Is Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Really Faster? [Updated]

Is Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Really Faster? [Updated]

It's been at least four major updates to Lightroom throughout which so many photographers have been begging for performance improvements, even at the cost of feature updates. Finally, that day is here. Alongside today's announcement of Lightroom Classic CC (the new "normal Lightroom" for those who aren't yet aware of the name change), Adobe promised major performance updates. We know they're serious this time, but they've made similar performance enhancement claims in the past that have fallen far short of expectation. Do they mean it this time? Short answer: Hell yeah they do.

We're not going to get too technical or too in-depth, but Adobe improved performance across the board in every area they said they did. These aren't small performance improvements by any means. These improvements take me back to when Lightroom was first launched and the awe I first had when editing with it. The sliders, the panels, the modules — it was all so smooth. And smooth it all is yet again.

Switching to the Develop module on a fully loaded mid-2015 Retina MacBook Pro took ten seconds for a relatively standard 24-megapixel image in the Lightroom version we were all using yesterday. The pre-release Lightroom Classic CC I recently installed loaded the same image and was ready to accept edits in a fraction of a second (the first time it loaded, it took two seconds. But upon every subsequent load with previously non-loaded images, it was lightning fast...just had to warm up).

An export of 19 24-megapixel images, each with minor adjustments from the Basic, HSL, and Camera Calibration areas took 2'45" in the now-old Lightroom CC. The new Lightroom Classic CC did the same export in exactly a minute less time.

Brushes flow smoothly and no longer stutter or take forever to load and show their effects.

Preview images seemed to load faster, too.

Of course, none of this could ever be fast enough to satisfy our ever-increasing need for instant gratification. The hesitations I alluded to before are for a mere second or two while something loads for the first time. As I created ten brushes and scribbled around a bit in each one, all as fast as I could, yes, there were some signs of lagging until I paused for a mere second or two. And on occasion, I would get a small flicker of an image when switching between images in a module and waiting a mere second or two for it to resolve. But focusing on all of these "issues" would miss the point completely. Lightroom is an absolute pleasure to use for the first time in years.

Add to this the fact that I had over 200 tabs open in Safari while using an early version of the software and that these issues seemingly resolved themselves once I used each feature for the first time and let it "warm up," and you start realize they're all non-issues.

While I certainly haven't had the time to test every feature of Lightroom Classic CC, it also appears to be the most stable, first, major release in a long time. I edited two recent shoots with it and didn't run into a single major issue. After a few years of my growing, silent cynicism beating down my optimistic hopefulness, I never thought I'd say anything like this, but seriously, now: Go, Adobe! Thank you!

[Update] After having more time to use Lightroom Classic CC, it appears some of the same bugs that appear for many others are appearing for me, too. It took time, but in fairness, I am starting to see a number of slowdowns in certain instances. Sometimes restarting the application can help, and sometimes it does not. Issues such as slowdowns with multiple spot corrections applied, not displaying the selected image (i.e. not changing images in the viewer when the image changes in the filmstrip), and other general performance issues are cropping up and seem to be intermittent, but indeed annoying. This is with heftier D850 files, but it's still something to note. Still, hopefully Adobe releases updates with bug fixes soon. Other aspects such as image imports and much more are indeed faster and seem to have few issues.

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40 Comments

Elan Govan's picture

Initial response.....Much better then before....Thanks

Phil Wright's picture

Is there a release date for these updates?

Elan Govan's picture

Just updated it a few minutes ago...and I am in Asia.

Phil Wright's picture

Thank you! I'll check it out when I get home after work :)

michael andrew's picture

Downloading now, on a side note the 2012 Macbook pro (non retina) never lost speed. Im not sure what happened. Also my old Mac Pro Desktop never lost speed.

Nina Myers's picture

By Zeus, they made it at least 50% faster! Interface, zooming, tools, all much snappier. Good job Adobe!

Joshua Kolsky's picture

How is the spot removal tool and zooming in and out now? Any faster there?

Ariel Martini's picture

My first try here on develop module is that it takes MUCH longer to go to next photo. It used to be instant since i'm using smart previews instead of originals. Hope that for newly imported raws it's better.

Jorge Tamez's picture

Same here. Browsing, scrolling, zooming in, curves adjustment, brush adjustment, white balance sliders... everything is slower. What a f-king joke this is. Considering making the switch to C1

Pc or Mac. On my pc, the new version is really enormously faster.

Ariel Martini's picture

PC here. i5 6600k + GTX 970. Already uninstalled and rolled back to previous version.

I updated 2 weeks ago to High Sierra. Everything slowed down. Knowing that this new release was coming I timed an export. It took 46mins32secs to export 439 images. I did the Lr update a couple of hours ago and the same 439 images took 36mins17secs. I unfortunately can't compare the same set to when I was running El Capitan 2 weeks ago. I'm using a Mid 2015 MacBook Pro/ 2.5Ghz Intel i7/ 16GB of Memory

Awesome!

Nunzio Prenna's picture

I have just updated. My catalogue just shrunk to 2.2GB when it used to be 4GB.
Is that normal?

I read somewhere it should get “slightly” smaller with this new version Lightroom Classic but I have a 50% difference now…

Any ideas?

Ariel Martini's picture

maybe your catalog already had wasted space, that's normal on databases

Rodney Turner's picture

I heard it was compression to the metadata which helped decrease the catalog size.

Brian Rodgers Jr.'s picture

It's still a huge bummer that there is no .psb (Photoshop large document format). With modern high resolution cameras, virtually every retouched build file that I create ends up being really large. And it still sucks that I can't view these files directly inside of Lightroom. Doesn't make any sense.

Exports were identical on my machine (6700K 32gb) More testing to come when I get back from my next shoot.

Scott Weaver's picture

Apparently Adobe's marketing team is too young to know about the last doomed effort renaming a product "Classic". But Coco-Cola does.

Coke still has similar naming nonsense going on with their current drinks. For example, you have Diet Coke and Coke Zero. The later is meant to taste more like regular Coke, which makes you wonder why the former exists. Then you also have Coke Zero Sugar, which is an improved version of Coke Zero. Instead of having a temporary labeling that says improved for Coke Zero they have a renamed product?? Soon to come, Coke Zero Sugar The Real Thing.

Oh I forgot, there is also Diet Coke, With Splenda. 🙄

Sels o's picture

Totally correct. Diet coke and Coke light and Coke Tab, Coke splenda etc etc all the same crap just a different name..
you should watch this :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyKaLl5MEVY

There is a taste difference between Coca Cola's and Pepsi's diet and zero drinks. Put simply, the diet versions have a more noticeable Aspartame taste and aftertaste, where as the zero versions are closer to the taste of the original version with calories. I can't stand the diet versions, where as I can regular drink the zero versions. Cherry Coke Zero, for example, is really good. They should just ditch the diet versions.

Christopher Eaton's picture

Good to hear. Now if all the browser makers can improve their performance so that 200 open tabs doesn't bring most systems to their knees.

Maybe don’t have 200 tabs open? How’s that useful? There’s this thing called “Bookmarks” and “Reading List”.

Matt Kosterman's picture

My 17gb catalog dropped to less than 8gb. So far seems a bit snappier, although the clone tool was hanging a bit.

So glad I still use Capture One Pro, it’s so much quicker, refined and still more stable.

Yeah, it works much faster.
Premiere Pro however doesn't work at all on my pc. (solved the problem. Audio hardware settings were wrong)

Both LR Classic and CC are so CPU heavy for the most menial of tasks....even just browsing through my thumbnails in develop mode and it hits the cpu, on average, for around 470% - 550%, its so power hungry.....thats without even making any edits at all.....You've always been the same LR, sort it out....It always seems to fire up my cooing fans, on an i7 MacBook pro retina 5k...!! Odd!

Compared to Capture 1 Pro, which barely jumps above 70% and thats for making edits on top of browsing, and its still much quicker jumping between images.... Thank you Capture one. :)

Penn Zhang's picture

Pfixer is not working for explosure adjustment