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How can I afford to use Photoshop when it costs $600/year?

May 7, 2013 8:33 AM

Tags: #ps #cc

I am a hobby photographer.  I have used Photoshop 4, 5, and 6.  Using Photoshop has generally cost me about $100/year or $200/2 years.

 

I, as is true of many hobby photographers, have enjoyed using PS to edit my images. I use only PS from the Creative Suite.  I use functions  that only PS provides, such as, layer masks.   It seems I must stick with Photoshop 13 (CS5) and hope that there will be addons to keep it current.  Any other suggestions?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 8:58 AM   in reply to vince heying

    vince heying wrote:

     

      It seems I must stick with Photoshop 13 (CS5) and hope that there will be addons to keep it current.  Any other suggestions?

    PS13 is CS6, but your hope will not be realized as there will be no updates to it.  Gimp?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 9:14 AM   in reply to vince heying

    For many non-power users the additon of new bells and whistles is not an incentive to buy.  Many would be very happy with Photoshop 7 if it was compatible with current OS and compters.  The real stinker seems to be the need to keep ACR current as many buy new cameras and want to shoot RAW.  One can convert to DNG format, but for many that is not an attractive proposition.  Currently there is no answer how long CS6 ACR will be updated.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 7, 2013 9:24 AM   in reply to vince heying

    You may have missed some details.

     

    It's $9.95/month for the first year, $19.95/month after.  I read that as $120/year then $240/year.  I'm not sure where you got your $600 figure.  This is for a single product:  Photoshop CC with what used to be Extended functionality (there are no longer two editions, you always get 3D).

     

    Yes, I realize this is still a price increase over what Photoshop standard used to cost if you kept up to date with upgrades to all the releases.  It's about a wash with the Photoshop Extended upgrade pricing.

     

    There is of course Photoshop Elements for those who don't want or need the full functionality of Photoshop.  Much as that may seem insulting, Elements is actually not a half bad editor.  Only thing is you can't do layers AND high bit depth editing at the same time - but that's not a kiss of death.  It's quite possible to create very nice images using 8 bit editing; you just have to think about what you're doing a bit.

     

    It's probably fantasy to think that 3rd party developers are going to be able to "keep Photoshop CS6 current" through plug-ins, scripts, actions, etc.  Yes, you might find someone may create a deconvolution tool or something to rival some of the added plug-ins, but nobody's going to be able to make Camera Raw a filter, or add features to the 3D subsystem, or make UI improvements.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 10:51 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I'm curious to see what deals will be available for the various plans down the road. I dropped over a grand to upgrade the entire Suite seven months ago, which was a tough economic pill to swallow these days, because I didn't want to miss the "One version back" policy next time. Now, it looks like there won't be a next time.

     

    Damn, I remember how I used to LIKE Adobe.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 12:59 PM   in reply to Semaphoric

    I feel your pain Semaphoric.   Purchased *two* CS6 licenses around the same time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 2:23 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I don't rent a house to live in I bought one best plan it yours, I don't lease a car I bought it its mine to do as I please. This is what I do with cameras, lens and computers. And yes it does close me money when I buy a new car but I trade in or sell the old one so it helps. At the end of 2 years under this new plan I will have paid 360 bucks and the joy of using photoshop so how am I better off? If an the end of the 2 years I don't ant to upgrade I don't and stay with what I have. Your way I have nothing unless I keep paying how nice is that and no I don't want elements to pay you guys 80 buck fir a second rate program. If you do this many of us will find other ways to do what we do without photoshop.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 7, 2013 2:40 PM   in reply to latentimage

    First off, it's not "my way", it's Adobe's subscription policy.  I certainly didn't encourage them to set this policy.

     

    Personally I still feel more comfortable with buying perpetual licenses, much like the rest of the folks here.  But I don't see the subscription model as completely evil either.  What I think is significantly missing is an exit strategy - where Adobe might provide you the ability to run (e.g., as a "perpetual license") an older version upon exiting the subscription model.

     

    In my personal case, I've always bought every upgrade to Photoshop, going back to the early 1990s.  With Photoshop CS6, out of the goodness of Adobe's hearts (a perk for helping out here) they upgraded me to Photoshop CS6 Extended, so I've begun to dabble in 3D.  Now I've found I'd rather not do without 3D capability going forward.

     

    Since, for various reasons, I have always planned to continue upgrading Photoshop, the subscription plan is not unattractive to me.  The price - for me - isn't prohibitive.  I know that everyone's needs are different, and so this is going to seem like a bad change to a lot of others.

     

    But I don't think it's the end of the world.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 2:41 PM   in reply to latentimage

    Well, the car and house analogy is not quite fitting. Adobe products have always been a license, with restrictions on what could be done with the product. The Cloud License, can in theory, result in more usable and bug-free apps. I think this move was inevitable.  I do think the price it a bit high, I'd like to see Adobe revisit it. But this will not be nearly as bad as some are predicting.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 2:47 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:

     

    …I don't think it's the end of the world…

     

     

    Of course it isn't.  It's just the end of my relationship with Adobe.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 3:05 PM   in reply to vince heying

    I share your pain as a hobby photographer, I finally bit the bullet and switched from Gimp to Photoshop CS6 less then a year ago. As I am in the US often I bought a US version, now they want to rip me off with a $400 a year subscription for PS alone (EU Prices are a near criminal rip off, 600 a year is probably AU prices right? Edit, I just noticed AU is no longer being robbed, only EU is over 50% more expensive now). Guess no upgrades on Photoshop, I still use Lightroom as my workflow start so I don't have problems for some time.

     

    Most fun will be my developers at work, I am not signing off on cloud software due to medical regulation, so no more PS upgrades for the design team... that will not be popular for certain. Finance will love it though, we will save tens of thousands in license costs by going Gimp

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 3:39 PM   in reply to Blacktip75

    The problem is not the Cloud. The problem, as I see it, is the pricing. Adobe will greatly benefit from moving to a continuously upgraded Cloud service (I assume more difficult to pirate). And I believe Adobe users could benefit  as well from this continuous cloud setup.

    BUT, the price of Cloud access is much more than one would pay for a perpetual license, even if the user upgraded every 18 months. For example, the CS6 Web and Design Suite is $1900. And upgrades run about $375 every 18 months. So in 10 years as professional user, who keeps up to date with each version, would spend about $3800. Compare that to a 10-year Cloud license of $6000.

    I don’t know who placed the price-point, but in my opinion this Cloud pricing model  hurts the “mid-range" user the most. Someone who uses maybe 3 or 4 Adobe apps. Which I believe is the majority of Adobe's clientele.  Bad call by Adobe Marketing IMO.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 3:55 PM   in reply to charles badland

    The biggest problem with the pricing is that it is based on the Master Collection.  If you use MC then it is a pretty reasonable deal but I completely understand that people who only use a few of the apps (or the smaller suites like Production Premium and Creative) are feeling ripped off.  Maybe Adobe needs to offer bundles of products at a lower price--like $30-$35 a month.  Better yet, how about an option to bundle a certain number of apps a-la-carte?

     
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    May 7, 2013 4:00 PM   in reply to Evil Edison

    Maybe Adobe needs to offer bundles of products at a lower price--like $30-$35 a month.  Better yet, how about an option to bundle a certain number of apps a-la-carte?

    Yep. My thoughts exactly. They are missing a huge user market in their pricing. I use PS, AI, Acrobat and once in a great while InD (and obviously Bridge and ACR). So for me, my choices are not favorable as far as costs in the new CC model. And I don't think I'm alone.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 4:04 PM   in reply to charles badland

    Well, hopefully the pricing model will evolve alongside the software.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 4:28 PM   in reply to charles badland

    > The problem is not the Cloud. The problem, as I see it, is the pricing.

    > Adobe will greatly benefit from moving to a continuously upgraded Cloud  service

     

      It seems to me the problem is both. They are using the threat of being totally cut-off to force you to continue to pay the now higher price.

     

      And once they  have their customer base locked-in, what incentive do they have to improve anything? Unless people start leaving for a competitor, they get your money one way or the other.

     
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    May 7, 2013 4:50 PM   in reply to Greg Bohn

    And once they  have their customer base locked-in, what incentive do they have to improve anything?

    For the past ten years Adobe's only competition has been itself. And that model has not always practical or consumer friendly.  "Must have" features being implemented way too soon. Forcing product teams (that do not even live in the same city or state, or even country) to implement "upgrade worthy" revisions that work seamlessly with all other Adobe apps every eighteen months. It is a mess. A continuous Cloud license will help with that pressure tremendously IMO.

    And it opens doors for other companies to step in and offer competitive products at a much lower price point. Adobe is a monopoly because they have spent years developing industrial grade products (and buying out Macromedia did not hurt) but it is not like they own the train tracks, power grid, distributing rights, proprietary formats, etc that some associate with abuse by large monopolistic companies. Any company can step into this game. And some will.

     
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    May 7, 2013 4:55 PM   in reply to Greg Bohn

    "Many would be very happy with Photoshop 7 if it was compatible with current OS"   Photoshop 7 does run on Windows 7. I have Photoshop 7, CS3 and both 32 bit and 64 bit CS6 on my Windows 7 C drive. I stopped using smart filters in CS3 because windows XP couldn't read the file with these layers in them when I duplicated the whole drive to a backup drive. Other than this smart issue the fact that Windows 7 can't produce an thumb image of a psd file is the only issues I run across with OS and Photoshop.

     

    Roy

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 7, 2013 4:56 PM   in reply to PhotoRoy1

    Agreed.  It's the Mac side where nothing much is compatible beyond a few years.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 5:10 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    t's the Mac side where nothing much is compatible beyond a few years.

    No kidding. Imagine my surprise when I got my first APPLE iPad, and it was not compatible with my 2 year old APPLE iMac, but worked fine with Windows XP?!?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 7:33 PM   in reply to vince heying

    photoline, gimp, on one's perfect photo suite,

     
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    May 7, 2013 10:37 PM   in reply to charles badland

    charles badland wrote:

     

    Maybe Adobe needs to offer bundles of products at a lower price--like $30-$35 a month.  Better yet, how about an option to bundle a certain number of apps a-la-carte?

    Yep. My thoughts exactly. They are missing a huge user market in their pricing. I use PS, AI, Acrobat and once in a great while InD (and obviously Bridge and ACR). So for me, my choices are not favorable as far as costs in the new CC model. And I don't think I'm alone.

     

    I was told today that sometime during the 2nd half of the year we should see a - standalone, if you will - "Photoshop CC" (Creative Cloud) release, but the price break from the "Master Collection" Creative Cloud will not be that great.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2013 5:47 AM   in reply to vince heying

    Stand alone PS CC comes with ACR and Bridge.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
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    May 8, 2013 6:32 AM   in reply to vince heying

    vince heying wrote:

     


    Say I decide to subscribe in January 2015.  Must I then make a lump sum payment of all subscription fees from July 2013?

     

    No, of course not.

     

    When you subscribe to a magazine, do you have to pay for all the issues that have been printed since it was possible to subscribe?

     

    What restrictions do you envision?  I believe Photoshop is much the same package as it was with the perpetual license (it certainly includes Camera Raw).  Obviously there are changes to all the components for the 14.0 release - I assume to make them better.  I missed part of the MAX announcement so I don't know what they showed entirely.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2013 6:54 AM   in reply to vince heying

    Uh oh.  Looks like Hitler isn't too pleased about this either...

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Iw9q2X9cU

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 8, 2013 6:57 AM   in reply to vince heying

    This isn't new; you've been able to subscribe by the month for some time now.  If you subscribe monthly, then cancel your subscription for 6 months, then subscribe again, there has been no lump sum penalty.  The month-by-month subscription price is simply higher than if you're willing to commit for a year.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2013 7:04 AM   in reply to charles badland

    What I'm thinking of doing is going with the $240 Complete for one year, and see how I like it. If I don't think it's worth $600, I can continue using CS6, maybe with a single app cloud license if there's something I can't live without (yeah, right). I have two and a half months to decide.

     

    I agree about Adobe missing the mid-tier market. I only really use three apps of the Suite (Pshop, Illy, and Indy), and have been bugged about having to upgrade apps I don't use, just to keep the suite license. And now, three single-app cloud licenses cost more than the complete.

     

    I went through all this angst decideing what to buy last year, with the idea that I could just use CS6 for two years. Of course, I still can, but $240 is reasonable enough for me to consider now. $600, thereafter, though . . .

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2013 7:13 AM   in reply to vince heying

    > Based on this policy I believe we will find Adobe will have a policy to  penalize customers

    >who do not maintain a continuous subscription.

     

      They're most likely betting that you won't want to risk the period where you don't have any access at all. That's probably penalty enough for most.

     
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    May 8, 2013 7:27 AM   in reply to Evil Edison

    Uh oh.  Looks like Hitler isn't too pleased about this either...

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Iw9q2X9cU

    That's pretty darn funny.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2013 7:30 AM   in reply to Semaphoric

    I agree about Adobe missing the mid-tier market. I only really use three apps of the Suite (Pshop, Illy, and Indy), and have been bugged about having to upgrade apps I don't use, just to keep the suite license. And now, three single-app cloud licenses cost more than the complete.

    You nailed it. Big miss on Adobe's part.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2013 8:24 AM   in reply to Semaphoric

    > I agree about Adobe missing the mid-tier market. I only really use three apps of the Suite (Pshop, Illy, and Indy),

    > and have been bugged about having to upgrade apps I don't use, just to keep the suite license.

    > And now, three single-app cloud licenses cost more than the complete.

     

      In line with 'modern' corporate thinking, Adobe appears to be looking for a way to extract the most possible income from it's userbase with the least amount of effort on it's part.

     

      First, they limited how long you could go and still get 'upgrade' pricing. That appears to not have been adequate for their goals.

     

      It requires the least amount of effort on their part if everyone just pays them a monthly fee 'forever'. And if you are 'motivated' by the pricing structure to have to buy more, well then another win for them.

     

    They are hoping that people will just suck it up.

     

      Most likely, the only thing that will affect their plans is if they lose more customers than they expected and miss their targets.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2013 9:12 AM   in reply to Greg Bohn

    I'm definitely going to want to hear some othe users' takes on the new features.

     

    "Editable rounded rectangles."  Welcome to the 20th Century!

     
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    May 8, 2013 9:54 AM   in reply to Evil Edison

    In bad taste (youtube video) but hilarious.  But I will not buckle in.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 8, 2013 10:20 AM   in reply to vince heying

    Doesn't work like that, Vince.  You don't get to keep using the version you downloaded.  You get to keep using it as long as you pay for the subscription.

     

    -Noel

     
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