Don’t Buy The Wrong Version of Lightroom…

Hi Gang, and happy Friday.

Above – that’s a short video I recorded after a photographer at my New York seminar last week came up and asked me a question about switching from Elements to Lightroom and he told me he had figured out which version of Lightroom to buy, and he asked me if I agreed with his logic.

I gave him a perspective he told me he had never considered, and then just today I got an email question from a photographer who already made that decision (he actually sent the question to me via Shutterbug magazine for my “Ask a Pro” Q&A column in each issue), and his question proved my point.

I don’t want you, or someone you know, to wind up buying the wrong version, so I made this short little video (2 min, 33 seconds) you can share.

Hope you find it helpful, and here’s wishing you a fantastic weekend! 🙂

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re into outdoor photography, check out this short little tutorial clip from Dave Black’s new online on creating Light-paintings while including the stars and the Milky Way. It definitely takes things up a notch. So cool! Here’s the link.

Author: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books. You can learn more about Scott at http://scottkelby.com

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37 Comments

  1. Thank you for the advice Scott… The only problem is that you are working very close to Adobe (You may be paid by them) so your advise is pro adobe ! The CC version is more expensive than the box version. Adobe does not care about the user thezy only want to make cash and shaw financial results according to theyre forecast.

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  2. Thanks for the advice, but this is just not for me.

    I’ve used Lightroom 3.3 since 2010 and it’s served me very well over the years. I haven’t felt a need to upgrade, and the idea of a monthly subscription is really off-putting.

    Now that I’ve got a new camera, I’m forced to upgrade to support the latest RAW formats. I researched my options and I’m glad that there’s still an option for a non-cloud version of Lightroom.

    Another helpful website revealed that there is a (well concealed) upgrade option for ~USD 80.00. That’s a much better deal than the 120+ annually that “Creative Cloud” would cost. Had I opted for the cloud version in 2010, I would be out over $600.
    I’m sure I’ll enjoy the new features, but the basic developing and organization tools are what I’m really looking for.

    I just wanted to share this with anyone else who’s on the fence, especially anyone with an existing license to Lightroom.

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  3. I hope, it’s not too hard to understand, that there are people like me, which never ever will connect the DIP-PC to the internet.
    It is a stand-online PC and it will remain a stand-alone PC. All possible trouble with online PCs together with important data is not a part of my agenda.

    I’m working with LR6 and yes, I’m using dehaze as well! There are a lot of descriptions available, how to integrate this feature within “Develop Presets”.

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    • Thank you, and yes, that’s the point… don’t connect to the Internet, and do not get trapped in a cloud / online subsciption. Yes, there ARE people who do NOT want to subscribe, but rather be independent.

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  4. The biggest problem with a subscription base is what incentive does Adobe have for incorporating any new and awesome features with a subscription base? In the past they had to be innovative and work and release a much better product the likes of which make people want to pay for the upgrade. Examples include content aware fill in Photoshop CS6, and face detection in Lightroom 6. With just a subscription base what incentive do they have of releasing innovative new features? I would argue that if they hadn’t invented content aware fill and face detection BEFORE the subscription base we still wouldn’t have it today because it requires a high development cost and would affect new subscriptions minimally. So, in the past a new feature = more revenue from upgrades & purchases = incorporate it vs. now a new innovative feature won’t affect new subscription bases = loser financially = not incorporated. I bet if you did a new feature comparison of the adobe products over the last 10 years then did a feature comparison of new features added since the subscription model you’ll see the product has stalled. Instead of something so amazing such as content aware fill, you’ll get spellchecking for keywords *yawn*. Instead of face detection, you’ll get the ability to change interface colors *yawn*. Time will tell, but financially now there’s no reason for being innovative with a subscription base and since it will reduce profits it will no longer be approved so what you get now is pretty much what you’re going to have in 10 years whereas previously the difference between a 10 year old Adobe Product and new was massive.

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    • I will say it currently makes sense to put new features into the subscription base now to try to convert people to it… but once they feel they’ve tempted all they can there isn’t any reason why they should make massive improvements to their product anymore. Instead as a business, you get rid of most of the development team and hire analysts who tell you what’s just enough new features to keep people content you don’t EVER want to release a new powerful feature unnecessarily you wait until these analysts tell you they’ve determined the subscription people aren’t content anymore with the minuscule improvements and that’s when you release it… then you’re good for another probably 8 years before you need the next.

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  5. In reply to Scott’s answer to David K. (on Croatia) I’m totally upset. How can one write reply with such a meaningless answer?

    “It wouldn’t be fair that you had that beautiful of a country AND the photographer’s bundle. It’s just too much at once. ”

    I’ve considered Scott for professionality and has been a fan of you up until this moment.

    The CC model is forced and thank you, I also do not want to be part of it – just doesn’t worth for me, plus it is a pure rip off by Adobe. The prices of the licenses and the subscription are just not comparable, plus that non-pros would just not need them that often.

    I would be happy to join a FB group if we started to advise Adobe strongly that their model is not waht we want.
    Adobe is experiencing a hard time in their softwares. Should they have a burden with Lightroom, that would be a financial hit also for the company.
    Let’s go for it!

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  6. A lot has been said but the bottom line is that Adobe has implemented this subscription system because benefits them financially; profits increases proves it and at the expense of us their clients. They have now an unlimited and continue revenue stream, could not be better.
    For us amateur or enthusiastic photographers that do not need to update every year is an abusive strategy. If I buy a stand alone software or any other product I should own it for life no for a year.
    Unfortunately, we the users are at the mercy of the corporations that their only objective is generating a profit, nothing else and they proudly advertising it as a major achievement.

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  7. Not sure why everyone is arguing something that seems very clear to me.

    If anyone is getting ‘Blackmailed’ it’s Adobe. Some customers on this blog post are expecting Adobe to continue to support and update and upgrade their product indefinitely. Try asking that from your car dealer the next time you buy a car.

    You got what you paid for and you should be really happy and grateful and privileged to own a copy of a software that works so great for so many people around the world and is marvelous tool for photographers.

    Instead most of you are crying because you want to squeeze Adobe for more and more. That’s just ridiculous. You were never loyal to begin with and now you’re showing your true colors.

    Stand your ground Adobe and keep up the great work. LR and CC are truly amazing and I appreciate the contribution your people have made to the photographic community for so many years. On behalf of me and those that agree with me I want say thank you and I will be happy to pay the monthly fee to use your products.

    I also think the Scott Kelby should not belittled for giving his opinion. You should take it or leave it. If you don’t agree then you should just explain why logically and leave the innuendo’s out of it.

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  8. Don’t buy the wrong version of Lightroom …

    or better yet, don’t buy Lightroom at all.

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  9. Scott, what advice do you have for someone like me that already owned Photoshop and bought LR 6 the day it came out and have since decided to give in to Adobe’s subscription model? I’m having a tough time paying a subscription for the same software I already own less the updates and I’ve been holding out for LR 7 to subscribe but I’m starting to wonder if there is ever going to be a LR 7.

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  10. Hi Scott,

    My 1st year of CC has ended and I am not renewing because as an amateur photographer I don’t feel the subscription is worth it for me. I’ve upgraded to LR 6 from an older version, and am considering PSE 14 as the a go-to tool for occasional layer work or dehazing.

    I am very surprized that no one is pushing for LR6 + PSE14 as an alternative to CC. It seems to me that PSE now has nearly everything a photographer needs from PS.
    Is there a reason you would not recommend this ?

    Regards
    Jean-Chris

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    • Hi everyone,

      Jean-Chris:

      IMHO a better alternative is LR6 + PSE14 + the ‘Elements XXL’ plugin for this latter. Since I heard about it, my PSE never again was the same creature. 🙂

      Regards,

      Fernando

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    • Hi Scott,

      You are selling a particular and controversial Adobe product to your mostly amateur budding photographers, if Adobe are not oiling your wheels then they should, a lot of people listen to you and your opinion.

      On that note, you should think a little more about you clients/followers/fan base, what is right for you probably isn’t for the majority of them. And by standing by Adobe and even defending them, when they have been truly awful to their loyal customers makes many of us question your wisdom.

      Yes Adobe can do what they like but to do it in such an underhand manner is shocking.
      We have the right to be able to work on our images offline and not be monitored by a large corporation that has recently been hacked and had customers sensitive data stolen.

      How comfortable are you Scott by following Adobes strategy with your customers..?
      It would be like saying ‘ come to my seminars once a year and get free access to all my paid tutorials.. But if you don’t come, for a fixed price, you get those same tutorials too….

      Except you don’t, you don’t get the new tutorials or any sample images to practice on… Or any of the discount….

      I and many others look forward to your considered reply Scott…

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  11. All things must pass.

    LR-6 Standalone will be my last LR product, so long as the subscription model is being pushed. I refuse to link my photography to an internet connection and a software rental company.

    Adobe may do as they like, so shall I. There are alternatives and always will be. I could care less how profitable Adobe is.

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    • Gary – it’s not at all about how profitable Adobe is. It was about the guy’s comment saying people were leaving Lightroom in droves, but that’s just a totally made up statistic. In reality, more people are using Lightroom than in any time in history and Adobe’s Creative Cloud added 866,000+ subscribers in just the last quarter. As for alternatives; if there was something out there that was better, you’d probably already be using it.

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    • I agree Gary Gray. I refuse to pay a subscription fee. I use both Lightroom with Affinity. My suggestion is be creative and work with the tools you have because there is always a way you can pull of visual effects if you learn your tools. Adobe lost me when they went to the subscription model. Every now and then I will pull out my AE or Photoshop 5 to certain things but now with new software coming out there is hardly any need. Creative thinking is the way to go not just to get plugins effects.. I actually like creating my own effects any way.

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  12. “Outdated”? Really Scot? You’re being too cute by half.

    Is the performance of LR CC sooo much better than LR6? Not having a couple of features make LR 6 obsolete? Which you imply. Customers should know the difference between the two so they can make the best choice for them.

    I’m glad Adobe is still giving us that choice. Do you know for a fact there will never be a LR 7? Or is this a wink wink; nod nod; Bob’s your Uncle kind of info?

    Should Adobe make LR available only by subscription, it will lose me as a customer.

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    • Dear Tim. First, there are two “t’s” in Scott. 😉

      OK, first I’m responding to lots of feedback from people who are literally angry – up in arms, that their Lightroom 6 isn’t getting features that they’re seeing released in the latest version of Lightroom. I hear a non-stop steady stream of it, and I’ve heard more than once that if they knew it in advance, they wouldn’t have bought LR 6 (btw: you know how hard we tried here LRKT to make this super clear when LR 6 shipped). Last summer, Lightroom CC got a big update and Lightroom 6 got nothing, nor will it. If they release another big update this summer, LR 6 will still get nothing moving it even farther behind. I don’t think it’s a good idea to, nor would I recommend to anyone, to buy ANY outdated software that doesn’t have the current features, and will never have another new feature added ever – plain and simple.

      Now, onto your question: I do not know for a fact whether there will ever be a Lightroom 7, so this isn’t any kind of wink, nod of any kind – I’m just responding to people’s anger when they realize they don’t have some features in their version of Lightroom that other people do in theirs.

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      • You seem to think that amateur photographers have an endless budget to pay for things including your classes and guides. You are out of touch. $360 for 3 years for CC vs. the $79 upgrade that most lightroom standalone users pay is a big difference. That’s why people are angry. They are angry that the current version of their software doesn’t have the same things as the current version of CC.

        If Lightroom 7 comes out then sure, you can’t expect the same features as CC if you have 6 but we are talking about a current version. How much is Adobe paying you? By the way, Capture One is just as good if not better than Lightroom.

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  13. In the running for worst advice ever. Someone else has already pointed out the financial aspects of the decision aren’t remotely in the user’s favor. Add to that that Adobe intentionally held dehaze until right after LR6 had been released, so they could emphasize the supposed “value” of LR/PS CC.

    I’ve used LR since LR2, and in general I like it. But on top of Adobe’s deceptive and user-hostile business practices, the program has become a bloated mess the last two versions. I would throw it over in a heartbeat if there were a worthy alternative. (And because of all that, there will be a worthy alternative, it’s just a matter of time.)

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    • Exactly. Dehaze came out a week or two after CC was released. Anybody with half a brain knows that this was in development for months so it’s all artificially limited.

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  14. Scott,

    I think, in certain cases your suggestion is not appropriate.
    According to my calculations, personally I don’t need and don’t like LR CC version.
    Thus, some other people might find it not necessary too.
    Let us assume that Adobe will be releasing full versions of LR each year or maybe even two.
    1) Price (Upgrade): 75Eur for LR6 vs. 145Eur for LR CC for 12 months and that is assuming yearly release cycle. Usually Adobe would release LR full version each 2 years, so the price difference would be not 70Eur, but 215Eur.
    Of course, photographers bundle includes Photoshop CC, but I’m happy with Photoshop CS6 and LR6 is such a good tool that actually, I don’t remember, when was the last time, when I used Photoshop.
    2) Dehaze is technically available in LR6
    3) I don’t like LR Mobile in many ways:
    – Requires internet connectivity
    – Transfers photos between LR and device via remote servers and that is at the speed of the internet
    – Uses cloud to store photos, which I may not always agree with
    I wouldn’t even think to try to use it somewhere in Tanzania or any other place with poor internet connection.
    While Mylio (or if editing on mobile device is not a priority, then simple bittorrent sync) does the job in a much better way.
    It doesn’t try to upload photos to internets, nor does it require internet for accessing, editing, etc.
    Those can transfer pictures between devices at the speed of local network.
    In addition to that, one can use Mylio/BitTorrent Sync to synchronize photos (including originals) to multiple devices/locations for backup and disaster recovery procedures.
    (A little side note: Mylio can use cloud option, but it is not required)
    So, I’m a LR 6 user and I like LR a lot. It is a good piece of software (except, when it crashes, but that is another story 🙂 ).
    I somewhat like LR Mobile UI and editing capabilities, but in the end of the day, FOR ME, it is not worth extra 70 (or 215 Eur if the release cycle will be 2 years as usual) just for the UI.
    So, unless cloud-less sync will appear on LR mobile, I will not even consider it.

    So, for me, a non-professional hobbyist that loves to take pictures (maybe event a wedding or two) – LR6 is more than enough, and thanks, but NO, LR CC is not for me.

    BR,
    R.S.

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  15. I would switch programs before using subscription software. But even more, I have it on my work computer and the services, updates, scheduled tasks, bloated temp files created take over my machine. More than once (MORE than once) I have had to remove and reinstall all the apps as Adobe had errors in updates that caused it all not to work.

    If 6 is my last, then it is my last.

    One of the rare times I could not agree less with Scott.

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  16. This is the exact reason that many people are leaving Lightroom and Adobe. And Scott Kelby is a paid shill for Adobe, so he obviously supports the subscription model of renting software. Adobe makes customers choose between buying an outdated, crippled product or permanently paying monthly blackmail.

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    • Rick: Thought you might find this article helpful since you’re just making up facts, it’s titled “Adobe Doubles Profits Thanks to Growth in Creative Cloud Subscribers” and they noted in the article that Lightroom CC is the fastest growing app of them all. Here’s the link: http://petapixel.com/2015/12/15/adobe-doubles-profits-thanks-to-growth-in-creative-cloud-subscribers/

      Secondly, you have some proof I was paid to say this, right? I mean, you wouldn’t publicly make a claim like that without having some concrete proof, right?

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      • The title of the article (doubles profits) seems to support the claim that people are FORCED into the online CC and that is is overpriced. Count me in with the very angry crowd.
        Now looking for alternative software.

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      • Why would we care about Adobe’s short term profits? It’s a longterm game buddy.

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  17. Honestly it all boils down to what features are really worth it for you. Sure, as a bundle it has incredible value, but you can still waste your money on something that has great value (in fact, that’s exactly what the whole trend of selling software as a service is about: companies hope people are not realizing that the plan probably costs more than what they need/what they would have paid).
    See, I don’t care about Photoshop, and I currently feel that the one or two interesting additional features I’d actually use are not worth paying $200 over 20 months. I’d rather pay $80 for an upgrade over that same period of time.

    Even better, I skipped LR 5 completely and I never felt like I was missing on something, and I could still use LR 4 to its full potential without spending more money. That’s impossible with LR CC, and to me, LR CC would be the wrong version.

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  18. Good advice made necessary by an unfortunate business practice. Lightroom 6 and CC should have feature parity.

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    • You sure are right! That’s what makes me turn my nose up to the whole thing. Will there ever be a Lightroom 7 CD… I doubt that. There really shouldn’t be feature parity… there shouldn’t be both. Fortunately there are a lot of software companies out there that are catching up quickly to Lightroom.

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    • Exactly! I’m already shopping outside Adobe and will change my loyalty unless this disparity ceases.

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  19. If you’re like me in Croatia where you cannot get the Photography plan (Adobe does not offer it), Lightroom 6 is the only legit way to go…

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    • That does stink, but it’s made up for quite a bit by the fact that Croatia is such a beautiful country. It wouldn’t be fair that you had that beautiful of a country AND the photographer’s bundle. It’s just too much at once. 🙂

      Post a Reply

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