What Just Happened to Lightroom?

What Just Happened to Lightroom?

Recently, Adobe® made some very interesting announcements around the future of Lightroom®. If you haven’t already heard, the Lightroom version people have used the last decade will now be known as Lightroom Classic CC. They also introduced a new product, which takes over the name Lightroom CC. Say what? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Disclaimer: Everything in this post is our own interpretation. By no means are we speaking on Adobe’s behalf. We are simply interpreting what we heard today. To read the details from Adobe directly, you can find them here.

Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC seem to be very different programs. Lightroom Classic CC is geared towards those with a desktop workflow while the new Lightroom CC looks like it’s mainly for those who want to use a mobile photography/Adobe cloud based workflow. Also any future version of Lightroom (Classic CC & CC) will not be available outside a subscription model.

Wait, what? Yes, that’s correct. There will no longer be a standalone perpetually licensed Lightroom version available for sale. Both versions of Lightroom will only be available as part of a subscription plan.

What We Know

  • The new Lightroom CC is only available as a subscription and will no longer be available as a perpetual license
  • The new Lightroom CC is not an upgraded Lightroom Classic CC. Lightroom CC is a new service that gives you access to your photos in the cloud you can then pull down and edit through a new and limited desktop app or in the browser based app
  • There are now three different subscription plans for Lightroom CC
  • There are many features lacking in the new Lightroom CC (HDR, pano, print to name a few)
  • 20GB of cloud storage in the CC Photography Plan ($10/mo) is not enough storage for serious photographers so you will likely need to pay more for extra storage
  • We will continue to support Lightroom Classic CC and keep our plug-ins working with it
  • The new Lightroom CC does not support plug-ins

What We Don’t Know For Sure
There are a TON of questions out there on the Internet along with lots of confusion. Here are some of the more common questions we’ve seen.

  • Do I have to store all of my photos in the Adobe Cloud and pay for all of that storage space in order to use Lightroom CC?
  • Will Lightroom Classic CC (or Lightroom 6) be updated any further?
  • What will happen when I need to update my operating system and Lightroom 6 no longer works?
  • When will they add more features such as HDR, pano, print, etc to Lightroom CC, will it ever match what I can do in Lightroom Classic CC?
  • Will there ever be a perpetual licensed version of Lightroom again?
  • How does one migrate current Lightroom catalogs from Lightroom Classic to the new Lightroom CC?
  • What happens to my photos if I use the new Lightroom CC and decide to cancel my Adobe subscription?

Know This About ON1
Our passion has always included three things—photography, building powerful photography apps, and taking care of our customers. We aren’t a giant corporation. We’re a small group of hard working individuals who care deeply about photography. We don’t have outside board members telling us how to run the business so they get the best return on their investment. From day one, we’ve been committed to doing it differently. Our company and our community are treated more like a family. The development of ON1 Photo RAW is completely based on what’s most important to our photography community.

The State of ON1 Photo RAW 2018
As you may or may not know, Photo RAW 2018 is currently available as a free public beta. We want every photographer out there to give it a test drive. We are actively improving each beta version as we drive towards the official release in a few weeks. Our goal with Photo RAW 2018 is to give photographers an integrated tool with accelerated photo management, precise photo development, hundreds of customizable photo effects, HDR, panos, masking and blending adjustments, layers, and much more – in one app.

We are getting closer to achieving this goal every day with the help of our community. As we drive towards the final release of Photo RAW 2018 we are committed to fixing as many issues reported by the community as possible before the final release goes out our door.

We also currently have a way for Lightroom customers to migrate to ON1 Photo RAW using a migration tool we developed. You can read more about that process here.

What’s Ahead for ON1 Photo RAW 2018
Here are some of the frustrating questions our customers ask all the time.

  • Why do I have to sign up for a subscription to edit my photos?
  • Why am I using two or three apps to edit my photos?
  • Why must I catalog my photos? What if I just want to browse to my photos? What if I want both?
  • Why do I need plug-ins to do special effects or HDR?
  • Why can’t all my edits be non-destructive?
  • Why can’t I choose the photos I keep in the cloud and choose the photos I keep on a hard drive? Why can’t I edit them the same way?
  • Why are some photo apps so hard to learn?

Ever had any of these questions run through your mind? As fellow photographers we feel your pain. The answer to these questions and others is how we see the future at ON1. In fact, many are answered in the upcoming release of ON1 Photo RAW.

Think of having a single app to manage and edit your photos with the power of Photoshop-like features in a seamless non-destructive workflow. A single solution from one company where you get to choose YOUR preferred cloud service and aren’t forced into a subscription model. A solution that let’s YOU be in control of where YOUR photos are stored and how to work with them. This is our vision. The ON1 vision for Photo RAW 2018 and beyond.

We have built a great new foundation for innovation. Our development pace will only be increasing over the next year. We will be solving new problems in the fastest and most elegant ways. Imagine the day when you can truly combine multiple raw photos into a single non-destructive, re-editable composite with powerful features you currently need Photoshop® to do. Imagine managing your photo collection and finding the right photo at your fingertips without having to add laborious metadata. It’s just the tip of the iceberg for what we are planning and developing. With your input, we will prioritize what is most important. More on that below.

As we look into the future, we are more excited than ever and will continue to be a completely transparent company. What we build and how we build it is for everyone to see through the ON1 Photo RAW Project. We will continue to share with the world the features and improvements we are working on and continue to solicit customer feedback through customer driven channels. With your continued support, we will do our best to provide the photography software you want and allow you to own it how you want for many years to come.

Our Promise
We will never force you into a subscription only model and will always offer a perpetual license of our software. Don’t forget this. When you purchase ON1 Photo RAW 2018 you receive a perpetual license. That means the day you purchase ON1, you own it forever. No subscription. We are also cross platform (Mac and Windows) and allow you to install the app on up to five computers. Even with ON1 Plus (our membership offering that includes the software) you will always own the software – even if you choose not to renew your membership. We will always stand behind our products and if you ever feel you have not received the full value from ON1, contact us and we will make it right. We will continue to build the products and features YOU want and you can always let your voice be heard through the ON1 Photo RAW Project.

Thanks for reading. Also make sure to check out some of the following resources.

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