Which Lightroom?

I bought a maintenance plan along with my laptop. I didn’t know that I had done this, but apparently, it was a perk of the purchase. I’m always wary of maintenance plans, but this one seems to have paid off. So far, anyway.
I spent 75 minutes on the phone to Ron in the Philippines yesterday, and we decided that before sending someone out to fix my continuing connectivity problems, a full factory reset was required.
I’ve never reset a computer before. Phones, sure. My router, often. But never a computer.
It’s worryingly easy to do. (Although, to be honest, you’re very unlikely to slip and fall on your keyboard and reset your PC, so don’t panic.)

Last night, I began the process of reinstalling stuff. And first on my list was Lightroom.

But which Lightroom?

I don’t recall there being two Lightrooms when I installed it just a few weeks ago. Suddenly there’s Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC (which is the new name for Lightroom CC).

I looked at several websites which attempted to explain the difference to me, but they didn’t do it very well. I was still completely lost.

Thankfully, there’s a new voice in town (for me, at least) when I need to find out about all thing photography. Step forward Peter McKinnon. Popping onto his youtube channel, I was delighted to see this offering:

Sadly, I was less impressed when he actually started speaking:

I want to talk about Lightroom versus Lightroom. The new version versus the… the new version versus the old version which is the new version. It’s confusing. It’s super confusing. I was confused when I was sitting in the audience at Adobe Max while they were trying to explain it to me.


Fortunately, he does manage to elucidate on the differences between the two, and fortunately, it seems like I had (somewhat inadvertently) picked the right one to download and install (which is good, because these aren’t small programs and the internet in South Africa isn’t as fast as yours).

Basically it comes down to whether you want your photos on the cloud, and therefore being available to edit available wherever, whenever and on any device (in which case, Lightroom CC); or if you prefer “old skool” desktop and hard drive editing and storage (in which case Lightroom Classic CC). There are a few other small technical differences, but that cloud vs desktop is the main thing and should be the basis for your decision. I prefer the latter, but given the speed of the internet and price of data in SA, it’s kind of academic anyway.

I only lost a few recently added files when I reset my machine (always back up, folks!), but only one major thing. And I’m fairly sure that I can redo that anyway. On the plus side, the reset seems to have sorted the connection problem (touch wood) and there’s the excitement of having a brand new laptop again – even though it’s actually really just the old laptop rebranded as Laptop Classic CC.

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