I’m a bit late on this news from last week, as I was on vacation with no internet access, but here goes:
Adobe announced the upcoming June 17 release of the next version of Photoshop, Photoshop CC, available only through a Creative Cloud monthly or annual subscription. No longer will we able to purchase and own new versions of Photoshop (or other Creative Suite software, which have also all been updated) — users must subscribe, and when they stop subscribing, they lose access to the software. Here are U.S. prices, per month with an annual subscription:
This new policy of only being able to “rent” Adobe’s Creative Suite software has caused some outcry throughout the creative community, but much more so amongst photographers, many of whom have more limited needs for Creative Suite software. Adobe seems to be scrambling now to convince photographers that this is a win for them and possibly to make changes to their plans to make the value more compelling.
Below you will find questions and answers about this new policy as it stands right now, and its implications for photographers.
What’s New in Photoshop CC?
The most attractive addition for photographers is the new camera-shake filter, to reduce blur from camera shake (not from subject motion). Below is an example of before and after, using the automatic fix, with no further tweaking:
This will definitely save some of my blurry photos but it is a feature that will benefit from more development — it can produce heavy artifacts and halos even with its advanced features. (Generally you won’t see this in video demos, of course!) Speaking of which, here is a demo by Adobe:
Additionally for photographers, Photoshop CC has improved Smart Sharpen and upscaling capabilities, and has added camera raw as a filter that you can make changes with without having to close your photo and go back to ACR or Lightroom. Next, all Photoshop CS6 Extended features, such as 3D, have been folded into the one edition of Photoshop CC. Finally, there are other smaller improvements.
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. At this point, the only way to get Lightroom in the Cloud is to purchase the Complete version. If you only plan to use Lightroom and Photoshop, at this point you would be better off purchasing the stand-alone version of Lightroom, and the single-product Photoshop Creative Cloud. Adobe has indicated that they are looking further at whether to offer a cloud package geared specifically to photographers.
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 (20 GB with Photoshop CC, 100 GB with the Complete Cloud)
- 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)
Do I have to pay a year in advance?
You can pay monthly and cancel at any time, but prices will be higher.
Where can I find more information?