Is Adobe overcharging for Photoshop Creative Cloud?

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June 17, 2013 at 10:30 am  •  Posted in New Products, Q&A by  •  2 Comments

I read that Photoshop CS6 will no longer be sold as a program and that you’ll need to pay $50 per month to use the new Photoshop CC on the Adobe website starting June 17. Is that correct? And if so, isn’t this overly expensive?
—Roberto C.


Yes, the basic premise is correct, Roberto, but the cost will only be $10 per month for the first year, if you own Photoshop CS3 or a newer version. (The $50 per month provides access to all of the programs available for download, and that’s academic if you want only Photoshop Creative Cloud.) To get the $10-per-month deal at Adobe Creative Cloud, scroll down to Single App and click on Join.  Then click on Requires Annual Commitment and select Requires CS3+ purchase. (That just means you must have a licensed copy of CS3 or a newer version in your computer to get the $10-per-month deal.) For specifics as to the benefits of Photoshop CC vs. CS6, read the Adobe Press Release.

If you own CS3 or a newer version and decide to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud to get Photoshop CC (starting June 17), be sure to take advantage of the $10 per month subscription for the first year. Photo Courtesy of Adobe Systems.

If you own CS3 or a newer version and decide to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud to get Photoshop CC (starting June 17), be sure to take advantage of the $10 per month subscription for the first year. Photo Courtesy of Adobe Systems.

After you join, you can download Photoshop CC, install it into your computer, and start using it. The subscription fee will increase to $20 per month; this is also the current price for those who do not own a previous version. Is the monthly fee excessive? Well, over a few years of use, it will add up to a lot of money. Of course, Photoshop CS6 sells for $750, and most photo enthusiasts find that to be too expensive, but it primarily targets professional photographers and graphic designers. That’s why Adobe also offers Elements ($100) and Lightroom ($170); both programs will continue to be sold as usual. CS6 will also be available for purchase for at least several months, and the company will continue updating Adobe Camera Raw, though only for an unstated period of time.

Many photographers own an earlier version of Photoshop and find that its multitude of features meets all of their needs; this group will find no immediate need to upgrade to CC. Others insist on having all of the latest features and frankly, a high percentage of this group is unhappy with the subscription concept. Photo Courtesy of Adobe Systems.

The primary complaint about the Creative Cloud concept is that after downloading Photoshop CC, you would need to continue paying the monthly fee forever. If you were to stop doing so in future, the software would cease to function. You’d still be able to open JPEG and TIFF files created with Photoshop CC using other software since these are universal formats. However, if the file consisted of layers — and those included one or more layers created with a feature unique to Photoshop CC — a problem would arise. Other software (including Photoshop CS6) would not recognize those layers. For additional information about the pros and cons of Photoshop CC by subscription, read the DP Review article Adobe Responds to Reaction as well as the FAQs provided by the editor.

2 Comments

  1. Joel B. McEachern / July 4, 2013 at 7:37 am / Reply

    Adobe captured the world with its Photoshop software and the world embraced Adobe. Like so many others in the digital trade, Adobe has taken that embrace and is now suffocating the very market that enriched it.

    There are words for such business practices. None of them are good.

  2. Peter K Burian / July 8, 2013 at 9:43 am / Reply

    Well Joel, as I said in the Q&A, many photographers do not agree at all with the new method for marketing Photoshop CC. (Subscription instead of a flat purchase price.) I doubt that Adobe ever anticipated such serious resistance to the concept.

    Adobe does an excellent job at explaining the concept on their Blog but many of the comments are negative. http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2013/05/you-should-never-lose-access-to-your-work-period.html

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