Adobe Photoshop Photography Program Pricing – Scott Kelby’s Take

September 15th, 2013

adobedeal2Ever since Adobe announced Creative Cloud and the move to subscription pricing of most of their applications I’ve been a little cranky because I’ve been an Adobe customer since 1990 and I just don’t like the subscription software model and Adobe’s pricing up to now has felt like too much for what I’m going to get with Creative Cloud.

Rick, a PFRE reader pointed out the new limited time pricing that Adobe announced at Photoshop World last week. After reading Scott Kelby’s take on the announcement I have to say it the pricing sounds much better for what you get. I still don’t like the concept of subscription software, but this pricing is tolerable and is closer to what I paid for updates every year or two. I think Kelby is right, this offer is much better than anyone expected from Adobe, it is explicitly aimed at photographers. I think Scott’s post does a much better job describing the product than the Adobe page does. Adobe is pretty damn lucky to have Scott Kelby promoting their products, he does a much better job marketing than Adobe does!

I think I’ll sign up for this version of Creative Cloud. You have to already have PS CS3 or later and subscribe before December 31, 2013, but it effectively lasts forever… well they will probably increase it some time. Nothing is forever.

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4 Responses to “Adobe Photoshop Photography Program Pricing – Scott Kelby’s Take”

  • I’m an amateur who just bought PS Elements and haven’t even actually used it yet. (I’m looking for tutorials to get started.) I’m confused by all the Photoshop news and the related controversy. Will I be able to use Elements without subscribing? Do I need Lightroom? Will I have to pay $10 or $20/month? Thanks for any guidance.

  • @Richard- PS elements is a simplified version of Photoshop. You’ll probably always be able to get PS Elements and Lightroom without a subscription. I my opinion every serious photographer needs Lightroom. I think Lightroom is more important for a photographer than PS Elements.

    For real estate work there are a few things that you can’t do with LR, like sky replacement and quickly removing objects but 95% of real estate photography can be done with LR.

  • @ Richard – PS Elements is actually NOT a simplified version of Photoshop. It is a separate program that offers similar features to those in Phtooshop and some other features not available in Photoshop. It has a decidedly different user interface and a dumbed down version of Adobe Camera RAW. It runs significantly slower than Photoshop. It is not (in it’s current form) Photoshop Lite. It does not prepare you to use the interface in Photoshop or to use many of Photoshop’s more advanced tools. Perhaps most significantly, except for the dumbed down Adobe Camera Raw, you are locked into an 8 bit workflow for almost everything. At times this can make a real difference. It’s ability to edit large numbers of photos efficiently (time-wise) make’s it an unwise choice in most professional settings

    However, Elements may just right for you, as an amateur or casual user. It is, in its own right, quite a powerful program and represents good value. However it does have significant limitations for working professionals. This is a partial list from the Adobe Site

    >Adobe Camera Raw differences between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

    >Photoshop Elements comes with a database driven Digital Asset Management application called Elements Organizer. Photoshop comes with Bridge, a file navigation system that operates much like Windows Explorer or Macintosh Finder.

    >While there are several functions that both Organizer and Bridge use, they are fundamentally different applications and serve different purposes.

    >Photoshop Elements does not support the following color modes: Duotone, CMYK, Lab, Multichannel

    >There is very little 16-bit support in Photshop Elements. You cannot create or convert an image to 16-bit, only open images that are already 16-bit. While working with a 16-bit image you cannot work with layers. The following tools do not work: Magic Wand, Selection Brush, the family of Type tools, Recompose, Cookie Cutter, Straighten, the brush based tools (Paint Brush, Eraser, Dodge, Blur, etc), or the shape based tools (Rectangle, Ellipse, Custom Shape, etc).
    >Many filters do not work, mainly those featured in the Filter Gallery.

    >Photoshop Elements does not fully support Smart Objects. While you can open files that already have Smart Object layers, you cannot create Smart Objects nor open the files embedded as Smart Objects.

    >Photoshop Elements does not have a Channels panel. Nor does it have the Channel Mixer Adjustment/Enhancement.

    >Photoshop Elements cannot merge multiple/bracketed photo exposures into an HDR image. There is no support for 32-bit images. However, Photoshop Elements does offer Photomerge Exposure as a similar function.

    >Photoshop Elements does not use the same range of Content-Aware functions. While the Spot Healing Brush includes the Content-Aware option in both applications, Photoshop Elements does not have Conent-Aware as an option in the Edit > Fill Layer command (known simply as Edit > Fill in Photoshop). However, Photoshop Elements does use a Content-Aware Fill option when creating a Photomerge Panorama, this is not an option in Photoshop. Photoshop CS6 introduced the Content-Aware Extend and Move tools, which are not available in Photoshop Elements.

    >Photoshop Elements has fewer vector based tools. The Pen family of tools are not available. The Shape tools do create a vector shape layer, but the vector points cannot be edited individually. There is no Paths panel.

    >The licence from a boxed purchase of Photoshop Elements is multi-platform (as of version 9). This means you can install on either Windows or Macintosh or both without having to purchase a separate version. This is not true with Photoshop.

    >Photoshop Elements does not have the Subtract or Divide blending modes that were introduced in Photoshop CS5.

    >Photoshop and Photoshop Elements can both Transform selected pixels in the following ways: Scale, Rotate, Skew, Distort, and Perspective. Photoshop Elements does not have the Warp Transform option.

    >The Photoshop Elements Color Picker does not include the following options available in Photoshop’s Color Picker: the Not a web-safe color alert icon, the Add to Swatches and Color Libraries buttons, and the Lab and CMYK models.
    Photoshop Extended CS6 has the following panels that Photoshop Elements 11 does not: 3D*, Brush, Brush Presets, Channels, Character, Character Styles, Clone Source, Color, Layer Comps, Measurement Log*, Notes, Paragraph, Paragraph Styles, Paths, Properties, Styles, Timeline, and Tool Presets.

    >Photoshop Elements does not support Extensions such as Mini Bridge and Kuler.

    And to answer your specific question-No, Elements is not part of the Creative Cloud subscription service and likely will never be (but who knows with Adobe?). If you are an aspiring professional, you would do better to invest in and learn Lightroom. Lightroom (as Larry points out) is also available outside the current Adobe Creative Cloud scheme.

  • Of course they will increase the price once they’ve got everyone sucked into the subscription model. This price sounds good for some, but it’s useless if you are just starting you career as a photographer since you aren’t eligible without a previous copy of CS, or alternatively you are one of the vast numbers of people who use photoshop but don’t live in the US. This is just a ploy to reduce resistance and suck everyone in to renting software. The ethics behind these sorts of moves are highly questionable in my opinion.

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