We had some nice years together, but it is time to search for a new buddy in my photographic endeavors.
As you may know, Adobe unveiled their future plans for Lightroom a few days ago. Since then every major photography website has published an article about it, and users have discussed the pro's and con's. I do not want to go into detail about all the changes, you can find plenty online.
Adobe has posted a blog article describing Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC. You can find it here if you are interested in the details: Adobe Blog
For me, their changes mark the final push I needed to leave Adobe. Since they got basically rid of the retail version of Lightroom (somewhere hidden on Adobe's website) and Photoshop, I am not really happy anymore. Since then I have been searching for alternatives and the recent outlook in the future has added a certain pressure to this.
To my knowledge a software that has been labeled “Classic”, has never made it a long time. Please feel free to comment if I am wrong. I do not see Adobe putting money and effort in two different versions of Lightroom for very long. So in my mind, Lightroom Classic will die sooner or later.
The new Lightroom CC is basically cloud-based and, as far as I know, in order to develop a photo it has to be uploaded to Adobe's servers. I know this version is not intended for professionals, but I assume that Adobe will upgrade it over time and add new features that are intended for professional users.
So why is it that I don't like a cloud-based Lightroom?
1.) Control: Once my photos are in the cloud I loose control over them. I might be able to delete them from the cloud, but do I have a guaranty that they are really deleted?
2.) Probability of Failure: If I develop my photos on my PC I am responsible that my hard- and software is working. With a cloud-based software I add two more variables: The ISP has to do their job to make sure my Internet is working, and Abobe has to do their job to make sure their servers are working.
3.) Upload/Download speed: Me and my family are moving frequently and there is no guarantee that at our next location the internet will be as fast as it is right now. Also, upload speed is still considerably slower than download speed. At my current location about 15 times as slow!
As we all know a RAW file can be quite large, and on a weekend trip I might take a few hundred photos. It will take me a couple hours just to upload those photos.
4.) Security: How often do we read in the news lately about hacked servers? My photos might not be what a hacker wants, but once they are online, in high-resolution for everyone to download, they are not worth anything anymore.
5.) Access: If I ever decide to cancel my subscription, I cannot access my photos anymore. Right now I have at least the RAW files on my computer and would only loose the adjustments.
These are just a few reasons I thought about while typing this article, and some might call me paranoid, and that cloud is the future. I am sure that there are valid points and also advantages of cloud-based software, but at this stage of development those do not negate the issues I talked about.
In the next posts I will talk about the alternatives I found and how my workflow changed. Stay tuned!