Adobe Photography Plans
These days, there are two kinds of Lightroom:
Lightroom Classic is the latest version of that traditional folder-based Lightroom for Windows/Mac, which stores your photos on your hard drive. It’s available as part of the Photography Plan subscription along with Photoshop, and it’s updated regularly throughout the year. It looks like this:
Lightroom is the cloud-native family of Lightroom apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Web. It stores your photos in the cloud so they can be accessed from all of your devices. It’s available as part of the Photography Plan subscription (only 20GB of cloud space) or as a Lightroom subscription (with 1TB of cloud space). It’s a newer program, so it doesn’t have all of Lightroom Classic’s features, but it’s easier to learn. It looks like this:
If you’re not sure which version will be best for you, there’s a feature comparison here.
What does the Photography Plan subscription include?
The Photography Plan subscription includes:
- Lightroom Classic for Windows and macOS
- Lightroom for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Web
- Photoshop for Windows and macOS
- 20GB cloud storage space (also available with 1TB storage)
- You can have it installed on as many computers as you like, but it can only be activated on 2 computers (and up to 10 mobile devices) at a time.
What does the Lightroom 1TB subscription include?
If you don’t need Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, you may prefer the Lightroom (1Tb) subscription. It’s the same price but has loads of cloud storage space for a cloud-centric workflow. It includes:
- Lightroom for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Web
- 1TB of cloud storage space
- You can have it installed on as many computers as you like, and it can be activated on 5 computers and up to 10 mobile devices at a time.
Buying on Subscription
Lightroom Classic and Lightroom (Cloud service) are only available as a monthly/yearly subscription, but in return, you always have the very latest features without having to wait for Adobe to release a paid upgrade.
Some people are concerned about being locked into a subscription forever, but it’s only a year’s commitment and you can move on to other software if you find it’s not the right choice for you. Even if your photos are stored in the Lightroom cloud, they can be downloaded to your computer to use with other software. There’s also a trial version so you can try before you buy.
Others are concerned that Adobe will hike the prices once everyone’s locked in, but it’s been $9.99 a month since Adobe released the photography bundle in 2013. There have been a few regional variations for differences in local taxes and currency exchange rates, however these have caused prices in some regions to go down as well as up. There’s no question, the price will have to increase someday, but let’s be honest, if the increases are unreasonable, everyone would just jump ship.
Do I have to be online all the time to use Lightroom Classic or Lightroom (Cloud service)?
You don’t need constant internet access to use either version, but you do briefly need internet access to activate them.
They also “phone 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).
Of course, syncing photos to the cloud does need internet access, but that’s only really necessary for the cloud-based version, and it will catch up later if you’re offline for a while.
What happens to my photos if I cancel my subscription?
Don’t worry, we have all the information for you here, so you have nothing to fear!
I’m still on Lightroom 6 (or earlier), how do I upgrade to Lightroom Classic?
We keep adding to our “What’s new in Lightroom Classic since Lightroom 6” post, as the number of new features is huge! If you scroll to the end of that post, there’s step by step instructions on the upgrade process too.
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