Adobe CS6: Buy or Subscribe? So many choices!

Today, Adobe publicly announced the Creative Suite 6 and the Creative Cloud, which has been generating a lot of controversy since it was first unveiled last fall. The new products, shipping in the next 30 days, will require a bit of head-scratching to decide how to upgrade. So here are a couple of scenarios for photographers:

  • Just use Photoshop and Lightroom? To buy the upgrades is $199 for Photoshop (standard) and $99 for Lightroom if you upgrade at the same time: total $298.
  • By comparison, a year of Creative Cloud costs $49/mo, or $600. That’s a lot more than $298 and its only for a year. Next year you’ll need to spend another $600 – but that is offset by the fact that you’ll need to pay for upgrades if you didn’t get the subscription anyway.

It seems to me not worth it if all you use is Photoshop and Lightroom. BUT if you use any other Adobe programs – Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere, After Effects – then a Creative Cloud subscription DOES become worthwhile. An upgrade to the Master Collection (what you get with Creative Cloud) costs at least $525, and that doesn’t include Lightroom, Photoshop Touch and other apps that come with Creative Cloud. There is also the 20GB of cloud disk space, web-hosting, on-line resources, and social features that may or may not be useful (Ping, anyone?)

  • If you own any CS3/CS4/CS5 Suite or individual product you can subscribe to the Creative Cloud for $29.95/mo. (special intro price and 1 year commitment). This is an insane deal, $360 for a year of Photoshop Extended, Lightroom 4, Photoshop Touch, Premiere, Dreamweaver and every other product Adobe makes.
  • You could also purchase Lightroom and subscribe to Photoshop. The Photoshop subscription is $19.95/month (1 year commitment) and the Lightroom upgrade is $149. So $389 for a year altogether. This doesn’t make sense to me, though.
  • Actually to me, subscribing to Photoshop at $19.95/mo doesn’t make any kind of sense if you’re upgrading. $240 for the year vs. $199 to buy the upgrade. If you don’t have Photoshop and just need it for a year, then a subscription might make sense though.

But lost in all the teeth-gnashing about the cost is the real reason Adobe is doing the Creative Cloud. Think about your web browser. There are frequent updates (in some cases, daily updates) that fix bugs and add new features. Adobe would like to add new features to their products frequently too – but because of accounting regulations they (and every other packaged software vendor) are prevented from adding new features without charging for them. So Adobe has to save up the features until they accumulate enough of them to sell you an upgrade.

But a subscription model doesn’t have this limitation: they can give you new features as soon as they come out of the oven! So look for lots of new updates that those who bought the upgrade won’t get access to until they can upgrade to CS7.

I realize that everyone is different, but personally I can’t wait for the Creative Cloud to get released. I use Photoshop, Lightroom and Dreamweaver every day; and InDesign, Premiere and AfterEffects at least once a week. So I need all those apps, and for me the Adobe Creative Cloud is more and better features for much less money.

Photoshop CS6 Public Beta Now Available

This evening Adobe released the Photoshop CS6 Public beta. This is a beta version of the next Adobe Photoshop, and has lots of great new features such as Tilt-Shift Blur, video editing and color-correction, as well as all the RAW image adjustments from the just released Lightroom 4.

In fact, in my testing the private beta release during the past month, I would say Photoshop has learned a lot from Lightroom in this release.

Photoshop CS6 Beta is available as a free download from Adobe Labs. If you like to live a little dangerously and get your hands on the latest and greatest, download it now. CS6 will live peacefully alongside a previous version of Photoshop. So what have you got to lose?

Adobe Touch Apps for Creative Pros

Join the LA area Adobe user group community and Rick Miller Sunday morning, December 11 in Downtown LA for a supercharged session about Adobe’s new Touch Apps for tablets.

Adobe Touch Apps for Creative Pros
Your Studio, Now Everywhere. Design, edit, and elegantly present your work using six new Adobe Touch Apps designed for your tablet.

Join the LA area Adobe user group community and Rick Miller for a supercharged meeting Sunday morning, December 11 at IndieDesk Co-working in Downtown LA.

This meet up will cover:

Adobe Photoshop Touch
Adobe Ideas
Adobe Collage
Adobe Debut
Adobe Proto
Adobe Touch
Adobe Carousel
Adobe Kuler
Adobe Creative Cloud

Expand where and how you work …. after the presentation We will take a break and go out to take pictures in the area, once we are back in the studio we will upload images via Adobe Creative Cloud and create. Whether you use a stylus or just your fingertip, intuitive touchscreen features provide easy, precise control for a variety of creative tasks. You can purchase Adobe Touch Apps in advance of the event for Android via the Market, or for iPad via the iTunes store.

Register for this event…

Monday, Nov 14: LA Area Adobe User Groups present The New Web – HTML 5

Welcome web standards evangelist Stephanie Sullivan Rewis, Adobe’s Greg Rewis, Elliott Sprehn from Google, and Neville Spiteri as we talk about HTML5, Mobile, CSS3, JavaScript, the Cloud and social networking.

A generation is growing up expecting a limitless, connected experience;
HTML5, a natural evolution of the HTML language has captured the attention of web designers and developers world wide offering new ways to visualize, consume and engage with information and media. A versatile tool, HTML5 can be used to accomplish tasks, present information and create expressive immersive experiences across the internet on workstation and mobile devices alike.

Join the LA tech community at Hollywood’s Barnsdall Gallery Theatre for a supercharged evening as we delve into the emerging web technologies and how it will pertain to your workspace. Door prizes from Adobe, Motorola, Blackberry and Noble.