Adobe Lightroom vs. Adobe Lightroom Classic

Adobe Lightroom vs. Adobe Lightroom Classic

By Elopement Presets

Adobe Lightroom vs. Adobe Lightroom Classic

When it comes to Adobe Lightroom, sometimes it can be confusing and there isn't always a really easy way to know what tools you need for the job, or what version you want to work with.


In 2017, Adobe released Lightroom Classic CC. This was a departure from just Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Instead, the move went to create two iterations of Lightroom: Classic and well, not-Classic. The problem with this, is that it wasn't immediately clear what each of their uses should be.

By and large, Adobe Lightroom Classic is the tool that is meant to be for professionals, while Adobe Lightroom is more intended for hobbyists and other users.

For example, here is a bit of a breakdown on how they are intended to be used:

Adobe Lightroom Classic

  • Desktop Based
  • Store Files on Hard Drives (internal or external)
  • No File Backup
  • More Creative Flexibility
  • Manual Keyword Tagging

Adobe Lightroom

  • Based on Desktop, Mobile, and Web (Files sync automatically)
  • Files stored on the Cloud (Your Adobe Cloud Account)
  • Files backup and sync automatically
  • More streamlined and efficient (less creative control)
  • Automatic Keyword tagging through machine learning

With that in mind, Adobe Lightroom was created as an everyday tool—alongside a mobile app, for everyone to use. It merges systems, like  you would find in Adobe Bridge, into the baseline form of Lightroom and it creates, essentially, a photo "Camera Roll" across your desktop and/or mobile where all your photos are stored, and where ou can place them into albums and organize them internally.

Adobe Lightroom Classic, geared more towards professional photographers, is designed to be your editing workhorse. With more advanced, specialized tools and more control—LrC is built to be your go-to. If you want to use Lightroom Mobile on your phone, you will need to import photos individually, but for the most part, Lightroom Classic is meant to live on your computer and be your daily use.

New Features in Adobe Lightroom Classic

On June 16, 2020, Adobe released version 9.3 of Adobe Lightroom classic and it included a lot of improvements on tools that were already loved such as:

  • Performance (Speed) Improvements
  • UI Improvements on the Tone Curve
  • Local Hue Adjuster Tool
  • ISO Adaptive Presets
  • Centered Crop Overlay
  • New Default Presets
  • New Camera and Lens Support

While most of these tools are already a big improvement, the ones we want to focus on is the Local Hue Adjustment and the Centered Crop Overlay.

Local Hue Adjustment

You can now adjust Hue with finesse and precision, which can allow you to make ever-so-subtle tweaks to a specific color area of your photograph, without having that change be destructive to the rest of your image. You can use the new tool while you are tweaking local adjustments to only affect the color of a selected region.

The bar now has a top and bottom slider. The top bar is for reference and the bottom is for Hue. The colors from your selected area affect the center color and you can make fine adjustments as needed.

Centered Crop Overlay

Previously, with the crop section built as a default 3x3 grid, it was hard to determine the exact center of an image when you were cropping the image. By changing that to allow a 2x2 grid instead, it allows for you to find the exact center both horizontally and vertically—making it even more precise for center cropping than ever before.


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