Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic; What’s the Dissimilarity?

 In 2007, Adobe, a well-known software developer in the photographic world, developed Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software. Now, it comes with different names. These are all confusing, but they have many differences. However, both applications pack a lot of post-production power and perform functions differently. Both come with their share and cons, so choosing one depends on your choice of what you are trying to do. So, in the following article, we will look at Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic.

lightroom vs. lightroom classic

 Comparision of Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic/

Lightroom is formally called Lightroom CC ( Creative Cloud ), a cloud-based service for editing and organizing images across devices, with auto-syncing and accessible sharing features. In contrast, Lightroom Classic is a version that has been around since the software was developed in 2007. It is a desktop-oriented application focusing on editing and organizing photos with a file-based cataloging system.


AspectsLightroom CCLightroom Classic
Navigation PlatformDesktop OnlyMobile, Web, Desktop
StorageLocal StorageCloud Base
Easy to UseComprehensive Traditional Adobe UIModern, Streamlined
Image OrganizationManual Keyword SearchingAI-based
Offline AccessAllow Offline WorkRequired Internet
File BackupNot IncludedAutomatic File Backup
Tethered ShootingComprehensiveLimited
Plugin SupportExtensive 3rd Party PluginsLimited
Editing Tools & FeaturesAdvanced Editing ToolsUser Friendly
Price$19.9 per Month With Photoshop & 1TB Cloud Storage$9.99 Per Month With 1TB of Cloud Storage
Export File TypeJPEG, TIF, DNG, PSD, OriginalJPEG, TIF, DNG, PSD, Original
Export With WatermarkYesYes
Printing ModuleYesNo
Merge PanoramaYesOnly in Desktop
Source: Adobe

What is Lightroom CC?

Lightroom CC is a cloud-based software designed for photographers who want to access images online on various devices such as mobile, web, and desktops. Its interface is more simplified and streamlined but more potent than Lightroom Classic. Lightroom CC offers powerful editing and organizing tools for traveling photographers who want to edit their photos from mobile phones or iPads. It is called the Lightroom mobile app, which is a perfect editing app for newbies.

The target audience of Lightroom is photographers who value ease of use more than advanced features in their software. 

What is Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom Classic is a desktop-based program that uses only desktops. It is also called Lightroom PC. It uses local storage for data. The target audience of Lightroom Classic is:

  • Advanced photographers like tethered, soft proofing, and complex organizing.
  • Photographers edit many images, which would be too expensive to store in the cloud.
  • For those Photographers who use third-party plugins.

It contains everything from an image library on a complex drive to editing and printing. 

The critical differences between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic

Here are some of the main differences between Lightroom cloud storage( Lightroom CC ) and Adobe Lightroom Classic.

File storage: Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic

Lightroom uses cloud-based software to access images online on various devices, reducing the need for a manual catalogue. Lightroom offers powerful editing and organizing tools for travelling photographers who want to edit their photos from mobile phones or iPads. The catalogue is in the cloud, so you can see and edit your images on different devices online. It is like you have your photo album in your pocket. In Lightroom, images are stored in an Adobe server and automatically backed up regularly. However, you need the internet to access your photos. Adobe storage is limited to a 1TB plan; you need to buy more for more storage.

file storage in Lightroom CC

Lightroom Classic stores data on the hard drive, basically on the computer’s hard drive. However, data is stored manually in the local storage, so you don’t need more internet to work with your images; you can do it even when the internet connection is down. Lightroom Classic is not a good choice for those photographers who travel a lot because shifting photos from device to device or manually is like a headache. No doubt Lightroom Classic has advanced features, but there are some flaws too, as it has no auto backup in case of any mishap with your device, and you would face a significant loss. 

Interface: Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic

Adobe Lightroom has a more efficient and easy-to-understand interface.

  • Modern interface, with a lack of unnecessary elements.
  • To access photos, click the All Photos Panel on the left side.
  • Compressable design to hide all the adjustment and organising tools.
  • All the photos are in the Discovery section without showing in front to avoid mess.
  • Presets are accessed by clicking on the Preset panel.
  • It is not only clean but also has a social and community-based interface.
lightroom interface

Adobe Lightroom Classic has a more traditional interface, similar to the Adobe application.

  • It has a more complicated interface than Lightroom CC.
  • More comprehensive toolsets are organized into different modules.
  • All editing tools are directly accessible in the panel.
  • In the primary panel, selective presets are present.
  • The Develop Module contains primary tone curves, HSL colour, colour grading, detail, lens correction, transformation, and effects.
lightroom classic interface

Image organization & search: Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic

One significant difference between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic is that Lightroom uses AI Adobe Sensei to find particular objects. It also has a surprisingly efficient face recognition and keyword tagging function, which allows you to access your getting word instantly.

For example,  you can search by camera model, keyword, or location; this AI will automatically show you all pictures that include the camera model or location, even if you have not assigned the keyword “ location”  to any image.

Lightroom Classic does not have this AI feature because it stores photos in local storage and does not allow an efficient level of image organization. You can do a Photo search manually. Lightroom Classic still has more advanced filtering options—you can search by lens, focal length, F-Stop, or even ISO. 

Editing: Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic

Lightroom offers a wide range of editing tools, including AI Adobe Sensei, and the main focus is on intuitive response. On the other hand, Lightroom Classic has more advanced editing features and tools that attract photographers who require precise control over their edits.

  • Spot removal tool/ Healing brush: works the same on both Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic applications.
  • HSL/Color, Color Mixer: These are the names of one tool. For Lightroom, it is a Color Mixer, and for Lightroom Classic, it is HSL/Color.
  • Temperature and Tint: These adjustments are the basis of HSL, and the Color Mixer belongs to the respected app.
  • Lens Correction Tool: In Lightroom, it is merged into the Optical panel, while in Lightroom Classic, it is the same in the Lens Correction panel.
  • Transform Tool: In Lightroom, it merges into the Geometry Panel, while in Lightroom Classic, it remains the same.
  • Presets: Lightroom Presets are accessed by clicking the Presets button, while Lightroom Classic opens in a separate panel on the right side.
Editing organization

Importing and Exporting

Importing and exporting are significant differences between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. In Lightroom Classic, you can import photos and save them in local storage, where you can apply presets and create a folder for import. It has several options for export; the file type is PPI, and it opens in another program after export.

In contrast, Lightroom CC has an exact import and export system. It has many options, but fewer are available in Lightroom Classic. It is uploaded automatically to cloud storage when you are shooting, and you can search for them using the key tag.

Tethered shooting: Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic

Tethered shooting is a photography method in which a camera is connected to the computer, allowing pictures to be shown immediately on the computer screen after being taken. Lightroom offers limited tethered shooting, while Lightroom Classic has more comprehensive tethered capabilities for the studio and a controlled environment for photography.

Follow these steps for tethered shooting in Lightroom Classic.

  • Connect your camera with your computer and open Lightroom Classic.
  • Click on “File” choose “Tethered Capture” and select “Start Tethered Capture.”
  • A box will pop up. You can choose where to save photos, name them, add details, and apply adjustments.
  • Click “OK” when you take photos, and it will appear on the computer screen in real-time.

Pricing: Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic

You can purchase Lightroom on its own or as part of Adobe Creative Clouds for $9.99 monthly with 1TB of cloud storage. Lightroom Classic can be purchased for $19.99 monthly with Photoshop and 1TB of cloud storage. Lightroom mobile offers almost 70% free features.

Lightroom-vs-Lightroom-Classic prices

Pros & cons of Lightroom Classic


  • Advanced editing tools.
  • Available offline access.
  • Supported tethered shooting.
  • Supported 3rd part plugins.
  • Detail editing capabilities.


  • Complex interface
  • Only desktop support.
  • Cloud storage unavailability.
  • Not travel friendly.
  • Auto sync is not available.

Pros & cons of Lightroom CC


  • User-friendly interface.
  • Non-destructive editing workflow.
  • Mobile friendly.
  • Auto synchronizing for photos.


  • Less focus on graphic design.
  • Limited vector and text manipulation.
  •  They limited tethered shooting.
  • Limited third-party plugins
  • No printing access.

When to Choose Lightroom?

  • When you want, your photos can be available on various devices.
  • When you want quick editing.
  • When you prefer to use mobile for editing.

When to Choose Lightroom Classic?

  • When you want Lightroom Classic to suit your editing requirements.
  • When you prefer to do work with your desktop/laptop
  • When you want to do detail editing.
  • When you need to print photos frequently and edit them,
  • When you want to edit your pictures without the internet.


Hopefully, now you can understand the clear difference between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. So go with your needs and choice. I use Lightroom Mobile because it fulfils my photo editing needs, and I can do it anywhere on my mobile. However, I prefer to use Lightroom Classic when I need more customization. So you should also use both software to understand their interface.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *