Adobe Releases December Updates for Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC, Introduces New Features

Adobe Releases December Updates for Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC, Introduces New Features

Opinions about Adobe Lightroom are as varied as the colors in the ProPhoto RGB color space. However, one thing that is quite clear is that Adobe has been consistently releasing meaningful updates at a commendable rate.

Earlier this morning, Adobe announced updates across every version of Lightroom, including Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC for Mac, Windows, Android, ChromeOS, and iOS, as well as Camera Raw. As a private tester, I've had the opportunity to put these updates to use within my own photo management and editing workflows.

Users can expect general performance improvements across the board, bug fixes, and support for new cameras and lenses. In addition to these updates spanning the myriad versions of Lightroom, I'd like to highlight some of my favorites.

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC

Reorganizing Panels in the Develop Module

I'm a big fan of giving users the option to control the way they interact with their apps. Don't get me wrong. In many cases, especially with new users, it's the responsibility of developers and designers to provide a logical UI with features that are discoverable and tools that make sense. However, it is a nice touch to give more seasoned users control over how they interact with an app.

With today's update, Lightroom Classic CC users have the ability to rearrange the panels in the Develop module to suit their tastes. For example, I am a big Split Toning fan and have always held a grudge with Adobe for putting baby in the corner by relegating that panel so far below the fold. With today's update, I can easily move that panel up top, where it can sing from the peak of Develop Mountain!

I seriously hope to see this addition to the UX make its way to Lightroom CC one day.

Adobe Lightroom CC

I know I'll probably get flamed to a mound of ash over this, but I am a big fan of Adobe Lightroom CC. In fact, I created a video outlining why I switched over from Lightroom Classic CC. It is my primary photo management and editing platform, and I currently have every single photo, over 6 TB in total, synced up to Adobe Cloud. Why? Because I'll trade the short-term lack of feature parity for the ability to access, edit, sync, and share any of my photos from any device at any time.

Setting a Target Album

Fortunately, today's update closes the gap with feature parity, albeit in modest ways. One feature that I heavily relied on in Lightroom Classic CC was setting Target Albums to easily send a newly edited photo to my "Ready to Share" album with a single keystroke. Now, that feature is available in Lightroom CC. I know, I know. Modest, but very much welcomed nonetheless.

Improved Album Sharing Workflow

Another Lighroom CC feature that has seen improvements is the album sharing workflow. Often, I find myself having to share a subset of photos with another person. In one recent case, I needed to share a series of photos illustrating some weird phenomena occurring due to a filter I was using.

Before, the workflow for sharing an album was somewhat limited. Now, Lightroom CC gives you the ability to refine the criteria of what is shared within an album by leveraging filters like the Pick Flag and Stars. This makes the album sharing workflow way more convenient.

Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile

Faithful Before/After Toggle

Do you know how many times I've been waiting in some queue with time to spare? Rather than mindlessly thumbing through my Twitter feed, I will launch Lightroom CC on my iPhone, find a photo from some random shoot that I never got around to editing, give it some love, and prep it to share. It's a brilliant workflow.

To that end, one feature that I've long asked for is a faithful Before/After preview toggle. Historically, you could press and hold on an image to see the original version, but it'd only take into account edits made on the mobile device. Now, I can bring up an edited photo taken in 2003 and see the original version even if it was last edited on the desktop in 2003. It's a small update, but if you rely on Lightroom CC Mobile as much as I do, it is wonderful to have.

More Updates

There are a number of other updates included in this update, and I recommend checking out Adobe's blog post to learn more about them.

It's hard to deny Adobe's investment in the photography space. Every release has brought updates not only to the newer Lightroom CC platform but also to Lightroom Classic CC despite the cacophony of doomsday prophets screaming about its demise. Regardless of whether you're Team Classic or Team CC, I'm very bullish on what the future holds and am excited for what 2019 will bring in this space.

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26 Comments

Alex Coleman's picture

I'll be curious to see if the performance improvements actually come through. I've been trialing Capture One, and there really is quite a performance improvement. I still enjoy the workflow of Lightroom better, but the slowdowns are painful.

Brian Matiash's picture

Classic or Diet CC?

Motti Bembaron's picture

I seriously doubt it. So far same as before the update. Let's see if other users have better experience.

Reginald Walton's picture

My LR CC Classic moves right along without any issues. I downloaded CP1 a few months ago and was using them both and really couldn't tell much difference. I did notice at the time that CP1 was maybe a split second faster for tethering, but nothing noticeable. I like them both, but I'm sticking with LR for the moment.

Chad D's picture

C1 the nice thing is the faster your machine the faster it can get
while being a mac OS X person I did build a PC to take advantage of C1 based on a 7820 intel chip a 1080 GPU and NVMe storage the thing is instant including output

good thread here on output thread on top exporting benchmarks
https://forum.phaseone.com/En/viewforum.php?f=52&sid=fbfd60f99e35057205d...

for me though its more important to leverage C1 menu speed working file from file with some layers and so on which of course it does :)

sadly it seems both apple and adobe are pulling away from what made them into trying to cater to the cool non working pro crowd and just making it about making money new releases are often not fixes but introducing things nobody asked for and instead of the fix they say well be happy we introduced this or that !

Leigh Miller's picture

See...this kind of article is what made FS a goto site in the first place. Lately it's all about stealing content from other creators or photo-focused sites...

Brian Matiash's picture

Thanks!... I think? 😅

David Love's picture

I hear updates and I expect new shiny things waved in our face to take our attention off the bloated code stacked sluggish mess of software. Only program I never have problems with is Photoshop. Lightroom is still not as fast as it could be but how could it, they focus more on a cel phone version. Premiere playback is laggy as hell but of course they are working more on the premiere for youtuber crap. I don't see hobbyist paying $50 a month to edit youtube vlogs so maybe remember the people that actually depend on programs to do their work. Paying $50 a month to be a beta tester is a lousy company policy.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Very true. Adobe is more about image than substance in the past few years. Kind like our prime minister (your neighbour to the north).

Just the mere fact that you can't catalog photos without them getting uploaded to the cloud makes Lightroom CC completely useless.

Not to mention the fact that unless you want to pay a huge fee for doing so, you can't even do the above.

The first time I started using it, it took a while and then informed me that my cloud space was used up! From then on, my cloud account was essentially frozen and there was no way to clear the problem without deleting the photos ONE BY ONE! ( instructions from the Adobe customer support).

That experience alone caused me to swear off of it for good.

You must not be considering the cost of this service if you recommend it for storing terabytes of photos! Most people can't afford that.

Dominic Martin's picture

Yeah each terabyte of storage is like 10 bucks. That adds up quick. My archive is 12tb.

Lightroom cc needs an option to sync to the cloud in the way that classic does, only uploading smart previews that don't effect your cloud storage capacity. And the option to bin original files back down to just smart previews.

So say I sync a few jobs original size then when I'm properly done with them I can just downgrade them to smart previews to get space back for newer jobs.

Reginald Walton's picture

I don't want my photos in Adobe's cloud. Don't they have a blurb in that agreement that they can use your pics? I use Idrive, much cheaper option and simpler - I backup my RAW and JPG files.

No, they don't. And they haven't. I'd imagine you'd hear pretty quickly if they did.

6TB of photos, that means 10 TB plan so at least 1200 euro per year more than just normal photography plan. 6 thousand in 5 years.
Or just buy two 8TB drives and put in your PC as RAID, so you will 8TB of space and backup for one tenth of a cost.

I don't think added benefit of editing any photos from mobile phone is that large (for me). Having best of them in 20GB/100GB/1TB plan, that might be OK.

yeah same-ish. That's the number one reason I will never fully transfer to LR CC. Wish I could use my own cloud for that ...

Musing Eye's picture

Nice summary, I'll definitely look at re-arranging the panels in Classic. I do wish that Adobe would look at bringing some of the editing capabilities that are superior in LR over to PS. From other articles in the past I've gotten the impression that LR might be on a very different codebase with a very different team, so that's probably why. It would be nice to have the ease of gradient creation and editing, the HSL slider group, and more over in PS as layers.

I'll never knock a professional for using a workflow that works for them. That said, I'll never miss an opportunity to knock Lightroom CC. It's not just a horrible program with less powerful editing tools and a truly atrocious workflow (uploading all photos? Please say you're still keeping a local copy), it's very existence possess a threat too desktop photo editing. It exists to, firstly give Adobe's AI data to mine, secondly, bring in reliable subscription dollars, and thirdly, to bring hobbyists into the fold. The third reason is the most threatening to professionals. Adobe wants to move everything towards the dumbed down, mobile only, workflow. This is not a feature. There are many better ways to work on more than one computer, and why in the world would you want to edit photos on iDdevice when you have ZERO control over colour, and exposure?

Leon Kolenda's picture

ADOBE!! FIX your DAMN software to work correctly first, to hell with your updates! LR is a Slug! PS CC 2019 has so many bugs it's Stupid! And, all the problems are the same on both platforms Google it people! It's So bad, many subscribers have lost days of productivity, it has rendered the App useless. I had to go back to 2018 install. Plus, it puts additional pressure on their support, Not smart.

This is a classic example of how the Negative side of a subscription service works. Because we're paying monthly there under pressure to deliver meaningful updates. Please, don't tell me I have Hi-jacked this thread, this is also about Adobe! Clean it up!

David Love's picture

We're paying to be beta testers. Most of the people paying to have access to the latest are two versions behind just to have something more stable.

They added support for the Nikon Z6 and it sucks. The color is so off that almost any white balance requires -50 on the tint slider to remove the pink tones. Strange enough is that when WB is set to "as shot" it loads it with -50 or so on the tint. So it's fine unless you need to make any adjustments or plan to use any of the preset WB settings and adjust from there. However Capture one has no problem with getting the WB correct.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Customized. Develop. Panel. THIS! I've been waiting for this for years! Finally, my life is so much easier. I can go top to down with my workflow, instead of jumping around all the time. ;)

Jim Bolen's picture

Exactly! This made me whoop out loud. I, too, have been waiting for years. Just reorganized mine and it is going to be so much better.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Exactly, bro. Couldn't figure out why did they mess the panels order so much and why can't I change it. Finally!

Rob Mitchell's picture

Speed, Adobe, Speed.
That's probably the biggest wish everyone wants. Nice movable tool palettes. Speed though, profits are high, do it, do it, make it fast!

Chad D's picture

Kia just made their Mini Van faster :) that is kinda what I think when I hear adobe talk about speed :) (aka nothing that any of us notice and reality meaning the thing is so slow already)

I use adobe of course and I do post for other pro photographers also but my own work is all C1 for raw and PS of course

adobe really needs to get some programers that can take advantage of modern hardware like the GPU and the storage speeds we have today :)

Stephen Ironside's picture

Custom develop panel = best news I've heard all day!