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Lightroom Options & Suggestions

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Hi - I'm current using a version of Lightroom 5 which has been sufficient in the past but is now seems to be on the way out.  So I'm considering the switch to Adobe's subscription based Lightroom CC.  Has anyone else experienced such a change?  If so, I'd welcome your thoughts, feedback, suggestions and comments on how it worked out for you.  Thanks!

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Hi!

This is completely my personal opinion based on my own needs and situation.

I was using Lightroom 6 in my previous computer. I bought a license for it, but it was not a subscription, I could use it till the end of time if I wanted -- and if my computer allowed.

My computer started to show aging issues, so I upgraded, but I couldn't transfer Lightroom 6 to the new computer. Adobe doesn't have the installers in their website, and I didn't want to dig into obscure websites looking for installers. So I went with the new subscription based offering.

My feelings? I don't like that I don't own the software anymore. As soon as I stop paying the monthly fee I won't be able to use it. Over a lifetime of use I will end up paying way much more now. Plus, if you update to the new version, your library will be updated to a new version that it's not backwards compatible, so you are pretty much stuck with the new version if you start editing photos with it. I'm sure that this new subscription model is great for Adobe, but I don't like it.

Yes, I will always have the latest version, but I don't think that for what I do, how I use Lightroom, the move from Lightroom 6, which I owned, to the subscription based Lightroom, which now I'm just renting, wasn't worth it. I was forced to do it, but I would have happily stayed with Lightroom 6 if I could have.

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About a year ago, I  moved from LR6 to the subscription package. I read a few articles about the process and went ahead with fingers crossed. Just followed the Adobe prompts on screen and with a couple of minor hangups, it all loaded smoothly. It has all worked well since with the exception of the upgrades that come out periodically. Some have been a real PITA with multiple attempts to download them but suddenly they load without me altering anything. The last upgrades however went smoothly. Good luck.

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I upgraded about half a year ago. I also don't like the subscription model, but I really wanted to use LR on my iPad. Editing and culling while I'm still on a trip (or on the plane back) means that instead of spending hours on the computer after the holidays, I can show my pictures to friends and family immediately. It's also much nicer when sharing on the internet. Before I used LR6 (which was enough for everything else and worked very well), but I had to use Affinity Photo on the go, which is a great photoshop replacement but not very quick for editing Rawfiles. 

Btw, the LR6 installer is still on Adobes Website, but it is incredibly well hidden. 

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The upgrade will work fine most likely,  it's a matter of whether you want to subscribe or not.  I think for most amatuers the subscription thing is a giant con, they basically hold you to ransom as the upgrades they offer are really not worth it.   They are masters of hiding stuff on their website as well.  Whether you can keep using it depends in some part of your operating system.  On Mac they have made changes making it difficult to install on the newer OS, On Windows, Windows 10 seems to install lightroom 6 and CS6 just fine still

There are alternatives out there to consider including Capture one Pro and affinity photo.  I bought Capture one pro rather than upgrade to PS CC when I bought my most recent camera - it does a great job of raw conversion.  I still finish off in PS, but what comes out of C1 Pro is quite good and I could do more there, but still use PS as the workflow is more familiar.

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The thing with Capture one Pro is that it is so expensive, that the LR subscription doesn't seem so bad. Yes, you will own the software and you can decide when to upgrade, but I upgraded from 4 to 5 to 6 in a relatively short timeframe and then stuck with them because I didn't want to go subscription. It is true though that worthwhile new features have been quite rare since LR CC came out. I think it's really only the dehaze and detail slider + LR mobile.

There are however a few features that no other software currently has. And that is the built in HDR and Pano mode directly from RAW and into a new RAW Format. I use it all the time for my landscape images.

 

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The last version of Lightroom classic perpetual is the 6.14

Inside the software that are camera RAW processors and profiles so if you have a camera that was not supported by this release you may still try adobe camera RAW and import but it will be sub-optimal.

Full list here

https://helpx.adobe.com/camera-raw/kb/camera-raw-plug-supported-cameras.html?red=a

Furthermore most of the usefulness of lightroom comes from metadata editing and library management which is lost if you migrate elsewhere

So when you will get a camera not supported by the last perpetual license you will be pretty much forced into an upgrade unless you want to rework your library

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I have LR 6.14, which was the last version with an educational discount. It does not support my latest camera, the Olympus TG-6.

I downloaded the latest Adobe DNG converter and use that to create files that LR 6.14 can read. It's not that difficult a change to my editing work flow.

I tried one other photo edit program, but the upgrade policy & pricing was too ludicrous to believe, so I shelved it permanently.

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I had LR 5 for a long time but any time I had issues with my ageing Mac, it got harder and harder to re-load. Bought a LR subscription and never looked back. Yup you're paying a lot over a lifetime but if u use it professionally, or even as a serious amateur, it's worth it.

If you want to own software outright, look at Luminar 4. I also have and use this. It does pretty much everything LR does with a sprinkling of PS thrown in too. Very intuitive. Basically the same layout and features of LR (don't know how they got away with it TBH as to me it's just a copy of LR with a few extra artificial intelligence features added). That aside, it is amazing software. Yes, they ask you to pay for new features, but at the level Luminar4 is now at, I cannot imagine anything else you would need to add.

Sent from my CLT-L29 using Tapatalk

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I was forced to update to the CC subscription due to my computer's operating system no longer supporting the version of Lightroom that I owned. 

Photography is purely a hobby for me, and I try not to think about the absurd amount of money that I will be spending on this product over the years for something that doesn't make me any money. That being said, I definitely can afford the $10/month, and it does have some neat new features as others have mentioned. I've had some problems with newly released updates to Lightroom Classic crashing on newly released operating systems (OS X), but it's generally fixed within a reasonable timeframe. 

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A bit late to the party here, but I'd like to chip in as well.

I've been using LR since 2011 and I'm on the subscription since fairly soon after it started. I, too, have my qualms about the subscription model. The software itself however has, IMO, improved immensely since version 6. This I hold to be true both for useful features and speed optimizations. Even were version 6 compatible with all new cameras I wouldn't want to go back to that. For me the improvements are worth the subscription fee.

This is of course a case of YMMV. If I used LR twice a year I would already have switched to some other software. As a regular user I have chosen to grudgingly accept the subscription model.

(What I oppose in the subscription model is not the cost, which is roughly equal to keep upgrading the program before it became a subscription. It's the loss of functionality if I stop paying.)

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There are other options, some are free or inexpensive. Darktable appears to be quite nice (learning curve if you are using LR/PS). Luminar is also quite good and only $89.  For me though the subscription model is not a big issue, I just skip Starbucks once a week and am about even. 

Bill

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5 hours ago, bvanant said:

There are other options, some are free or inexpensive. Darktable appears to be quite nice (learning curve if you are using LR/PS). Luminar is also quite good and only $89.  For me though the subscription model is not a big issue, I just skip Starbucks once a week and am about even. 

Bill

From the testing that I have done with other software (Darktable, Rawtherapy, Nikon Capture), none come close to matching Adobe Camera Raw (or Lightroom) to correct white balance of underwater pictures made in ambiant light.

With Camera Raw, I can recover color from pictures taken quite deep, with a workflow which can be mostly automated.

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Interesting.

I figure the time and effort I have put into learning LR over many years (since 1.0,  having the subscription with its updates etc, is well worth it. And, as bavanat points out, it's the cost of a Starbucks a month.

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I decided to do away with LR because of the subscription model.

It is highway robbery.

I should be able to pay for software and use it perpetually. Whether I decide to upgrade to their next version is my prerogative.

I now use Luminar AI. 

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I quit using Lightroom when they changed to the subscription model, I settled on On1 Photo Raw and I am completely happy with it.  The only thing I miss about Lightroom is the ability to use LRTimelapse for timelapse videos.

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I am still on 6.14. Still possible for my camera, as my camera still outshines me.

There are tricks to keep using the map module (get a google billing account and generate your own map module) and the face recognition part (run as date).  Prolost also has dehaze presets, that work with LR 6.14. With the DNG converter trick you can continue using it for other cameras as well.

I dont need the full photoshop. I drink coffee, but dont use starbucks.

Ligthroom here is not 9,99 dollars, but 12,09 euros (more like 15 dollars) per month. Every month, if you use it a lot or not. I paid for LR 5 and LR 6. I am willing to pay a fee for an upgrade but not subscription.

I am quietly hoping that affinity photo (that works quite well as a PS replacement) will ultimately do a catalog type of programme.

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I guess it is a matter of cost/benefit but lots of folk seem to be anti-subscription on general principles. I think of LR/PS (here still $10/month) as similar to my internet service, phone service, etc. We are fortunate to dive a lot (except this year, diving only in local LA waters) and are happy to pay our LDS $12 for a single nitrox fill so $48 for two tanks for the two of us. In a normal year of say 250 dives each, I will pay Adobe about $0.40 per dive (less than $0.01 per photo) to allow me to edit photos from that dive. So paying Adobe $10 a month so the two of us can edit photos seems not so bad. There are lots of things about the way Adobe does things that are annoying but it is clear to me that the new LR is way more better than LR6. 

We all pay for subscriptions ranging from your house electricity bill to cable, to internet to wifi etc. Somehow Adobe has been targeted as evil by having us subscribe. The only way that this will get reversed is people leave Adobe in droves to go to some other software and I don't see that happening. I think most businesses that run Adobe software like the subscription model better than spending lots up front; ours does for sure.

Bill

 

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I don't like subscription models either, but have accepted them. I changed my mind when Microsoft introduced Office 365 for home use at the same $10 / month that Adobe is charging for LR.  For that subscription I get a constantly updated productivity and communications suite that has been a godsend during the past year and a half, plus 1 TB of online storage for each of 5 users. It's more than worthwhile just for the storage.

With LR, I want the updates, but I do think that some risk mitigation strategies are warranted. I am sure we all worry about Adobe raising the prices from a currently reasonable $10 to who knows what? Or stop supporting our cameras or computers (they're still not native on Apple M1). The thing most people seem to hate is the risk of losing libraries and edited images if they stop paying. I went through the pain of migrating from Aperture to LR and never want to recreate my history if I have to change platforms again.  So I am in the process of doing two things.  First, I manage my library manually, I don't let LR decide how to name and where to store files and folders.  Second, I'm going through 20 years of files and exporting full-size JPGs of edited images into separate folders.  I know this is creating lots of redundancies but storage is cheap and I will retain edited images this way.  If I stop using LR I am sure that I will lose metadata an other things, but I am poor at that stuff anyway. 

If anyone has other risk mitigation tips I would love to hear them!

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3 hours ago, troporobo said:

 Second, I'm going through 20 years of files and exporting full-size JPGs of edited images into separate folders.  I know this is creating lots of redundancies but storage is cheap and I will retain edited images this way.  If I stop using LR I am sure that I will lose metadata an other things, but I am poor at that stuff anyway. 

If anyone has other risk mitigation tips I would love to hear them!

Metadata is retained in your files you just need to click the box to not strip the data when saving the files.  I don't use LR, so can't tell you where to find it, but I think it's worthwhile getting familiar with how to do it in LR, you can also do stuff like fill in your copyright info in the Metadata as part of the saving process.  In fact most cameras will let you add a brief copyright note in the metadata.

Everyone is different in what they regard as acceptable.  I don't use Office products very often for personal use - business use my employer supplies the software, so I use libre open office and find it's very effective and it's free.  I'm still on CS-6 and see no reason to upgrade, the new features are not of that much interest to me and I know how to do most of them on my version of PS in any case, the business model is basically a cash grab.  I use Capture one as well it does the raw conversion for my Olympus cameras and has a lot more options and flexibility for Raw conversion compared to Adobe and it's an outright purchase. 

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11 hours ago, bvanant said:

I guess it is a matter of cost/benefit but lots of folk seem to be anti-subscription on general principles. I think of LR/PS (here still $10/month) as similar to my internet service, phone service, etc. We are fortunate to dive a lot (except this year, diving only in local LA waters) and are happy to pay our LDS $12 for a single nitrox fill so $48 for two tanks for the two of us. In a normal year of say 250 dives each, I will pay Adobe about $0.40 per dive (less than $0.01 per photo) to allow me to edit photos from that dive. So paying Adobe $10 a month so the two of us can edit photos seems not so bad. There are lots of things about the way Adobe does things that are annoying but it is clear to me that the new LR is way more better than LR6. 

We all pay for subscriptions ranging from your house electricity bill to cable, to internet to wifi etc. Somehow Adobe has been targeted as evil by having us subscribe. The only way that this will get reversed is people leave Adobe in droves to go to some other software and I don't see that happening. I think most businesses that run Adobe software like the subscription model better than spending lots up front; ours does for sure.

Bill

 

1- I'm not a business

2- just because others have been doing it - does not mean its ok

Whats next? subscription to clothing and food?

 

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You would think that businesses would learn from the outpouring of hate, not to piss off their customers. We still use Win 7 Pro, Lightroom 6.14 and PS 5.1 and see no reason to change. I added a Nikon Z50 recently so I have to run the files through the DNG converter before importing them to LR, but it's not a major hassle. I am very happy that other software is eating in to Adobe's monopoly.

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Lightroom doesn't care about the subset of customers who hate the change, especially because many still got a subscription in the end (e.g. I did when I wanted to access LR Mobile on iPad, which is amazing). Since they introduced this system they have increased their profits significantly and that is all they care about. They don't give a shit about customer's feelings.

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