It's many years since I last used Lightroom - it was then Lightroom 2, which I actually bought outright! I'm now looking at purchasing a photography plan to organise, and edit, my large collection of photos.
I am not sure whether or not I need the 1TB plan, and obviously would prefer to save £10 per month if possible, and would appreciate guidance from those who understand how the packages work.
I intend to use LrC rather than Lr (and have just bought the Scott Kelby LrC book), and I have adequate storage on my PC for the photos that I have (especially as part of my workflow is going to be to delete numerous very similar photos that I have). I also have them backed up. HOWEVER, I do want to be able to work from different devices (2 at least) and that is where I am not clear - I don't really understand how the Lr, or LrC, catalogue/database works. So if I go for the 20GB plan, and most of my photos are on my PC, what happens if I go away from home with my Windows laptop and want to work with new photos while I'm away from home? (I realise I can't access existing photos stored on my PC). In particular, I may be in remote areas with poor internet connectivity that might mean I'd want to download photos directly from SD card to laptop, and may not be able to upload then online. I would hope that I could still import them into the catalogue, delete the unwanted ones (much easier to do on a laptop than on an SLR camera!) and perhaps do some basic editing. So, questions that spring to mind are:
I hope that all makes sense, and hoping that people with expertise have encountered this situation before!
You will probably get several reply's. Perhaps even before I finish this one.
For a starter. in current Adobe marketing (and blame them for the confusion)
Your old pre subscription, perpetual a.k.a stand alone copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, has been upgraded, upgraded, and upgraded, into what Adobe calls Lightroom Classic (LrC). Do not confuse that with what Adobe calls Lightroom.
Two markets Adobe is creating products for. For use in computers, with the catalog on a computer, and photos primarily on a computer. and the other, for use in the cloud, primarily for mobile devices, but also using a computer but with a album on the cloud and photos on the cloud.
So, the main two products of interest in this post
Lightroom Classic (LrC). runs on your computer. Uses a database called a catalog that must be on a hard drive, typically stores photos on a hard drive. (photos supposedly can be on a network share or the cloud, but many have issues). This is what you are used to. This is the most capable Lightroom app.
Lightroom (Lr), a.k.a Lightroom Desktop (but Adobe is going away from that title) or by users that do not like it Lr Cloudy. It falls under a group of apps in Lightroom Ecosystem (Cloud Based). It uses a Album stored on the cloud instead of a catalog, it stores the photos on the cloud. It has a smaller feature set than LrC. It can be useful to sync from LrC to Lr, to get images to the cloud.
Now as to Adobe Plans. As you mentioned the primary plan that will provide LrC is the Photography plan. Be very very careful and do not get confused by the Lightroom plan. The Lightroom plan only provides Lightroom, not Lightroom Classic. Their is no plan offering just Lightroom Classic.
As for cloud size, the Lightroom plan comes with that 1 TB option as you would be using a lot of cloud storage for those photos. The Photography plan comes in two cloud storage options, 1 TB and for less money 20 GB. As you typically would be storing your photos on a local hard drive, less cloud space if any is required, some having both LrC and Lr installed, might sync some JPEG file to the Adobe cloud for sharing, but not the RAW (assuming they do not actually use Lr for RAW post processing)
Note that the Photography plan includes PS, Lr, LrC, Bridge, ACR, ans some odds and ends. Mind you ACR is free and can be acquired elsewhere, and I think Bridge might be as well. And you might think, but I do not need PS. Well occasionally you might.
Their are several ways to work that. Starting with placing the catalog on external hard drive(s), and photos on external hard drive(s)
Some points to make
Some additional issues, many will argue with this
Lastly, you didn't ask, but I really dislike Kelby's books. Especially the part about organizing, I think his advice is very off-target to the point where I wouldn't bother trying to do it that way (and I don't do it his way). If you want to read something good about organizing, see http://thedambook.com/
Thank you both dj_paige and GoldingD for your helpful replies. I was aware of the basic differences between LrC and Lr (cloud-based) and was already convinced that it was the LrC I wanted to use. The Lightroom Queen link was helpful - although the introductory line "Lightroom can be activated on two computers at a time, but accessing your catalog from both machines isn’t quite so simple as Lightroom isn’t designed for multi-user or network use" was perhaps not really what I wanted to hear. I'm not particularly enthusiastic about storing my catalogue and photos on a separate portable device (although doing so with the catalogue if it's a back up version rather than the original) would perhaps be more acceptable.
However, the option "Import from a Temporary Catalog—create a new catalog for the photos on the secondary computer and merge them back into the primary machine when you return" sounds more like what I wanted to achieve and I will explore that further.
Thanks also for the system requirements section - my PC is Windows 10 with an SSD and 16GB RAM and the DirectX version is 12, which appears to fit the requirements. Screenshot attached. My laptop is brand new (Win 11) with 16GB RAM and I'm sure will be fine.
I've heard people rave about Scott Kelby's books - so it's disappointing to learn that his advice about organising (which is one of my main plans!) isn't universally respected. I'm based in the UK where the Dambook doesn't seem readily available, but will do some further online looking at organising.