Adobe offers two versions of Lightroom: Lightroom (CC) and Lightroom Classic. Each version caters to different user preferences and workflows, so let’s explore their key differences and similarities.

What is Lightroom (CC)?

Lightroom (CC) is a cloud-based photo editing and management service that allows users to edit, organize, store, and share their photos across devices seamlessly. It emphasizes a simplified interface and connectivity through Adobe Creative Cloud.

What is Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom Classic is the traditional desktop-focused version of Lightroom, designed for photographers who prefer a more robust feature set, extensive editing capabilities, and a local storage workflow without heavy reliance on cloud storage.

Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic: Features

  1. Editing Tools:
  • Lightroom (CC): Focuses on essential editing tools with a streamlined interface suitable for beginners and enthusiasts.
  • Lightroom Classic: Offers a comprehensive range of editing tools, presets, and advanced features like HDR merge and panorama stitching.
  1. Cloud Integration:
  • Lightroom (CC): Stores photos and edits in the cloud, allowing for seamless synchronization across devices and access to edits from anywhere.
  • Lightroom Classic: Primarily stores photos locally on your computer with the option to sync collections to the cloud for sharing and mobile access.

Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic: Interface

  1. User Interface:
  • Lightroom (CC): Features a simplified and intuitive interface with a focus on easy navigation and accessibility across devices.
  • Lightroom Classic: Retains a more traditional interface similar to earlier versions of Lightroom, optimized for desktop use with a panel-based layout.

Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic: Performance

  1. Performance:
  • Lightroom (CC): Benefits from cloud-based processing, which can accelerate editing tasks and reduce reliance on local hardware performance.
  • Lightroom Classic: Relies on local hardware resources, offering robust performance for intensive editing tasks but may vary based on computer specifications.

Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic: Mobile Workflow

  1. Mobile Editing:
  • Lightroom (CC): Designed for seamless mobile editing with synchronization of edits across desktop, web, and mobile platforms.
  • Lightroom Classic: Offers limited mobile editing capabilities through Lightroom Mobile, primarily used for syncing collections and accessing previews.

Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic: My Recommendation

Choosing between Lightroom (CC) and Lightroom Classic depends on your specific needs:

  • Lightroom (CC) is ideal for users who value cloud storage, cross-device synchronization, and a simplified editing interface.
  • Lightroom Classic suits photographers who require advanced editing tools, local storage, and precise control over their workflow without heavy reliance on cloud services.


Q: Which version is better, Lightroom (CC) or Lightroom Classic?
A: It depends on your workflow preferences. Lightroom (CC) offers cloud convenience and mobile editing, while Lightroom Classic provides more extensive editing tools and local storage options.

Q: Can I switch between Lightroom (CC) and Lightroom Classic?
A: Yes, you can use both versions simultaneously or switch between them based on your editing needs. They can also work together through Adobe Creative Cloud syncing.

Q: Do both versions support RAW file editing?
A: Yes, both Lightroom (CC) and Lightroom Classic support RAW file editing, allowing for non-destructive adjustments to RAW image data.

Q: Is Lightroom (CC) included in Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions?
A: Yes, Lightroom (CC) is included in Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plans, along with Photoshop and other Adobe apps.

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