Last week, Lightroom CC/6 got off to a slightly bumpy start, with some installation failures and hidden purchase buttons, but the dust is settling.
Adobe have just released a minor dot update (6.0.1) to address the two biggest problems – the Help menu command and shortcut went to a page that didn’t exist (now fixed) and some people were crashing on launch. Oooops! Choose Help menu > Updates within Lightroom, or click Update from the Creative Cloud desktop application. (If you’re an early downloader, you may need to restart the CC Desktop application for update to show.)
There have also been some frequent questions that it’s time to address, so let’s stick with my standard FAQ format…
Why is it slower when it was supposed to be faster?
To quote Eric Chan, “LR runs a self-diagnostic test of the GPU during startup, to make sure that the hardware has enough resources, and also that it can render an image correctly using the Lightroom imaging pipeline. Even if the hardware and software driver reports that OpenGL 3.3 is supported, this self-diagnostic test is used to double-check that the GPU can actually be used for processing images in Lr. If this step fails, then Lr will automatically disable the GPU support.” You can read an official tech note on the GPU functionality.
Even if your graphics card passes that test, it doesn’t mean it’ll perform well. Your graphics card may be too underpowered to see any benefits, or there may be driver incompatibilities (they’re working on some AMD issues). There are two things you can do if you’re seeing performance problems or crashes:
- Check the graphic card manufacturer’s own website for a more recent driver.
- Go to Preferences > Performance tab and uncheck Use Graphics Processor to see if you’re happier with the performance.
Is there a Lightroom 6 trial?
Yes (click here for the trial), however it’s labelled as a Lightroom CC trial. It’s almost the same – the CC trial just has a couple of additional features that will disappear when licensed with a perpetual license (Dehaze, plus Whites and Blacks in local adjustments). If you buy a perpetual (non-subscription) license, you can just enter your serial number and the branding magically changes from Lightroom CC to Lightroom 6.
Can I still buy a discounted upgrade?
Yes, but it’s well hidden!!
Click here. If you’re not in the US, change your country in the bottom left corner. Click the Buy link next to Lightroom, then it’ll show the pop-ups, so you can change Full to Upgrade. Then you can select your current LR version and checkout. Double-check the pricing again as you check out.
Some people are reporting they must first sign out of their Adobe account, and others are reporting seeing an Edit button before you change from Full to Upgrade. It seems to vary by country.
Will I still get free updates if I don’t subscribe to the Creative Cloud?
There’s been a lot of misinformation about the differences between the perpetual (traditional) license and the Creative Cloud subscription, so in short:
At this point in time, Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 are identical, except CC subscribers have access to mobile/web sync and Photoshop too. In the future, they could diverge. Lightroom 6 will continue to get bug fixes and new cameras until the next big release, just as it always has. There is a possibility that additional features may be added to the CC (subscription) version that can’t be added to the normal LR6 license until a future major release (e.g., LR7). If they add new features, it’s likely to be around mobile/sync, as has been the case since LR 5.4, but no one knows for sure yet.
- As of 6.1, we have an answer. The CC subscribers are getting new features in dot releases, which aren’t available for perpetual customers. The new features added in CC 2015.1 are Dehaze plus Whites and Blacks in local adjustments. We have no further information on what else might be added in future.
When I install Lightroom CC or Lightroom 6, does my previous Lightroom version get uninstalled?
No, you can uninstall it when you’re ready to do so.
Do I have to be online all the time?
No. You briefly need internet access to activate Lightroom. If you’re a CC subscriber, it ‘phones home’ now and again to check your subscription status, but you can be offline for up to 99 days before it reverts to a limited mode (no Develop, Map or Sync). If you have a perpetual license, Lightroom remains activated until you deactivate it.
If I go for the subscription now and later cancel, do I lose all my work or access to my photos?
No! In July 2014, Adobe announced a big change. If your trial or subscription expires, most of Lightroom continues working. Only the Develop module, Map module and Sync stop working, so you can still access and output all of the work you’ve already done.
I have a perpetual license – so why is there a CC app?
Even if you install Lightroom 6 perpetual version, the Creative Cloud desktop application is automatically installed. That’s simply because it’s used to manage Adobe products. If you don’t like it, you can uninstall it (but I’d keep it just in case you need it for other Adobe apps). It’s not spyware or anything suspect!
I have a CC subscription AND a perpetual license – why can’t I enter my serial number?
When you sign in with your Adobe ID, Lightroom looks for an active subscription on your account, and if it exists, that license takes priority. If it doesn’t exist, Lightroom asks you to enter your serial number to use that instead. There’s no disadvantage to using the CC license until/if/when you decide to stop your subscription, so there’s no reason for concern. Just keep your serial number safe.
What do I do if I find a bug?
Of course there are still some other smaller bugs to be worked out… if you think you’ve found one, report it at the Official Feature Request/Bug Report Forum at http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family