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Anyone moved from LR Classic to LR Cloud?

Mar 17, 2018
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic 10.0
Operating System
  1. macOS 11.0 Big Sur
I've been using LR Classic for a few years but my annual subscription is up for renewal soon so I'm thinking about alternatives.

I'm not a great fan of Classic. For my use its probably too powerful and the GUI is so ugly, I also find the fudged cloud sync annoying (and not 100% reliable).

My wife and I both take photos which I load and edit on my iMac. She likes to make books, calendars etc. from the photos and both of us like to show photos to friends on our iPads.

I'm thinking what I lose in functionality going from LR Classic to LR Cloud (for me) is not a big deal.

I can only see 2 issues - i) Cloud does not support JPEG+RAW, it just shows them as 2 separate photos; ii) we have c. 750 TB of photos, so getting near the point of having to pay for an additional TB (which is pricey at $10/month).

Anyone here made this move? Are there any other gotchas OR another eco-system that does every LR cloud does (access to photo library from PC, phone, tablet; synchronized edits; interfaces to 3rd parties like Blurb; camera app)?




Feb 1, 2020
Mammoth Lakes, CA, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
I'd recommend trying it out by syncing your entire catalog of photos from Classic to the cloud. This won't incur any cloud storage costs as every photo will sync as a smart preview that doesn't count against the 20 GB that comes with your Classic plan.

Then just use LR Cloudy on your iMac for a few weeks on those synced images (you already have a license for it as part of your Classic subscription). Just remember to use Classic for importing new images, or you'll use up your 20 GB plan fast.

Eventually ask yourself: Do you like it? Do you find the interface significantly different enough, or "not ugly" enough, to be worth incurring the time cost of switching programs and switching to a cloud-based storage system?

Some questions for you in the meantime, in response to your two issues:
  1. Why keep the JPG sidecars if you are shooting & editing in raw, while they are just hidden unused sidecar files in Classic? They're just wasting space, right?
  2. I'm guessing you meant you had 750 GB of photos, not 750 TB. Either way, that's a LOT of data to upload to the cloud. Based on your description the only benefit you get from storing them in the cloud is being able to occasionally show photos on your ipads to your friends. But you can do that now with syncing and Lr Classic... so, why bother with switching to the cloud at all? Also, don't you cull? Or select just the "best" images to put into a collection? It seems like you only need to show those "bests" to your friends, not your entire 750 GB of photos.
If all of this is motivated by you just looking for a fresher UI that isn't "so ugly" to use on your iMac... I don't know man. You may eventually realize Cloudy has prioritized form over function, and even worse, it's form is not actually that different from Classic. I get it, aesthetics are important, but there's nothing about Classic's UI that's wrong or sloppy or unprofessional, and I say that as someone with pretty high standards for GUIs. One of the reasons it hasn't changed much over the years is, quite frankly, it hasn't needed to. It gets the job done.

Regarding your last question, about other apps: The only possibility I can think of is Apple Photos with iCloud storage. That might work if you never really got into heavy editing of your images. Apple Photos also supports showing raw+JPG pairs as one photo, where you choose whether you're viewing the raw or JPG. It checks every box you listed, but you'd have to share iCloud accounts with your wife for her to access the photos on her devices, which is a huge headache and generally a big no-no.