The following is a guest commentary from Teton Photography Group Steering Committee member Nick Wheeler:
I feel compelled to enlarge on my comments the other night about the new Adobe subscription model. Here is a link to one place you can still get the physical version of Photoshop if you want it.
It’s also available from Amazon and many traditional software vendors. It is being sold now for less than what I paid in 1992, never mind inflation.
There are some users who have been resisting the latest “upgrade” to subscription pricing. These are typically long time users who have been updating since v2.0, so admittedly we have long since amortized the upfront cost. Our monthly cost was more along the lines of 5.00, so even the current discount of 10.00 per month looks like a ripoff. It’s a double whammy as we did pay the upfront cost and now we are forced into the subscription model.
There have been no worthwhile upgrades to Photoshop since version 5, everything since has been window dressing. For me personally the CS6 upgrade has been a terrible rehash of the interface, burying features (such as command-shift-option-E) in an undocumented no man’s land and rejiggering key shortcuts in some of the traditional dialogs (such as curves) as to make them much slower and more inconvenient to use.
Another poorly understood and undocumented feature of recent versions of Photoshop is the growing disparity in functionality between ACR in Photoshop and Lightroom. This will only be exacerbated as time goes on, and not necessarily in a positive way. Is Lightroom to become a dumbed down version of Photoshop + ACR? Will the slightly better version of ACR in Photoshop be eliminated because it’s a bit harder to use?
It may prove that the average user is far better off with the last physical version of Photoshop, combined with more advanced Beyer interpolators such as Raw Developer and more robust media management, my favorite tool of the past decade or so is now owned by Phase One and is sold as Media Pro. The end user would be far better off right now with CS6, Raw Developer and Media Pro than subscribing to the Adobe program alone.
I think it is in every photographers best interest to maintain a two horse race in software development for photographers. Blindly subscribing to the Adobe solutions may be a long term lose lose unless more competition enters the space. It would be great if enough end users agreed with this notion, did not subscribe and forced Adobe to hit the pause button on this strategy.
Admittedly it has been a great strategy for Adobe insiders with giant stock options on the line, providing them with a gratifying short term bump in the value of their options. For the rest of us – maybe not so great.