VersusLightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: which one is right for you?

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: which one is right for you?

Lightroom Classic has advanced editing tools for photos, while Lightroom CC focuses on cloud storage and ease of use.

There was only Lightroom once upon a time. But since Adobe switched to cloud-based and subscription-based services, there are two versions of Lightroom that are still supported: Lightroom Classic and Lightroom (which used to be called Lightroom CC, where CC stands for “creative cloud”). Most photographers use Lightroom Classic, which can only be used on a desktop. Lightroom, on the other hand, can be used on any device and saves your original Raws in Adobe’s cloud.

Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC are both pieces of software made by Adobe that can be used to organise and edit digital pictures. They have some things in common, but they are also very different in important ways. Lightroom Classic is a PC programme that lets you edit and organise photos in great detail. It uses a file-based cataloguing system. Lightroom CC is a cloud-based service that makes it easy to edit and organise photos on multiple devices. It syncs automatically and makes it easy to share.

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: Pricing

With Adobe’s shooting package, which also includes Photoshop, Lightroom Classic costs $19.99 per month. This package now comes with Lightroom as well. If you don’t need Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, you can get just Lightroom and 1TB of cloud storage for $10 per month. And 1TB may not be enough for what you want to do. Even if professional photographers find Lightroom to be a useful tool, I don’t think they’ll host their entire library on it. Instead, I think it’s meant for hosting content that you plan to take, edit, or export on your phone.

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC Comparison table

The changes between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC are shown in the table. Lightroom Classic has advanced editing tools and local storage, while Lightroom CC is focused on editing in the cloud and making it easy to switch between devices so that editing can be done in more ways.

FeatureLightroom ClassicLightroom
 Options upon import Same as in prior Lightroom releases Limited; only “Add to album”
 Organize with folders Yes No
 Organize with collections Yes Yes, but called albums
 Rename photos Yes No
 Artificial intelligence keywording No Yes
 Color labels Yes No
 “Basic” panel adjustments Yes Yes, in a different order than usual
 Tone curve adjustmentsYesYes
 HSL panel adjustments Yes Yes
 Camera calibration panel Yes No
 Adjustment history Yes No
 Soft proofing Yes No
 Compare, survey, and reference views Yes No
 Healing tool Yes Yes
 Merge HDRsYesOnly in desktop
 Merge panoramas YesOnly in desktop
 Edit full-resolution images on mobile devices No Yes
 Book, web, and slideshow modules Yes No
 Edits on one device instantly sync to others Yes, but only smart previews and Lightroom mobile Yes
 Create snapshots Yes No
 Create actual copies Yes No
 Sync settings Yes No
 Color and tonal adjustments on video No Yes
 Can be split into multiple catalogs Yes No
 Edit unlimited photos without extra cost Yes No — 1TB storage limit before price increase
 Secondary screen Yes No
 Export file types JPEG, TIFF, DNG, PSD, Original JPEG, TIFF, DNG, PSD, Original
 Export color space sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto
 Price $19.99 per month with Photoshop and 1TB cloud storage $9.99 per month with 1TB cloud storage

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: Image Storage

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC

The manner in which you save your photographs is the primary distinction between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom (formerly known as Lightroom CC). Photos are saved to the cloud when using Lightroom. Lightroom will upload a new batch of photographs to the internet whenever you import a new batch of photos.

From any device that is connected to your account, you have access to the full versions of your photographs. You can keep all of your imported photographs stored locally on the hard disc of your computer when you use Lightroom Classic. However, you still have the ability to synchronise specific Galleries with mobile devices by using Creative Cloud.

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: Editing

Lightroom CC started out as a simplified version of Lightroom Classic. Now, newer versions are almost as good as Classic when it comes to editing. Lightroom CC got the HSL panel, split colouring, and tone curves in the February 2019 update. It also got the ability to do Panorama, HDR, and HDR Panorama. All of these were very important. Still, Lightroom Classic is the first to get some of the tools for making changes. For example, colour and luminance masks were added to Lightroom CC after it was first released.

But this gap is also getting smaller. In April 2023, Lightroom Classic v.12.3 and Lightroom CC v.6.3 on Desktop and v.8.3.1 on Mobile got the AI-powered Denoise and Clothes – Facial Hair masks inside People Masks. Smart Previews can be used in both versions, which means you can save a tonne of room on your hard drive or in the cloud.

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: Photo Organization

Lightroom Classic is made up of modules. Advanced digital asset management (DAM) is what the Library part is for. Folders, albums, and tags can be used to organise your photos. You can also stack pictures and make virtual copies of them. Lightroom (formerly Lightroom CC) doesn’t have a Library module.

Instead, you organise and edit your pictures all from the same screen. Even though I like this way of doing things, it makes it hard to organise photos. You can organise photos in Lightroom using virtual albums, and the programme uses artificial intelligence (AI) a lot to try to figure out what’s in your pictures and tag them automatically.

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: Importing and Exporting

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC

Importing and exporting is a big difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic when it comes to how they work. Lightroom Classic has a lot of ways to load and export. During the import process, you can save to an external hard drive, use presets, leave out some photos and folders, etc. Classic also has several export choices, such as file type, ppi, opening the exported file in another programme, etc. On the other hand, Lightroom CC is still very simple when it comes to both importing and exporting. In CC, there aren’t many choices for importing.

For example, you can’t use presets or keywords when importing. At first, when you exported a picture, you couldn’t even choose what file type it exported as. Now, Lightroom CC has more choices, but not as many as Lightroom Classic. There’s also no way to print. Also, the app version of Lightroom CC can quickly upload photos taken on your phone to your Lightroom cloud storage, and you can search, filter, and tag your photos. This is great for people who like to take pictures with their phones, but not for the rest of us.

Mobile Editing and Syncing Features

Key differences between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC are the ability to update and sync photos on mobile devices. Lightroom Classic is mostly for desktop workflows and has few editing choices for mobile devices. Lightroom CC, on the other hand, shines in how well it works with mobile devices. With the Lightroom CC app, users can edit, organise, and sync their photos across all of their devices. This makes sure that editing photos on phones, tablets, and computers is the same.

This synchronisation goes all the way up to the cloud, making it easy to get to photos you’ve changed on any device. The mobile-friendly layout of Lightroom CC lets users make changes while they’re on the go. This creates a flexible and integrated editing process that fits well with the changing needs of photography today.

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: Plugins Support

One of the best things about Lightroom compared to other programmes is that it can use apps. With the plugins, you can install third-party add-ons that make Lightroom more useful. The Lightroom Classic even has a place where you can manage all the plugins you have loaded. I use a lot of plugins for my photography, like SmugMug, Flicker, JPEGmini (for image compression), and a few that help me create presets. Lightroom does not work at all with apps. Even apps made by Adobe cannot be installed.

Choose Lightroom Classic if

you don’t have reliable access to a fast internet link

  1. You’re used to older versions of Lightroom (not Lightroom CC); and you want to keep your workflow.
  2. You want all of the powerful tools that come with Lightroom Classic
  3. You want to have full control over where your things are kept, how they are backed up, etc.
  4. You work mostly on your desktop or laptop you work with a lot of pictures and don’t want to pay for cloud storage
  5. You print pictures often or make slideshows
  6. You use Smart Collections often
  7. You need Using geotagging

Choose Lightroom CC if

  1. You’re a casual photographer or mobile photographer who just needs good editing tools
  2. You prefer to store your pictures in the cloud
  3. You want your work to be synced to the cloud you want your images to be available on a variety of devices
  4. You’re new to Lightroom and don’t want a steep learning curve
  5. You don’t want to think much about storing, organising, or backing up your files.
  6. You need CC’s AI object search or face recognition
  7. You want to use the Discover and Learn tools.

Lightroom Classic: Pros and Cons


  • You keep the original raw files on your PC, so you don’t have to depend on how fast the cloud is.
  • Lightroom CC has more powerful tools than those.
  • More ways to send, including the ability to use custom watermarks.


  • Lightroom Classic is harder to learn for beginner photographers

Lightroom CC: Pros and Cons


  • Beginners will find it easier to learn because it is organised more simply and has learning tools built in.
  • Save source files and changes to them automatically to the cloud.
  • You can use it on a mobile device, a phone, a computer, or a laptop.


  • Having your computer automatically save to the cloud as you work will slow it down.
  • At some point, you might start using Lightroom Classic. It takes more time to learn CC first than to learn Classic.

Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC: which one should you consider?

The main goals of Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC are very different, so the best programme for one shooter might not be the best programme for another. Lightroom CC is great for shooters who want to edit their photos anywhere, and it has up to 1TB of storage so that both the original files and the edited versions can be backed up. It also has a user interface that is easier to use.

But when it comes to tools, Lightroom Classic is still the best. Lightroom Classic also lets you change more of the settings for how you load and export photos.


Is Lightroom Classic better than Lightroom CC?

Lightroom CC is a smaller form of Lightroom Classic, so it doesn’t have all the same features. Fewer ways to sell and import. Having your computer automatically save to the cloud as you work will slow it down. At some point, you might start using Lightroom Classic.

Can you use Lightroom Classic and CC?

Both Lightroom CC and Lightroom CC Classic should be used. When used together properly, you can FINALLY sync and edit your photos ANYWHERE, even on your mobile devices.

James Hogan
James Hogan
James Hogan is a notable content writer recognized for his contributions to Bollyinside, where he excels in crafting informative comparison-based articles on topics like laptops, phones, and software. When he's not writing, James enjoys immersing himself in football matches and exploring the digital realm. His curiosity about the ever-evolving tech landscape drives his continuous quest for knowledge, ensuring his content remains fresh and relevant.
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