Adobe has released Lightroom 3 and Lightroom Classic 9. The headlining feature for both versions is the same: When creating a panorama by merging photos, there’s a now a “Fill Edges” option that uses content-aware fill to even out the edges. The rest of the new features are different between versions, with Lightroom focuses on improving the built-in tutorials1 while Lightroom Classic focuses on new organizational features and performance improvements.
Lightroom 3 is the same version that’s available in the app store, while Lightroom Classic is only available directly from Adobe. You can find many comparisons between the two, but my quick summary is that Lightroom hosts all of your images in the cloud, no matter what2, while Lightroom Classic keeps all of your files on your hard drive. Lightroom Classic can sync photos to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, but this only syncs the “Smart Previews”, not the original raw images. The only way to sync the full raw images is to add them to Lightroom. The second difference between the two versions is the individual features, only Lightroom has the built-in tutorials, while only Lightroom Classic has support for plugins, as well as the insanely useful snapshots and history.
I’ve played around with Lightroom’s built-in tutorials, but the technology only plays nicely with the sliders that affect the whole image, and not the more specialized tools like brushes and the guided upright tool. This limits how helpful they can be because the sliders themselves aren’t exactly difficult to use. ↩︎
Uploading all of the images to the cloud is more problematic than it at first appears. For example it means if you’re doing a large photo shoot, you have to upload all of the photos to work with them in Lightroom (and pay Adobe’s cloud storage fees). ↩︎