Adobe released the latest version of Photoshop today.
Photoshop CC (also known as Photoshop Creative Cloud) has several new features that photographers will love. More about the new features below.
Unlike past versions of Photoshop, where you own boxed software or the download, Adobe’s Photoshop CC is only available by online subscription. You pay a monthly fee and gain access to the software. It lives on your computer, but you authorize it monthly to keep it working. The controversial decision upset many Adobe Photoshop customers.
Some of the frustration happened because people misunderstood how Photoshop CC works. It does NOT run in a browser. Files are not stored in the cloud, unless you want, and you do not need online access to use it. You only need to go online to download and activate your software. Customers with an annual membership, who provide a credit card, will be able to use products for 3 months (99 days) when offline. Month-to-month customers will still need to validate every 30 days. The validation process is very lightweight and can be done over dial-up, tethered/connected to a mobile device, or at a wireless access point (public library, coffee shop, etc).
We surveyed MCP Facebook Fans and photographers. Read these pros and cons before you decide if the Creative Cloud makes sense for you.
What Photoshop CC means for you:
- Immediate updates to the product. You do not need to wait 18 months (or more) to get new features. You get them once they are tested and ready.
- Photoshop Extended. Everyone gets the full extended version. You may not need it, but you’ll have it just in case.
- Access to Creative Cloud Learn. Access hundreds of instructional videos from Adobe and their training partners.
- 20GB of cloud-based storage. This storage is included with any single “app” purchase including Photoshop CC.
- Multi-device access. Gain the ability to easily access and share your work on virtually any device.
- Mac vs PC – no longer a problem. If you use multiple operating systems and computer platforms, you can use Photoshop CC on both. You will NOT need separate licenses/versions for each.
- Multi-Language license. Install applications in any supported language.
- Helps reduce piracy. Piracy is very similar to copyright violation and is stealing. If it cuts down on that, Adobe “might” spend more on new technology or pass savings on to consumers. For those who immediately say, “they won’t” think back to Lightroom 3. It cost $300, but Lightroom 4 and now Lightroom 5 retail for $150.
- Yearly tax deductions. Professional photographers likely will write off the ongoing expense. Many businesses find it easier and more economical to write off operating costs instead of depreciating capital investments.
- No serial numbers. Just login with your Adobe user name and password.
- Need internet access once every month to 99 days to confirm you subscription (depending on your subscription plan). This is a problem for photographers traveling to remote areas on assignment for long lengths of time.
- Future price increases. What if Adobe raises the price and makes it more expensive in the future. You are at their mercy. Many photographers expressed a distrust and assumes Adobe will increase prices often.
- Don’t like renting software. Many photographers prefer the control of owning their software and using it as long as they desire.
- One-Year Contract. While you do not have to pay all at once, you do commit to a one-year contract. If you cancel, you owe a %.
- Vanishing software/nothing to show for it. If you do not renew or or cannot afford to re-subscribe, you have no software to show for it. Unlike having a box or download, you are left with NO Photoshop.
- Too expensive for hobbyists. If you feel this way, there are options – One powerful combination: Lightroom 5 + Elements 11.
- No choice. Some photographers feel that Adobe now dictates how they work. These photographers wished they had the choice subscribe or own the software. This caused the greatest source of tension for people.
Pro or Con – Depends on your viewpoint:
- Accessibility. This was listed as a pro and con. Some photographers felt the cloud subscription model makes it easier for people to get the full version of Photoshop since they do not have to spend $700 up front. Others expressed that the monthly bill would exclude new photographers and hobbyists. More beginning photographers could buy Photoshop CC, making the barrier for entry into photography less expensive. On the flip side, fewer photographers might charge low prices since they’ll incur one more monthly bill. I think we will need to wait and see.
- Cost. The price to own Photoshop CC is $19.99 per month. If you have Photoshop CS3-CS6 you can get the first year at $9.99 per month. A single-app membership is available at a special introductory price of $9.99 per month (with an annual commitment) for Adobe customers who currently own Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5 or CS6. Offer available until July 31st, 2013. So rounding to $20 or $10, the yearly price rings in at $240 a year ($120 for the first year if you started with the eligible software). Photoshop CS6 cost $699 retail, $999 for Photoshop CS6 Extended. If you upgraded from PS CS5 to PS CS6, it cost a one time charge of $199, $399 upgrading from one extended version to the next. You will pay more to own Photoshop CC at the $20 rate, but you spread the payments out. Some prefer this. Others do not. If you upgraded software every release, this isn’t a huge expense. But if you are content waiting 3-4 releases, than yes, you will pay more.
I’ve read many rumors online about how Adobe may offer more options for photographers who want Lightroom and Photoshop as a package. There’s also talk of long-term contracts with possible ownership. But these are all just rumors. Time will show the path Adobe chooses to address the needs of photographers.
Solutions if you are not happy with the cloud options:
- Buy Photoshop CS6 now. Or stick with an older version of Photoshop until you adopt the cloud.
- Buy Elements 11 and/or Lightroom 5.
- Find alternative editing software.
All of our Photoshop actions for CS6 are compatible with Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud). If you used Photoshop CS5 and below, you will need to re-download the Facebook Fix actions and Rounded Blog It Boards and Print It Boards, as these sets had changes between versions CS5 and CS6.
Best New Features in Photoshop CC
As mentioned above, Photoshop CC will continue to evolve. Adobe engineers will test and disperse new features as they are ready. Photographers will love the expanded smart object support, including the Liquify filter. The new Upsampling will help you print larger and the enhanced Smart Sharpening will make your photos more clear with less noise. Cloud Syncing benefits people who use Photoshop on multiple computers, since you can sync certain settings such as preferences, actions, brushes, swatches, styles, gradients, shapes, patterns, contours, and tool presets. And the fun new toy, Camera Shake Reduction, reduces or eliminates camera shake. I’m actually not sure I will need the camera shake tool often, but I am still excited to play with it. Also, Camera Raw now has the Radial Filter to apply local adjustments and the Upright tool to correct perspective distortion.
Here’s a screen shot showing more new features – courtesy of Adobe.
Now that you’ve read some of the perks and downsides expressed by our readership, it’s your turn. Will you be “subscribing” to the cloud version of Photoshop? Explain your thoughts below in the comments. We have some Adobe employees who read the MCP Blog so let them know if you love it or hate it – or if you need time to decide. We look forward to hearing from you.