Back in 2013, we all saw the writing on the wall when Adobe killed its Creative Suite perpetual licenses and Photoshop CS6 became the last version you could buy and keep forever. While Adobe kept delivering some bug fixes and RAW file support for CS6 for awhile, eventually, that stopped.
Now, Lightroom 6 is getting the same treatment. Worse still, is that there are no RAW file updates planned for future cameras in Lightroom 6. Lightroom CC will be the only game in Adobe-town going forward. And, Lightroom CC has plenty of changes as well.
Now, we have Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC. The key difference is that Lightroom CC will live in the cloud and you’ll access it from your web browser. Your photos in Lightroom CC will live in the cloud as well. Yes, even your RAW files. If you want to use an application that’s actually installed on your computer, that will be Lightroom Classic CC.
Lightroom Classic CC is the local-installed Lightroom application that we are all accustomed to using. So, to be clear, you can still keep Lightroom installed on your computer and use it the same way you do now.
Moreover, Adobe tells us that it will continue to develop Lightroom Classic CC alongside Lightroom CC. For those of us who hate forced changes to our workflow, the takeaway here is that we can continue to use Lightroom the way we always have – so long as we are okay with subscribing to it.
Lightroom CC’s New Cloud Storage Costs
Adobe is about to make a killing on the increased costs for Lightroom CC thanks to the storage prices that are required if you decide to take full advantage of Lightroom CC’s capabilities for your entire library.
The popular plan that Adobe is marketing hard (to what will likely cover the majority of its customer base) is a 1TB storage option with either Lightroom CC-only for $9.99/mo. or with Photoshop and Lightroom CC (aka the Photography Plan) for $19.99/mo. Of course, as a teaser, you can get this for $14.99/mo. for the first year.
The base Creative Cloud Photography Plan with 20GB of storage for $9.99/mo. will remain available and include Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC.
But what about power users who have several terabytes of photos in their existing Lightroom catalogs? (I personally have over 3TB in my main catalog and I’m hardly a “power user.”)
If you go to your Creative Cloud account, you can upgrade your Photography or Lightroom CC plan with up to 10TB of cloud storage. Here’s the cost breakdown:
Photography Plan Costs (includes Photoshop CC)
- 1TB for $19.99/mo.
- 2TB for $29.99/mo.
- 5TB for $59.99/mo.
- 10TB for $109.99/mo.
Lightroom CC-Only Plan Costs
- 1TB for $9.99/mo.
- 2TB for $19.99/mo.
- 5TB for $49.99/mo.
- 10TB for $99.99/mo.
Notably, if you buy the Lightroom CC-only plan, you do not get access to Lightroom Classic CC.
The are also storage upgrade options from the 100GB base plan for the Creative Cloud All Apps plan. The base plan is $49.99/mo. with 100GB of cloud storage.
Creative Cloud All Apps Storage Upgrades
- 1TB for $59.99/mo.
- 2TB for $69.99/mo.
- 5TB for $99.99/mo.
- 10TB for $149.99/mo.
What is the Future of Adobe Software?
As mentioned earlier, the writing has been on the wall since 2013 – Creative Cloud is the only future for Adobe professional apps. Adobe’s profits have been record-shattering and the company is not looking back now. You either subscribe or you go elsewhere.
Personally, I’ve been on board Creative Cloud since day one. However, I completely understand the frustration some users have. This is particularly true with photography users who simply want a way to process and archive their images. The cloud storage fees for many will be prohibitive. And, truthfully, if I wasn’t so tied to other video and design apps inside the Adobe suite, I might be looking for a different solution today too. As of today, I don’t see myself jumping on a storage upgrade option.
The good news is that Adobe’s competitors in the photography space see this as an opportunity for growth and are making some very interesting alternatives to Lightroom. onOne’s Photo RAW 2018 is still in public beta through the end of the month and looks like an enticing option for those not interested in subscribing to Lightroom.
So, where does Lightroom CC’s new cloud-centric model leave you? Are you all-in, sticking the Lightroom Classic CC or looking elsewhere?
jean pierre (pete) guaron says
Doesn’t worry me – I have all I need from Adobe, and I’m more impressed with their competition. There is no “one” solution to post processing.
Doug Vann says
I am going to start doing some comparing and will be looking for an alternative going forward. For now will continue using Lightroom 6 but will not be paying Adobe for storage …. they can kiss my ass.
Chris Howell says
I absolutely agree with you…they can kiss my ass as well. !… In fact all us people who have L6 should take out a class action against Adobe for rescinding an agreement that was made to never do away with perpetual Lr program!
When they made their comments about LR some time ago I reread the carefully crafted remarks a number of times and knew then LR was doomed to be a subscription model too. Using expressions such as “no plans to change LR” and LR will continue as a standalone “indefinitely” gave them plenty of future wiggle room.
I do believe there will be a number of folks exiting as LR users. I’m done, just haven’t made a final decision on Capture One or On1. Having been a LR user for so many years I’m having a difficult time getting my head around their interface. Time will tell and I’ll be following the comments and experiences of other users.
jean pierre (pete) guaron says
Doug – since my initial response, I have BEEN doing exactly that – trying out other systems. And I am on the edge of shutting down Adobe, after all these years, because I have discovered that others are far more user friendly, far easier to use, far quicker, and produce a better result. Ran comparative tests yesterday, and was shocked at how poor the colours were in LR, in comparison to Capture One Pro. And if colour photography is not all about getting the colours right, I am at a complete loss to understand what Adobe thinks we should use LR for – just as a very expensive storage bin?
And why on earth would anyone think it’s a worthwhile idea, to pay someone $150 a month ($1800 a year) for 10 TB of storage? You can get FOUR 12TB drives from WD for less than that, and end up with five times that amount of storage, if size is what you’re chasing. You can arrange to keep them in four different locations, to eliminate the risk of losing data – and not simply depend on one external source, beyond your control, to protect your data files.
Sorry Adobe – you’ve lost me. After this, I’m not just cancelling future purchases. I’m blocking your incoming emails and promotional material. Just not interested, any longer, no matter what you come up with next. As far as I can figure, you’ve simply lost the plot.
I’ve been expecting this move from Adobe and am planning my escape from their clutches. The jury is still out for me. Do i chose On1 or Phase One’s Capture One. I’m not comfortable with either one yet but now I’m going to be pushed to a decision soon.
Having been a Lightroom user since version 1 and an occasional Photoshop user from CS to version 6 you might say I’ve grown accustomed to this place. But… I still can’t get over the feeling that Adobe built an empire on the backs of loyal customers and then decided to force us to pay some more. For those who like the subscription model…. more power to you, It’s just not for me.
So long Adobe it’s been nice knowing you, but don’t let the door hit you in the donkey on your way out of mu computer.
Perpetual License: 120 euros/2 years (roughly) vs CC: 288 euros for the same period… It’s abusing I feel.
That’s the end of Lightroom for me as well and I am looking for alternatives at the moment. If someone knows one that can import the already processed data and meta from Lightroom, this would very good to know.
James Spencer says
You need look no further than Capture One Pro 10. It will import Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture libraries with all the metadata without breaking a sweat.
And if you need a viable alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop, give Serif’s Affinity Photo (also available in an iPad version) a try. Very capable program at a bargain price.
All of the above have reasonably priced perpetual licenses available to the customer.
No longer need one have their parade rained on by Adobe’s highway robbery Cloud.
I have been a supporter of Lightroom since it first came out. I am currently using Lightroom 6, as Adobe will not allow me to have a subscription because I am a constant traveler, of no fixed abode, and they want me to have a permanent address before they allow me to belong to their cloud. That is so weird in this day and age, when everything should be mobile and online. Do they think I will disappear into the ether and not pay my monthly dues? Now I will have to completely rethink, and learn other programs. I am not happy.
Bengt Nyman says
Adobe is a very large and diversified company. Having evolved based on technological expertise which has created a market, the company is now in the hands of economists more interested in taking advantage of this market than in continuing to provide cost effective content. Couple this with strong legal and patent protection a company can continue this kind of predatory lifestyle for a long time. Compare Microsoft and many others. We owe to each other not to surcome to this form of slavery but to seek and support more modern and more cost effective solutions.
Daniel Wray says
I will be moving away from Lightroom as they force this cloud stuff on us. Goodbye Adobe. Fortunately, there are other good options.
This is the end of LR for me. I guessed right a while back and have been using Luminar (some former NIK people) and trying Affinity. I also travel a lot like Elizabeth and it just doesn’t work for me. To still offer LR6 without the recent upgrades is Adobe saying we don’t need you guys anymore if you don’t want to be in the cloud. So you get no more funds from me. The 2018 upgrade to Luminar is going to be $39. Less than 4 months of the CC plan without the storage. And it does all I need with great results.
I’m concerned about the writing on the wall — It looks like Adobe is prepping Lightroom Classic CC to go the way of Lightroom 6 down the line, and focus their efforts on the new CC.
Personally, I’ll use Lightroom as long as I’m not force-fed cloud storage. I have a much cheaper unlimited Amazon Drive plan for that. I’m going to start learning some alternative photo editors in case that day ever comes.
PS: Adobe, thank you FINALLY for the quick image loading in Lightroom. Now I don’t need to use Photo Mechanic for culling.
Darren Kelly says
Ya, I’ve spent the year preparing to say goodbye to Adobe.
My video needs are more than satisfied with Black Magics Davinchi
My compositing is handled by Black Magic’s Fusion – and I’m talking about the $299 versions.
For photography it’s Affinity and Aurora because of the compatibility with iOS on my tablet.
I’ll keep CS6 on my machine, make sure I have Adobe’s dng converter for new cameras, or keep Photoshop Elements around, which serves 95% of my needs for catalogue requirements.
I’ve been collecting plugins for several years, so tho handle most oh Photoshops tricks.
My subscription ends in March 2018.
Bye Bye Adobe
I’ve been using LR6 since it came out, and the previous disk versions before that. I also do a lot of traveling, and can’t rely on consistent or fast internet access.
I will also eventually leave Adobe when On1 matures. It’s too bad they are being so eager to annoy everyone. There has not been one comment here to applaud Adobe’s decision. Maybe the negative outcry will be loud enough to convince them of the error of their ways.
Lorris Keizer says
Hello to all!
I have deferred upgrading for over a year or so because of my speculation that users would gradually be boxed into the described environment by Adobe. Up until now I have continued to be tempted but no longer Adobe will not receive any further consideration by me. The future work environment is impractical for users such as myself.
Thank you to all; your observations have been most helpful and reassuring that my reasoning/concern had merit.
Lorris Keizer says
Please provide me with future comments on this matter.