I consider myself a dupe that keeps many digital photography software companies alive. To “keep up to date” with my recommendations, you should keep looking for newer versions of software products.
Let me say up front that all the Adobe Disaster Scenarios people worried about when they switched to the Creative Cloud licensing program turned out to be paranoid dystopias. The price of the shooting plan does not change much. We regularly get useful updates with great new features. Images don’t need to be stored in the cloud. and so on.
As far as I can tell, Photoshop has gone from being a product where you had to buy massive upgrades every 18-24 months to a product that gets regular upgrades. We compared how much you were paying on average for previous Creative Suite versions to how much you are currently paying for Creative Cloud on average annually. If anything, the Creative Cloud option seems to be a few dollars cheaper on average over a five-year period.
Of course, like me, you don’t update every time, and depending on where you live and the options you choose, you may be paying more for the cloud version, so your mileage may vary.
Still, my first and decisive statement to the headline question is: Photoshop is still getting better and better overall, it also comes with Bridge and Lightroom Classic and some cloud storage space. As long as my relationship with Creative Cloud continues, Adobe will have me as a customer. Given your age, probably for the rest of your life.
This is not the case with other comparable software products.
Capture One’s latest “re-pricing and revision” is a perfect example. Capture One wants to have the same customer base and loyalty as Adobe. Well, actually they don’t want the same predictable and profitable revenue stream, when a customer buys his SaaS (software as a service) subscription, they get a predictable revenue stream, You can more easily match development costs with it. But it also makes it a bit harder to do promotions to “moisturize your coffers” (because subscribers complain they don’t get the same deals).
This puts Capture One (and others read on) in a difficult situation. They use constant marketing promotions, affiliate commission programs, segmentation attempts (one-brand-only versions), and tons of commercial presets to keep the money flowing and “keep up with Adobe.” It has been conditional on promoting desire. While satisfying the owners of Accel Fund. Yes, Capture One has a venture fund partner (Accel V Fund) in which he owns 56%. Axcel’s pages include statements like “Proven models that accelerate value creation…” and “Sharp commercial focus.” you are the product
You are not an actual Axcel customer. Individual investors in companies, asset managers, pension funds, life insurance companies, banks and financial institutions. The ongoing changes to the Capture One business model have undoubtedly been fine-tuned and adjusted by Axcel.
is that a bad thing? It’s hard to tell, but I think something is wrong.
For example, the current annual cost for the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan is $120 per year. A similar plan for Capture One Pro is $179 per year (or even higher if you pay monthly). Although the current version number is 23, Capture One has had his 15 major revisions in its lifetime. The mode is getting closer to Photoshop/Lightroom,
The problem I have is that Capture One feels like it’s trying to make more money for less. For example, their iPad version requires an additional $4.99 monthly subscription. Capture One Pilot is a smart device tethering program that costs another $14.99 (not a subscription, but how likely is it to turn into a subscription at some point?).
The latest customer unkindness Capture One has done, which isn’t the first time they’ve done it at Slap Bar, is to create a perpetual license version ($299, with a ‘discounted price’). [33% off] Every time I upgrade [sic]) will no longer receive feature upgrades for a period of time (previously 1 year).
Disclaimer: As of today, the Capture One website still states that perpetual license users “include minor software updates”. This will change on February 1, 2023.
Capture One’s attempt to move to a SaaS subscription is no different from Adobe’s. I see the same negative feedback. that is to be expected. But again, my main gripe is that I feel that Capture One currently offers a lot more than Adobe for somewhat less. Obviously Axcel does, but I don’t understand the value proposition.
I think it would be costly for Capture One customers to change from Perpetual to SaaS. I’m sure they’ll lose me because it doesn’t make sense to pay more for less.
Disclaimer: 1:1 extended training with Capture One almost convinced me to make changes from Photoshop. largely. There are a lot of things I like about their approach, especially when it comes to color models. But in the end it was too much and too little for me. Your mileage may vary.
Now there are other players who want to be SaaS de facto. Luminar is trying a $119 yearly subscription but has a $249 perpetual license. Of course, that’s rarely what you actually pay. As of this writing, Luminar Neo licenses are $99 per year and $149 for perpetual licenses. Even Skylum (the makers of Luminar) seems confused. Because the $99 subscription doesn’t seem to include anything extra, but the $149 perpetual license does. They are now in complete disarray with their marketing campaigns. In addition, we are a well-known affiliate commission provider with several sales per year. I don’t know how much you pay for Neo.
Of course there was Luminar, Luminar 2018, Luminar 3, Luminar Flex, Luminar 4, and now Luminar Neo, but this is either because they don’t know how to develop and name their ongoing product, or they don’t have a name. use confusion to induce new sales of ostensibly similar products. Personally, I am no longer impressed with Skylum’s products. Both the product and its marketing seem gimmicky to me. I tended to use that plugin over the Nik Color Efex Pro plugin for tinting.
ON1 Photo RAW
ON1 is another possibility. A basic ON1 Photo RAW subscription is billed at $90 annually or $8 monthly. A perpetual license is $99 (often discounted) but does not include the plugin suite. The plugin suite is $150 perpetual (usually discounted). Then there’s the 1 TB cloud storage option, though it seems to refrain from clearly explaining why it’s necessary (hint: mobile devices). At least their pricing strategy isn’t “cheaper than Adobe”. (Clicking on the “mobile” icon on their webpage initially seemed to do nothing, because nothing changed in the above-the-fold view for certain browser window sizes. .The additional information is in a non-scrolling position and scrolls.)
However, I am less than impressed with the ON1 Photo RAW program itself. It’s a bit disorganized, has a cluttered UI without a clear theme, auto-masking tends to require a lot of tweaking, and I don’t like the hidden panel style. It’s working.
Their plugin suite, on the other hand, is for those who like browsing through hundreds of presets. In fact, there are a few things about this suite that I like in certain respects. This is enough to keep installed in the Photoshop filters menu. But it’s not great value. I don’t get $150 worth out of it (I paid less through his one of their many promotions).
DxO Photo Lab
Next up is DxO PhotoLab 6. This is a perpetual licensing program (currently $219, with occasional discounts). I have to admit that I love PhotoLab these days. It’s familiar, feature-rich, but applies things broadly automatically. I think it’s very consistent across different camera models. That was their overall approach in the beginning: understanding what a photo should look like (getting rid of vignetting and linear distortion and having consistent colors/tones). model), just apply it.
These days, DxO PhotoLab seems to get a major update once a year, so keeping up to date can cost more than the Adobe Photographers plan if you don’t watch the promotional prices carefully. I have.
Serif Affinity Photo
Finally, there are programs you should pay more attention to if you’re really looking for value. That is Serif’s affinity photo. Serif has Photoshop (photo), Illustrator (designer) and InDesign (publisher) imitations, which are very good and only available with a perpetual license.
Photo went from Photo to Photo 2 (like other Serif products). The regular price is $70, but there’s an introductory discount of 40% off through January 25, 2023, plus a $99 “all products, all platforms” offer. Photo 2, Designer 2, and Publisher 2 for macOS, Windows, and iPadOS. Wow. Take that adobe. Photo 2’s features are not yet fully aligned with current Photoshop CC 2023, but the basics include compatibility with PSD files, layers, blend modes, focus merging, extensive masking, non-destructive editing, and more. All the great Photoshop features.
I have a suggestion here. If you’re worried about Photoshop CC functionality when your subscription ends, make sure you have a perpetual license for Photo 2. They’ve bumped the price up a bit with newer versions, but at nearly $70 Photoshop is still a bargain, right? Plus, Serif hasn’t overwhelmed its user base with constant upgrades. After all, the photos lasted from 2015 to 2022.
So you have it. Some basic thoughts on where photo editing tools are at the moment.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.
About the author: Thom Hogan operates websites dedicated to Nikon film SLRs (filmbodies.com), Canon and Nikon DSLRs (dslrbodies.com), mirrorless cameras (sansmirror.com), and Nikon Z system cameras (zsystemuser.com) I am a writer and photographer. ). Thom’s photography expertise includes wildlife, sports and general nature. You can follow him on Twitter @bytomThis article was also published.