Let's assume that Adobe maintain their subscription-only model for PS and never release a "Photographer Edition" of PS that would fill the gap between PSE and PS CC. Let's also assume that a lot of users decide to never enter the CC subscription model. PS doesn't have many convincing competitors, if any. Kind of a dead lock. However, things may evolve in an unexpected direction...
Nowadays a lot of work in PS is essentially done via plugins like those from Google/Nik, onOne and Topaz Labs combined with layers and masks. Moreover, onOne and Topaz are providing a standalone application (onOne Perfect Suite and photoFXLab respectively - no such thing with Nik Software) allowing to use their plugins without PS, providing layers and layer masks and supporting 16-bit images. This application can be launched as a plugin from Lightroom. So what would be missing ? A few additional plugins providing features that are currently available in PS only : context-aware retouching and the like.
Let's add to this that the people at Topaz Labs have been smart enough to allow their standalone app (photoFXLab) to integrate PS compatible plugins from third-party editors. If we can find a plugin for every important photography-related feature that PS is currently providing, we could do without PS. At least, this would be an acceptable solution for many photographers. We would have almost all the features that LR can't provide plus layers, masks and 16-bit support.
If Google/Nik, onOne and Topaz are ready to create the missing plugins, they could capture a good share of the PS market without much effort. IMHO, this strategy could be implemented much faster by these third-party vendors than Adobe will be able to provide a PS Photographer Edition.
I can live the next couple of years with LR4/5 and PS CS6. This is enough time for Topaz, onOne and Google Nik to provide the missing pieces.
My two cents...
I agree that the other photographer oriented developers are going to treat this as a great opprtunity.
Particularly the RAW processor people. I think you might see some acquistions and combo apps that will satisfy 90% or more of any serious photographer's needs, maybe close to 100%. I have Topaz, some of the onOne, investigating RAWs, have Aperture 3.4.4 with the X-Trans plugin.
Lundberg02 makes a very good point.
I'd be very happy with a raw converter that rivaled ACR 8.x in conjunction with Photoshop 13.0.4 Standard. I would have no additional need for Lr or a newer Photoshop.
Samoreen, I agree with what you say. In fact if you go to the OnOne site and check out their New Features in Development, they are working on what they call the Perfect Eraser Tool, which is esentually content aware fill.
It doesn't look like that adoption of CC is slow. You might want to check those analyst briefings:
Still, I agree that Adobe is ignoring the semi-professional market. I understand it as they are a big corp focusing on big corp.
One alternative I see too seldom discussed is OpenSource alternatives as the very good Darktable. Maybe we are at a point where RAW processing and basic image editing with some fancy filters is becoming a commodity. In that sense, Adobe is right about focusing on more advanced integrated use-cases.
Sebastian Stein wrote:
It doesn't look like that adoption of CC is slow. You might want to check those analyst briefings
2 remarks :
- I'm not sure what the figures show for the first quarters : you can subscribe to CC without paying anything (just opening an account, as I did).
- People who subscribed before may 2013 were not aware that Adobe would abandon perpetual licensing. They were thinking they had a safety net. This may impact the figures for the next quarters.