Lightroom CC: No Catalog Export Means I Can't Use It

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  • Updated 11 months ago


Change is hard, and Adobe has done a good job with this video of explaining the differences between the two. I understand the frustration some people have; what irks me is how few improvements have been made to Lightroom Classic. I'm paying $120 a year for that program, and the fact that it only recently was updated is shameful. Clearly all the dev work was going into Lightroom CC. Performance improvements in Lightroom Classic were desperately needed and are great to see, but new features are also needed.

I played around with Lightroom CC last night: I imported a 5 GB photo set and it took about 15-20 minutes to upload (I have a 40mbps upstream connection). It was neat seeing all changes made in the app reflected on the iPad. For a v.1.0 product, it's off to a good start (though the desktop app did crash on me four times in a matter of minutes). The bigger concern for me, and the reason why I can't use Lightroom CC, is they don't allow for catalogs/sets to be exported. When you import the photos in Lightroom CC, they put them in a package (on macOS). So you've got a big 5 GB file. You edit your photos, you're done with the project...now what?

Apparently Adobe either expects you to a) leave them all in the cloud + your local drive forever or b) delete them and lose all your edits. I have 709 GB of Lightroom catalogs, so while I could technically fit them all in the 1 TB storage option, I don't want or need them all online (nor do I want to pay an extra $120 a year for that). Nor can I leave 709 GB of data on my local SSD inside the package that Lightroom CC creates. My current workflow with Lightroom is to import the photos, process the set, export it all as JPEGs, then export the set as a catalog and put it on my NAS. So if I ever need to go back to that project again, I just grab the catalog. This scenario isn't supported by Lightroom CC as far as I can tell, so I can't use this project.

I see huge potential in a cloud-centric workflow, but the realities of storage and the assumptions Adobe has made make this a dealbreaker for me. Maybe next year. :-)
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Jason Dunn

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Posted 11 months ago

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Photo of Shannon Hobbs

Shannon Hobbs

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Hi Jason, you can export images with the “save to...” command from the file menu. If you select Original + settings then your images will be in folders for full sized and preview size. Unfortunately, this does not save edits or history. You also do not get the advantage of multiple catalogs. There is only one live catalog.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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+ Settings means it'll save most edits.
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Diane Nanos Parsons

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Unfortunately, it doesn't save the edits you do on PS mobile.  It used to, but no longer does... Incredibly frustrating!!