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!
The latest version of Lightroom is available to buy as a standalone product called Lightroom 6.
You can also buy Lightroom as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, a subscription plan which includes access to other Adobe products.
Buy Lightroom – My Recommendation
There are 3 options to buy the latest edition of Lightroom. My recommendation is to buy it as a standalone product, aka Lightroom 6.
Lightroom 6 is currently available for $142.99 from Amazon – the best price on Lightroom available.
I purchased Lightroom 6 from Amazon last year and I don’t regret my decision at all.
Let’s look at the various options to buy Lightroom so you can see if you agree with me.
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 some other apps and services you’ll probably never need such as 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.
Recently, this has included features like Dehaze, local Whites and Blacks, gradated filter, boundary warp and so on.
The updates aren’t huge advancements, but some users may find them useful in specific scenarios.
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 (My recommendation)
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 5 or so small 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 have no regrets.
With the standalone Lightroom 6, you still get free 6.x updates with bug fixes, support for new cameras, new lens profiles and some other background improvements.
I dislike subscription plans, and owning the software outright makes 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.
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 and to take advantage of Lightroom Mobile, I’d recommend going with Lightroom Creative Cloud Photography Plan. The updates during the year from Adobe may be small and specific, 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.
For me, since Lightroom Mobile wasn’t necessary in my workflow, I opted to buy Lightroom 6 outright from Amazon. I don’t miss the updates that Adobe has released for Lightroom CC subscribers. I also like the fact that I’m not locked into an endless subscription plan by Adobe.
Where to Buy Lightroom?
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.