Want to get your photo editing just right? Our guide on Lightroom Vs. Lightroom Classic makes it easy to pick between Lightroom’s anywhere-access and Classic’s detailed control. Perfect for photographers looking to find their fit!

Are you into photography? Now, you're probably thinking, ''What is the difference between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic?' This is the same situation where you're trying to pick between two top-notch cameras – each has its own standout features, but which one's the best fit for you? Let’s clear up the confusion and find out together!

We'll dive into what makes each version unique without getting too technical. Let's start and find out which version will be your go-to for bringing those stunning images to life!

Adobe Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic

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So, you want to start your photo editing process, and as soon as you open Adobe’s website, it throws two options at you: Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. But don't worry! We'll help you pick the one that's right for your photography style and needs!

Lightroom (Cloud-based)Lightroom Classic Vs Lightroom: Making The Lightroom Choice I Skylum | Skylum Blog(3)

This is Adobe's updated photo editing tool that lets you edit your pictures online from anywhere. It combines easy online storage with all the powerful editing features Adobe is famous for.

  • Easy Access: You can edit your photos on any device, like your phone, tablet, or computer, and it's all because the images are stored online.

  • Simple to Use: The layout is clean and easy to understand, making editing and organizing photos pretty straightforward.

  • Sharing is a Breeze: Want to show your photos to friends or on social media? Lightroom makes it super easy because everything's online.

Lightroom ClassicLightroom Classic Vs Lightroom: Making The Lightroom Choice I Skylum | Skylum Blog(4)

This version is the original one that's all about editing on your desktop or laptop, with photos stored on your computer.

  • Photos Stay with You: Your photos and edits are saved on your computer, so you don't need the internet to access them.

  • More Editing Tools: If you love diving deep into editing, Classic has more options to tweak your photos.

  • You're the Boss of Organization: It's great for keeping your photos organized exactly how you like, using folders and tags that you set up yourself.

The Main Differences

Here’s what really sets them apart:

  • Where You Edit: Lightroom Classic is for desktop use, while Lightroom lets you edit on any device.

  • How Photos are Stored: With Classic, your photos are on your computer. Lightroom stores them online, so you need enough cloud storage.

  • Organizing Photos: Lightroom helps you find photos fast with automatic tags. Classic requires you to organize things yourself but gives you more control.

Advanced yet easy-to-use photo editor

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Selecting the Ideal Version for Your Photography NeedsLightroom Classic Vs Lightroom: Making The Lightroom Choice I Skylum | Skylum Blog(5)

Lightroom for the Photographer on the Go

Lightroom's cloud-based version stands out for photographers who are always moving and capturing new scenes. This version allows you to edit your photos from any device, thanks to its cloud storage. Your entire photo library is accessible from anywhere, provided you have an internet connection. However, it's important to note that without a reliable internet connection, accessing and editing your photos could become a challenge.

Casual photographers and social media fans will really like this version. It's easy to use, and it has simple editing tools, so you can make your photos look better without having to learn a lot first. For those who frequently share updates and content online, the cloud-based editor offers the convenience of quick adjustments and sharing!

Lightroom Classic for the Detailed Editor

Lightroom Classic is tailored for photographers who prefer a stationary editing setup. It keeps all your photos stored on your computer, allowing for offline access and editing. This version is ideal for in-depth editing sessions where every detail matters. With a comprehensive set of editing tools, it caters to the needs of advanced photographers and professionals!

Photographers who work with large volumes of photos will find Lightroom Classic more economical and practical. Storing a vast number of high-resolution images in the cloud can be costly and impractical for those with limited internet speed. This Classic version offers a solution that enables local storage and management of extensive photo libraries.

Understanding Lightroom PricingLightroom Classic Vs Lightroom: Making The Lightroom Choice I Skylum | Skylum Blog(6)

Let's talk about what it costs to use both editors so you can figure out which option fits your budget.

Getting Both Lightroom Classic and Photoshop

If you want the whole package, which includes Lightroom Classic, the cloud-based Lightroom, and Photoshop, it's going to cost you $19.99 a month. This deal is part of Adobe's photography package and gives you a bit of everything.

Just Lightroom with Cloud Storage

Now, if you only need the cloud-based version with 1TB of cloud storage for your photos, that's cheaper. You can get this plan for $9.99 a month.

Adding More Storage

Need more space? You can upgrade from a smaller plan to 1TB or even go up to 2TB, 5TB, or 10TB. Each additional terabyte costs $9.99 a month. To add more storage, you'll need to call Adobe or go online to your Adobe ID account and change your plan there.


You can't buy Lightroom outright to own it forever anymore. Instead, you subscribe and pay yearly. The starting price for it with 1TB of storage is $9.99 a month or $119.88 for the whole year. If you need more, like getting Lightroom Classic and Photoshop too, you have options to choose from based on how much storage you want.

The Standalone App

Yes, you can still get Lightroom by itself if that's all you need. This way, you're not paying for extras you won't use, making it a straightforward choice for photographers who just want to focus on this software.

So, when deciding which version to go for, think about how much you want to spend, how much storage you'll need, and whether you'll benefit from having Photoshop in your toolkit, too. This will help you choose the right plan that matches your photography workflow and budget!

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Making Your ChoiceLightroom Classic Vs Lightroom: Making The Lightroom Choice I Skylum | Skylum Blog(7)

The decision between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic depends on your workflow and photography style.

If you value the ability to edit anywhere and appreciate the simplicity of cloud storage, the cloud-based Lightroom is your match. It suits the lifestyle of photographers who prioritize ease of use and flexibility over advanced editing features!

If you're into detailed editing and prefer keeping your photos on your computer, then Lightroom Classic is likely the right choice for you! It's made for photographers looking for comprehensive editing tools and who want to organize their photos their way.

Your editing needs and preferences should help you decide what is better for you. Each version has its strengths, designed to fit different photography styles and workflows!

Luminar Neo as a Lightroom Classic Plugin

If you're leaning towards Lightroom Classic for your photo editing needs, here's a handy tip to simplify and speed up your editing process: consider installing Luminar Neo as a plugin! Luminar Neo brings advanced AI tools to your fingertips, streamlining your editing with just one click!

Luminar Neo is packed with a range of AI features designed to enhance your photos effortlessly. For starters, its AI masking tool is a standout, allowing you to quickly select and edit specific parts of your photo — be it people, the sky, or buildings—with unparalleled ease and precision.

But that's just the beginning! Luminar Neo also excels if you want to remove objects from your photos and clean up distractions without a trace. Beyond these features, Luminar Neo offers a suite of AI-driven tools that adjust lighting, enhance details, and even suggest creative edits, making it a powerful companion to Lightroom Classic.

For those just beginning their photo editing journey, Luminar Neo offers a friendly starting point. Its intuitive design and smart features help you achieve professional-looking results without needing to dive deep into complex editing techniques!

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Bottom Line

Looking at the difference between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic, you've got two paths. Lightroom is all about editing from anywhere. It's cloud-based, so you can start on your phone and finish on your laptop — super handy for editing on the go. Lightroom Classic is more for the desk crowd. It gives you tons of tools and options right on your computer, perfect for getting into the nitty-gritty of your photos!

If you're not quite sold on jumping into Adobe's world, or maybe you're just starting out and watching your budget, there are some solid free alternatives to Lightroom out there. These options are great for dipping your toes into photo editing without dipping into your wallet!

And if you're wondering how Adobe stacks up against the rest, our look at Lightroom vs Capture One might shed some light. It's a showdown of features, ease of use, and what you're getting for your buck, helping you figure out which software fits your photo editing vibe.

In the end, picking your editing software is pretty personal. So, think about what matters the most to you, and choose your software!

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