I resisted paying for Lightroom CC subscription for a long time. However, in my quest for a perfect photography workflow, I finally signed up for it.
Lightroom CC storage vs Google Photos, Apple iCloud, Amazon Photos
The main reason was the offsite backup. I was looking at various sync solutions. Now sync is not same as backup but I have local backup on NAS. So I just wanted my data synced offsite, just in case.
Both Google Photos and Apple iCloud offer 2TB of storage for $10/month. Lightroom CC comes with only 1TB. However, it comes with pretty powerful photo editing tools. Also I don’t have more than 1TB of photos & videos, at this point. So extra 1TB with Apple and Google wasn’t that important.
Amazon Photos (affiliate link) offers free unlimited backup of your photos with Prime subscription. But videos are not included in that. So you would need to pay extra or find another way to backup videos.
On that note, one big advantage of Apple iCloud and Google One, is that you can upload any type of file to these services. With Lightroom CC, you are limited to just photos and videos.
Lightroom CC vs Lightroom 6/Classic
Lightroom CC and old school Lightroom are two completely different softwares.
Old school lightroom gives you a lot of control over your photos in every way possible. One of the best feature is how it let you organize your photos. I can keep my recent photos on my laptop, older photos can be on external harddrives, and even older photos can reside on NAS. Lightroom CC keeps all your photos in same folder. So when your library grows, you will need to buy new larger harddrive. The good thing with Lightroom CC is that since photos are stored in cloud too, it can download photos as needed when external drive is unavailable.
Lightroom CC is also missing Web, Print, and Map modules. I used print modules quite a bit for making photo books. Also I used Maps module to geotag photos from DSLR with Polar M430 GPS data.
And there are no plugins in Lightroom CC. I was big user of ftp and SmugMug plugins.
One advantage in favor of Lightroom CC is videos. It seems videos play better in new Lightroom CC than in older Lightroom 6.
Sharing and Adobe Portfolio
Yes it is possible to share individual albums. Also this subscription comes with Adobe Portfolio, where you can create your own website with custom domain.
Major Issues with Lightroom CC
No Recycle bin
The biggest issue is probably lack of any way to recover recently deleted photos. There is no Recycle Bin or Trash. Once a photo is deleted, it is deleted from everywhere. The worst part is that it is really easy to accidentally delete many photos at once.
I searched Adobe’s forums and it seems this “feature” is in works for over a year. For now, you can manually backup your catalog folder to another location that is not automatically synced with Lightroom cloud. I run rsync job daily to copy new files to NAS. Then once a week or so, I run another rsync to remove any deleted files.
Android App cannot upload videos
Another huge PITA. I was ready to cancel my subscription because of this but Adobe offered Lightroom CC for free for 2 months. So I will use it for another 2 months and hopefully they will implement this “feature” soon. To be honest, recycle bin and video uploads are not features; they are basic requirements.
Cannot use subdomain on Adobe Portfolio
Finally, another frustrating issue, you cannot use subdomain on Adobe Portfolio. Only apex domain. I wanted to use photos.chaosplay.com. But that is not possible.
Advantages of Lightroom CC
The biggest advantage for me is that I have access to my photos on all of my devices, MacBook, iPad, and Android phone. Maybe if I had iPhone, I would have stuck with iCloud. But as an Android user, that was not an option.
Now I import in Lightroom CC. It stores all originals on external SSD while cache uses small amount of space on my MacBook’s SSD. It uploads new photos to cloud. Later I might cull photos on my phone or iPad. I use iPad for most of editing because it is probably the easiest UI to use.
Also as Lightroom is avaialble for Windows, I feel less locked-in with Apple’s ecosystem. I want to build a powerful video editing workstation which most likely will be Windows based. So with Lightroom, I will not have to worry about migrating my library. It should seamlessly work.