What Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) Means For Lightroom Users?

There’s obviously lots of feedback, buzz, interest, and excitement, from Adobe’s announcement yesterday. If you missed it, in a nutshell, Photoshop as we know it is going totally subscription based. So basically, you can’t buy a stand alone boxed or download copy of it anymore. You have to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud to get Photoshop CC (CC means Creative Cloud). However, for now you’ll still be able to buy Lightroom standalone without subscribing (even though it’s also included in the CC).

By the way, if you hadn’t noticed Photoshop CS is no longer – it’s called Photoshop CC now

Subscription Vs. Owning
I don’t want to get too much into whether the CC is a good deal or not. There’s a ton of blogs and articles doing that today already. Make sure you stop over to Scott’s blog because he’s got a great Q&A writeup on this announcement. I also don’t want to talk subscription vs. ownership of software. I know a lot of people have feelings on this, but to me, the subscription model doesn’t bother me – I just want good software. Adobe delivers, and I’m willing to pay monthly, yearly or however to get it. I will say this… For anyone but photographers, it’s a total no-brainer and the industry is eating it up. But for photographers (hobbyists, enthusiasts, prosumers and those that don’t necessary run a business or make money from photography) it can be a big change, and one that isn’t so easy to swallow if you just use Lightroom and Photoshop.

Here’s one way to make it simple though. If you use Photoshop, Lightroom and just one more Adobe product (InDesign, Illustrator, Premier), then it’s a great deal. Sign up right now because it’s the best deal out there.

If you use Lightroom, and sometimes Photoshop, and no other Adobe products then you have a decision to make and that’s who this post is for. I’d like to help you make that decision on what this means for you as a Lightroom user.

How Lightroom Fits In To The Creative Cloud
First off, Lightroom is the place for photographers. Come to grips with it. If you’re a photographer then you need Lightroom. The solution is not Bridge, it’s not Camera Raw or some combination of the two. Lightroom is it. Stop debating, stop thinking that you’re situation is different and that you actually like using the Bridge and Camera Raw combo more. You don’t 🙂 Trust me. So if you haven’t hopped on the Lightroom wagon yet, do it. You eventually will, so you might as well do it now (again, this applies to photographers, not designers). I know I sound very cut-n-dry here by saying it that way, but this whole “I Like Bridge/ACR” and “I like Lightroom!” crap doesn’t help anyone. If you’re a photographer then use the program that was built for you (end rant) 😉

Next…The most common question I’m getting (as a Lightroom guy) is do I subscribe or not to get Lightroom. See, if you subscribe to the CC, then you get Lightroom (because it’s part of CC), Photoshop and every other Adobe program there is for your subscription price. If you don’t subscribe and you’re a Lightroom user, nothing really changes. Lightroom 4 is still available to purchase outside of the CC and Adobe plans the same for Lightroom 5. So you will indeed be able to upgrade to Lightroom 5 without subscribing to the Creative Cloud.

Knowing that Lightroom is the place for photographers, your decision actually becomes easier. Why? Because you basically have many of the features that are new in Photoshop CC in Lightroom 5 already. Really? Yep, let’s run through the list:
1) Radial Gradient Filter (we got it in Lightroom 5 last month)
2) Upright Lens Correction Adjustments (yep, Lightroom 5 last month)
3) Non-destructive Cloning and Healing Brush (you guessed it, Lightroom 5 last month)

Not to mention, as a Bridge/Camera Raw user, you don’t get Smart Previews where you can work on a smaller “preview” version of your photos while your main photo drive is offline. So if you’re a Bridge user, forget about unplugging your photo hard drive and doing anything with your photos.

NOTE: I know Lightroom 5 isn’t out of beta yet, but right now it’s free to use. It’s perfectly stable and I’ve switched all of my editing and catalogs over to it. So for all intents and purposes, Lightroom 5 is out and for now, it’s free.

Now, what didn’t you get in Lightroom 5 that Photoshop CS6/Elements don’t have (but Photoshop CC does have)?
1) Camera Raw as a filter in Photoshop – I have to admit it, this one is huge to me. I often work on my photos in Photoshop and wish I had access to the raw adjustments that I have in the Develop module. Camera Raw is identical to the Develop module in Lightroom and having it as a filter is a nice thing to have. There’s workarounds with Smart Objects but let’s face it – smart object workflow is clunky at best. So for me, this one is a must-have.

2) Camera Shake Reduction – Another cool feature. I’m usually pretty good about having my camera on a tripod so it’s not one I use a lot, but in those times you need it I’m sure it’ll come in handy.

3) Remember a while back Adobe released a bunch of cloud updates for Photoshop like conditional actions and more support for filters and smart object layers. So if either of those are part of your workflow then the CC is where you’ll need to go to get them.

So do you really need Photoshop? I know we’ve been conditioned to think that Photoshop is the place for photographers, but Adobe has built one totally kick-ass program with Lightroom. So much so, that I think Lightroom has become the place where photographers spend most of their time (and rightly so). Photoshop was built for EVERYONE where Lightroom was built just for photographers. And when you factor that Lightroom 5 just took away the #1 reason most photographers leave Lightroom (cloning and healing), you should be pretty darn happy as a Lightroom user.

Getting Back On Topic
To bring this all around to the topic of this article, what does all of this mean for Lightroom users? If those two features that I mentioned above are absolute must-haves, you do need Photoshop CC. Also, if you don’t already own a version of Photoshop or Elements and you need selections, layers, panoramas, blend modes, filters, actions, professional level retouching (beyond whitening eyes/teeth and smoothing skin because Lightroom does that), then Photoshop CC will be essential.

But if you have a previous version of Photoshop (or Elements), and don’t need the two features I mentioned above, then nothing really changes for you. You still have the same exact software you paid for a year or so ago and nothing was taken away from you. Your workflow doesn’t change, where you store your photos doesn’t change and your Lightroom/Photoshop interaction doesn’t change. You’ll still be able to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Lightroom. So if the features of the Creative Cloud don’t interest you at this point then, as a Lightroom user, skip it for now. I’m willing to bet that Adobe has things in the works and they’ll hope to change your mind. Remember, this stuff is in it’s infancy stages right now. But in the meantime, your photo workflow and the software you use can remain exactly as it was before yesterday. You can still buy Lightroom 4 standalone today, and you’ll still be able to buy Lightroom 5 standalone (or upgrade) when it officially comes out.

One Final Thought
One last thing. Adobe is offering a single app membership program for $9.99/month for one year. That’s cheaper than any other upgrade version of Photoshop you’ve ever paid for before. Consider this. Tom Hogarty (Adobe Group Product Manager) sneaked a Lightroom-like tablet feature on our talk show The Grid, last week. And while he didn’t go into specifics about other “cloud” like features, it stands to reason that Adobe must be working on adding more features that will make the CC more and more compelling for you as a Lightroom/Photoshop user. They’re not just going to leave us out. So, will the price go up from $9.99 after the first year? Maybe. But for $10/month now (Skip a Starbucks trip for a couple days a month and you’ll pay for it), it’s easy to swallow and it gives you 1 year of the newest, latest, greatest features. You can wait and see if the features that do get added to the CC become worth it to you to continue.

And if they don’t, well then cancel your subscription after the first year and spend $59 on Photoshop Elements if you really need Photoshop 🙂

Thanks for stopping by today. I’m always interested in your comments so feel free to leave ’em here. Have a good one!



  1. James McElroy 21 February, 2018 at 08:30 Reply

    All I can say is screw Adobe.I paid for LR3,LR4, and Lr5. Recently lost the program somehow with a new drive. Adobe makes it impossible to find the link to download a program I already paid for. I am looking for a replacement to Adobe CS5 and all these Lightrooms.

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  3. Flores 16 January, 2014 at 23:59 Reply

    This is a disgrace of Adobe to its (loyal) customers. I am still using Photoshop CS3, and never been upgraded to the new one. The very reason is, all I need to edit a photo, all are available in PS CS3. What does it mean? It means I spent 240 dollars for PS CS3 not for 2 years but for nine years already. If I sign Adobe cloud, and after 3 years I stop my subscription, I have already spent almost 300 dollar and I lost it all, I cannot use it anymore.

  4. James Kell 22 May, 2013 at 05:47 Reply

    Great, fearless article on your opinion of LR vs ACR/Bridge and the Creative Cloud. I for one am ecstatic re CC as it gives me access to a bunch of incredible programs without having to fork out a tonne of money at the beginning. It’s especially cool for those programs you only need every now and couldn’t normally justify to buy. Nice work Adobe.

  5. Jill Levenhagen 18 May, 2013 at 10:50 Reply

    I too am a “LR Evangelist” and love this article. I wrote my own fun/sad response to the CC on my blog. I am myself struggling with what to do. While I might love the CC, talking my spouse into a monthly $50 commitment is daunting. Although we do pay $105 for his TV. LOL!

  6. Greg I W 16 May, 2013 at 04:50 Reply

    Thanks Matt,you may not be aware that prices for Adobe products in Australia (as with Europe) are much higher than in the US.

    I am philosophically disinclined to buy subscription based software.

    Yes for me Lightroom is essential, I have Photoshop CS6 but must say my most frequent workflow nowadays combines Lightroom with latest version Perfect Photosuite.

    this year I may dangle my toes with the $10/month cloud offer (if it really is just $10 for us in Australia) but suspect that in 12 months time I will be using the copy I hold of CS6 when necessary and my future updates will just be for Lightroom and Perfect Photosuite as they develop.

  7. John H 15 May, 2013 at 12:43 Reply

    Thanks, Matt, exactly what I needed to know, my path is clear: stick with LR3 ’till LR5 upgrade is avail, keep Elem9. You and Scott K have been terrific teachers (my copies of your books are getting pretty worn). No need for CC until such time as compelling new LR function only available there. Thx again.

  8. ulrich 15 May, 2013 at 10:05 Reply

    Both Photoshop CC and LR 5 require a different OS on my Mac. If I upgrade to, say OS 10.8, and switch over to Photoshop CC and LR 5, what will happen with my plug-ins that I have for PS CS 6? Will they migrate? What if I upgrade LR 5 only, an I switch to PS CS 6, though both run on different OS?

  9. Phil Burt 15 May, 2013 at 08:37 Reply

    Matt, I have just started using LR after using ACR for several years. I am a serious hobbyist and have fought the switch to LR but I am now determined that I will get it in my head. Done my first folder full of images, took me about 10 times as long as ACR but I made it through. I am sure the next time will be better.
    As far as the cloud in concerned I have CS6 and will keep it as long as I can before going the route of the cloud. I do use CS6 so eventually I will have to get it.
    What really bothers me in all of this is Adobe has really dumped on the Students, especially those that are not in the ivy league schools that their parents have plenty of money to afford. Students get PS for a much reduced rate and now there fare has doubled for the same thing. I suspect that this will hurt some wanting to learn more about this field and some may not take it because of the price. Yes, initially $10 then $20 a month is a lot of money to someone going to a Community College when parents just do not have funds.
    I wish someone would talk about their dilemma.
    Thank you for all of your help you will be providing me with making this change. If you can get some more LR training over on NAPP I sure would appreciate it, I have already gone through the Basic course 4 times.
    Phil B
    Benton, ky

  10. John Dwyer 13 May, 2013 at 12:26 Reply

    It might be useful to expand the scope of this site beyond Lightroom to other like photo editors.

    Many people would like to have choices other than Adobe.

  11. Peter 13 May, 2013 at 10:43 Reply

    Maybe this has been mentioned already.

    We have heard about how this change may effect Scott and the boys on how they release new books, etc.
    There is more to the whole PS market than just the NAPP organization when it comes to revenue stream for books and software.

    Every time there is a new release today, EVERY PS author has a possible new sale.
    Also companies like B&H, Amazon, MicroCenter, etc has a new revenue stream from selling upgrades.
    With the CC model all this seems to go away and Adobe appears to gain all of the benefits that they presently must share with distributors.
    The CC model effects my pocketbook only if I decide to participate. Others on the other hand who depend on a paycheck from these sales are the ones really being effected in a manner that may not be recoverable.

  12. Randall Huleva 12 May, 2013 at 10:51 Reply

    As an Adobe alternative, check out Corel’s PaintShop Pro and After Shot Pro. Not as good as Adobe, but a viable option to the CC.

  13. WTA 11 May, 2013 at 04:25 Reply

    1. The price for existing CS6 users is attractive right up until you see that it’s an intro price that expires in 1 year. Right now I pay roughly $600 every 18 months to upgrade, that comes to about $33 per month. The new plan has me paying $49 per month after the first year. That’s about a 50% increase in expenses over the monthly adjusted price of the current perpetual license plan.

    2. There’s no lock down in terms of pricing – prices can go up at any time, that scares a lot of people. I understand the yearly contract aspect, but I look at this in terms of the long term. With perpetual licenses, There might not be sufficient feature / technical reasons to upgrade to the latest and greatest, so I have to choice of skipping a release and waiting for the next release.

    3. With perpetual licensing, if there’s a downturn in the economy, it’s my choice to delay purchasing the next upgrade. With the CC plan, I have no option, I have to keep paying every month, if I can’t make a payment, I lose access to the software, which impacts my ability to earn an income. Hardly an ideal situation. Remember professional photographers are getting squeezed on prices

    Bottom line:
    1. Will I try it for 1 year at $19.99 per month? Probably.
    2. Will I renew it at $49.99 per month? No
    3. Would I renew it if they kept the price at $29.99 beyond the first year? Yes

    Other options
    1. Create CC bundles that mimic the existing CS bundles with appropriate price points

  14. Bud James 11 May, 2013 at 02:19 Reply

    Matt, I agree with your logic and perspective on LR5. I’ve been playing with LR5 beta and it’s awesome! I’m looking forward to the release of LR5.

    You mentioned in your blog post that you use LR5 and that you have upgraded all of your catalogs to LR5 too. I would love to know how you did that as the import catalog function in the beta is nonfunctioning. Please let us in on your secret.

  15. Jerome 10 May, 2013 at 07:39 Reply

    Methinks that the price of a used copy of CS6 are gonna go through the roof on eBay as CS4 and CS5 users look to get that one last life line to Photoshop functionality….That is if anyone is selling theirs….Love your blog, Matt.

    • ButchM 10 May, 2013 at 21:14 Reply

      Groveling for attention?

      If you want to invoke a meaningful change in policy or attitude with the executives in charge at Adobe … there is one … and only one avenue to do so … that is to withhold your currency from entering their coffers … they do not understand any other language than that. Period.

      We users are nothing more than nameless, faceless entries in a spread sheet they use to reach their sales quota. Our loyalty and faith in them is meaningless.

      If we negotiate a means this time … in a year, two, three or more … they’ll just repeat the effort and we will be right back where we started.

      Instead of begging for attention with Adobe, we should just be patient. Use the software that we already own the usage rights to for the interim … and seek out alternatives … hopefully from developers that won’t treat us in such a trivial manner.

      It won’t be easy. It will take some time. But it will be time well spent instead of groveling at the feet of a monopoly that has little to no regard for our interests

  16. Mike 9 May, 2013 at 13:46 Reply

    Adobe is a publicly traded company and they need to grow in order to keep investors happy. This move is intended to create a steady and predictable revenue stream, and to generate more revenue overall. It doesn’t matter how you want to do the math, the end goal is more money for Adobe and that comes out of our pockets.

    I’m not saying that is bad, Adobe is in business to make money, just like every other corporation. They are doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, so I can’t blame them.

    I don’t really like the subscription model but I may have no alternative. I run LR4 and CS5, I haven’t upgraded to CS6 because I don’t need to. ACR works fine with my D800 and the extra features in 6 are not enough to sway me to pay for it. I would have likely purchased CS7, but that is no longer an option.

    Some of my concerns (echoed by others):

    1. I don’t own anything with CC. I can’t ever STOP paying for the tool, otherwise I’m left with nothing. Right now, I have CS5 and will always have CS5. I’m locked in, I don’t like it. As much as people like to talk alternatives, there really are not any. I also have investment in plugins (Nik, Topaz, Imagenomic) and they may not work with other tools.

    2. The ‘phone home’ license is a bad idea. I work in IT and have had many applications with this type of functionality, MS Windows the obvious one. Others, such as AutoCAD, also do this and when it breaks it means the software is unavailable. When if I want to edit photos on a 10 hour flight and the software decided to phone home? Guess I’m out of luck. Bad idea and this will lead to a lot of problems.

    3. Pricing may change, I’ll still be locked in. “Just stop using it” doesn’t really work for most of us that use the tool. Same as saying that gas is too expensive, so just stop driving.

    I don’t like it, but it appears I have no choice but to sign up for Photoshop CC. Lucky for me I don’t have to buy the whole suite of tools which I don’t need.


  17. Peter 8 May, 2013 at 22:21 Reply

    The issue I have with the CC option is that after a year or so if I decided not to continue the monthly lease I am left with nothing.
    Where as if I decided to wait 2 years to upgrade with an older version at least I still had the older software installed and usable.

  18. SteveH 8 May, 2013 at 13:17 Reply

    I’m a hobbyist; PS CC is too expensive and I won’t subscribe. Glad to hear LR will be available for purchase, though.

    One missing thing, though: exit strategy. Previously, if I decide to stop paying Adobe for PS upgrades, I continue using my old software until it’s obsolete. Now what happens if I stop paying? I can’t edit anything? Can’t open PSD files? Bull!

  19. Andreas 8 May, 2013 at 12:00 Reply

    I really hope, that this cloud-model will not be a model for other companies.

    Otherwise we have to pay monthly for the operations-system like windows, for the writing-programm like word and so on.

    On this account we have to stop Adobe with this business model.


  20. Steve Sprengel 7 May, 2013 at 19:23 Reply


    How is it that you have “switched [your] catalogs over to [LR5]”? This phrasing is in your italicized note about halfway through your article.

    At the time of your writing, LR5 BETA doesn’t upgrade prior LR versions’ catalogs like the release version will be able to, so it sounds suspicious when you say you’ve switched your catalogs over to LR 5.

    Do you have a non-public beta or is there a secret command-line switch or preference that allows upgrading LR 4 catalogs with the public beta?

    • Dave 9 May, 2013 at 07:33 Reply

      I asked the same question on another of his blogs, no answer yet. Several things in LR5 prompted me to move the 4 catalogs over. Hope Matt has an fix for us.


    • Mika 11 May, 2013 at 02:40 Reply

      There is no way to import your old catalogs into 5. There is a little work-around though. In LR4 select all your images and press cmd+S or go to the Image panel and choose save metadata to files. That works for all the adjustments I made to my DNG files, propietary RAW files should work either, because metadata will be saved to the sidecar .xml.

      All your cataloging, like flags and collections, will be lost, but right now it’s a minor issue for me, since I just started a new catalog anyway.

  21. Marc Feldesman 7 May, 2013 at 19:06 Reply

    Assuming that someone takes out one of the membership to the creative cloud and does lots of travelling. How is Adobe going to ensure that the license validator is available in the absence of parts of the world where wi-fi is not ubiquitous. What will they do if the validation server is hit with the DDOS attack and no one can be validated?

  22. Art B 7 May, 2013 at 18:41 Reply

    I’ve been a PS user since version 4. Currently I use CS6 and LR 4.
    I don’t plan to jump to the creative cloud this year as it smells of rip-off now, at the intro price and in the future, with double the money. I’m a hobbyist, so I can afford to give up Photoshop.

  23. Tony 7 May, 2013 at 16:27 Reply


    Sorry for my poor speaking English, i hope you going to understand the sens of my Words ;

    1/ what’s hapened if you are an ( Pro or not )Photographer who shoot on an location where have not internet ?? you can no then use PS ? it’s an joke i hope !

    2/ Also take care about the fact of the monthly amount required by Adobe, the price is for an annual subscription !

    3/ I am an Pro company here in France & sincerly i do not going to run with ADOBE in this process & all the ppl i have talk today, the same…the principe to be connected on the Net for using an Soft is simply no send for us…we understand is an “way” for Adobe to prevent Hacking, but again is the Customers who paid the price…

    4/ All in the “Clound” going to leave an time…& we are not beat on that for the futur….

    Anyway, i think with this new processing ADOBE going to loose many many customers….

    So by PS & Welcome to GIMP…..



  24. Len 7 May, 2013 at 16:23 Reply

    Adobe will now get $600 more of my money over the next five years and will have NO INCENTIVE to introduce new functionality.

    There is now competition and they know it. Photoshop is a Cash Cow for Adobe. I sure hope someone comes out with an alternative and buries Adobe.

    • jlua 8 May, 2013 at 08:46 Reply

      Excellent point Len. They don´t have any incentive to add valuable new functionality to a locked audience. Plus, we wouldn´t have anymore the choice to forgo versions that add functionality of no interest to us. Either you go with all of them, and pay up for the rest of your life, or you are locked out of your software. It really gets worse the more you think about it.

  25. Sean 7 May, 2013 at 15:05 Reply

    I was happy to see Adobe hint at better mobility for Lightroom users, and I believe that they will eventually be taking Lightroom to the Cloud as well. Keep an eye on Google. They have been courting photographers for a long time, and they didn’t purchase Nik just so they could offer their products at a discount. You just know they are working on a competitor to Lightroom. I bet we will see something like a “Picasa-Pro” by the end of the year.

    • Cliff Workman 7 May, 2013 at 16:27 Reply

      Sean, I believe that if Adobe leaves LR alone it will remain king and Google would be challenged at coming up with a legitimate competitor. However, if they do go the rental route their taking with Photoshop as you mentioned then Google would have a solid competitive player in the game. It would also bring Apple’s Aperture to the forefront. I would be much more excited about Google bringing a worthy Photoshop competitor to the mix. Me personally, I’ll NEVER rent software.

  26. Alan Rappa 7 May, 2013 at 13:43 Reply

    I recently just made the jump to a Mac and during the transition I switched from Photoshop to Photoshop Elements. 99.9% of my editing workflow is covered by Lightroom making my jump over to Photoshop a rare occurrence. With that in mind I couldn’t see investing the $600+ for 1% of my workflow. Elements cost me $60 and it can handle my needs.

    Granted it has been a bit of an adjustment, and I’m finding some basic tasks unnecessarily frustrating in Elements, but not enough to have me jumping into Creative Cloud.

    Now if Adobe made Lightroom CC only I would be in trouble (don’t get any ideas Adobe!).

  27. Norman 7 May, 2013 at 12:59 Reply

    Matt – Spot on as usual! I have been using Lr for my images since v1 and only very occasionally venture into Ps. Lightroom is a rapid, intuitive, tool. Cloud? – do we believe this is for OUR benefit? I suspect it has far more to do with Adobe’s convenience and profits. Whilst on convenience, I live in a very rural part of the UK and our best broadband speed here is about 1.8Megs. I bought Lr4 on a disc but, within weeks, an upgrade/ bugfix was issued – a download of around 750Meg (as is each amendment). My friend had three failures whilst trying to download that lot! I’m not sure that Adobe thinks much about its customers.
    OK Rant over – Ah I feel better for that!
    All the best

  28. Kyle 7 May, 2013 at 12:57 Reply

    CC is not for everyone. Thats for sure. I will not be signing up for an endless monthly bill. I can see why people like Matt are on board though. He makes his living teaching people how to use this software.

  29. CS USER 7 May, 2013 at 12:44 Reply

    Creative cloud is not for everyone. I will not be signing up for an endless monthly bill. but its OK you guys. its not the end of the world.

  30. Steve Mc 7 May, 2013 at 12:12 Reply

    I started using Photoshop with version 2. I have CS6 but use it only very occasionally, doing most of my post-processing in Lightroom 4. As long as Lightroom and Elements remain licensed products, I will be happy.

    I have been watching both onOne and Topaz products moving closer all the time from being simply plugins to standalone editing products. By the time Lightroom is available only in the cloud I am sure I will be able to do all I want with only it in combination with the aforementioned software.

  31. Peter 7 May, 2013 at 11:50 Reply

    However you do the arithmetic, Adobe will make more money on the individual customer, than it did before! Whoever argues against that, hasn’t done his math.
    US prices may still be somehow bearable, but prices in Europe are too high. A subscription to PS CC will cost 24,60 € per month. That is 295,20 € in one year, more than the upgrade price every two years was. In two years you will spend 590 € in subscription fees for Photoshop alone. That is a lot of money, when you think that you will have no product left at all, when you cancel the subscription.
    Adobe does suggest, that the customer gets more value with the CC product, but that is simply not true.
    The days, where a jump from PS 3 to 4 brought tons of great new features are over today. Back then, the upgrade prices were high, but you did get something for the money.
    Today, it is hard for Adobe to incorporate many new and great features in their products, because they are already so mighty big! I have just been at an Adobe presentation of the Cloud and new PS version and there is nothing in PS, that for me is worth upgrading. They spend a lot of time to show people, how they can do 3D stuff in PS or play video. Well, if I want to do 3D, I do that in a 3D program and the same for video. It just shows, that they are throwing features at PS, that nobody really needs in that program, because they are running out of features. And with no new features you can’t justify a high upgrade price.
    So, Adobe CC is the perfect solution to that problem. It generates a constant income without the pressure to incorporate tons of new features every other year.
    Also, for loyal customers, who bought PS and upgraded every time, having to rent it now is a really bad deal, because they will not get any reimbursement for the money already spent on PS and pay the same fee as someone, who never shed out hundreds of bucks for PS in the first place.


  32. Aaron 7 May, 2013 at 11:31 Reply

    Matt, thanks for the well-done write up. I use Lightroom for nearly everything, and have since the first beta. I recently upgraded to CS6, and use it only for retouching, which I don’t do a lot of. I plan to stick with it until it no longer works with my OS. It would take a lot for me to upgrade Photoshop when I only use it for one task and CS6 is just so darn good.

    My one concern: If I upgrade my computer a year or two from now, will I still be able to download CS6 from Adobe?

  33. Mark Coons 7 May, 2013 at 10:56 Reply

    Matt, has there been any conversation on how the new Adobe policy will affect plugin company’s? That sounds odd, let me explain.

    What I mean is can we photographers predict how this shift in policy will affect our favorite plugin companies. Some plugins can run under LR or PS but some only run under PS.

    For example I am a big user of several Fundy Software plugins and they only work with PS and Bridge.

    So as per your blog post I will stick with my CS6 (as I really don’t use CS6 a lot) for my PS dependent plugins and continue buying LR, thus avoiding CC for now. A very sound option. But at best this is only a delaying action.

    The future for a company that creates plugins that only operate on PS will be difficult. They will now have to support CS6 and PS CC for the foreseeable future, which will increase their cost of doing business. Plus with PS CC changing more often they will have more developmental costs. So one could reasonably expect the plugin companies to stop supporting CS6 fairly (1 or 2 years) quickly.

    At least one would think so. As I said none of this affects Adobe but it will affect photographers via the trickle down effect.


  34. Jerry Sarmento 7 May, 2013 at 09:16 Reply

    As a hobbyist I would prefer to buy every other version of Photoshop. However, at $199 and a 15% discount as a NAPP member, upgrading every 18 months was still only $9.45 a month. The frequent upgrades make the small price (to $9.99 for current owners) difference an acceptable increase.

    Things may be very different in a year or so, if (when) Google drops the Nik plugins and Onone’s suite becomes a viable Photoshop replacement for many of us..

  35. jlua 7 May, 2013 at 03:27 Reply

    Good comments. But I hate the “bait” and sneakery of offers that last only for the first year, and then the cost goes up -as much twice as much- as is the case of the $9.95 Vs. $19.95, for the single Photoshop “subscription”. While I agree that perhaps I would reluctantly pay the $9.95/month forever (!), twice that much is $478/2 years, or $360/18 months, which is the usual refresh cycle. And that is excessive, when, until now, we could get a version upgrade for $199, or less, which is less than half as much.

    • mattk 7 May, 2013 at 07:24 Reply

      I’m not sure it’s a “bait” sneakery. I mean my cable company does it, my cell phone company does it, my credit card company does… you name it. I think it’s a great way to make it affordable to people that want to “try” it but may not have the money to do so.

      • Jia 7 May, 2013 at 08:20 Reply

        “So, will the price go up from $9.99 after the first year? Maybe.”

        There is no maybe about this. Its spelled very clearly the price will absolutely go up to $19.99 after the first year.

      • Jia 7 May, 2013 at 08:24 Reply

        There are many viable competitors to your cable company, cell phone company and credit card company. There are no viable competitors to Photoshop. By giving up your perpetual license going with a subscription on a product where the maker has a monopoly you are giving them total control to do whatever they want with regards to pricing.

        • mattk 7 May, 2013 at 08:58 Reply

          I’m willing to be you that Adobe and the Photoshop team would differ as to whether there’s viable competitors. you think they get together and say “Hey guys… we got this… nobody can touch us!”? I doubt it. Nik, onOne, Topaz, DXO, Tiffen, and many other companies have software that you could use instead of Photoshop for many things.
          As for doing whatever they want with pricing, remember you have control with your wallet. It sounds like you already have a version of Photoshop. Keep it. Don’t subscribe. Speak with your wallet.

          • Roy 7 May, 2013 at 10:54

            No, not the Photoshop team, but the big wigs up top do. Let’s be real, at the end of the day it’s about the bottom line. They are taking a calculated risk because they feel they can get away with it. These introductory prices are only that. They are not doing it to be nice, they are doing it to get you hooked, plain and simple. Once the pros are hooked they will keep raising prices as much as they can. In the end we will end up paying more than we do now. It’s a good business and bad for comsumers. That’s capitalism working it’s magic.

      • Ross Dillon 8 May, 2013 at 01:46 Reply

        Problem with trying it is that when you’re done you have nothing to show for it. Adobe should have an incremental keep option that after some period of time you can cancel your subscription and keep what you bought. The idea needs work but I believe is the only option to keep the casual user with PS.

      • Randall Huleva 12 May, 2013 at 10:23 Reply

        This is a “bait” Matt. How does this really help the photographer who can’t afford the retail subscription cost of the CC? So what if I totally LOVE it at the promo prkce. If I can’t afford the retail cost, this is just going to make me that much more frustrated when my promo subscription runs out and I lose the apps. Most people don’t use every app. Adobe needs to offer different packages in the CC just as they have done in the past or let users mix their own custom package, but only pay for what they need.

      • bill bane 14 May, 2013 at 23:48 Reply

        The analogy with catv, cell, and credit cards is complete BS.

        After I end a tv program or a cell call, it goes into the vapor.

        After I take and process photo, it’s ok for it to disappear into the vapor?

        S&P just downgraded Adobe to “Strong Sell” because this is a business model that will and must fail, since no one will countenance their work being “owned” into perpetuity by Adobe.

        As an aside, how come you continue to apologize vs push back and represent photographers?? There comes a time…..

    • Cliff Workman 7 May, 2013 at 08:52 Reply

      jlua, I totally agree! The whole initial $10.00 a month bait and switch thing is a total insult to the loyal PS user community. After that first year well be paying over double out of pocket. Will Adobe be providing a product that’s double the value? Not likely. After over 10 years as a registered user upgrading with every new user I’ll be frozen at CS6 until Adobe gets fair in their pricing. I love and adapt well to change and wouldn’t mind the subscription only model if the pricing was fair.

        • Steve Sprengel 7 May, 2013 at 19:13 Reply

          A fair price would be the same as the upgrade used to cost divided by number of months in the upgrade cycle. For PS Standard that was $200 / 18-months or $11.11 per month. I need more than Elements has, but not focus-stacking nor video rotoscoping or image-measuring nor 3D.

        • jlua 8 May, 2013 at 08:38 Reply

          I could even go with $15/month for a Photoshop+Lightroom bundle. That turns out to be $270/18 months, or $300/24 months, which is comparable to what we have been paying all along. But, what they want to charge for a single product now, is twice that much. See other postings for the calculations.

        • jlua 8 May, 2013 at 08:41 Reply

          Bait & Switch is when they act like cellular phone operators, and not like serious software companies. It´s Walmart vs. Nordstrom.

        • Cliff Workman 8 May, 2013 at 09:45 Reply

          Alastair, couldn’t disagree more. Whether we know that the price is going up or not, it’s still a bait and switch. I believe the whole tactic is just to try and bait end users with a more tolerable payment the first year before raising the price to the $240.00 a year. These are luring tactics that don’t really help but just prolong. I for one have no interest or plan to adopt or subscribe to a software rental platform. It’s ONLY a benefit to those that are selling the product and the very few who make a living using the products to some degree.

  36. DLuker 7 May, 2013 at 02:17 Reply

    Back in Aug 2010, I completely dropped Photoshop CS for Lightroom. There was a bit of a learning curve, but overall the switch was painless (and SO much less expensive!) I never looked back. I never regretted it.

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