Tethering in Lightroom CC vs Lightroom Classic CC

Posted by: on Aug 04, 2021

Tethering in Lightroom CC vs Lightroom Classic CC

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or simply getting started in the photography industry, one thing is universal—file management and post-processing. Photographers take plenty of photos during shoots and it’s crucial to quickly edit and save these in a safe space. There are a variety of software out there that help with this. One of these is Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is specifically built to efficiently handle a photographer’s workflow, from photo management to finishing touches. But did you know that there are two versions of Lightroom? There is Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.  

The Difference Between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic 

The main difference between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic is that Lightroom is cloud-based that works across desktop, mobile, and web whereas Lightroom Classic is a desktop-focused digital photography product. While both programs can essentially do the same thing, there are several features that don’t cross over—especially if you’re tethering. Back in 2017, Adobe changed how they support tethering. At the time of writing this article, tethering is supported only in Lightroom Classic CC. 

Confused? Here’s all you need to know. If you are on the Adobe Creative Cloud, you will need Lightroom Classic CC to tether. The steps to set up a tethered session are below. Note, that if you on a version of Lightroom older than October 18, 2017, you will still use the program called Lightroom CC. 

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Pros and Cons 


  • Excellent photo management and organization 
  • Camera and lens-based corrections 
  • Brush and gradient adjustments with color and luminance masking  
  • Smart Shooter Plug-in for Lightroom Classic
    • The Smart Shooter Plug-in for Lightroom Classic brings seamless integration between the two applications for an elevated tethered workflow. Boasting a smooth, stable tethered connection into Lightroom, this plug-in now allows Sony users to tether directly into Lightroom Classic and adds valuable features for Nikon users. Advanced features now include automatically applying Lightroom presets, save to card and computer simultaneously, enhanced abilities like multi-loupe view, Live View, automated scripts, increased camera controls and more while still instantly transferring images to Lightroom. Smart Shooter also has barcode/QR code functionality, through the camera, to automate workflow, improve organization and save time in post-production. 

Check out Smart Shooter with a free 30-day trial.


  • Few import options 
  • Fewer export options 
  • File backup is not included 
  • Not as intuitive, therefore recommended for experienced photo editors 

Popular Tethering Software Amongst Photographers

How to Tether to a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera Using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 

  • Connect a supported camera to your computer and open Lightroom Classic CC. 
  • Choose File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture. 
  • In the Tethered Capture Settings dialog box, specify how you want to import the photos. 
  • Click OK to start your photo capture session. 
  • Use the floating tethered capture bar to import photos. 

For a more detailed look into tethering and its capabilities in Lightroom Classic, check out Adobe’s website

New to Tethering? Here Are The Essentials