Lightroom Classic: What's up with the denotation "Classic"?

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What's up with the denotation "Classic"?
As far as I can see, Lightroom 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are now called Lightroom Classic.
What is the non-classic version then? And what is so classic about Lightroom that even older existing versions are suddenly and arbitrarily renamed??
Adobe has been, and continues to, confuse everyone with their product names.
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martijn Saly

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  • confused

Posted 4 months ago

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Mike Morper

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Here is my two cents:
Adobe wants to advance their Lightroom offering but to do so is essentially a rewrite -- or at least a significant effort, measured in years to do so. As a result, they have to change the tires on the car while it's moving in the fast lane (so-to-speak). The new offering, called Lightroom CC is that next generation offering. However, like all of us that have been using Lightroom historically, they too appreciate that it is feature deficient when compared to the app we've been using for 10 years. 

The Lightroom that was just released is what's considered an "MVP" or Minimum Viable Product. The very minimum capability set for a viable product. But to be clear, for all of us that have been using the Lightroom of the last 10 years, we see significant functional gaps. I have no doubt Adobe does too. However, when transitioning product lines, you have to start somewhere.

I believe this new product has great foundation. It's clear to me it is written in a different framework than the former Lightroom. And with this new framework, Adobe is going to be able to potentially iterate the product faster and introduce new capabilities that would have otherwise been harder to do so in the former product.

As for the branding... yes, it's confusing. The "Classic" moniker means one thing to me -- this is the product that will eventually disappear. Let's not fool ourselves. Adobe has a challenge (like any other software company attempting the same feat) that they want to advance their product to meet the needs of the market, but at some point, there is so much "technical debt" in the product you need to start fresh. I think that's what they have done as mentioned above. While in a transition period, they do have a branding challenge and this is what they decided. Confusing? Yeah. But what's the alternative? Introduce a new product brand that services the exact same demographic and provides the same foundational capabilities of Lightroom but call it something else? I think that would have been a far worse decision.

For me, I am going to do everything I can to use Lightroom CC exclusively and provide them feedback on how to make it better. More importantly, I want to give them feedback on the *prioritization* of the things that need to get introduced into the product. That's what the product management team at Adobe needs most from us. This is the horse Adobe is clearly riding going forward. Might as well saddle up and ride along.
(Edited)
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Monty

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Well said Mike!

I am convinced that LRCC is the future. Like you, I am doing all I can do to help Adobe make the produce more feature complete.

THere are a few gaps in CC that I hope are addressed soon. I will not lett his opportunity go by without mentioning them. I miss Smart Collections and being able to keyword multipal images at once (using my iPad)

Monty
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Gary Rowe

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Isnt it great to have less features! Yippee! Everyone start using it so they can do less! It'll help Adobe but not us. Yippeeeeeeee.
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Stephen Newport

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Great explanation, Mike.
Unfortunately, I can't think of a single aspect of my business I can perform cloud-based. Having cloud features (as Lightroom kind of has), is workable. 
As long as they aren't going to leave those of us, bound to onsite storage, in the cold I am fine. But their naming choice certainly suggests that they could do that, as incomprehensible as that sounds.
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Kevin Wright

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I'm not sure I'd describe the issue as a few gaps... What I'm seeing is a landscape riddled with gaping chasms.  No print function, no prioritised upload of smart previews before original quality images, etc, etc.
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avpman

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I hope the marketing geniuses who thought up these confusing name schemes have found themselves new jobs. Because they certainly wern't any good at their old job. Try now to search Google for help with LR and see the mess you get. Oh wait - you ask why am I using Google when there's always Adobe's stellar support techs to turn to? Unfortunately I only speak English.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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No other versions have been renamed. 

Simply: 

Lightroom 1-6 is still called Lightroom 1-6.
Lightroom CC2015 is still called Lightroom CC2015
Lightroom 7 (and presumably beyond) is called Lightroom Classic CC.

This family of products is a continuous spectrum from original Lightroom 1.0 released more than 10 years ago until the current product Lightroom Classic CC (Current Version 7.1). Support for all of these products is found in the Lightroom Classic CC Forum.

Effective with October's release of Lightroom CC - a new product (Currently Version 1.1) all Lightroom Mobile, Web and Apple TV Products are branded Lightroom CC.  Prior to this there was no other Lightroom CC. There was Lightroom CC2015 but that was a completely different product released at the same time as Lightroom 6.0.  It was never properly called Lightroom CC - but Lightroom CC2015.x

Lightroom CC app's, released in October 2017, support is found in the Lightroom CC forum) Lightroom CC for mobile devices is found in the Lightroom for mobile forum. Support for the Apple TV version is found in the Lightroom for Apple TV forum. 
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Steve Gandy

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Hi Rikk,
I'm sure your explanations are correct but the CC vs. CC2015 thing is really splitting hairs no one knew they even had before the renaming. The new CC should have been named CC "Anywhere" or "Everywhere" or some other iteration and the confusion would not have ensued. I teach classes on the Lightroom products and I now have to waste a lot of valuable time just explaining the names at the beginning of each class.

Further Adobe should know that many are afraid that the CC version will be "the one" in the future and they know they either won't be able to afford the storage fees or they won't have a fast enough-reliable enough net connection to use it. It makes them nervous about investing the time needed to become a master of the program.

Will there be a way to use CC but keep your images completely local? I have very little need to have my images available from anywhere. So, why would I pay for that? I don't see any controls for not allowing images to go to the cloud. Is there a control for that?

Will CC function smoothly when the connection is down? If not, why would I use the product. My connection pops on/off on a regular basis. 
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Kevin Wright

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And yet I look right here, right now, in this very forum... and I see just two options.

Lightroom, and Lightroom Classic

Then I look at questions from 2, 3, 4 years back and see which product they're tagged with.  If Lightroom <7 truly hasn't been retrospectively renamed, then somebody really needs to inform the authors of Adobes help pages and whoever administers this forum!
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avpman

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You know the confusion this has caused among the loyal Adobe community - you read the support forums. No matter how you try to spin it it's the users perception that matters. One which Adobe as ignored. To make matters worse, you're finally fixing LR Classic and denying all of those with perpetual licenses on V6 from benefiting from those fixes unless we want to pay an Adobe subscription "perpetually." Whatever happened to "The Customer is always right?" As a compromise please make one more perpetual licensed version 7, with the performance improvements available for us to purchase. I'd even pay full price for it.
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Carlos Cardona

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Bottom line: if you’re one guy who has (or takes) thousands of images), use LR Classic (and don’t be scared by the word “Classic”). If you’re a workgroup in a business setting, use LR CC. Was any of that confusing?
(Edited)
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Kevin Wright

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As a solo photographer I'd reckon that I have greater need for a hosted backup solution that allows me to easily and quickly show pictures to clients.

Preferably a solution that has very strong integration with the other tools I use, because I don't have an in-house team to configure workflow and asset management tools for me.

So I'm confused, because you now tell me that I'm only allowed to want these things if I'm in a commercial setting that's far better placed to provide alternatives anyway.
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martijn Saly

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Still very confusing.

So the "new" Lightroom is feature deficient, because it's new and hip. Why don't they call that one Lightroom Elements then? THAT would make sense. THAT would be consistent. Well, slightly.

The whole debacle between Lightroom x.x and Lightroom CCxxxx, I don't really care about. I myself will *never* use the CC moniker because it's completely superfluous. Version numbers, when used correctly, are always less confusing than years. Microsoft has dropped the "year of release as version number" a long time ago, and for good reasons.

So anyway, Classic means the good version. Not classic means the crap version. That about right? :P
(Edited)
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jbedford

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What's especially annoying about the clumsy rename is that now, when I'm Googling help topics about Lightroom CC (the current, cloud-based one as of 2018), help topics for the 'old' Lightroom CC come up. So annoying. Honestly, how did this get OK'd? 
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Kevin Wright

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In my case...
  • Because I want a hosted backup of raw images that's fully integrated with the other CC tools I use
  • Because I want easy synchronisation of my Lightroom catalogue between the two machines that I use.
  • Because I want to take full advantage of the gallery and sharing functionality that lightroom.com provides
Adobe has forced my hand here... To get that full sync of original quality images, I must use Lightroom unclassic as the upload tool.  Even if I'll then immediately sync the images back to Lightroom classic for the remainder of my workflow.

I'd love to be able to forego the non-classic version, and have classic be a fully-fledged participant in the brave new cloud ecosystem.  But while it insists on only being able to synchronise smart previews that is - alas - not an option.
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jbedford

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I use the 'classic' version 99.99% of the time, but have some personal uses for CC. It's just a really clumsy integration that's done more to confuse its original user base than simplify. 
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martijn Saly

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@Kevin
As for your first point, for that Adobe should've been able to build a plugin. This doesn't merit an entirely new program. You can do it yourself using a simple program running in the background, and a (paid) cloud storage service.

Second, use a network drive. Or see above.

Third, there are loads of plugins for that already. Lightroom.com is just one of about 470 billion photo sharing sites. Don't vendor-lock yourself in.
(Edited)
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Kevin Wright

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Just to clarify here, I'm on the full CC plan, not just photography. The pricing on this was such that I was able to migrate to the 1TB option for slightly LESS than I was paying before (go figure...).

This makes it essentially free, and the online gallery option comes with it for the same low price, and I get some handy tools and integrations with the rest of the CC suite over and above the alternatives. So I'd have to be insane not to do my best to make it work as a solution for me instead of paying extra to an additional online storage provider.

I have a network drive, it works fine, except when I'm in a plane or otherwise offline. That said, when I'm remote I can only download from it as fast as my home DSL upload speed (which is much slower that downloading from the cloud), and shuffling files between that and local storage is a task I could happily live without - especially when smart previews are good enough for 99% of what I need remotely.
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martijn Saly

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That's all very cool for you, but I myself literally don't need anything else than Lightroom (Classic, or whatever they call it, the proper full featured one) from the CC suite. And over a span of 2 years, which is around-or-about the lifecycle of a major release, this makes it roughly twice as expensive to have a $12 subscription than it is to purchase the product once.

For me, that's a show-stopper. No other way to put it.

If this is true, and Lightroom 7 really cannot be bought as a product, I feel forced to install an illegal version or move to Darktable.