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?