Tips for buying Lightroom online in the UK

[Last updated: October 2010. Links and information and now current again for Lightroom 3 instead of Lightroom 2.]

Here’s some more detail on how to get hold of a copy of Lightroom (official name: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3) in the UK. There are Amazon listings but also tips on buying, cross-platform compatibility, licensing and on the various versions. available.

1. The free, 30-day trial from Adobe

Anyone looking at Lightroom for the first time should turn first to the 30-day trial. It’s wise to try before you buy. Even if you’ve already run a previous version of Lightroom on a 30-day trial (i.e., a version older than 3.2, which is current at the time of writing), you’re still entitled to a 30-day trial of version 3.2 and you’ll find no issues downloading and running it. (Useful if your previous trial showed incomplete support for your new camera or lens.) The trial is the perfect start—test the software and see how you get on with it. During the trial, there are no restrictions whatsoever on functionality. After the trial, you won’t be able to use the application but when you later buy it and activate it, you’ll find you’ve lost none of your work—when the trial expires, the software doesn’t delete the images (obviously…) or the adjustments you’ve made to them.

2. Buying from Amazon UK: Lightroom 3 full retail version

If you’re looking for an upgrade version or an academic version for students and teachers, scroll down. To view the Amazon UK listing for the full retail version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, click the icon immediately below.

We use and trust Amazon so we’re happy to use affiliate links to the UK store. They’re reliable, their refund policy is good and they no longer charge for super saver delivery, regardless of item cost.

That little picture of Lightroom 3 above this text should always display the current Amazon price for the full Lightroom 3 retail product so check back to see it change over the days ahead.

One thing to watch out for when you order from the Amazon site: make sure you know whether you’re ordering directly from them or from an Amazon reseller. If it’s an Amazon reseller, check the reseller’s reputation and delivery charges before ordering.

3. Buying from Amazon UK: Lightroom 3 Student and Teacher version

If you’re looking for the Student and Teacher edition of Lightroom 3 from Amazon UK, click the picture below to see the full listing.

Important note: you will need to prove your entitlement to run this academic-users version of Lightroom 3, and I believe you will need to supply photo ID as part of that process. If you’re looking for the full retail version, use the previous link.

4. Buying from Amazon UK: Lightroom 3 upgrade version

For this upgrade to work, you’ll need Lightroom 1 or Lightroom 2 legally installed (i.e., with a valid serial number) . To view the full listing, click the icon below.

5. Using the Google Product Search service

This is an interesting option that not very many people seem to use but which we’ve found very useuful. Previously branded Froogle, it’s not a retailer or reseller—it’s a product listing generated by Google from online retailers, with prices and online reputations visible to buyers. For each retailer, it also lets you know whether you can use Google Checkout (an alternative to PayPal) to pay. It’s good for all sorts of things that you can buy online, including cameras and lenses. At the very least, it gives you good overall guideline prices that you can use when you shop.

To get you started, here’s an initial search that attempts to exclude versions of Photoshop CS4 and CS5 that seem to appear on Froogle when you search for Lightroom, as well as attempting to exclude upgrade versions of Lightroom. (Inevitably, one or two of the items listed are still upgrades.) Before you click on the logo below, read through the search tips that follow. You’ll then feel more confident about modifying the search terms inside the Google search box and experimenting to widen or narrow your search.

Froogle Search for Lightroom full retail

Search tips for Google Product Search:

  1. Lightroom comes in academic and full retail versions. Unless you’re in educaton, you’ll need the retail version so make sure you’re not fooled if you see very cheap prices. If you order the academic version, you’ll likely be stuck with software that won’t work till you offer proof of education status, including Photo ID. What you buy needs to say retail version on it.
  2. Lightroom (both retail and academic) comes in upgrade versions and full versions. Unless you’re upgrading from Lightroom 1.x or 2,x, you’ll need the full version. The upgrade version is no good without v2 to upgrade.
  3. Check seller reputation, delivery time and delivery cost before buying. We won’t recommend individual sellers here but haven’t had a problem so far using highly rated sellers found on Froogle. (And again, we have used the service a lot.)
  4. Check whether the listed price includes VAT or not.

Tip: Mac version and Windows versions

An Adobe Lightroom box always includes both the Mac and Windows versions—not just one or the other—so you don’t need to worry about which platform to buy for. This is part of a new approach by Adobe and one that we hope will spread to its other product lines.

Tip: point releases of Lightroom 3

If you buy any full version of Lightroom 3 (for example v3.0 or v3.2), you can upgrade to the latest version of 3.x for free using the same product key. Just make sure you buy v3.0 or higher and you’re set.

Tip: desktop and laptop licences

Like most Adobe licences, the agreement for Lightroom permits you to install the product on one desktop machine and one portable but not to use them on both machines simultaneously.

A note about affiliations

We’re not affiliated or associated with Adobe, Google or any retailer, service or product listed here in any way except for Amazon UK. We only list products and services that we continue to find useful. If you buy a product from Amazon UK after clicking through one of our links, we get a small commission of up to £7.

Lightroom 3 Courses in London

We’re taking bookings for our one-on-one photographic workflow training, delivered at your studio, office or home, over one or two days. Bespoke Lightroom tuition in London (and the South East), delivered by a friendly, knowledgeable instructor, at your pace.

Call us on 0333 577 5703 or e-mail to arrange a time to talk (for free) about exactly which aspects of your digital photography workflow are holding you back. We build a course for you and make the difficult stuff seem easy! Start by visiting our contact form: click here. We look forward to hearing from you.