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Is Lightroom Classic end-of-life?

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Lots of people are expressing concerns about Lightroom being "on the way out". I've been mulling it over, and I'd love to get your thoughts on this logic (and to be clear, I don't have inside information in this)

Is Lightroom dying?

Since Wednesday's announcements, one of the main questions on everyone's minds is whether Lightroom (as we know it) is dying.

Adobe says it's not, but they also said they had no plans to remove perpetual licenses too, so can we believe them? I don't know what Adobe is planning, and none of us can foresee the future, but we can consider a little logic...

Firstly, what's causing the concerns?


Adobe released Lightroom CC

Yes, Lightroom now has a little baby brother. But Photoshop's had a baby brother for years without getting killed off, so that doesn't mean much.


They gave away Lightroom's name

That's more telling. They clearly see the new app as the future of Lightroom. But like any newborn baby, its current state gives few clues about how it will turn out when it grows up.


They called 'the old one' Classic

Some say that sounds like it's old and in its way out. Others think it's the dictionary definition of "of recognized and established value" or "traditional". The obvious solution would be to call it Pro, but that would suggest the new baby Lightroom wouldn't be suitable for Pros when it grows up. The fact they avoided that suggests they plan on making the new Lightroom CC suitable for pro workflows in future too. That's reassuring.


Classic didn't get many new features

It's true, it didn't get a long list of features. On the other hand, Lightroom users have been begging for performance improvements and bug fixes for years. They start working on these issues and now we're complaining? And why bother to work on these issues if they're planning to kill it off soon?


Learn from history

I can't foresee the future, although it would be a handy skill. We can, however, learn from what they've done in the past. Let's take Photoshop as an example. They announced that future versions would only be available on subscription, but they kept selling the perpetual license. Once the vast majority of users had moved to subscription, they then killed off perpetual. They've just done the same with Lightroom.


What can we learn from this? Adobe makes some weird decisions at times, but they are good at making money. They don't kill off a profitable part of their business until most customers have moved over to a new offering.


How does that help? Ok, let's assume that they're eventually going to kill off Lightroom Classic. History would suggest they wouldn't do that until they have a viable alternative for the majority of their customers. Not all, but most.


Now let's imagine that alternative-in-waiting is the new baby Lightroom CC app, all grown up. There are currently some major limitations that make it impossible for most users to migrate:

  • It's lacking important features. That'll take time to develop, and they're looking to the community to learn which features are most important.
  • It requires fast internet. Either the majority of the world needs superfast internet, which would take a long time, or they need some kind of selective sync, or local network sync, or...?
  • You don't want some or any of your photos stored in the cloud, either for privacy or space reasons. Ok, selective sync again? Some kind of local storage only switch?

Once they've addressed those issues - and no doubt a few more besides - then potentially Lightroom CC could have tempted most of Lightroom's users, and they could be in a position to kill of Lightroom Classic.


But that couldn't happen overnight, so how long would it take? I don't know, but that same time span also gives other companies time to develop other applications.


My point? Even if we assume that Lightroom is on death row, there's no rush to make a decision about what's next. So many things can change in that time. Lightroom CC may grow up to be even better than Lightroom Classic (they must have learned a few lessons along the way!!) or another company may bring out a new superduper competitor.


I'm not saying that is or isn't going to happen - I don't know the future any more than you do - but even if we look at a worst case scenario of our beloved Lightroom being killed off someday, logically there's no reason to panic anytime soon.
 
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What enlarger you are going to use? And what film/developer combi? and what paper? :)
Those choices have changed less in the last quarter century than LR has in less than 10. I am sure I can figure it out without having to pay a subscription or turning over my images to somebody to place invisible tags without my consent. Care to join me? ;)

--Ken
 
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Hmmm, not sure. However, i do have saved all my equipment so i can start tomorow (if i can get the chemicals on time)
Well, you either have more room for storage or were smarter than me. When I sold most of my equipment, I think that I got paid about 10 cents on the dollar. It was a sad day, as much of the equipment was relatively new and lightly used. I do still have the CRT I purchased when I first set up my digital darkroom. Can I call it "Classic" and see if anybody is interested in buying it, no subscription required. :D

--Ken
 

PhilBurton

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What enlarger you are going to use? And what film/developer combi? and what paper? :)
I have an Omega B22 with Nikon enlarging lens, if you are interested. :D
 

rob211

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In terms of organization, I find the issue of finding stuff the most critical. I can enter IPTC data and put stuff in folders and such, with say exiftool, or Photo Mechanic.

But finding it when it comes time to adjust the images, and to do that in batches, is much tougher without an Lr type product.

At work we were required to find lots of related documents, like PDF and Word docs, to keep together and use. In some ways that's easier, since you sometimes don't have to look at them in the way you do a photo. A text search suffices. Our favorite tool was Devonthink Pro (Mac), which is in some ways a DAM for any file, just without parametric editing. I could actually use that again for images, since it can index/reference them. It can find exif and IPTC. What it lacks are better ways to view images, but it would satisfy some requirements. And it would be nice if it could edit IPTC, esp keywords.

Graphic Converter (macOS) has a good browser and great stuff for entering data and metadata work, but is also kinda meh at finding stuff.

Plain old Mac Spotlight searches (especially with a better interface like Houdah Spot) can find IPTC, and with saved searches and smart folders one can find lots as well.

But still...nowhere near as convenient as Classic. And that's even before we get to the publishing options, and exporting.

But if Lr Classic goes to Lr Retro and then Lr Kaput we'll always have poor, neglected Bridge....
 

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I guess I'm really naïve. I've watched Julienne Kost Video on YouTube where she explains the difference between the two new Lightroom programs and expresses Adobe's commitment to continued development of both versions. Anyone who has looked at the new Lightroom CC knows that there is a lot missing as far as develop tools are concerned right now. I believe that if Adobe expects us to accept Lightroom CC (the new one) as a serious tool it's going to have to evolve into something a lot more powerful than it is right now. So why panic? Let's let Adobe do it's thing and develop and enhance this new idea and see where it goes. In the meantime we have Lightroom CC Classic. Nobody has to make any decision right now. Nobody has to jump ship right now. There doesn't have to be an ongoing day after day debate on what Adobe is going to do and what we are going to do. At least I'm not going to get involved in it anymore. What does it accomplish? I don't know any more today about what the future will hold than I did when Lightroom CC Classic was introduced last week. Do any of you? Lightroom CC Classic is working fine on my computer. I don't need to sit here wringing my hands and wondering about what to do next when I've got a program that is functioning just fine. This whole debate has just become absurdly ridiculous, in my opinion.
 

Hoggy

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I guess I'm really naïve. I've watched Julienne Kost Video on YouTube where she explains the difference between the two new Lightroom programs and expresses Adobe's commitment to continued development of both versions. Anyone who has looked at the new Lightroom CC knows that there is a lot missing as far as develop tools are concerned right now. I believe that if Adobe expects us to accept Lightroom CC (the new one) as a serious tool it's going to have to evolve into something a lot more powerful than it is right now. So why panic? Let's let Adobe do it's thing and develop and enhance this new idea and see where it goes. In the meantime we have Lightroom CC Classic. Nobody has to make any decision right now. Nobody has to jump ship right now. There doesn't have to be an ongoing day after day debate on what Adobe is going to do and what we are going to do. At least I'm not going to get involved in it anymore. What does it accomplish? I don't know any more today about what the future will hold than I did when Lightroom CC Classic was introduced last week. Do any of you? Lightroom CC Classic is working fine on my computer. I don't need to sit here wringing my hands and wondering about what to do next when I've got a program that is functioning just fine. This whole debate has just become absurdly ridiculous, in my opinion.

This is the complacency, "eh, well, what are ya gonna do", stage that Adobe is counting on during its herding practices.

By everybody raising a continual stink about it, there is hope of changing/keeping its progress in the right direction for our various needs... Look at he import dialog fiasco.. We all changed its direction by doing so.

The reason it can be frightening is that photographs represent continuity in peoples lives, so we're naturally concerned when that continuity could be tampered with. I don't want to switch to a new dam system when it would entail writing out thousands of massive tiff files in order to go go with, say, C1 or ON1.

While it's true that edits were hard to do in the analog era.. Digital is not going away, so therefore digital brings the advent that our prior edits can always be easily adjusted - again, without writing out massive tiff files.
And therefore it's why I also argue that a fully-functioning, perpetual 'escape clause' be available to those that may not always need 'the latest and greatest' features by perpetually subscribing for the rest of their lives.
For those that say "but hardware and software changes", there will always be virtual machines. It may or may not run faster, but at least such a person could use one to run a perpetual version, if they don't need the latest and greatest all the time.

For myself at least, I don't choose to take a 'defeatist' type of attitude toward all of this.. Whether it be proved fruitful or not. :unsure: But we have all changed Adobe's multi-billion dollar minds before, in their feverish quest for their Almighty dollar. :humble:
 
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Anyone who has looked at the new Lightroom CC knows that there is a lot missing as far as develop tools are concerned right now. I believe that if Adobe expects us to accept Lightroom CC (the new one) as a serious tool it's going to have to evolve into something a lot more powerful than it is right now.
That is probably a pretty fair assessment. I see that Adobe made 3 mistakes and these together compounded into the fiasco that Adobe is trying to deal with.
  1. Mistake Number 1 was to announce the end of the perpetual license concurrent with the release of the new product. If that announcement was made 6 months ago. No one would have beed surprised. everyone was expecting this. And those grumblers that swear they will never be a subscriber would have been reasonably isolated from those complaining about the state of LRs future.
  2. Introducing the Cloud only version of Lightroom CC (V1.0) as the future AND implying that it was complete and all that anyone would need. Even though that most of the functionality needed by many serious photographers is currently missing.
  3. Introducing LR7 as an after thought, renaming it, poorly promoting it and inferring by the name that it too is destined to soon be sunseted like the perpetual license that was just killed off.
If these three events were introduced separately, Adobe would not be receiving the negative press that it is currently getting.
 
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Reemerging:

Reading. Interested. Thoughtful.
but
not dismayed.

As Tom has asked, time is needed here. Exodus and panic serve no one.
 

JimHess43

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I also believe that another big mistake Adobe made with the introduction of Lightroom 6 was trying to combine the Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 in one installer and use one Creative Cloud application manager to try to manage both programs. They should have made Lightroom 6 truly a stand-alone program, completely isolated from Lightroom CC. Then we wouldn't have had complaints on the Adobe forums like, "I paid for the full program, so I should have all of the features." That issue came up every time a new feature was introduced in Lightroom CC. And update time was always a nightmare. It probably will continue to be.
 
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Welcome to the years before Aperture and Lightroom when each of us tried to string together a "workflow" from whatever apps you felt you needed, came across first, or could afford. They rarely looked similar, because back then developers couldn't just make Lightroom lookalikes. One app would usually talk pretty well to the next one, though you'd spend as much time figuring out important bits that didn't come across properly, like colour labels or ratings or accented characters. Your adjustments didn't show up in your cataloguing app - unless you used Nikon Capture or had adopted DNG - and printing or outputting more than one file at a time.... well, some of us managed. And of course, all these apps weren't cheap - this was a world where Photoshop's pricing set the standard. There's a reason why Aperture and Lightroom were so welcome!

John

I just trawled through one of my backup drives, looking for a file I am certain must be there - I would not have deleted it under any circumstances... I think...

I bought my first DSLR (a Nikon D200) in April 2006. Before that I used my Pentax SLR and a Nikon Coolpix. In May 2006 I bought a license for IView Media Pro 3 (I believe I would have been using Nikon NX for RAW conversion). I also starting using a whole bunch of scripts from a guy with the name of John Beardsworth about two weeks later...For some reason, the name sounds vaguely familiar, @johnbeardy :) I can't remember if I ever paid for those... if not, please let me know how much I owe you! :oops:

Christelle
 
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All were free, Christelle, and I still get a few support requests for stuff from that period. I just can't hide with my surname!

John
 

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Clearly Lightroom Classic is not dead. It's already had it's first update! :rofl:

Nah, that is more of a installation fix combined with other items they forgot...

Tim
 

tspear

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I guess I'm really naïve. I've watched Julienne Kost Video on YouTube where she explains the difference between the two new Lightroom programs and expresses Adobe's commitment to continued development of both versions. Anyone who has looked at the new Lightroom CC knows that there is a lot missing as far as develop tools are concerned right now. I believe that if Adobe expects us to accept Lightroom CC (the new one) as a serious tool it's going to have to evolve into something a lot more powerful than it is right now. So why panic? Let's let Adobe do it's thing and develop and enhance this new idea and see where it goes. In the meantime we have Lightroom CC Classic. Nobody has to make any decision right now. Nobody has to jump ship right now. There doesn't have to be an ongoing day after day debate on what Adobe is going to do and what we are going to do. At least I'm not going to get involved in it anymore. What does it accomplish? I don't know any more today about what the future will hold than I did when Lightroom CC Classic was introduced last week. Do any of you? Lightroom CC Classic is working fine on my computer. I don't need to sit here wringing my hands and wondering about what to do next when I've got a program that is functioning just fine. This whole debate has just become absurdly ridiculous, in my opinion.

So, you want to pay Adobe how much money to provide camera fixes and a few bug fixes while the majority of the revenue generated is used to justify the creation of a new application; for which you or may not have a use?
Not me. I would rather support a company which is going to develop stuff I actually use. I have paid for Lr subscription for four years, since 2013. Since that time, what functionality have I seen which I find useful? Lr 6 was released in 2015 and added facial recognition. Dehaze, and vertical alignment/transform. I am pretty sure that about covers it. I tried Lr web, and found it basically sucked at the time and further it has no place in my workflow. I do not use Lr mobile. I have no interest in Behenace, Folio... and all the other cloud stuff Adobe has been chasing.
I already hesitated to renew. In fact I let my subscription lapse in August; and was starting to search around for a replacement. Then work and life happened, I did not have time for a search. So I renewed in September.
Now, based on the marketing disaster of a release, and the massive focus which Adobe has telegraphed over the past three years starting Lr Web, Lr Mobile, Import Box redesign culminating in the recent Adobe Max. And that I should via what, hope and prayer think that Adobe is NOT going in a direction that I do not care for? Hence, why would I want to continue to pay them?
Basically, Adobe only continues to get my money for now because:
-- I was an idiot and did not buy the perpetual license back in 2013 and 2015.
-- I did not make the time to prepare to switch to another solution
-- I was lazy, and Adobe had already captured my data (develop edits) so I was effectively a captured market

I am not going to make the same mistake for the next renewal. If Adobe has not shown real commitment for the desktop solution, and also done some form of mea culpa and matched the action with the words. I am very doubtful I will renew at that point. Even if I have to cobble together a solution.


Tim
 

tspear

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Reemerging:

Reading. Interested. Thoughtful.
but
not dismayed.

As Tom has asked, time is needed here. Exodus and panic serve no one.

Rikk,

Sorry, but this was obvious. Adobe has made multiple moves toward the cloud and a dumbed down interface over the past three years. They have either been met with a yawn, a grown, or push back.
As for panic, you are correct for at least me. I have ten months till my current contract expires. But in terms of exodus; right now it is up to Adobe to earn my continued support. So far, Adobe has failed miserably in the value column for a subscription.
What really sucks, is I may be forced to pay Adobe for a perpetual license while still paying for the stupid subscription. I am not going to get a new camera for a few years, my current camera is sufficient. With my new computer, Lr 6 is fast enough to live with. So if I do not find an alternative, or I do not think I will be ready to switch away from Adobe within the remainder of my contract; I than need to start running the numbers....
What a pain in the rear this is. My younger brother convinced me the subscription was the way to go, mostly based on the fact Ps was included. I have opened Ps once or twice, but never used it. I just do not have the time/energy to get into it. That was a bad move on my part.

Tim
 

tspear

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Don't you have any sense of humor?

Generally yes. But I replied before my first cup of tea. (banging head on desk).
I really should only read the first hour or two...

Tim
 
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One thing I've learned living in an over-55 retirement community for a few years now: We old guys like nothing better than complaining, especially about something that requires accepting change, no matter how small!
 

PhilBurton

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This is the complacency, "eh, well, what are ya gonna do", stage that Adobe is counting on during its herding practices.

The reason it can be frightening is that photographs represent continuity in peoples lives, so we're naturally concerned when that continuity could be tampered with. I don't want to switch to a new dam system when it would entail writing out thousands of massive tiff files in order to go go with, say, C1 or ON1.
Yes, and "switching costs" are usually higher than anticipated, especially with the entire LR catalog.
And therefore it's why I also argue that a fully-functioning, perpetual 'escape clause' be available to those that may not always need 'the latest and greatest' features by perpetually subscribing for the rest of their lives.
That's a great idea. I wish Adobe would offer that, maybe only for "senior citizens." They would have to learn about actuarial tables, but it would provide peace of mind, including for heirs.
For those that say "but hardware and software changes", there will always be virtual machines. It may or may not run faster, but at least such a person could use one to run a perpetual version, if they don't need the latest and greatest all the time.
True enough but show of hands. How many people here know what a "virtual machine" is? Excluding the "IT types" like tspear, gnits, cletus, johnbeardy, etc.
For myself at least, I don't choose to take a 'defeatist' type of attitude toward all of this.. Whether it be proved fruitful or not. :unsure: But we have all changed Adobe's multi-billion dollar minds before, in their feverish quest for their Almighty dollar. :humble:
So true. No Adobe strategy is pre-ordained, not in face of events. The "perpetual forever" strategy got overturned. In the face of user resistance, competition or just very negative public relations, companies do have to adjust.

Phil
 

PhilBurton

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Reemerging:

Reading. Interested. Thoughtful.
but
not dismayed.

As Tom has asked, time is needed here. Exodus and panic serve no one.
Rikk,

Glad to see you back. It's not just time, it is statements of direction followed by actions that implement those statements. That combination will regain trust, and hopefully stem the potential losses.

Right now, Adobe has completely lost control over the "narrative" about Lightroom's future. And unless Adobe seriously re-engages, Adobe can't possibly regain some measure of control. And the "narrative" is very powerful in influencing people's behavior. The genie is out of the bottle, and no one can put it back, or behave like the genie is still in the bottle.

Phil
 
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How many people here know what a "virtual machine" is? Excluding the "IT types" like tspear, gnits, cletus, johnbeardy, etc.

At least I know this one... It's when you install buggy old programs or dodgy downloaded trials on your husband's PC (because it's virtually yours as well) rather than your own so that your laptop isn't fried if something goes wrong... :sneaky: :laugh:

I'm definitely not an IT type... A virtual machine could be a solution so that you can at least access the files. Your virtual environment may be limited by memory, though, so on a large catalogue I expect it to be excruciatingly slow. The Synology NAS can serve VMs - we have not tested it yet. I would probably just keep the old laptop with the perpetual license installed if it wouldn't run on the new laptop...
 
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One thing I've learned living in an over-55 retirement community for a few years now: We old guys like nothing better than complaining, especially about something that requires accepting change, no matter how small!
I've noticed this too. I try hard not to be one of those guys.
 

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How many people here know what a "virtual machine" is?
Phil
Isn't that what allows me to use my computer with a Linux OS and lets me use windows as an application. I can use products like adobe that don't play well with Linux and keep windows and everything it uses off the internet while I'm still on the internet? Alas, no subscription model works in this atmosphere.
 
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Isn't that what allows me to use my computer with a Linux OS and lets me use windows as an application. I can use products like adobe that don't play well with Linux and keep windows and everything it uses off the internet while I'm still on the internet? Alas, no subscription model works in this atmosphere.
Don't confuse WINE for a virtual machine WINE is an emulator that allows Window programs to run on LINUX with out a license for the Windows OS. A Virtual Machine allows you to install the Windows Operating System or LINUX or MacOS Inside your core OS. Once you have a full Windows environment you can install Adobe CC App Manager and any Photography Plan app in your license.
I use VMWare's Fusion for MacOS to Run Windows on my MacOS. I also have UBUNTU installed on a Virtual Machine on my Mac.
 
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