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Should I buy Lightroom or pay monthly for CC for Mac ?

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Hi All, 

 

I've been using CS5 on Macbook Pro but cannot update after change to El Capitan. Should I buy Lightroom or pay monthly for CC?

 

Regards, 

 

Adrian. 

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CC monthly (because that's what I do)! Really though, it depends on what you need and your workflow. Hard to answer for you.

 

I do 99% of my post processing in LR, only using PS when I need to do something special - particularly any touching up or cloning out of anything more than a dust spot. PS is just so much quicker and easier than LR for that kind of thing and transparency just doesn't exist in LR.

Maybe if you say a bit more about your workflow and what you are trying to do we can offer opinions but ultimately you're probably the best judge.  Oh yes, the big question is: do you care about the cost of a CC subscription?

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If you need / use Photoshop then CC @ $9.99 or ($7.99 if you look around) is a very good deal. 

 

However, if you only use Lightroom then perhaps you are better with the standalone though accept the fact you will not get the latest and greatest toys.  But considering the problems with the last few iterations maybe that is not such a good idea.  I've got the CC version and the problems with the last couple of versions aside, I'm quite happy. 

 

They really, really need to stop adding features and fix the bugs and performance issues though.  I've got a fairly high end system and version 6 brought things to a crawl.  Last update has improved things, but still much slower than version 5.7

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I had an aversion to the Adobe subscription model and used bought Lightroom and Photoshop Elements products instead for many years. Each year I'd renew one or the other when a special offer was on. At the end of last year I finally succumbed and now have the monthly subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop. It's proved to be a great move, and with the extra capabilities in Photoshop I've recovered the ongoing subscription cost many times over. I guess it depends exactly what you are using the products for though.

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I have been happy with CC and the price is right.  With CC you always have the latest updates.

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I never used to like the idea of paying each month for software, but when I read about Adobe's CC Photography plan, it was hard to turn it down. I pay £8.27 I think it is per month, which I think is a very good deal. I used to use Lightroom plus Photoshop Elements, but several times I had to update Elements in order to keep it working with the latest Windows or whatever else was on my system. Although I didn't NEED the full Photoshop, there are some features I'm glad to have that have improved my images. With that plan you also get use of other software, including having a portfolio website that you can link to Lightroom, which makes updating it with new photos very easy. Also you get updates, which usually work out well although as others have said, that CAN cause problems. You don't have to update though until others have tried them first.

 

Reading that back I sound like a saleman! It's just my own honest opinion and experience with it.  :)

 

Geoff.

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Pay monthly for CC, it's the best deal in photography. Been with it since day one and no problems at all. If you don't like a version, you can simply go back to a previous download....makes life very simple.

 

I pay £7.14 a month (VAt reg so I don't pay it).... about 1/7th of what I pay for Metropix software...... guess which I use the most!!

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I pay monthly for CC. I got it with a 20% discount that Adobe was running.

 

I have always used Lightroom but this also allows me to use the full version of Photoshop too for not much more than the price of an Lightroom upgrade.

 

It's well worth it as the benefits it has give me a faster and better workflow. It's also less than the cost of a couple of takeaway coffees!

Edited by Armstrong

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I've just signed up for an Adobe Creative cloud subscription in the last month. The monthly subscription for most basic 'individual' subscription which gives you Lightroom and Photoshop is currently £8.57 a month. But I have a 12 month subscription to Digital Camera magazine (which was a Christmas present) and as a result, I got 20% off off the first year.. so that's £6.86 a month.. or about the price of two pints of beer (depending where in the country you live :)  )

 

I was going from using Nikon Capture NX-D to convert RAW files and then GIMP to do anything else and I have to say, it is totally worth it for the price going from the freebies to a Adobe CC Subscription!

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If you do any special work requiring layers, or if that possibility might arise in the future, CC is the way to go. I use layers a lot.

For instance if you want to composite, or do artistic things to your images using textures. You have to have the layers PS offers.

 

Although I use initial development in LR, I still prefer to use a lot of PS features. I open up my LR adjusted images directly into PS, finish, save as tiff, keyword in Bridge, save JPEG to upload folder and 2nd copy beside the raw, then delete the tiff.

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On the other hand, I've bought outright Lightroom 4 four years ago and it is still meeting pretty well all my needs on its own. On the very rare occasions I feel the need to retouch an image in greater depth, I convert it to TIFF and fire up my trusty Adobe Photoshop Elements v.7 which I bought in 2009.  I'm not expecting to have to upgrade Lightroom until I get a new camera which Lightroom 4 doesn't support - that is to say, not any time soon.

 

If you bought the same packages outright now it would cost you around £170. Over 4 years that works out at about £3.54 per month. To my mind, that beats any CC subscription offer Adobe can give me for software  I don't need and will likely never use.

  • Upvote 4

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Hi Adrian, looking at your Alamy portfolio, at least the first couple of pages, Live News seems to take precedence; for this I would suggest that Lightroom is a better option than Photoshop due to batch keywording on import and ease of batch editing. As Tokyo mentioned above it really depends on your workflow though.

 

Although I possess Lightroom I rarely use it as my workflow is largely layer based which Lightroom does not support. Elements is not an option due to 8-bit processing only, not 16-bit. For non news images I use CS5 or 6, and if the camera raw format in not supported the free Adobe DNG converter is used to convert camera raws to DNG raw files which will open in earlier Photoshop versions.

 

Although I can see some advantages of CC I don't find it necessary at the moment, although the time may come, and prefer to own rather than rent.

 

Hope this helps rather than confuses.

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I like the CC subscription - I used to wait to upgrade - went from LR 1 to 3 to 5, PS 3 to 5, so missed out on some of the bells and whistles in between - much nicer to have the new toys as they come out.

 

I do most of my processing in LR - especially for editorial images - but I also like to use textures, make composite images and otherwise play around in PS  for concept and artistic images - as well as cloning out pesky power lines and the like - or for stacking focus - so I can't imagine going without PS even though after more than a decade of using it I still feel like there are things I could learn - there's so much there it's unlikely you'll ever take advantage of everything but it's nice to know you can learn new things and spark your creativity. 

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I held out for as long as I could, then my daughter needed LR & PS for her Mac, I'm running PC's and Adobe would not let me

add a Mac version of my licensed CS5 (64bit Win) so I had to join CC.  I pay annually, bit cheaper for CC.  I like LR, but it is

slower for me working from RAW (NEF) files from my D800's.  I can work (edit) much faster in ACR, guess I need to buy a

book?

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When I upgraded to El Capitan I had some issues with USB in Bridge but CS6 was fine. Last time I checked the Adobe forums there were no plans for a fix. Have you contacted Adobe about why you can't update?

The USB issues were serious enough that eventually I downgraded to Leopard which I prefer over El Capitan. I have no need for split screens or the new Apple Mail - and I sure do like saving the cost of a subscription each month.

 

I'd suggest downloading the CC and Lightroom demos and trying them for a month. That should help you decide which program you prefer and if the subscription is worth it.

 

fD

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I held out for as long as I could, then my daughter needed LR & PS for her Mac, I'm running PC's and Adobe would not let me

add a Mac version of my licensed CS5 (64bit Win) so I had to join CC.  I pay annually, bit cheaper for CC.  I like LR, but it is

slower for me working from RAW (NEF) files from my D800's.  I can work (edit) much faster in ACR, guess I need to buy a

book?

 

I ran some tests a while back converting D800 raws and opening them in Photoshop and there was no difference in speed in the conversion between ACR and LR. So any difference you are finding is certainly a workflow issue.

 

I used Bridge, ACR and Photoshop until I tried LR4 over 3 years ago and I would never go back. Once you get used to using LR efficiently, it is a lot faster in terms of workflow than using ACR. There are also numerous feature/tools in LR that are not available in ACR. I still use Photoshop a lot in my workflow and probably always will but I tend to do a lot more in LR than I used to do as the tools and features develop

 

If you like books for learning (I do), I would highly recommend Martin Evening's LR6 book as an excellent LR reference and Jeff Schewe's Digital Negative which goes into a lot of background stuff and covers ACR and LR. Both are available in Kindle format.

Edited by MDM

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I still use elements.  I upgrade every other version, when its on sale.  I have bought a few plugins that make it do almost everything the full version does.  I also use the GIMP and other free software for some things.  I spend about £30 a year, don't see much point in increasing my expenses more than that.

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I bought LR and have updated every third or so iteration. I think that works out cheaper than the monthly payment. Adobe allows you a reasonable discount for an upgrade.

 

I also have a venerable copy of PS, but that allows me to use layers etc and do all I need. I guess it depends if you change your camera regularly, as you then need to have the latest release (of LR)  to get the raw converter.

 

In my experience the changes between iterations are not ground breaking, you get a few tweaks, but if it were not for the raw thing, I probably wouldn't bother to upgrade.

 

However I'm a parsimonious pensioner who does this as a paying hobby, if I were a full time pro I would probably be shelling out for the lease deal.

 

Buying it outright is a bit of a pain. I don't think that Adobe wants you to do this,  I had to use the online chat facility to find out how on the last occasion. I suspect that the option might disappear one day soon.

Edited by Bryan

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Hi Adrian,

I have also just recently made the move over to the CC. I had been using a version of Photoshop that I had bought using academic pricing (much cheaper) but it was getting dated and so I was relying more on Lightroom alone. One of the bonuses of doing this was I was able to redo my website using their new product Adobe Portfolio which is included with your CC subscription, its a way to have a web presence without any added cost (although I have my own domain so I pay for that).

Chris

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Still on CS2 and LR4. What am I missing that I actually need for stock?

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Still on CS2 and LR4. What am I missing that I actually need for stock?

 

It depends on what sort of images you want to take...or more precisely want to create. Later versions of PS have much more powerful manipulation tools like puppet warp and perspective warp that enable you to do things with images that you couldn't up to CS5 or so. Naturally if all you want to do is point a camera. press the button and 'develope' the image.... they are not needed. There are 3D tools in later versions as well, remember that Photoshop is not just a photographer's software like Lightroom but is more an image creation software, often used by non-photographers.

 

As always, if you don't use the tools then it doesn't matter but not having the tools means you never know if you would use them. 

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CC has been one of the best purchases I have made in the past years. It has paid itself back just in time saved.

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Still on CS2 and LR4. What am I missing that I actually need for stock?

 

It depends on what sort of images you want to take...or more precisely want to create. Later versions of PS have much more powerful manipulation tools like puppet warp and perspective warp that enable you to do things with images that you couldn't up to CS5 or so. Naturally if all you want to do is point a camera. press the button and 'develope' the image.... they are not needed. There are 3D tools in later versions as well, remember that Photoshop is not just a photographer's software like Lightroom but is more an image creation software, often used by non-photographers.

 

As always, if you don't use the tools then it doesn't matter but not having the tools means you never know if you would use them. 

 

 

In relation to Photoshop, there have been some major changes implemented under the hood (the bonnet for spacecadet) since CS2, the most important of which is 64-bit processing, allowing the use of more than 4GB of RAM and resulting in very significant speed changes when working on large files. The second was the rewriting of the entire graphics engine in CS6 providing far better 2D graphics, never mind 3D. There have been enhancments to some of the tools and features - I can't remember when the healing brush and the patch tool were added but I think the latter is post CS2. The Refine Edge command is very useful.

 

 

Similarly Lightroom has been speeded up significantly since LR4. Speed changes in processing produce a faster workflow regardless of the purpose of your photography. In addtion, there have been a few features added to LR since LR4 which I find very useful to indispensable. Photo Merge Panorama giving a DNG file is my favourite and has had a massive effect on my workfow as it works in the background and can be worked on as a raw file. The radial gradient filter is vey useful and the ability to edit both this and the gradient filter is very useful indeed.

 

I should add that I am still using CS6 and LR6 stand alone but will probably be subscribing sometime this year. I tried CC when it first came out but found that there wasn't a lot that I needed that I didn't have in CS6. Not too much has changed in that regard but I am going to check CC out again soon.

Edited by MDM
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Still on CS2 and LR4. What am I missing that I actually need for stock?

+1

CS3 and LR6 does more than enough for me.

Edited by Trevor Chriss
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Still on CS2 and LR4. What am I missing that I actually need for stock?

+1

CS3 and LR4 does more than enough for me.

 

+1

PSE 8 and LR4 still works for me, but then I haven't upgraded my cameras for a while. If I did I'd possibly swap to using DNG files using the free Adobe DNG convertor which is frequently updated to support the latest models.

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