What do I think of the Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom subscription model? In today’s blog post there is my very personal opinion on it.
From time to time I get emails with questions about post-processing photos. When it comes to Photoshop and the Adobe Creative Cloud photography subscription, the tone is always sharper. Therefore, today I would like to report my opinion on this software model from Adobe. I did not receive any support from Adobe for this post, it is purely my personal opinion.
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An example mail
The following is an excerpt from an email I recently received:
“If you had another tip here, I would of course be grateful. I refuse to subscribe to the new LR in Adobe’s online package. I think that’s a cheek from Adobe! “
A look back at 2005
Let me jump back a few years When I started photography in 2005, the first Photoshop CS (Photoshop 8.0) was up to date. Lightroom didn’t exist then. If I remember correctly, there was already another possibility for post-processing with Gimp. However, Gimp was not that developed back then and was therefore not an alternative to Photoshop.
Much of the tutorials I found online were designed for Photoshop . It was the standard for post-production . Nothing has changed about that until today. If I wanted to learn how to edit my pictures, then there was no getting around Photoshop .
Photoshop then cost around 1200 euros . A new version there were about every two years . Just like today, the whole point of upgrading to a new version was often buying a new camera. Photoshop’s internal Adobe Camera RAW or Lightroom no longer supports the new camera, depending on the version. So I think it’s realistic to say that you had to buy a new Photoshop every 4 years or so . Because I was studying at the time, I was able to buy Photoshop for a student price of 200 euros.
Changeover from Adobe to the subscription model
In 2013, Adobe switched Photoshop to the subscription model with Version CC. A short time later there was also the Creative Cloud Photo Subscription ” from Adobe. With this subscription you can use Photoshop and Lightroom for around 13 euros per month. The subscription runs for one year and is billed monthly. At first I was briefly skeptical about this development. But let’s do the math.
In 2005 Photoshop cost around 1200 euros. You had to upgrade roughly every four years. Cost for 4 years = 1200 euros. Costs for one year in 2005: 1200/4 = 300 euros.
Today Photoshop including Lightroom costs 12 euros a month. Cost for one year today: 12 euros * 12 months = 144 euros.
Photoshop is now less than half the price it used to be.
Another bonus: With a (secondary) business, I can even settle these costs monthly without having to write off the one-time large expense as before.
In this calculation, I did not even include the additional programs required . In 2005 there were special programs or plugins that you needed for some special tasks. These programs were better than Photoshop’s respective functions or provided functions that Photoshop did not have. But Adobe has done its homework in the meantime.
- What about RAW back then? You used the RAW software that came with the camera or bought a program like Capture One to prepare the RAWs for Photoshop. Today there is Adobe Camera RAW.
- I used PTGUI to compose panoramas from several photos. Today the Photoshop internal Photomerge does a good job with almost all Panos.
- I used to use plugins to sharpen my images for printing. Today, Photoshop’s internal sharpening filters are good enough to do the job.
- I used to denoise my images with Neat Image. Today I can also use the internal filters of Photoshop or Camera RAW with very good results.
I could go on and on with this list. I just want to say that I find the updates and further developments of Lightroom and Photoshop to be very good and useful .
My conclusion on the subscription model
Adobe is continuously improving Photoshop and adding new features. The software is considerably cheaper than before and can now handle all tasks almost without additional plugins. I have no problems with the subscription model because I get all updates automatically installed on my computer. The performance offered I think for 12 euros per month absolutely appropriate. Even if you only use Lightroom.