Adobe announced today at Photoshop World a new more attractive photographer Creative Cloud offering, consisting of Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, 20 GB cloud storage, Behance ProSite membership, and access to online CC training content.
This offer will be available the week of September 16 to owners of Photoshop CS3 and newer, for signup through December 31, 2013. Adobe has not indicated whether a similar offer will be available for photographers who are new to Photoshop.
The monthly subscription price will be $9.99/month, paid annually. Adobe states that it has no plans to change the price for subscribers of this plan.
At Photoshop World today, Adobe Product Manager Tom Hogarty also demonstrated what is in development for Lightroom (later this year? next year?). We will be to easily sync our Lightroom catalog to our mobile devices, work with and share the photos from there using a Lightroom app, and have our work seamlessly sync back to our main catalog and computer. The 20 GB of online storage that the CC offers is important for this, as for it to work, all or part of our Lightroom catalog (or a copy of it) as well as smart previews of our photos must reside in the catalog.
Adobe’s May announcement that new (post-CS6) versions of Photoshop will only be available through the CC subscription model and not through a stand-alone (perpetual license) product raised quite an uproar — first, because a subscription model means that when you stop paying, you lose access to the software (but not your files), and second, because of the huge price increase for those of us who use only Photoshop and Lightroom, and who may not even upgrade Photoshop with every release. This announcement does much to address the latter concern.
The price/ value equation is a very personal one. I personally am open to the subscription model, as long as I receive enough additional value to compensate for the loss of perpetual ownership of the software. With upcoming cloud capabilities, as well as the lowered price for Photoshop + Lightroom CC, that value (again, for me personally) now exceeds the price. I already was paying $80/year to upgrade Lightroom — paying an additional $40/year for Photoshop upgrades as well as cloud access seems like quite a deal to me.
For reference, below are Creative Cloud prices outside of the special Photography offering. Note that Photoshop + Lightroom otherwise requires Complete CC.
Right now new users can subscribe to Photoshop CC for $19.99/month, and purchase Lightroom as a stand-alone product.
Below you will find questions and answers about the Creative Cloud offering and policies and its implications for photographers, as I understand them.
Will Lightroom and Photoshop Elements be available as stand-alone (perpetually-licensed) products?
Yes, Lightroom and Elements (and Premiere Elements) will be available as stand-alone products as well as through the Creative Cloud.
Will the Lightroom offered through the Creative Cloud be different and better than the stand-alone Lightroom product?
No, Adobe’s Tom Hogarty has indicated that it will be the same.
Will Lightroom become a subscription only offering after Lightroom 5?
Per Tom Hogarty of Adobe, “future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely.”
Do I have to be connected to the internet to use Photoshop CC?
You will have to connect to the internet to download updates and then once every 90 (soon to be 180) days for verification. The software will live on and run from your computer, as it has before.
What If I Want a Stand-Alone Photoshop Product Instead?
Adobe will continue to sell Photoshop CS6 as a stand-alone product, and promises that it will be compatible with the next versions of Windows and Mac operating systems, and it will receive new bug fixes and new camera support (ACR). CS6 however will not have the new features introduced in Photoshop CC or in Lightroom 5. No promises have been made past the next operating system versions simply because Adobe doesn’t know what Apple and Microsoft have in store for them.
Other than the new product features to be released next month, what are the benefits to photographers of Creative Cloud membership ?
- The ability to sync your Photoshop (and other CC software) preferences, styles, actions, etc.., to multiple computers, and access your work from multiple computers.
- Cloud storage
- Behance ProSite membership, to share your work with and get feedback from the creative community
- Always up-t0-date software — new features as they become available
- Cross-platform license (Mac and PC)
You can pay monthly and cancel at any time, but prices will be higher.