If you’re looking for the best place to buy Lightroom, this short guide will help you make the right decision.
Lightroom is the most useful piece of software on any photographer’s computer, but knowing where to buy Lightroom isn’t immediately obvious.
You’d be surprised by the number of times I’m asked by my photographer friends where to buy Lightroom!
Adobe makes it rather difficult to buy Lightroom as a standalone product (Lightroom 6), but you can still get it here.
You can also buy the latest version of Lightroom CC Classic, as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, a subscription plan which includes access to other Adobe products and regular updates.
Buy Lightroom – My Recommendation
Lightroom 6 is currently available for a great price from Amazon – the best price on Lightroom available here in 2018.
I purchased Lightroom 6 from Amazon in 2015, and used it quite happily until earlier this year. I could have carried on using it indefinitely, if not for a couple of reasons:
- I bought a new Sony a7 III camera and Lightroom 6 didn’t support it.
- I needed access to new tools exclusive to Lightroom CC Classic
Let’s look at the various options to buy Lightroom so you can see which is best for you:
Option #1 – Buy Lightroom Creative Cloud Photography Plan
Lightroom Creative Cloud Photography Plan is Adobe’s subscription program and includes Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC, and unlimited syncing of photos from Lightroom to Lightroom mobile, as well as to Lightroom web.
It also includes most importantly new camera updates (so you can keep editing photos shot with newer models of camera), and updates.
These updates include extremely useful functions such as Dehaze, local Whites and Blacks, gradated filter, boundary warp and Selective Masking, that make editing photos much easier and quicker.
More recently this year, Adobe released a major Lightroom CC Classic update which included Profiles – basically one click adjustments to your photos, which again makes editing much quicker.
The Lightroom Creative Cloud Photography Plan also includes some other apps and services, but to honest you’ll probably never need them. Things like Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Mix, Spark Page, Spark Post… see the whole list here.
I haven’t met any photographer who uses any of the included apps, except for Lightroom Mobile which some people like to use to keep their work in sync over multiple devices.
The main advantage of Lightroom Creative Cloud Photography Plan is that you get all the new features that are added during the Lightroom CC product cycle for free, and you can keep purchasing new cameras and be able to use Lightroom to edit the photos.
Lightroom Creative Cloud Photography Plan costs $9/month. For those with a photography business, this may not seem expensive, but those who can’t use the cost as a tax deduction may not like this subscription plan.
For professional photographers, Lightroom Creative Cloud Photography Plan is the most popular option. Keeping images in sync across multiple devices is convenient for those with fast Internet connections, and continuous free updates can be appealing too.
Option #2 – Buy Creative Cloud
You can also subscribe to the complete Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes all the CC suite of products (inDesign, Illustrator, Premier Pro etc etc).
If you’re a photographer who also dabbles in other creative pursuits (video editing, illustration etc), this could be a great option for you.
However, at $49.99/month, the expense can quickly add up. This option is more popular for agencies or companies who need access to Adobe’s whole suite.
Option #3 – Buy Lightroom 6 as a Standalone Product
If you buy Lightroom 6 as a standalone product like I did, it may seem like more money than the other 2 options of the Creative Cloud plan mentioned below.
Sure, during that time Adobe will probably have released a few updates to Lightroom, but is that worth the extra cost? Also, do you really need Lightroom mobile and all the other features of the Creative Cloud?
I can’t answer that for you, but I chose to buy Lightroom 6 as a standalone product and used it happily for a few years before upgrading to the subscription plan mentioned above.
With the standalone Lightroom 6, you still get free 6.x updates with bug fixes and some other background improvements.
I dislike subscription plans, and owning the software outright made me feel more comfortable than ‘renting’ a software, which is what the Creative Cloud feels like to me.
In addition, Internet upload speeds here in Australia are not fast enough to justify using Lightroom mobile.
However, since buying a new camera made my standalone copy of Lightroom redundant, I was forced to upgrade to the subscription plan. As it turns out, I’m glad I upgraded, since the updated features of Lightroom CC Classic make the cost per month more than worth it.
How should you Buy Lightroom?
So now you know the 3 options to buy Lightroom, what’s the best way to buy Lightroom for you?
Well, if you need your images to be in sync over multiple devices, have a new model camera, and/or can take advatnage of all the latest Lightroom CC Classic updates, I’d recommend going with Lightroom Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
The updates during the year from Adobe may be sporadic but it’s nice to know you’re using the latest version of the software.
It also should be mentioned that since creating the Creative Cloud, it’s possible that there might not be a Lightroom 7 released by Adobe. Adobe no doubt wants to push all its users to subscription plans.
Where to Buy Lightroom?
The best place to buy Lightroom 6 is Amazon, where it is currently on sale.
If you’d like to subscribe to the subscription version of Lightroom, get it direct from Adobe:
Once you buy Lightroom 6, you’ll want to watch some Lightroom tutorials to get up to speed quickly.
Here are the Lightroom tutorials and tips that I recommend. Some of them are free tips, some are my own products and some are products that I use on a regular basis.
It should also be mentioned that there are some great free Lightroom tutorials on YouTube by Adobe, but in general, the tutorials mentioned below go into more depth on each topic.
Speed up Lightroom – implementing this one tip will have the biggest impact on the speed of Lightroom.
Lightroom Power User – this is a book I wrote packed full of short, actionable tips and tricks to speed up your Lightroom workflow and improve your editing.
Lightroom Hot Tips – a free selection of my 10 favourtie Lightroom tips.
If you found this post on how to buy Lightroom useful, please consider buying Lightroom from one of the links in the page. Any small commission generated from your purchase does not affect the price of Lightroom, and helps to keep Shotkit running.
Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer based in Australia and the founder of Shotkit.