom (CC) is also designed to work on mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

Lightroom classic and CC images play side by side

Adobe offers three Lightroom and/or Photoshop plans

1. What’s in a name?

Long-term users and beginners may be confused about their Lightroom options. Lightroom now exists in two main forms: Classic and CC. Lightroom Classic (formerly LR CC) is the same app that many LR users have been enjoying for years. By contrast, the new Lightroom CC breaks from the traditional way of storing photos on a local drive. Instead, the original photos are uploaded to online cloud storage so they can be accessed, edited and synced across desktop, tablet and phone.

2. Choose a plan

Adobe offers three Lightroom and/or Photoshop plans. At $9.99 per month, the Photography plan gives you both versions of Lightroom – Classic vs CC – as well as Photoshop CC. However, this only comes with 20GB of cloud storage, which is unlikely to be enough if you want to fully embrace your LR CC workflow. The second option, which is also $9.99 per month, gives you LR CC with a healthy 1TB of cloud storage, but no Photoshop CC or LR Classic. Alternatively, you can get all three apps plus 1TB of cloud storage for $19.99 per month.

Lightroom CC development

Lightroom CC development

3. Important similarities

Both versions share a set of useful features. the Develop The controls are mostly the same: there are near-identical tone sliders, selective adjustments, tone curve, split intonation, HSL controls, black and white tools, presets, profiles, spot removal and more. Both also let you organize photos with flags and stars. However, there are fundamental differences. The big question is, which version is right for you?

4. Cloud or local storage?

Do you want to store all your photos in the cloud or locally on your hard drive? This decision lies at the heart of the classic debate against CC. The cloud offers ease of use across devices and is arguably more secure than local storage (unless you’ve adopted a strict backup routine). But even with Adobe 1 TB of cloud storageSpace will be more limited on the cloud and images may take some time to load.

5. Integration with mobile phone

Lightroom CC is designed to work seamlessly across all your devices. All your changes are synced and updated, so you can start editing on your desktop, then switch to your tablet or phone — and everything is in sync. For those who Edit on the goThe seamless workflow that CC provides is the best option.

Import Lightroom CC

Import Lightroom CC

6. Import dialog

The Import dialog box is one of the cherished features of LR Classic (so much so that when Adobe tried to “simplify” it a couple of years ago, the uproar caused an immediate conversion). Among the extensive options, you can apply presets when importing, convert to DNG, add keywords, create collections, and much more. In contrast, other than the Add to Album option, the CC import dialog is completely blank.

Import Lightroom Classic

Import Lightroom Classic

7. Albums or collections?

Experienced Lightroom Classic users will be familiar with the power of Collections. It allows you to create groups and categories of images without having to navigate between files or make copies. LR CC has no groupsbut it has Albums, which works the same way. However, LR Classic groups are more advanced, with options to create smart groups based on parameters such as camera data or star ratings.

Lite search

Lite search

8. Smart searches

One notable feature of the LR CC that is not available in the LR Classic is Search bar. As you would expect, this allows you to search through your photo library. But the smart thing is that it can recognize subjects and types of scenes — like looking for trees here — even if they’re there There are no keywords Or tags attached to images. Powered by machine learning, this is the future of image indexing – and great news for those who hate keywords.

9. Support dual screen

Using dual monitors is a must for many photographers. This means that we can place all of our panels and widgets on our secondary screen, while leaving our main screen free to display the image as large as possible. Unfortunately, it is Option only with LR Classic – LR CC’s single window interface does not work across dual monitor setups.

10. Slider locations

Many of the tools and settings found in LR Classic (and Photoshop’s Camera Raw plug-in) are also found in LR CC, although in some cases they are grouped together differently. For example, the sliders within the Classic Basic panel are designed in terms of light, which includes exposure, shadows, and highlights, and then in terms of color, which includes white balance and saturation.

Virtual Lightroom versions

LR Classic enables you to create virtual copies that do not take up additional space on your hard drive

11. Workflow tricks

Lightroom edits images by changing their appearance within the program rather than changing pixels in the open editing and saving workflow that Photoshop uses. As such, this approach brings several workflow benefits such as Virtual copies, which allows you to create multiple versions of an image without creating memory-consuming copies on your drive. It’s another useful workflow feature not available in LR CC.

12. History painting

Located on the left side of LR Classic’s Develop module, the History panel remembers every edit you make to an image, so it’s useful if you need to retrace your steps or restore a previous version of your image. LR CC lacks this useful feature.

13. How does synchronization work?

If you use the LR CC cloud-based workflow, your original images will be stored in the cloud and any edits will be synced to your library instantly. LR Classic works differently – you can still edit photos synced on mobile devices with LR Mobile, but instead of the original photos you work on in Smart Previews, which are then synced back to your main photo library the next time you open LR Classic On desktop.

14. Sync in LR Classic

With Classic, you have to manually choose which collections you want to sync by clicking the double-arrow sync icon to the left of the collection within the Collections panel. When using LR CC, all images are automatically synced across your devices to ensure a seamless workflow. As such, concurrent workflow in LR CC is much easier.

Hide lightroom scope

Hide lightroom scope

15. Hide the scope

One of the best recent additions to LR Classic are the Range Mask controls. This allows you to create Precise local adjustments By focusing on parts of the image based on tonal or color values, making it easy to isolate and adjust objects or areas of the image in seconds. Unfortunately, this feature has not yet reached the LR CC.

16. Classic units

The LR CC interface is like a mix of the LR Classic library and development modules (the two most commonly used modules), but none of the others have been looked at. So, if you want to geotag photos, create photo books, slideshows and print, you still need to use Classic.

Face recognition lightroom

Face recognition lightroom

17. Face recognition

The LR Classic can’t match the CC’s smart search bar, but it does offer a smart library-searching feature that the CC lacks: facial recognition. This works by searching your photo library for similar faces, allowing you to quickly group photos based on who appears in them. Click the face icon in the Library module to turn it on, then start naming the faces to start grouping.

18. HDR and panoramas

Creating HDR photos or panoramas in Lightroom Classic is quick and easy with Integrate controls Found in the photo list. Just select a batch of images, get going, work through the simple options, and eventually, Lightroom creates a detail-rich DNG file for your HDR or panoramic photo. Unfortunately, both features are not available in Lightroom CC.

19. Export options

As with almost everything in LR CC, the export options are minimal: you can either save them as JPEG or as ‘Settings + Original’. There’s no option to export as a TIFF or PSD file, but you’ll find that in LR Classic’s more advanced export dialog. With Classic, you can also set up export presets.

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: Verdict

For organizing your photo library, Lightroom Classic wins. Besides the albums feature, Lightroom CC offers minimal control and you can’t even rename your photos; However, CC has an amazing search bar. When it comes to photo editing, both Classic and CC are equally good: Classic offers more advanced workflow options, but CC is smoother, and you can edit video. Of course, CC is designed for a different audience than those of us who have been using Lightroom for years. Features that aren’t there, aren’t there for a reason – things like smart groups, import options, scope masking, and soft proofing are tools the average user doesn’t need.

As such, for professional and advanced photographers and those who already know Lightroom, Classic is still the best choice. For beginners, smartphone users, casual enthusiasts and anyone who wants to edit on the go, Lightroom CC is the friendliest and most streamlined option.

James Patrones is as skilled a photo editor as he is a photographer. His work has appeared in countless magazines and books, and in 2014, he was named Editor of Practical Photoshop magazine. His subjects range from portraits to landscapes, architecture and underwater scenes. For James, Photoshop is more than just a business tool. Visit

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