Adobe Lightroom Classic review

Import, organize, edit and share your digital photos with Adobe Lightroom Classic, the app of choice for pro photographers

Adobe Lightroom Classic screenshots
(Image: © George Cairns / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Lightroom Classic may be long in the tooth but there’s life in this old dog yet! It has all the tools you’ll need to reveal missing colors and tones and banish artifacts such as color fringing, luminance noise, and lens distortion. It’s also a powerful asset manager that can gather files scattered on multiple external drives into one easy-to-access catalog (without making space-hogging copies of them). Classic also boasts the same AI-assisted tools found in Lightroom CC so it has just as much power when it comes to making selective mask-based adjustments to specific features in your RAW files.


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    Powerful asset management tools

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    Create complex AI-assisted masks in seconds

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    AI Denoise tool

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    Multiple ways to share your work

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    Supports a wide range of old and new RAW files


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    Only available via subscription

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    A bit sluggish at drawing up thumbnails in large catalogs

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Lightroom comes in two incarnations. The latest version - Lightroom CC – is designed to look and behave the same on desktop and mobile devices, with your assets shared via the Adobe Creative Cloud. We look at Lightroom CC in detail here. The original version of Lightroom - rebranded Lightroom Classic - is designed to let you organize, edit and share your digital photographs from a desktop Mac or PC (though you can also sync collections in Lightroom Classic with the newer Lightroom CC via Adobe Creative Cloud).

So why are there still two versions of Lightroom available and what are the key differences between them? Basically Lightroom Classic has several extra workspaces (or modules) that let you focus on tasks such as editing your photos (the Develop module), sharing them (the Book module), and even creating the layout for a website portfolio (the Web module). We’ll look at these modules in more detail later in this review. The newer Lightroom CC has jettisoned many of the Lightroom Classic’s professional sharing options (such as the ability to create Contact sheets) to focus on faster photo-fixing and social media sharing on PC and smartphones.

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George Cairns

George has been freelancing as a photo fixing and creative tutorial writer since 2002, working for award winning titles such as Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N-Photo and Practical Photoshop. He's expert in communicating the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as producing video production tutorials on Final Cut Pro and iMovie for magazines such as iCreate and Mac Format. He also produces regular and exclusive Photoshop CC tutorials for his YouTube channel.