A Deep Dive into Adobe Lightroom VS Lightroom Classic

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Katty Ros

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Welcome to the ever-evolving world of Adobe Lightroom, where every update brings new features and improvements to enhance your photography workflow. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a budding enthusiast, understanding the nuances between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic is crucial for optimizing your editing process. This article will guide you through the history, differences, and subscription plans offered by Adobe, helping you decide which version suits your needs best.

The Evolution of Adobe Lightroom

Adobe’s Milestone Releases:

  • February 19, 2007: The journey begins with the launch of the original Adobe Lightroom, introducing photographers worldwide to a new level of editing convenience.
  • October 2017: At the Adobe Max conference, Adobe announces a significant split, introducing Lightroom Classic (the original Lightroom renamed) and Lightroom CC, which would later become just Adobe Lightroom.

Lightroom Classic retained the local storage functionality, appealing to users who prefer having physical control over their storage and more robust editing capabilities. On the other hand, the newly introduced Lightroom CC embraced cloud technology, offering a streamlined and accessible editing process across various devices.

Rebranding to Adobe Lightroom:

In May 2019, Lightroom CC was rebranded to Adobe Lightroom, simplifying the naming but retaining the cloud-based storage system, making it an ideal choice for photographers who prioritize flexibility and accessibility.

Understanding Adobe’s Subscription Plans

Adobe offers several subscription plans that cater to different user needs:

  • Lightroom Plan: This plan is cloud-centric and perfect for users who primarily edit on various devices. It includes 1TB of storage, sufficient for a substantial amount of high-quality photos. This plan is priced at approximately $10 per month, but this can vary based on regional differences.
  • Photography Plan: Including Lightroom Classic, Adobe Lightroom, and Photoshop, this plan is designed for serious photographers looking to utilize comprehensive editing tools. It offers 1TB of storage and costs about $20 per month, providing great value for users who also need access to Photoshop’s advanced features.

These plans ensure users have the necessary tools and space to bring their creative visions to life, whether through basic adjustments or complex photo manipulations.

Key Differences Between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic

File Storage and Accessibility

  • Adobe Lightroom:
    • Cloud-Based: All files are stored online, which safeguards them against physical data loss and allows editing from any device.
    • Accessibility: Perfect for photographers who travel frequently or those who don’t want to carry external storage devices.
    • Internet Dependency: Requires a reliable internet connection for uploading and accessing files.
  • Lightroom Classic:
    • Local Storage: Files are stored on the user’s computer or connected devices, providing faster access and a sense of security concerning physical control over data.
    • Offline Accessibility: No internet is required, allowing users to work with files anywhere, anytime.
    • Storage Limits: While the storage capacity is limited by local hardware, there are no monthly fees associated with data storage.

Subscription Costs and Considerations

Depending on your specific needs, the subscription cost can be a deciding factor. The Lightroom Plan is less expensive and offers significant cloud storage, making it ideal for casual users who edit sporadically. In contrast, the Photography Plan is more suited for professionals or enthusiasts who need both the robust features of Lightroom Classic and the versatility of Adobe Lightroom.

Making the Right Choice

Factors to Consider

  • Internet Reliability: If you often find yourself in places with poor internet connectivity, Lightroom Classic’s local storage might be more beneficial.
  • Editing Needs: Do you need advanced editing features offered by Photoshop? If so, the Photography Plan is for you.
  • Storage Requirements: Consider how much storage you’ll need. Cloud storage can be expanded for a fee, but local storage is limited by your hardware.


Choosing between Adobe Lightroom and Lightroom Classic largely depends on your workflow preferences, internet stability, and storage needs. If you prefer having access to your files from anywhere and don’t mind the dependency on a strong internet connection, Adobe Lightroom offers an excellent, flexible editing environment. Conversely, if you’re working with large files and require rapid, reliable access without the necessity of the internet, Lightroom Classic is the way to go.

Adobe’s subscription plans are tailored to accommodate a variety of editing styles and needs, ensuring that whether you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist, there’s a plan that fits perfectly with your creative workflow.


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Katty Ros

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