Which Lightroom is right for me?

What is Lightroom?

Lightroom is a family of photo editing apps designed for photographers by photographers. Lightroom is both a library and a development tool that empowers you to edit, organize, store, and share your photos. Lightroom is the digital twin of darkrooms used by photographers to develop their photos.

Lightroom comes in two primary flavors: Lightroom Ecosystem and Lightroom Classic.


Download Lightroom Classic

Lightroom Classic is an application that lives on your local computer and allows you to organize and store your photos on a local hard drive. Lightroom Classic allows you to use a variety of third-party develop, edit, and export plugins, including SmugMug, Wordpress, and Costco.

An internet connection is not required to access your photos but is occasionally needed for licensing and syncing with Lightroom for mobile.

Lightroom Classic


Download Lightroom

Lightroom Ecosystem is a family of cloud-based apps that include: Lightroom for desktopLightroom for mobile, Lightroom Web, and Lightroom for Apple TV.  You can also quickly search for your photos, even if you haven't added keywords, using Adobe Sensei, a powerful AI that automatically identifies subjects, people, objects, or places from your photos.

Lightroom Ecosystem needs a fast internet connection to sync your photo collection across all your devices.

Lightroom desktop

What can Lightroom do for me?

Lightroom is the modern darkroom for the digital photographers. Just like with film, digital images must be developed. If you shoot with JPEG, your camera is developing your image for you. However, if you shoot in Raw, you can use Lightroom
to add your own style or rescue photos taken in harsh conditions. 

Lightroom helps you keep all your photos organized and stored in one library. No matter how you take your photos, whether with your camera phone, digital camera, or even photos you received on social media, Lightroom will organize all of your photos in one place making it easier for you to find your images when you need it.

Lightroom seamlessly connects to Adobe Photoshop. When you're ready to do more advanced editing or compositing, you can take your images to the next level by easily round-tripping to Adobe Photoshop back to Lightroom.   


Drag the slider to view the before and after image

Which Lightroom should I use?


For a detailed feature comparison, see Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Ecosystem | Feature Comparison

Here are a few primary things to consider as you decide which version of Lightroom works for you:

Let's get started Lightroom Classic Lightroom Ecosystem
I am a beginner and I want step by step learning tutorials. X Y
I am a professional photographer or I might start a business in the future. Y X
Do you plan to share your photos to an external portfolio or third-party plugins? Y X
Do you want to easily share photo albums with friends and family? X Y
Do you want friends and family to be able to contribute to your photo albums?
Yes, I have a fast and reliable internet connection and I want to be able to edit anytime, anywhere.
No, I do not have a fast and reliable internet connection.
Do you take a lot of raw photos and/or have terabytes of photos stored?
Do you prefer to store your photos on a local hard drive or storage network?
Do you prefer your photos to be backed up and stored on Adobe's cloud?

Download and try the Lightroom of your choice

Download and try the full version of Lightroom free for 7 days.

Want to use Lightroom beyond 7 days? Compare plan features to find the one that’s right for you.


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