News from Adobe seems to have thrown many photographers over the last few days.
Normally a new version of Lightroom would be good news. Standalone purchasers would consider the upgrade cost, subscribers would eagerly download and check out the new features. Not so much this time. There are a few nice new little features but they feel insignificant next to the other announcements.
So what's happened?
1. If you prefer to purchase rather than subscribe, there will be no LR7. LR6 is the last 'standalone' version, with no more updates or support.
2. Lightroom CC (the old version for Creative Cloud subscribers) has become Lightroom Classic CC, with a few minor (but pretty handy) new features and promised performance improvements.
3. There's a new product, called Lightroom CC. Designed for use across devices with images stored only in the cloud, the desktop functionality is also simplified. It's included for CC subscribers but with only 20Gb of storage. More storage, more $.
As a Creative Cloud subscriber I'm getting a few new features, a speed boost and a new piece of software. So hardly something to complain about. It's more the anticipation of what's to come that is a concern.
On first impressions, I'm not keen on the reduced functionality of LR CC (the new product), and I don't particularly want or need my entire library stored online (other than as a backup). I'm sure LR CC will improve, but that leaves me using LR Classic CC at least for now. 'Classic' though? Isn't that something old, retro, retired, outdated or replaced? We have a Nintendo Classic that plays 80's video games. I love classic games and classic cars, but a 'classic' piece of software to rely on for my current images and workflow?
Adobe have promised future updates to 'Classic' and maybe it was just a poor naming choice. When Adobe first introduced the subscription model it caused a lot of noise, probably lost a few customers, but overall seemed to succeed. Whatever the outcome this time it certainly has many photographers, me included, looking around at the other options on the market.