Let’s begin with what the hell is Lightroom Classic CC? Well, apparently the people working at Adobe have been taking some LSD and not sharing it with the rest of us. If you didn’t get the memo from last week there are now two Lightroom software platforms available. What we all used to know as Lightroom CC is now, NOT what we think it is. I will be talking about Lightroom CC next week because it is an entirely new software “ecosystem” from Adobe. This week we are going to discuss the software we have know for seven generations, but it is no longer what we call it. Are you utterly confused? Here just drop this little tab on your tongue and call me in the morning.
Lightroom Classic CC is NOW the Lightroom most photographers have been using for a very long time. Just think of my favorite 80’s era heavy metal bands (Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Megadeth), they have become “classic” just like Lightroom. And maybe just like the photographers using the “old” version of Lightroom? I am part of this group of people, with the exception of this little article where I discuss why I stopped using Lightroom.
Lightroom Classic CC is Version 7.0
I am going to add more confusion to your LSD induced coma. This new version of Lightroom Classic CC is actually version 7.0 of Lightroom. You can no longer buy the Lightroom software in a box. You can only download it if you are an Adobe Creative Cloud member. Your upgrade days are done if you have Lightroom 6.X from a box. You are now old and busted without any chances of becoming classic. You are retired. Honestly, you should be retired if you aren’t running Creative Cloud anyway. It only costs $9.99 a month and upgrades are free and instant. The subscription world is the way of the future so keep up or get dropped like a bag of dirt.
Just a note: Lightroom Classic CC is not Lightroom CC which actually costs more. Wait until next week, where we will discuss that in more detail.
Lightroom Classic CC Enhancements
Adobe has installed a bunch of subtle updates to Lightroom Classic CC and two fairly impressive ones. They have added more filtering possibilities within Smart Collections and Importing. You can now hide your adjustment settings via a metadata export option to export All Except Camera Raw Info. They have improved the GUI (Graphical User Interface) response for building panoramic and HDR photos. Lightroom Classic CC will also render previews during system idle for photo edits that you have completed in the past 2 days.
Lightroom Classic CC Upgrade 1
Those are the minor enhancements, in my opinion though. The first major fix comes in the form of SPEED! Adobe has been claiming speed fixes for a couple of Lightroom releases, but if they existed, I haven’t been able to find them. However, now, now I feel it, see it, and LOVE it. My first generation (2014) iMac 5K Retina display is also very happy! So even if you have an older generation computer you will see massive benefits to installing Lightroom Classic CC.
The new Lightroom Classic comes with 11 enhancements that boost its speed. These are the ones that I have actually felt during my explorations of the force:
- Spot Edit – removing dust used to be the albatross around my neck, now it just cruises along with zero hangups.
- Panning around while removing dust is unbelievably smooth too!
- Exporting is much faster and doesn’t seem to clog up my workflow.
- Local filter adjustments have less lag.
- Switching between Library and Develop is seamless.
- Rendering of your photos is fast when you zoom in even if you haven’t generated previews.
- Scrolling through your filmstrip of photos is fluid now.
So Adobe finally did it. They made me happy. Although, I could be imagining all of this in an LSD fueled flashback experience.
The Nugget of Speed
Under Camera Calibration you will now find Process Version 4. Adobe claims that you can auto mask with better noise reduction, but I am not sure if they are referring to the auto mask quality itself or something else?
I also discovered a little informational nugget in Preferences > Performance. There is a link to an Adobe article about how to speed up Lightroom Classic CC. This article covers everything. Although I already had most of what they were suggesting running on my Lightroom version, there were some things that I learned too. This article is well worth the read if you looking for ALL of the tips possible to speed up Lightroom Classic CC.
Touching on speed once again. Lightroom will prompt you to upgrade your catalog when you install Lightroom Classic CC. Because of this I went into my Library and compared old and new catalogs. My current catalog has almost 200,000 photos in it. The old catalog was 9GB and the new one is BELOW 4GB! That’s more than a fifty percent savings! I am sure this has a lot to do with new speed I am experiencing.
Lightroom Classic CC Upgrade 2
The second upgrade in Lightroom Classic CC helps you better refine a local adjustment mask. You can now refine your masks within the Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, and Radial Filter local adjustments by choosing and adjusting the Color and Luminance Range Mask dropdown. This simple drop down allows you to make a color selection or adjust luminance points within the mask you just created. It works very similar the masking options built into Capture One Pro. You can read more about the specifics on Adobe’s tutorial page. I am fairly impressed with this new functionality.
Where Do We Go
Working on photos in the new/old Lightroom Classic CC is a joy. This latest version of the software is smooth, fluid and fast. The new masking feature really works for me as well. For the last couple of years this software has been the bane of my existence. As professional photographer who works on photos every day, I wanted to contract some “Knock Around Guys” to take care of Adobe. I even switched to Capture One Pro looking for a better system. Finally, I can wholeheartedly recommend Lightroom again.
I know you hippie, LSD dropping photographers are probably fine with 90’s layout and Windows 98 look of Lightroom. If I could request anything, it would be that Adobe now bring the look of Lightroom Classic CC into the 21st century. Even Metallica has a brand new album, so why can’t Lightroom Classic CC become a classic with a new release? Adobe – think Capture One Pro – wink, it makes you want to use it, because it looks so cool.
See you next week with a look into Lightroom CC – contemporary in every way that Lightroom Classic CC is not.