The Secret News About Lightroom 5.5

Okay, maybe the news isn’t so secret anymore, but I wanted to post this quick video that Scott and I did because I think it’s addressing a concern of a lot of photographers out there. See, a bunch of people are jumping on the Adobe Photography Bundle where you get Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99/month.

Since then, there’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately and Adobe’s done something pretty cool to answer it. The question comes in two ways:
1) I just signed up for the photography bundle and I’m using Lightroom. But what happens if I decide I don’t want to be subscribed anymore. Do I get locked out of Lightroom and won’t be able to access my photos.
2) I’m thinking of subscribing to the photography bundle, but I’m worried that if I stop my subscription I’ll be locked out of Lightroom and won’t be able to access my photos anymore.

Good news! Adobe’s done something to alleviate these concerns in Lightroom 5.5. It’s not been talked about a lot, so Scott and I did a little video to fill you in on the little “secret” :) Have a great weekend!

(image courtesy of Fotolia.com)

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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21 Comments

  1. Thanks for the update. I’m confused about the Lightroom issue, though. I already owned LR when I subscribed to the photo CC option. Did installation of the cloud version delete my original purchased version? I show 5.5 here when I do an about query. I’m assuming it’s not much of an issue as I still have the option to use my version serial number to purchase an update to 6. The approach seems different though, to Photoshop, where I now have two versions of the CC installation on my hard drive in addition to my CS 6 one.

    Thanks
    Chris

    Post a Reply
    • Chris. If you purchases LR5 before subscribing then you own it. If you ever stop using your CC version, you’ll be able to install LR5 and use your key to activate it just like always.

      Post a Reply
  2. Thanks for the update on LR 5.5, that will allow me to continue to get at my photos, even if I cancel my subscription. The question I have that you did not answer is….

    If I cancel my subscription, and continue to have access to my photos…..does that mean I can longer IMPORT new photos into LR and DEVELOP them as well?

    If I keep my subscription going month by month then I am assuming ALL aspects of LR remain intact. If you do a follow up on this hopefully you can address these two points, which I am sure lots of other people also have. Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Bob. I don’t know if you can still Import them. But from what I understand, ONLY the Develop and Maps modules are disable which means you still should be able to Import them.
      As for the second part of your question, no you can’t Develop them because, as mentioned in the video, the Develop module is disabled.
      Honestly Bob, the point of the video wasn’t supposed to be as much about “Here’s all the things you can still do for free in Lightroom if you decide to stop paying for it”. It was more to alleviate the concerns of people that do stop paying and let them know they’ll still be able to access their photos if they need. Hope that helps a little :-)

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  3. I’m not clear as to what is actually there in the Library Module. Is it the latest edited version you did in the Develop Module, or just the imported photo?

    Post a Reply
    • The Library module contains your latest edits. In fact, all modules use the same exact photo. So when you edit the photo in the Develop module, it’s not referencing that same exact photo everywhere else in Lightroom.

      Post a Reply
  4. The map module won’t work? So all the work I do geotagging my photos is lost if I discontinue my CC system?

    Post a Reply
    • No. None of your work is taken away. You just can’t continue to geotag your photos

      Post a Reply
  5. Ohhhhhhhhh breaking news!!!!! Just like CNN!!!

    Post a Reply
  6. Quick follow-up. Will you still be able to export from the library your images with all the adjustments you did prior to disabling the subscription? Thanks.

    Post a Reply
      • Should I decide to unsubscribe, will I be able to purchase LR 6 or whatever and it will install with my Library intact?

        Post a Reply
  7. I have read & see the video & it was really informative post. I’ve learned lots thing from here.

    Post a Reply
  8. It would be even nicer if Adobe would let you bail out with a fully functioning version of Lightroom, but with further upgrades disabled—after, say, a year or two of Cloud membership. Otherwise, without the develop module, I think LR would not be very useful for a working photographer. Under the old paradigm, if you couldn’t upgrade fro one reason or another, you could still continue at the current level. Granted, if $9.99 a month is too much for such a key piece of “equipment”, then you probably have bigger problems.

    The main problem with the CC concept is that it largely removes Adobe’s incentive to improve the software. We’re pretty much locked in to paying the monthly fee whether it improves or not. Sure, a competitor might arise. But, at least with LR and PS, Adobe is so entrenched with so little competition, that it would probably take a paradigm shift on the order of film-to-digital to dislodge them.

    From a business standpoint, it’s genius. They have mature products where they’re basically painting around the edges as far as improvements go. But now they’ve pretty much locked everyone into monthly payments—smoothing out their revenue stream at a pretty high level. At the $9.99 level for PS and LR, I really have few complaints (except that I don’t expect much in the way of enhancements). But we’ll see how long that price point lasts. I’d love to be wrong. But businesses almost exclusively operate to maximize profit. I don’t see much incentive to maintain a big development organization. What’re we going to do? Switch to DPP?

    Post a Reply
  9. My concern about using the Cloud services is that once you’re in, you really need to stay in. Right now, Adobe charges $9.99/mo for the access. What happens if they decide to increase the price to $50/mo? It seems that once they have you captive, they have you captive. As indicated in the comments, it’s a great business model. But it puts all of the users at Adobe’s mercy. They can increase the price to whatever they want and the users are either stuck with it, or you can use the Library module only. Not very useful in my opinion.

    Post a Reply
  10. Well, I am not an expect nor am I an Adobe apologist but Adobe has already upgraded LR and CC numerous times since moving to this subscription format. The upgrades are coming faster than under the old pricing model, although this last upgrade was more of an “event” which Kelby righty pointed out was missing in the last few upgrades. You might say, “yes, but in the future there is no incentive….” I would disagree. LR already has competitors hot on its tail like DxO and OnOne. Neither can completely match LR but they are getting pretty close in some areas and better in others. I don’t think they can sit on their heals and just do bug fixes. I think they have a culture of process improvement and that isn’t going to change in the near term. Besides, with this new tweek, there is no downside to living in the LR world. If something comes along to beat it you can migrate or stay with all the modules except the develop module.

    Post a Reply
  11. Thus far, I only use LR. Tried Elements 11, can’t seem to “get it”. My understanding is that Elements is a junior version of Photoshop.

    So, my question is – will subscribing monthly be a true benefit, or am I better off continuing as I have been: purchasing upgrades periodically?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Susan – I’d say that Lightroom is the starting point. If you get to the time where you need advanced retouching, layers, selections, etc… then Elements or Photoshop is where you go. If you’re happy in Lightroom, then just stick with that.

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks Matt. Sometimes I wish Elements were not so confusing! I do occasionally want to do more advanced stuff, but if Photoshop is like it, then I will just stay with LR…

        Post a Reply
  12. One more question: at present I back up my catalog on an external HD as well as in my computer’s HD. Will I still be able to do this?

    I have already used the “restore” from my external HD once, so figure I could always use this to populate LR if I decide not to continue a subscription.

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Susan. You’ll still be able to do things exactly as you do them now. Nothing changes with the Cloud version of Lightroom, and the non-cloud version. Same exact software, just a different way to pay for them.

      Post a Reply

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