I have some questions following on from the Oct 2017 Adobe changes. There are blog posts about the changes, each with lots of unanswered questions. Understandably. http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2017/10/answering-your-questions-on-lightroom-cc-lightroom-classic-cc-and-more.html and http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshop/2017/10/introducing-lightroom-cc-lightroom-classic-cc-and-more.html. Hence why I am turning to this forum.

The future is in the cloud. I'm sure one day purely thin clients will be the norm. So I think Adobe's changes are sound. I'm just hoping (and expecting) that storage costs will come down.

On with my question.

So LR CC with its cloud storage and device syncing sounds great. I'd be keen to use this selectively.

  • Can anyone answer if LR CC and LR Classic can / does have independent catalogs?
  • And if you can share from Classic to CC or VV?

1 Answer 1


Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC can inter-operate, but with some restrictions.

Classic is a more sophisticated editor; many of its features are not yet in CC, even though they share the same ACR engine under the covers, for example selective item presets, red eye correction. A good feature comparison is here (scroll down past the decision flowchart). So edits done in Classic are not fully compatible with further editing in CC.

The bigger issue is sync. If you have them tied together, images you import in CC always go to the cloud, and will sync down to Classic as original images. On the other hand, images you import in Classic have to be specifically selected to go to the cloud, and when they do only a smart preview goes to the cloud, not the original. You cannot ingest in Classic and have originals go to the cloud. Quirks in subsequent activity (like edit-in-photoshop) can make it confusing what you have where. Further, keywords and color codes do not sync properly between (especially up from Classic).

Fundamentally it appears Adobe did not intend Classic and CC to inter-operate smoothly and completely; it is more like "Lightroom Mobile" sync from LR6 on steroids. CC however inter-operates very smoothly and transparently with other versions of itself on many platforms, which is its real strength.

You can use them separately, provided you are not syncing with the old LR Mobile feature -- that is the same sync and same cloud account that CC will use, so you can keep Classic purely non-cloud and CC purely cloud, but you cannot mix and match. If Classic is set up to sync at all and CC is using the same Adobe account, CC will sync back to Classic.

It is worth noting there is no explicit catalog in CC, in the sense of it being a thing you can create more of; it is just the cloud. Sync's from CC to Classic go into "mobile" collections in Classic's catalog. Only one catalog on one computer can sync with CC at all (a key limitation is that CC cannot be used then to keep two Classic catalogs on different computers in sync with each other, something long requested).

I am sorry I do not know what VV is so cannot address that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ vv: vice versa, i presume. \$\endgroup\$
    – ths
    Nov 7, 2017 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Blush, of course; I was thinking too hard about Adobe products. \$\endgroup\$
    – Linwood
    Nov 7, 2017 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @Linwood a thorough answer. The key here is that CC and Classic are fully separate. The main reason I asked this question is the use case spoken about in those blog posts by professional photographers with a huge number of photos in existence and with many more added each "day" (or an amateur that loves taking lots of photos). Where they want to be able to do everything in Classic and selectively move some to CC. Perhaps the best choice is Classic with Mobile sync for presentation for now. With CC being for the low number / non-professional (until prices become more realistic). \$\endgroup\$
    – HankCa
    Nov 8, 2017 at 0:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not completely separate. If you are using lightroom for mobile with it, that is the same "cloud" as LR CC uses. So if you (perhaps in experimenting) ingested a few hundred images in LR CC, they will appear in Classic (if you had the mobile sync set up). Same account, same cloud; to keep them separate you have to stop using LR Mobile type sync in Classic. I think a lot of people are disappointed that full integration was not a goal for Classic to CC, with control over what sync'd. \$\endgroup\$
    – Linwood
    Nov 8, 2017 at 14:39

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