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So here I sit, staring at the screen of the new MacBook Pro that arrived last night, facing the decision I've dreaded--whether to sign up for Creative Cloud or switch.  I've used Photoshop and Lightroom for many years, I like them plus they do everything I need and more.  However I hate the idea of a monthly payment.  What are my other options?  So far I'm considering:

  • Purchase the new Lightroom 6 but can it be installed standalone?  
  • Go with Lightroom 5.5 but I worry there may be compatibility issues with my Sony A7ii raw files.
  • Purchase CS6 standalone but its very expensive and Adobe is going to stop supporting it very soon so then it will presumably become glitchy without updates.
  • Buy Adobe Elements and do without many of my favorite features.
  • Buy Corel and settle for less than the best.
  • DXOptic Pro - I know nothing about it and it sounds like Lightroom is better for about the same price.
  • Other?

If I go with the Adobe CC what can I do to reduce the monthly cost, are there coupons or discounts available?  Should I buy an old version of Photoshop to use for upgrading?  Also, I use Topaz plugins a lot and would miss them.

 

I'm open to suggestions...

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Way back in the dark reaches of time, I bought Elements strictly for the ability to upgrade to PS and save.  Not sure if that is still an option, but searching should give you the answer.

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Thank you Betty, it's worth checking into.

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I think if you are used to Lightroom,you might as well stick with it. It can be purchased as a stand-alone product. You have to click through as if you were buying the CC version, and where you get to the page with the price, there's a drop down box to buy LR6.

 

I'm not going to be at a computer until Tuesday so can't provide a link until then, if you are still stuck.

 

There should also be an option to upgrade, or install your current version IIRC. These will obviously be cheaper.

Edited by IanGibson
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Thank you Ian, I currently have student software so I'm not sure there is any discount for upgrading.  I can buy and download on Amazon easily.  It costs $144 for the Mac download.

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When I bought my Mac Mini, about 18 months ago, I just downloaded my previously purchased CS6 and Lightroom from my account on the Adobe website. Of course this only works if you purchased the digital download from Adobe.

 

Most software purchased from Amazon is in your "Amazon Library" in case you need to download it again. Both CS6 and Lightroom 5 run fine under Yosemite.

 

fD

Edited by fotoDogue

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The student software I purchased was provided on disk with a maximum of two registrations (both used), and the disks were for PC, not Mac.  I can't get upset since I didn't pay a lot for it and used it for several years.

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I hate the idea of the subscription but for $10 a month the photographers package from Adobe that includes both Photoshop and Lightroom isn't the worst deal in the world.  Is it true it can be installed on up to two machines?

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Somewhere on Adobe's website there is an option to make a one time payment for a year of CC.  The main thing I object to is that Adobe wants the ability to automatically charge your credit card when the year is up for the next year rather then sending you a friendly reminder that your subscription is about to expire as nearly every other business does.  I am sure they would have more customers if they would change to a more conventional billing plan.  I can't think of a single good reason for Adobe to have a monthly or yearly subscription and have unrestricted access to my credit card account.  Under the $9.99 monthly plan you can change it to prepaid yearly subscription for $119.

Edited by Johnnie5
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Before you plunk down your plastic, I would contact Adobe directly and ask if they have an upgrade path for the student versions, or how to switch your Windows License to Mac. Some of these disks contain both Mac and Windows versions so you should double check to see which one you have.

 

When you upgrade the full version you don't actually need the previous version on your computer. The installer will prompt you to enter the serial number of the previous version and then the serial number for the upgrade.

 

The Lightroom 6 upgrade is only U$ 79 on the Adobe site. That's like paying for 8 months of a CC subscription.

 

fD

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I hate the idea of the subscription but for $10 a month the photographers package from Adobe that includes both Photoshop and Lightroom isn't the worst deal in the world.  Is it true it can be installed on up to two machines?

 

It can be installed on as many machines as you want, its just that no more than two can be operating at the same time.

 

I feel the $10 a month is worth it. Took me a long time to finally try it as I had CS6, but some of the improvements in CC are great.

 

As I only have consumer level lenses, the defringe slider in ACR alone is worth the $10 a month for me. I always have stubborn CA that will never totally go away with the CA sliders, but using the adjustment brush and adjusting the defringe slider, I can wash over all the tree branches and fence posts and voila, all gone.

 

I do almost all my PP in ACR. I open my images in ACR, do basic adjustments then open them in PS as smart objects, then flip the image from PS to ACR and back again as I want to make other adjustments. You don't end up with super high MB images as tiffs at the end either. Just the xmp file that travels with your RAW image. So easy to make changes to your changes. Using the patch tool and content aware tools are the pretty much the only adjustments I use in PS. Some masking too. And the topaz filters as well, but don't use them a lot for stock.

 

I would say sign up and use it for a few months and see if you like it. You can always cancel if you don't.

 

As to the student editions. Not sure why you have those, but I know my son had the student edition of Premiere (which is the same as the regular, just cheaper) when at college. He didn't have to pay anything for it while at college, but was supposed to delete it from his computer when he graduated. Yeah, right. The only thing you might find in upgrading from the student is paying extra money.

 

Jill

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Jill, you are correct, the student version is identical to the retail version but is limited to use by current students, a status I would have trouble meeting now.  There is no way they would allow me to switch it to another machine.  It would take years of monthly payments to equal the cost of buying the two programs outright so it makes some sense to do the subscription at $10/month.

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Thank you all for your input, right or wrong I've plunked down my $10 initial payment for Adobe CC (CS6 and Lightroom).

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Thanks for posting this,  I am currently running CS5 and could upgrade to 6 for a small fee, ASMP discount.

but would love to have LR and CS6 and the most current version of ACR.  I just hate the idea of "renting" software.

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Guest

Somewhere on Adobe's website there is an option to make a one time payment for a year of CC.  The main thing I object to is that Adobe wants the ability to automatically charge your credit card when the year is up for the next year rather then sending you a friendly reminder that your subscription is about to expire as nearly every other business does.  I am sure they would have more customers if they would change to a more conventional billing plan.  I can't think of a single good reason for Adobe to have a monthly or yearly subscription and have unrestricted access to my credit card account.  Under the $9.99 monthly plan you can change it to prepaid yearly subscription for $119.

 

Urban myth IME. Adobe do send you a reminder that your subscription is about to end and to update your account/billing information - I have one in my inbox from earlier this month.

 

To the OP, with LRCC and if LR6 is the same, you don't quite have the same integration between older programs for some tasks.

 

I've been quite happy to pay the subscription, it's a great deal in terms of software costs.

 

Best raw convertor and probably doing all you need is CaptureOne. One off payment, maybe buy something like CS5 for image manipulation. Phase One (CaptureOne) do have occasional discount periods, so you can pick up this great bit of software fairly cheaply. I currently use LRCC for volume work (non-stock) but with the latest version of C1 I must make an effort to swap over for most work.

Edited by Guest

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Guest

 

Folks might want to read this before buying Lightroom CC. 

http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00dIuS

Huh? He says he bought LR not the CC version.

 

 

Been discussed in other thread, the change to GPU computing in LR does make some things slower, some things (slider response) quicker.  No real change in speed of use as I've turned off GPU performance for HDR.

Edited by Guest

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I continue to use my stand alone version of CS4 for the layers etc, and might one day upgrade to LR6 from LR4. You might be able to buy a legal old copy of CS4/CS5 quite cheaply. CS4 does everything that I need other than raw conversion - hence LR.

 

I used to use Canon's own free raw converter DPP, and have gone back over some old images using LR, but, to my weary eyes, there's no quantitative gain. If I was still shooting Canon I would still be using DPP and my antique copy of PS. Cheap and cheerful, there's not enough money in stock for me to justify high and recurrent software costs.

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I know a couple of people who scrape along with just iPhoto. Now that Apple have ditched Aperture (?!) they are replacing both with PHOTO. pretty cheap.

 

Me, I just carry on with Photoshop 5 but I'm running a fairly ancient Mac OS

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Thanks for posting this,  I am currently running CS5 and could upgrade to 6 for a small fee, ASMP discount.

but would love to have LR and CS6 and the most current version of ACR.  I just hate the idea of "renting" software.

If you mean you can still upgrade to CS6 perpetual for a small fee, then definitely do it. The biggest change in CS6 over CS5 in my opinion was under the hood - they reprogrammed the graphics engine making massive speed improvements and enhancements in viewing images, very useful with 36MP files. Adobe never made a lot of noise about this change but it was very significant. I'm still using CS6 with LR6 now and have found no reason yet to go for subscription which I also intrinsically dislike. I intend to stay with this as long as I can - the change will probably be enforced when Adobe stop supplying ACR updates for CS6 and I buy a camera that is not supported but that is likely to be some way down the line I think.

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I agree with MDM, I've used CS6 since it was first released and it is an excellent product with great features and it is faster than previous versions. I'd happily continue using it but sadly the laptop it's installed on won't survive forever and I want to switch over to a Mac machine before it dies and I lose everything.

 

Now I have a Mac and desktop versions of CS6 are costly. I can pay the $10 monthly for years before I exceed the investment I would have to pay today to buy a standalone copy. Then I have to worry what will happen when Adobe stops issuing updates and repairs to keep it running. That's likely to occur sometime in the next couple years. I don't like monthly payments but I see few options. I'll start looking and can always switch later if I find other software.

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I agree with MDM, I've used CS6 since it was first released and it is an excellent product with great features and it is faster than previous versions. I'd happily continue using it but sadly the laptop it's installed on won't survive forever and I want to switch over to a Mac machine before it dies and I lose everything.

 

Now I have a Mac and desktop versions of CS6 are costly. I can pay the $10 monthly for years before I exceed the investment I would have to pay today to buy a standalone copy. Then I have to worry what will happen when Adobe stops issuing updates and repairs to keep it running. That's likely to occur sometime in the next couple years. I don't like monthly payments but I see few options. I'll start looking and can always switch later if I find other software.

 

Yes I think it would be more than a bit crazy for you to buy CS6 at this point as Adobe are unlikely to keep on updating it forever. My worry with the subscription model is that, if you ever stop subscribing, then you lose the use of the program. This is especially important to me as I save all my processed images as PSDs (far better than TIFF for speed and other things if re-editing) so I am really tied into Photoshop (and have been since the last century). I did read somewhere (a previous thread here I think) that if you stop subscribing you can still open files but are unable to work on them. I don't know how true this is though. If I do ever go subscription and my CS6 no longer works on whatever machine I am using then, I will need to think about a file access strategy - probably export the lot as TIFFs.

Edited by MDM

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I used to save my processed files in Tiff. No more. I keep a copy of the jpegs I upload to Alamy only so I know which images I have processed when I go back to look at a folder. I have those marked in the file name.

 

If I decide to reprocess an image, I do it with the raw file. The past couple of days I've been revisiting some images I took in 2008, these were processed with PS version 2003! After changing it to 2012, I reprocessed, and the new files are far superior to the old. Some of the improvement is due to the later version of PS, some of it is due to my skills growing through the years. I'm getting a kick seeing how lovely these images, taken with my D200 are. Although I see more noise, and less than great transition areas compared to the later cameras. I'd forgotten about that, lol!

 

Some of these I will resubmit, and if they pass, I'll put the old version up for deletion. But there are a lot of new images to submit, because some of them after cropping for best effect with a 10mp camera, were too small to withstand the interpolation to 48mb back in the day when that was the standard. All of these newly processed images, cropped, are over the 17mb currently required! All good.

 

I think the CC is great. If I ever decide to quit, I'll still have my Raw files to use with something else. But I expect to stick with it as long as I'm involved with photography. Barring Adobe raising subscription price to something unreasonable.

 

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue

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