Lightroom CC: What a mess

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I was one of LR original beta testers. I have been using LR since - all versions. I'm a photography educator. I have taught LR to hundreds of advanced amateur photographers. I know that most of my students will come to me for advice on what to upgrade to. I will not know what to tell them in simple words. You have created a mess, a big mess, bigger that the one you created when you tried to change the importing process. I have the feeling your business is going to pay very dearly for the confusion you have created. I, for one, will actively look for a LR/PS replacement and will advise my students of the outcome of my search.
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PhotosBySergio

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Posted 1 year ago

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Ian Leslie

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I am about to start looking at alternatives too. I would be interested in your results as well.
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Bill Broughton

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Me, too. I tried to imagine a lot of things in a next release, but nothing like this. There are now much better alternatives.
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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I want to understand your perspectives on the "messy" part. Could you explain it further? Is it about the new product branding?
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PhotosBySergio

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First, it’s the branding. Product names should explain the product with no shade of doubt. Second, it,s the icon. Who is going to notice that one of the icons has round edges and the other does not? Third, it’s the ambiguity of LR CC. How can I tell my students that this product does not have many features now, but will have a lot more features in the future? When in the future? Nothing wrong with creating two distinct products. But it should be easy to distinguish one from the other.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> I know that most of my students will come to me for advice on what to upgrade to. I will not know what to tell them in simple words.

This might help Sergio:

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-cc-vs-classic-features/ (there's a bunch of other linked posts for additional clarifications on the changes)
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Les Cornwell

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Indeed. Certainly no rush from Adobe to dispel fears that 'Classic' is to be phased out.
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Per Jessen Schmidt

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Nice overview, but it really does not help does it. Having to do such massive flowcharts is just a sympton of the mess. Adobe basically created a new program that they intent to replace the old program, but it simply not good enough yet, so they keep the old one, and as a user you have two slightly crappy programs, instead of one awesome. It's is just a classic case of losing focus, and create lot of uncertainty. Should i keep investing time in the old program that a clearly going away, so should I start using the new one that I don't know if it every will be good enough, (Come on, you can't even print!)

It reminds me of the old Apple Aperture days. While I liked the UI a lot better, I stopped using it years before it was discontinued because you could just sense the lack of focus, and I was lucky that did. Now I have that feeling again. There is no reason why Adobe could not have improve Classic and made it sync the originals to the clouds like the new Lightroom CC.
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Per Jessen Schmidt

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Nice overview, but it really does not help does it. Having to do such massive flowcharts is just a sympton of the mess. Adobe basically created a new program that they intent to replace the old program, but it simply not good enough yet, so they keep the old one, and as a user you have two slightly crappy programs, instead of one awesome. It's is just a classic case of losing focus, and create lot of uncertainty. Should i keep investing time in the old program that a clearly going away, so should I start using the new one that I don't know if it every will be good enough, (Come on, you can't even print!)

It reminds me of the old Apple Aperture days. While I liked the UI a lot better, I stopped using it years before it was discontinued because you could just sense the lack of focus, and I was lucky that did. Now I have that feeling again. There is no reason why Adobe could not have improve Classic and made it sync the originals to the clouds like the new Lightroom CC.
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Philip Russel

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Lack of focus indeed!  The "new" CC seems dumbed down and limiting, to say nothing of awkward.   Call it 'something for dummies' and stay away from an excellent product.  I can shoot raw with an iphone, but the process of getting photos from an iphone to lightroom CLASSIC just makes the whole exercise a pain.
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Jao van de Lagemaat

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Philip, getting raw from your iPhone to Classic is actually trivially easy. Just log on to the same account and when you shoot raw on the Phone using Lightroom mobile (now called CC) it just syncs the images straight into Lightroom Classic. Just ignore the hype about the new CC. Nothing is new here except that you now have a port of the Lightroom mobile app to desktop OS's and that you can migrate a Classic catalog completely over to CC. If you ignore the latter everything is as it used to be. LR CC is just LR mobile on the desktop.
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Gary Rowe

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Why on earth is there no option *without* photoshop? Paying €12.29 a month works out at almost €150 a year, *every* year, which is WAY TOO MUCH. It's years since Adobe seemed to care.

I will jump ship as soon as I can. Affinity has removed my need for Photoshop, I just have to hold out a year or two for their DAM ...
(Edited)
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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There is a purchase bundle without the Photoshop. See https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html, it is the new Lightroom CC plus 1TB of cloud storage to backup your photos.
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Gabriel

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HI Simon, I think you are referring to a plan that doesn't include Lightroom Classic but the former mobile app. The topic was clearly about the full version desktop app, not the mobile one.
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Lee Jay

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Simon, why should I pay for a product I won't use?  I won't use Photoshop (slow and unnecessary) or the cloud service (too small, too limited, and I already have services that do the same thing but do it better and for lower cost).

I want a version of Lightroom without Photoshop and without 1TB of cloud service, for half the price.  Basically, I'd pay $89 for a perpetual version or $50 a year for a rental.

And a version that actually works well on a 4k monitor would be nice too - my system is still horribly slow when plugged into the 4k monitor, even when Lightroom's not on it.
(Edited)
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Dimitrios Matsoulis

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I think that Adobe did a great move with the CC suite. It moved its software from discs to the cloud and it paid off nicely. I am glad CC exists and I can have continuous upgrades.

This time round, Adobe thinks it can exclusively store people's photos. Well, I think a lot of people are not going for that. Cloud storage should be an option in a single LR piece of software. There is no technical reason for this to not be possible. Adobe wants to test the water with the new CC v1 and see what happens. In the meantime I have not seen a single convincing explanation as to why the new LR twins situation is not confusing and not a branding mess.
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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See http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshop/2017/10/introducing-lightroom-cc-lightroom-classic-cc-and-more.html "Lightroom Classic CC is designed for desktop-based (file/folder) digital photography workflows. It’s a well-established workflow solution that is distinct and separate from our new cloud-native service.  By separating the two products, we’re allowing Lightroom Classic to focus on the strengths of a file/folder based workflow that many of you enjoy today, while Lightroom CC addresses the cloud/mobile-oriented workflow." The new Lightroom CC also focus on the ease of use. The professional photographers who wants all the Lightroom Classic capabilities to support their own very specific workflows have no appetite for a streamlined experience that reduce their ability to get things done quickly and efficiently. 

Note that the team tried the new streamlined Import UI in Lr 6.2 and while some people liked it, many didn't. The team heard it loud and clear. The availabiltiy of this two versions of Lightroom allows each to aggressively address the needs two customer segments. Having said that, Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC share much of the same key components code and developers.
(Edited)
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tpnotes

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Actually, the sentence you cited was the one which worried me most.

Just this year I fully adopted a mobile worfklow with desktop/tablet instead of desktop/laptop. I trusted Adobe, that they would figure out the flaws the mobile apps still have. But that sentence you cited mean, that only the cloud/mobile-oriented workflow will get those updates, which I as a LR Classic user need to improve my workflow.

With the current speed of development of LR, it will take about 5 years until LR CC will become a decent option for LR Classic user. So it seems, that LR Classic users will be opted out of a mobile workflow.

I followed the discussions of the UI change of the iPad app and I am one of the users, whose 9.7 iPad was rendered useless for LR mobile due to this update. I have not the impression from those discussions, that the LR poweruser do not need a mobile workflow which is actively developed and improved.
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Cristen Gillespie

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@ Victoria

> there's a bunch of other linked posts for additional clarifications on the changes)>

I'm reading this and your Quick Start to try to understand. I'm being very selfish of your time here, but if you can help me out, since it's probably fairly easy to say yes or no to which app I should use.

I shoot tethered, so I have to keep LR Classic. I don't need or want the catalog, plus other than shooting tethered, I really only want to use LR for kicking back on the couch, phone in hand, curating the JPEGs (way too many of them) from my family. I want to pick, do basic edits to see if they stand a chance of being rescued in some fashion, and add keywords. That sounds like LR CC. I don't want to have to add my keywords sitting at the desk. I have to do enough of that with Bridge, which still <SIGH> doesn't let me add them in a mobile app.

Other than syncing these JPEGs so I can do something with them away from the desktop, I don't feel I need to do much in LR. I could edit as much as I do my own photos in CR, but all the photos eventually wind their way through various apps into PS.

So IF I put LR CC on my phone, what happens to the photos when I want to push the JPEGs along further? Do they sync with LR Classic, so I don't need LR CC on my desktop? How does that work with the catalog system? Or do I run LR CC for the JPEGs, and LR Classic for tethered shooting?
(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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From what you've said, you need to stick with Classic, and sync to the LRCC mobile apps. That works just like it did between LRCC2015 and the iOS/Android apps. 

Any photos you add to the mobile apps sync down into Classic as originals. Any photos you add to Classic can be synced up to mobile as smart previews (not originals).

You can bypass the LRCC desktop app entirely, unless you want to use it as a "Lightroom mobile for a laptop".

The only gotcha you need to be aware of - keywords added in the mobile apps don't sync to Classic. You'll have to stick to your desktop to get keywords into Classic. And yes, I think that's a bad decision on Adobe's part, but Simon already knows that! ;)

There are alternatives, but a foot in both camps is messy. If/when LRCC has all the features you need, then you can think about switching. 
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Les Cornwell

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To me the main problem with this mess (and yes it is a mess!) is the uncertainty over the future of LR Classic. As a Photography Plan subscriber I've just has an email regarding the changes that states:

 "We know you’ve got a lot invested in the current version of Lightroom you’ve been using. Rest assured that we’ll continue to improve it while we develop the new service"

To me that suggests Adobe will continue to improve Classic only until such time that CC has the same feature set. Then Classic will be ceased leaving CC as the only remaining option. I'm sure that's why Classic was named as such.

I'm getting a bit fed up with Adobe trying to tell me what I want; I know what I want & it's not the 'new' CC or cloud storage of my photos.

As others have commented, maybe time to start looking at alternatives.
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tpnotes

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Perhaps - hopefully - you are right. But from everything I heard from Adobe in the past 8 years, I bet on a different scenario. I personally think, that LR Classic will be among us no longer than 3 years from now. At this time LR CC will have more features, but it will definitely be nowhere near LR Classic as we know it. 

And I do not think, that this would be a commercial suicide for Adobe at all. A) We all witnessed when Apple discontinued Aperture just in the blink of an eye and has gone after quite the same customer group as Adobe now does with LR CC. B) Development and maintenance of two quite different applications will eat up a lot of money. From a cost-value-perspective it might be way more efficient to cut one of the applications, even if you lose some customers. C) When looking at the whole portfolio of Adobe, photographers are a very, very small group of their customers. 

It seems to me, that professional and enthusiast photographers are just not making enough money on the long run for companies like Adobe (or Apple).

But time will tell, who's prediction points in the right direction.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Yeah, none of us can foresee the future. There will come a time when there’s not enough customers left using Classic, so it’s not worth continuing to develop, but that’s driven by customers purchasing decisions. Even if it’s only 3 years, that’s an eternity in the world of technology. That’s plenty of time for other companies to have some wonderful alternatives out in the market, or for Adobe to make the new CC app suitable for Classic customers to use too, so there’s no point worrying too much until that time comes.
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eartho

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> but that’s driven by customers purchasing decisions.

Not anymore! With a subscription model, users can no longer vote with their wallet. We're locked into this eco-system and Adobe's marketing dept is calling all the shots now. 

With Ps, we've had failed feature after failed feature being released and they have yet to refine or fix any of the more recent disasters. Artboards, Export As, Generator, Select and Mask. All new features, and all buggy and broken. 

Very little is being created for the advanced users these days, since we don't conform to marketing's idea of who the apps are for. The original LR was developed by pro's for pro's and this new CC is only proving that Adobe is interested in dumbing down the environment.

Curve's are too complicated! Take em out!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> With a subscription model, users can no longer vote with their wallet.

There's other options out there, so users CAN choose to cancel their subscriptions. The options for pros are undeniably limited though, I do agree.
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Jao van de Lagemaat

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Adobe knows whether you use Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC. They also have a very vocal set of people behind the scenes (a few on this thread ;-) ) that directly tell them when they don't like decisions. If Adobe retires Classic prematurely - i.e. before CC has essential features like selective syncing, printing, curves, camera profiles, nested keywording, etc. etc. there will be a very strong pushback and you might even see public platform defections from high profile photographers. Adobe is not stupid and they do listen to their customers. 

That said, there is a major revolution and democratization of photography going on. It is not strange that Adobe wants a product that targets those people that shoot mostly on mobile devices and that want to get more quality out of their shots and that expect their images to be available everywhere just like in their Apple/Google photos apps. These are not people that identify with the old fashioned shoot a DSLR, plug in the card reader, plug in the flash card, and import the images workflow. They want everything to be available everywhere instantly. Lightroom CC really is quite a step up from the Apple and Google equivalents in that the raw support is great although not to par with classic but it is the same underlying engine on iPads, desktops, and phones. I love shooting images with my phone and working them in the Lightroom CC app on my phone or iPad and having the images show up on my desktop in Lightroom Classic. I am ambivalent on Lightroom CC on the desktop but if you are all in on that cloud workflow already and don't have a gigantic Lightroom catalog (I do so Lightroom CC is a terrible fit for me) it makes a lot of sense.

Don't like the marketing decision to name the new app "Lightroom CC" at all as it is causing endless confusion but I also guess that they were in a bind there as they had already named the mobile apps Lightroom too and so to make clear this is the same thing all across platforms they had to name it the same.
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Les Cornwell

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Macphun are making the most of Adobe's announcement:  https://macphun.com/

Luminar will be available for PC soon & they say they're working on a DAM which will be added in 2018 ...
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Carl Douthit

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Macphun has a Windows beta available for download now.
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Ian R Maxwell

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That's where I'm going.  Too many issues for even a dedicated enthusiast (perpetual user) such as myself to deal with.
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PhotosBySergio

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Dear Lightroom Executives,
It would have been so much simpler:
  • LIGHTROOM PRO: the gold standard for desktop-based photo management and editing, now faster and new, innovative features. Will always be available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • LIGHTROOM CLOUD: a new, future oriented photo management and editing program, designed to take advantage of cloud computing and ready to grow as technology advances. Available as an add-on to Adobe Creative Cloud.
You still have a limited window of time to rectify the mess you have created and explain to your customers what your Lightroom repositioning was all about. All you need is the humility to admit that you have made a mistake. But your time is running out. You may experience a massive exodus.

These are my two pennies worth of advice. My 30+ years of high-stake consumer marketing experience give me the authority to give some friendly advice.
(Edited)
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John Campbell

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Apple gave up on pro users by dropping Aperture and giving them the dumb-downed app "Photos". Adobe is doing the same thing with Lightroom. They figure they can make more money with subscriptions and storage fees. Sorry Adobe, I'm not handing over all my photos to your cloud service.
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Philip Russel

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Here here!!!
Let me know if you find a suitable alternative.
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David Converse

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This is obviously all marketing-driven.

Adobe went from two platforms (Mac and Windows on the desktop) to four (Mac and Windows plus iOS and Android on mobile) where usage, customer sophistication, and expectations are a lot different.

I'm a working pro who rarely shoots anything with my iPhone. My day job is product photography where loading everything in the cloud is unneeded and unwanted, and I have over 5TB of photos generated in my freelance work that I also don't want or need in the cloud. So for me personally, development of cloud and mobile is worthless. I'm unlikely to make much if any use of mobile apps or cloud storage any time soon.

OTOH, I do recognize that consumer use of mobile has exploded. I'm not sure that regular folks will have any interest in subscribing to Lightroom, though. The default price online is free and most people want silly filters and easy sharing, not anything complicated.

Adobe obviously sees the buckets of money generated by social media. They also know that without content, they will remain outsiders. The professional market is vocal but small; the potential casual market is everyone on the planet who has a cell phone.

I don't care if Adobe chases the amateur market or not. Chase away. But this is what happens with a monopoly- the monopolist can pursue whatever business strategy they want without regard to existing customers, because they have a lock on the market. Adobe knows that professional imagers don't have a lot of alternatives; this is the same situation that Microsoft has had with Windows and even more so, Office.

I'm hoping that Adobe recognizes that its pro users need different features and a different approach to development than consumer users. Please don't neglect us because you are busy chasing the mob.
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Philip Russel

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I started using the iphone because my Canon 5D didn't have a gps add-on.  Occasional snaps on the iphone solved that.  With LR mobile set to take raw, I have found that the iphone is good as a compact snapshot camera.  It's there and when needed at night etc, it is useful, for me.  But ....
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scott moore

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I'll stick with Lightroom "classic" for now. LR CC isn't even a thing. Until I have 4TB on my iPhone and other iThingies, the notion of storing everything in the cloud isn't even an option or desire. 

I like LR Mobile and the ability to add certain directories to the cloud, but after a few hours with CC and a few Lynda tutorials and youtube videos on the differences, it's clear that CC is a beta thing, a play toy, and not something I'll even open again. 

But, as a preview into the future, in maybe 5 years, when I do have 4TB on my iThingies, well, then, sure, why not. I assume by then all the functionality will be ported. 

In the meantime LR saves me a bunch of time over editing in Bridge or PS when I run a batch of photos, so I won't be leaving anytime soon. 
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PhotosBySergio

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Enough is enough. I am fed up with Adobe in general and especially with Lightroom. They have stopped listening to photographers. The days of the great Lightroom Beta program (of which I was part) are long gone. My CC Photographer's Plan expires in Sep. 2018. Between now and then, I will continue to use LR Classic, alongside Luminar 2018. Then I will make my choice. Check out Luminar 2018: https://goo.gl/Z3tJG2
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PhotosBySergio

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I am a Lightroom instructor. If I switch to Luminar, a lot of my students will switch. Adobe: you asked for this!
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Les Cornwell

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I'm going to give Luminar a try too. Once the PC version catches up with the Mac version and in 2018 they add the DAM it may well be a viable alternative to LR/PS and a lot cheaper too. Looks like Luminar may take the opportunity Adobe have given them to focus on photographers whilst Adobe moves to cater for phone snappers?
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Thomas Kuther

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I'm looking for alternatives, too. My main uses for Lr are its cataloging and DAM capabilities, as well as printing. The RAW conversion part can be replaced easily and there are tons of alternatives out there that even do a better job, just not the whole workflow package.

I find it absolutely important to have full control over how my archive is stored, and where. I would _never_ move my files into the catalog be it cloud based or not. So LrCC is not for me, will never be.
Even Apple Photos has an option to import externally managed files without moving them. And their cloud offers 2TB for $9.99.

It's obvious that Lr Classic is doomed. I tested Lr7 and couldn't find any better words than those of Thomas Fitzgerald saying "I wanted to try and evaluate the new features, all two of them, and the improved performance ... I have to admit, I’m underwhelmed". Really, if this was a new perpetual version, I wouldn't buy it. On my late 2011 SSD-modded iMac it's slower than Lr6, which I never had any speed issues with. I downgraded back to Lr6 and will keep that until my subscription runs out. I even have a Lr6 perpetual license, so I can keep it "indefinitely".

I do already own Luminar and just pre-ordered the upgrade. All my hopes and money for them. If I miss the cool from-iPhone-directly-into-my-Lightroom feature (the only Lightroom mobile feature I'm interested in), I'll just use Apple Photos and iCloud, or take a look at Mylio.