Adobe has revealed its plans for the future of Lightroom, which are exciting for some, disappointing for others and above all very confusing. You will hear and read enough about the details in the coming days, but here are the most important things:
1: There will be no Lightroom 7 (perpetual license). Lightroom 6 will get two more updates before the end of the year (with only bug fixes and new camera support), and then the show is over for anyone who does not want to pay a subscription fee. Lightroom 6 will be your last version, that you can obviously continue to use, but that won’t get any more updates.
2: Lightroom CC2015 (the subscription version) gets a modest upgrade, that makes the application faster and adds a new way of modifying the masks of the local adjustment tools, called ‘Range Mask’. It won’t be called ‘Lightroom CC2018’ however, but gets a new name. From now on this will be known as ‘Lightroom Classic CC 7.0’.
3: There will be an entirely new application called ‘Lightroom CC’. Some people have seen a glimpse of it already, because it was accidentally revealed for some CC-subscribers when it still carried its code name ‘Nimbus’. Lightroom CC can best be described as ‘Lightroom Mobile for the desktop’, because it looks very much like Lightroom Mobile for the iPad. It syncs seamlessly with the other mobile products and stores its edits and the original images in the cloud. No need for local backup, no more problems with ‘missing images’. It’s ‘Lightroom for the rest of us’, but why Adobe didn’t simply call it ‘Nimbus’ or ‘Lightroom Nimbus’ or something like that is beyond me. While the name changes may be understandable from a branding point of view, they will create a lot of confusion. Search in Google for information on ‘Lightroom CC’ and you are likely going to find the wrong information for a long time to come.
My new (Dutch) book ‘Werken met Lightroom Classic CC’ has been submitted to the Apple iBooks and Google Play stores and should be available shortly.
Here’s a link to the official announcement.
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