Lightroom Standalone or Lightroom Classic CC subscription ?

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Lightroom Standalone or Lightroom Classic CC subscription ?

I was very happy user of standalone version of Adobe Lightroom 5.7 for almost year. Then I decided to buy Nikon D7200 and something unexpected happened. Lightroom couldn’t read my NEF files. I gave it a shot and tried to Google out how to upgrade RAW plugin in Lightroom 5.7 to read my NEF files but there is no way. Next option was to always convert my NEF files to DNG that way I could stay with LR 5.7. But this is really very inconvenient way to do it. I prefer when things are getting easier and workflow smoother not the other way round. What I could do was to either buy LR 6 standalone or go for subscription LR classic CC with many extras. Lets talk about it now.

Photography plan offers 3 options:

Here is link to Adobe UK Photography plans located down on the page.

1. Lightroom CC plan

Includes the all-new Lightroom CC and 1TB of cloud storage.
£9.98/mo. incl. VAT.

With easy to use sliders, filters, and quick adjustment tools, the intuitive Lightroom CC interface makes it simple to create photos that look just the way you want. And you can edit your full-resolution photos anywhere — on mobile devices, the web, or your desktop. Edits on one device are automatically applied everywhere else.

Adobe Sensei
uses the power of machine learning to apply searchable keywords automatically. Looking for shots from your favorite trips to the water? Sensei auto-tagging makes finding your photos a snap so you can create albums based on any theme you want.

Share your photos with loved ones, clients, or an even bigger audience. Post your photography directly to social sites.

2. Photography plan

Includes the all-new Lightroom CC, 20GB of cloud storage, Lightroom Classic CC, and Photoshop CC.
£9.98/mo incl. VAT.
This is plan I have chosen. You will get Lightroom classic CC with all newest features. Lightroom CC lightweight version for quick edits and sharing. Super powerful Photoshop. You will get access to Adobe portfolio, Adobe bridge and apps for your smartphone for Lightroom, Photoshop, Creative Cloud etc. I will go to details below.

3. Photography plan with 1TB cloud storage

Includes the all-new Lightroom CC, 1TB of cloud storage, Lightroom Classic CC, and Photoshop CC.
£19.97/mo. incl. VAT.
This is same like Plan 2 just more storage. I am using Google drive 7.99/mnth 1TB and Google Drive comes with Google Docs for online editing and sharing files. Plus you can backup up to 16 Megapixel pictures in JPG for free with Google Photos. All Google Photos pictures are visible on Google Drive.

Lightroom Classic CC vs Lightroom 5.7

LR Classic CC come with this extra features I like.
  • you can merge photos into Panoramas and HDR (I was using Hugin as free option before). It is very easy to use LR to merge and it will be added to library automatically as DNG file.
  • Dehaze tool – very very powerful tool. It clears picture incredibly. I use it even on pictures where haze is not present.
  • Auto mask has new options – Range mask for Luminosity and Colour for more precise selection, no need to go to Photoshop
  • Transform – you can adjust straight lines by using vertical, horizontal, scale, rotate, aspect, x offest and y offest sliders
  • There is face recognition button in Lightroom now
  • You can sync your files to Creative Cloud (back up)

Lightroom works little bit faster, images are preloading quicker so you can scroll in your library without lags.


  • Photoshop opens so many new possibilities to your photography that you will not regret to pay for it
  • for my photography I use Photoshop to create Orton’s effect, luminosity mask, oil painting look etc
  • you may say now but I am happy with Gimp (as I was before) but you will be much happier with Photoshop it just works better, quicker, easier
  • you can use Photoshop to create panoramas, HDRs, 360×180 panoramas
  • also if you plan to do some video work Photoshop will sort this for you. You can add text, layers, masks, combine more videos and sound tracks, do transitions, put pictures into your videos, create effects with key frames
  • Photoshop also has 3D editor, you can create 3d objects, there is also material editor, you can create 3d photograph from you photo


Who should subscribe ?

For me it is worth 9.98 per month for all this. You will always have all newest features in your software. You can create website with Adobe Portfolio. You will have 20GB for your projects. (note: one 24 megapixel file from my camera after editing has 550MB in Photoshop). All files synced to Creative Cloud are accessible on your smart phone. You can edit them on your smart phone using Lightroom CC and all the edits will be again synced and ready on your desktop once you get home.

Who shouldn’t subscribe ?

I think photographers who need only to use Lightroom and do not need all the features mentioned above. Those who do not need to edit photos too much and want to use LR for organization of photographs as priority. If your version of LR is missing Panorama and HDR you can use free option Hugin which works very well even thought it is not so easy to use it as LR classic. Those who do not want to work with Photoshop and do not need Creative Cloud.

Little tip: check compatibility of your future camera with Standalone version of Lightroom you gonna buy. This can save you some money.

Find out if Adobe Camera Raw supports your camera model by clicking on this link.

If you have any questions, please, ask in comments.

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