Not my normal picture blog, but my views of the new offering of a cloud based version of Adobe’s Lightroom editing software. The offer for current subscribers to Adobe’s Photographer bundle (which has the more controllable but more fiddly Photoshop and it’s easier, more user friendly, lower functioning Lightroom – now called “Classic”) is the new cloud based software plus a measly 20GB of the cloud. Seeing as the card on my camera is 32GB it is sufficient to say that the upgrade to 1TB at an extra £10 per month (or thereabouts) is necessary if you are going to go to the cloud.
So Cloud based Lightroom? Yay or Nay?
The advantage of a cloud based service is effective “handoff” between devices. I have a laptop which I do most of my editing on (sitting at my day-job computer in my open plan office and editing photos is not really on), but if I can use my iPad to scroll through and rate raw images is easier than on my laptop, and then making first go around edits on either iPad and/or laptop before finishing/finalising images on desktop is a nice possibility. So certainly worth having a look at the packages effectiveness.
The first thing I did was to look at storage capacity. I currently store all my RAW files on a cloud solution called Livedrive. I have just over 1TB of data stored on Livedrive – RAW pics from 2004 onward. I would either need to port all my files over to Lightroom and have more than 1TB or come up with a system that archives older files in Lightroom cloud over to Livedrive perhaps annually – More data storage costs.
I already pay a tenner a month for Adobe CC and £15 for Livedrive so an extra £10 a month for Lightroom CC upgrade is not going to break the bank but If I could get the additional service with the same storage I already have at a cost neutral basis I would.
So I’ve downloaded the software (without the storage upgrade) to see if it’s worth jumping across. Therefore these are my thoughts as I use it for the first time.
The first thing I noted was whether edits I’ve already made on the local version will be recognised in the cloud. Then work out whether I still need Livedrive and how to use them in combination. Then decide whether the jump is worth it. And whether it eats space on your mobile devices (iPad/phone/etc.) The answer seems to be “no”. It would seem that I now have two catalogues (“Classic LR” and new LR in the cloud). These catalogues are separate and therefore edits made on one is not recognised by the other. What you can do is move from the new cloud based LR to edit an item in PS CC.
Functionality – The tools etc., seem to be largely similar to those on “Classic” LR, although the interface is simplified to feel more like Instagram app style. There is still the ability to add grad filters and also localised brush-based edits, plus the same LR clone/heal functions. Whether these are as effective in my workflow as “Classic” remains to be seen. Whereas “Classic” records your workflow in History. This seems to be missing form Cloud LR. A definite retrograde step for me.
Presets – I have a bunch of preset which I use to kick off my workflow and not sure if I an import these for quicker editing. UPDATE – Yes, you can import hose to use within the system
Export options seem limited. Can’t work out how to add watermarks yet (if at all possible).