If you’re a Lightroom 6 user you may be wondering whether it’s time to upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC. Yes, it will cost you more to move over to the Lightroom Classic subscription, but you will receive a lot of extras in compensation. Let’s take a look at what they are, so you can decide whether the upgrade is worth it for you or not.

1. The Lightroom Classic CC subscription includes Photoshop CC

Lightroom Classic CC upgrade

It’s true that many photographers do all their photo processing in Lightroom without ever moving across to Photoshop. If that’s you, then don’t feel you need to use Photoshop just for the sake of it.

But there are things you can do in Photoshop that you can’t in Lightroom. If you’d like to try any of these, then you’ll need to subscribe to Lightroom Classic CC to access to the latest version, as you can’t buy a standalone version of Photoshop CC.

These are just some of the things you can do in Photoshop that you can’t in Lightroom.

  • Use layers and masking.
  • Advanced portrait retouching.
  • Blend or composite multiple images together.
  • Swap skies or heads (in a group portrait).
  • Use Content-aware fill to remove unwanted items.
  • Make complex selections.
  • Add texture overlays.
  • Add fancy borders.
Lightroom Classic CC upgrade

I used Photoshop to add a texture layer and an interesting border to this still life photo.

2. Lightroom Classic CC lets you synchronize photos to use with the Lightroom CC mobile apps

With Lightroom Classic CC you can synchronize selected Collections and view the photos in those Collections in the Lightroom CC app (formerly known as Lightroom mobile) on a tablet or smartphone. One benefit of this is that you can download the photos to your device so that you can show them to people even when your device is offline.

This makes Lightroom CC a great way to show your portfolio to people while on the go. You can also develop photos in the Lightroom CC app, which may come in handy when you are away from home.

Lightroom Classic CC upgrade

A Collection of photos in Lightroom Classic CC.

Lightroom Classic CC upgrade

The same Collection in the Lightroom CC iPad app.

3. Lightroom Classic CC lets you display photos online

There are two ways to display your photos online using Lightroom Classic CC. The first is to make a Collection public – something you can do with any synchronized Collection. When you do this Lightroom generates a URL that you can give to other people so that they can see the photos in the Collection in a browser (also known as Lightroom Web).

This is a good way to share photos with family, friends, and even clients. If the viewer logs in with an Adobe ID they can even favorite photos and add comments.

Lightroom Classic CC upgrade

This is how the same Collection shown above looks when displayed in a browser.

The other way is to use Adobe Portfolio to build your own portfolio website. I explored this option in more detail in my article How to Create a Beautiful Online Gallery with Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Portfolio in 15 Minutes.

Adobe Portfolio is the easiest way I know of to turn a synchronized Collection into a website portfolio.

Lightroom Classic CC upgrade

One of the pages from my Adobe Portfolio-generated website.

4. Lightroom Classic CC is faster than Lightroom 6

The latest upgrades to Lightroom Classic CC means that it runs much faster than Lightroom 6. The exact speed gains depend on your computer setup (for example, you need to have at least 12GB of RAM to take advantage of some of the speed gains in the latest Lightroom Classic CC release).

But there’s no doubt that the process of importing photos and generating previews is much faster in Lightroom Classic CC. If speed is an issue with Lightroom 6, it may be time to upgrade.

5. Lightroom Classic CC has Color Range Masking and Luminance Range Masking

These new tools give you more options when it comes to making selections and applying Radial Filters, Graduated Filters and the Adjustment Brush. They are extremely useful when it comes to making local adjustments. You will need to upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC if you’d like to use them.

Lightroom Classic CC upgrade

The Color Range Masking tool in action. I used it here in conjunction with the Adjustment Brush to apply Clarity to the red tin, but no other part of the photo.

6. Lightroom 6 is no longer supported by Adobe

While I’ve tried to emphasize what you will gain by upgrading to Lightroom Classic CC in the rest of the article, there’s no getting away from the fact that Lightroom 6 is no longer supported by Adobe. As a result, new features added to Lightroom Classic CC won’t be available to Lightroom 6 users.

The question you need to ask yourself is how important are the new features, such as Color Range Masking, to you and your workflow?

There’s no need to make an immediate decision. There’s nothing wrong with continuing to use Lightroom 6 for now and upgrading to Lightroom Classic CC in a year or two when the difference between the two is much greater.

You also need to be aware of the effect it will have on your workflow if you buy a new camera whose Raw files aren’t supported by Lightroom 6. In this situation, you can use Adobe’s free DNG Converter to convert the new camera’s Raw files to the DNG format, which can then be read by Lightroom 6. If that is too much of an inconvenience then it may be time to upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC.

Conclusion

These are the six main reasons that I can think of that Lightroom 6 users might want to upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC. If you’re considering the upgrade then take the time to think through your decision and decide which of these (if any) apply to you.

It’s important to make the right choice because once you upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC it’s extremely difficult to go back to using Lightroom 6. The reason for this is that Lightroom upgrades your Catalog so it’s compatible with Lightroom Classic CC. But the new Catalog format isn’t recognized by Lightroom 6. So make your decision wisely.

Can you think of any other reason why a Lightroom 6 user might want to upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC? Have you already upgraded? Then please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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