Today’s Question: If I already have Lightroom Classic version 5 on my computer can I subscribe to Lightroom CC as well? Would there be any conflicts? My plan would be to use the version on my computer to manage my current portfolio and use the online version to manage my new images.
Tim’s Quick Answer: It would be possible to use the cloud-based Lightroom CC to manage all new images, and your existing Lightroom version 5 catalog to manage all existing photos. Just note that this approach would involve having two separate catalogs for “old” versus “new” photos, whereas it would be possible to have a more integrated workflow if you opted to subscribe to a plan that includes both Lightroom Classic CC and adequate storage for the cloud-based Lightroom CC.
More Detail: Older versions of Lightroom Classic (before Lightroom Classic CC) do not include the ability to synchronize images to the cloud. As a result, if you are using an older version (such as Lightroom 5), you would not be able to synchronize existing images to a Lightroom CC catalog. There would not be any conflicts with this approach, since your Lightroom 5 catalog would not be synchronized, and your Lightroom CC catalog would be synchronized.
If you would like to have a more streamlined workflow, you might consider an approach that includes both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC. You could start by upgrading your existing Lightroom 5 catalog to Lightroom Classic CC. At that point you could choose which existing images you want to be able to view in Lightroom CC using the desktop application, mobile app, or through the Adobe online portal. Those photos can be synchronized from within Lightroom Classic CC by adding them to a collection and then enabling synchronization for that collection.
You could then use Lightroom CC to manage all new captures, so that all of those images would be synchronized to the cloud. This would enable you to see those images from virtually anywhere, as well as to see images from your Lightroom Classic CC catalog that you’ve chosen to synchronize.
This hybrid solution would provide a more seamless workflow, in terms of being able to manage your images in a more comprehensive way, rather than having two distinct platforms for different sets of photos. The only caution I would add is that if you’re going to use both Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC, you need to be sure you are always aware of which application you are importing new photos to. In other words, you’ll want to make sure you have defined a clear workflow, so you don’t get confused with the additional layer of complexity.