Feature summary | Lightroom Classic | 2019 releases

Learn what's new in the 2019 releases of Lightroom Classic

The December 2018 (version 8.1) and October 2018 (version 8.0) releases of Lightroom Classic roll out several new features and enhancements that enrich your digital imaging experience. Read on for a quick introduction to these features and links to resources offering more information.

  • With the new Auto-update feature, your Creative Cloud apps are now automatically upgraded whenever a new version is available. For Lightroom Classic, you cannot have two versions of the app running simultaneously on your computer. Your existing app preferences and settings are migrated to the latest version. You can manage the update preferences using the Creative Cloud desktop app. Learn more.
  • If the previous installation of Lightroom Classic was licensed and deployed by your IT admin using an enterprise serial number, you should not update to the latest version of Lightroom Classic. Click here for more information on reverting to a prior version to re-enable access.

Lightroom Classic CC 8.1 (December 2018 release)

This release of Lightroom Classic rolls out new features and enhancements such as customization of Develop Panel, Add to Collection option in auto-import settings, Grid Snap option in book module, other enhancements, support for new cameras and lenses, and bug fixes.

Customize the order of Develop panels

With this release, you can now drag the Develop module panels in the order you would like to see them in.

To customize the Develop panel menu, do the following:

  1. Right-click (Win) / Control-click (Mac) on the header of any panel.
  2. Select Customize Develop Panel from the context menu that opens. 
  3. In the Customize Develop Panel dialog box that opens, drag the panel names in the desired order.
  4. Click Save. To restore the default order, click Default Order before Save
  5. Relaunch Lightroom Classic to see the Develop panels in the new order in the Confirm dialog that opens.
Customize Develop panels
Customize Develop module panels in Lightroom Classic

For detailed information, see Customize the order of Develop panels.

Add photos from a watched folder to a Collection with Auto Import

In the Auto Import settings, you can now use the Add To Collection option to directly pull photos from a watched folder into a specified Collection. 

The Auto Import feature monitors a watched folder for photos and automatically imports them into the Collection you've set as the destination. After you set up a watched folder and specify a destination Collection in the auto-import settings, you can simply drag photos into the watched folder. Lightroom Classic automatically imports those photos in the specified Collection, allowing you to bypass the import window.

To add photos from a watched folder to a Collection, do the following:

  1. Go to File > Auto Import > Auto Import Settings.
  2. In the Auto Import Settings dialog box, set up a watched folder and select the Enable Auto Import option.
  3. In the Destination area of the dialog box, select the Add to Collection check box. Lightroom Classic now displays a list of all your Collections. 
  4. Select any Collection as your destination for auto-import. 
  5. Optionally, you can also click Create Collection to create a new collection and select it as the destination for import.
  6. Click OK.
Add to collection on auto-import
Add to collection on auto-import

For detailed information on photo import on tethering, see Import photos automatically.

Align photos in a Book layout with the Grid Snap guides

You can now easily align photos in a Book layout using the Grid Snap option in the Guides section. In Grid Snap, choose either Cells  to align the cells of two photos with respect to each other, or Grid to align photos with the grid guide lines .

On moving the photo, it would snap into place based on the selected setting. By default, the Grid Snap option is set to Cells.

For more helpful information, see Create photo books.

Duplicate preset handling

With this release of Lightroom Classic, if you attempt to create a duplicate preset with the same name under the same group, a Duplicate Preset Name dialog box opens with options to:

  • Replace - Select this option to keep only the latest preset with the same name in the group
  • Duplicate - Select this option to keep two presets with the same name listed in the same group
  • Rename - Select this option to append a numeric extension to the name by default or rename it yourself
Duplicate presets handling in Lightroom Classic
Duplicate presets handling in Lightroom Classic

For detailed information about working with Develop presets, see Work with Develop presets.

Show partially compatible presets

On opening a photo in the Loupe view in the Develop module, some presets may not appear in the Presets panel due to incompatibility with the selected photo, such as camera profiles that are not applicable to the current photo or presets that only apply to raw files. The non-compatible presets are shown as faded and in Italics style in the Presets panel in Develop.

To see all presets even if they are not compatible with the current photo, do the following:

  1. Open a photo in Loupe view and click Edit.
  2. Select Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select Presets under the Preferences panel.
  4. In the Visibility section, select/deselect Show Partially Compatible Develop Presets to show/hide partially compatible develop presets.
Show partially compatible presets in Lightroom Classic
Check 'Show Partially Compatible Develop Presets' checkbox to see all presets

For detailed information about working with Develop presets, see Work with Develop presets.

Photo merge enhancements

  • Photo merge: Requirements for merge operations that could have led to merging failures in earlier versions have now been relaxed. Now you can merge images with differing dimensions, focal lengths, and orientation.
  • Photo merge preview caching: Lightroom Classic now caches the previews generated for Photo Merge operations. This improves performance and provides a better user experience.
  • Single-step HDR-Pano merge : Now you can perform single-step panorama HDR merge using smart previews. 

For more helpful information on merge operations, see Create Panoramas and HDR Panoramas.

Performance enhancements

  • Improved sync reliability and stability.
  • Improved performance while doing batch operations such as import, preview generation, DNG conversion, and export.
  • Improved grid scrolling performance on Hi-DPI displays.
  • Improved performance when switching between Develop and Library Loupe.

Other enhancements

  • Cancel on exit: With this release, you would see a confirmation dialog on exit so that you can choose to cancel exiting from Lightroom Classic. If you select Don’t show again checkbox from the confirmation dialog, you need to reset warning dialogs (Preferences > General > Reset All Warning dialogs) to see the confirmation dialog on exit again.
Cancel confirmation on exit from Lightroom Classic
Cancel confirmation on exit from Lightroom Classic

  • Color Labels for folders: Support has been added for color labels for offline folders. For more helpful information, see Create and manage folders.
  • Support for Photoshop Elements 2019 catalogs: Support has been added for importing Photoshop Elements 2019 catalogs in Lightroom Classic. For more helpful information, see Import photos from Photoshop Elements.

Support for new cameras and lenses

For a full list of supported cameras and lens profiles, see these resources:

Lightroom Classic CC 8.0 (October 2018 release)

Depth range masking

Beginning this release, a new range mask option is added to the local adjustment tools. Make selections based on a range of depth values in supported HEIC photos that contain embedded depth map data.

Make local adjustments with Depth Range Mask
An illustrative example showing a depth mask created (based on depth data) over objects in the foreground to apply selective adjustments.

Using the Depth Range Mask, after making an initial selection mask on your photo with Adjustment Brushes or Radial Filter/Graduated Filters, you can refine the mask area based on the depth range of the selection:

  1. From the Brush settings area in the Adjustment panel, choose the Range Mask type as Depth from the drop-down list. By default, Range Mask is set as Off.
  2. To sample a depth range within the mask area, do any of the following:
    1. Adjust the Range slider to define the endpoints of the selected depth range.
    2. Select Depth Range Selector from the Range Mask panel. Click+drag an area on the photo you want to adjust.
  3. Select the Show Depth Mask check box to view the depth of the image in black and white representation and use the Smoothness slider to control the falloff at either ends of the selected depth range.

After refining the mask area, you can now apply selective adjustments from the Effect pop-up menu to create precise photographic edits.

For more Help information, see Depth range mask.

Single-step HDR Panorama merge

Create HDR Panos faster now that you can merge multiple bracketed exposures into multiple HDR photos and then stitch them into a panorama — all in one step.

Simply select your exposure-bracketed pano source photos in the grid and select Photo > Photo Merge > HDR Panorama. In the HDR Panorama Merge Preview dialog box, you can adjust other settings using Boundary Warp slider, Auto Crop and Create Stack check boxes.

Merge HDR Panorama in a single step

For detailed information, see Create panoramas and HDR panoramas.

Faster tethering for Canon camera

Experience greater speed and stability when tethering supported Canon camera models to Lightroom Classic. 

Faster tethering for Canon Camera models

  1. Connect a supported Canon camera to your computer and choose File > Tethered Capture (Canon) > Start Tethered Capture.
  2. In the Tethered Capture Settings dialog box, specify how you want to import the photos using: Session, Naming, Destination, Information, Disable Auto Advance, Save A Copy To Camera.
  3. Click OK to start the photo-capture session.
  4. Use the floating tethered capture bar to adjust the camera controls and develop settings. 

Additionally, tether support for the following Canon camera models has been provided in this release:

  • Canon EOS 2000D (Rebel T7)
  • Canon EOS M50

For a full list of cameras that can be tethered to Lightroom Classic, see Tethered camera support.

Process version improvements

With Process Version 5 update, Lightroom Classic's raw image processing has been updated to include improvements to image quality for high ISO raw files that reduces purple color cast in your low-light shots and you see less noise when you move the Dehaze slider to the left of zero (negative dehaze ).

To check the process version in Lightroom Classic, switch to the Develop module. In the Calibration panel, select the Process drop-down list to see a list of available versions. 

For related information, see Process versions.

HEVC file support (macOS)

Beginning with this release, Lightroom Classic supports Apple's HEVC video format (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265) on macOS High Sierra v10.13 or later.

Support for new cameras and lenses

For a full list of supported cameras and lens profiles, see these resources:


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