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Alternatives to Photoshop CC

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Alternatives to Photoshop CC, testo e foto by Juza. Pubblicato il 29 Maggio 2013; 12 risposte, 11009 visite.

With Photoshop CC, the successor of CS6, Adobe has switched to subscription-only software (at least for the Creative Suite). In other words, you can no longer buy an usage license for Photoshop, you have to pay a monthly subscription. This move has created an huge disappointment between Photoshop users: let's see what has really happened and what we can do.

Software as service and 'Cloud'

Adobe has called the next version of Photoshop 'Photoshop CC', where CC means Creative Cloud. This name has generated a lot of confusion, because actually Photoshop CC is not a cloud software. Cloud means that you don't have to install the software on your computer (and you can not download it), instead you use it on Internet through your browser; a very good example of cloud software is Google Drive, that offers a 100% online office suite. Cloud software has several advantages: it runs well even on computers that have little processing power, it is almost immune to virus, you can use it from every computer. The main disadvantage of cloud SW is that it does not work well with large files, unless you have some enormously fast connection.

Photoshop CC, unlike real cloud software, needs to be downloaded and installed on your computer, and except for the initial download, you don't need Internet to use it. So, what is the difference? In the past you could buy the usage license of a version of Photoshop and use it forever without upgrading and without any other cost, now you will always have the latest version of Photoshop (even if you don't need it), but you have to pay for it every month.

Cloud software, or subscription software (as PS CC), is not a bad thing... I believe that 20 years from now the 99% of software will be cloud and/or subscription based. The problem of Adobe's subscription plan is that it is much, much more expensive than the previous license-based offerings (that were already expensive).

So, how much does it costs?

The price depends by the country - currently (may 2013) in United States it costs 20$ per month, while in most European countries it costs 24.60 €, that is about 32$ (Photoshop has always been about 40% more expensive in Europe). Even though it does not seem a lof of money, it means 240$/year in the US or 295 €/year in Europe, that is about the same price of upgrading your version of Photoshop to the next version with the previous license plan.

But there is a big difference. Most of Photoshop users did not upgrade to a newer version every year: personally, I have updated my version of PS every 3-4 years, because many times the newer version did not offer big improvements. Paying the price of an upgrade every year means that now the already expensive Photoshop has became 3-4 times more expensive - and you must always pay for the upgrade as long as you want to use PS, even though you may not be interested in the new 'features' of the latest version.

What can be done?

Photoshop is not the only image editor, but it is the best, so for me moving to another software is not an option. Anyway, if you want to try some alternatives you can give a look to: Gimp (www.gimp.org), Lightroom (www.adobe.com), Aperture (www.apple.com/aperture), Corel PaintShop Pro (www.corel.com), Capture One (www.phaseone.com/capture-one), Photoshop Elements (www.adobe.com). If I had to chose one of these, I'd go for Gimp, since it has features similar to Photoshop and it is free.

The good news is that if you have CS6 or a previous version, you can keep using it as much as you want without joining the unwelcome subscription plan. The current version of Photoshop has already almost everything you may need - actually most photographers use only a small part of Photoshop. For example, I use PS CS5, and I have not upgraded to CS6 because the sixth version does not offer improvements for the tools that I use. Unless Adobe invents some truly exceptional feature, I have no reasons to upgrade to the latest version of PS and pay 300 €/year forever.

The only limitation for those who chose to stick to their current version of Photoshop is that if you upgrade to a camera announced after May 2013, you won't be able to open the RAW files directly with Photoshop, because Adobe no longer updates Camera Raw for CS6 or older versions. Luckily, this problem has an easy solution: Adobe offers the DNG Converter, a free program that allows to convert your raw files in .DNG format, a kind of 'universal' raw format that can be opened with every version of Photoshop CS. You can download the DNG Converter here!

As far as the DNG Converter will be available, you will be able to keep using your current version of Photoshop CS, even with the raw files of new cameras. That's what I'm going to do :-)

What do you think? What are you going to do? Tell your opinion in the comments! Remember that it is strictly forbidden to talk about illegal solutions; if you have limited budget I'd suggest to try the other free or cheaper softwares as Gimp and the other that have been mentioned.

Risposte e commenti

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inviato il 30 Maggio 2013 ore 0:47

"Remember that it is strictly forbidden to talk about illegal solutions" .........very well said Juza and this is surely the only reason why Adobe Photoshop has chosen this new route for their CS* (now "CC" lol ) range!.......they must have lost so much money over the years because of pirated copies or illegal downloads?.........so who can blame them?

To be honest i'm really not a big fan of all this new "cloud" stuff (even though, as you rightly say - PS CC isn't really "cloud").....but Cloud is clearly the way all the big companies are going..........I used to have enough annoyance with my internet connection as it is!......so the true Cloud software of the future could really cause a lot of problems for people in certain areas, or with certain IP's?.......one of the things I like to do when my internet connection go's down (which isn't very often now...because I spent more money on a better IP because of this!)....is edit some photo's in Photoshop lol.....if I couldn't do this in the future I would be pretty irritated lol!.....I also wonder how cloud software/programmes will work well in places like remote hotels (that have free internet connection, but often awful bandwidth).......this is not a problem now, as we all have our editing software installed on our laptops (for these trips away from home).......but it could be a problem in the future?

I think I agree with you that in the future "99%" of software will be Cloud..........but what will this mean to the photographers/journalists etc that want to edit their photos in remote places?........i'm sure that the 1% (or whatever the percentage will be?) of software that is not Cloud will cover this?........but i'm equally sure that the price for this theoretical software will be insane!

Apologies but this is a bit off topic?, what worries me the most about our current times is that it's clear all these big companies (including the insane pricing of our current Camera gear, from all manufacturers) have no intention of selling to the masses (who were there money base before) that are experiencing a world wide recession (European and American recession/down turn anyway)......they are all doing the opposite!, turning their prices up!........this is of course "Business" in it's purest form........and this is my problem with Cloud, to me it all appears to be a movement in process that will ultimately extract as much money from "us" as possible (with "us" having as little control as possible!)........i'm not a fan lol

I personally will not be going for this new subscription based photo editing option.........I've always felt that the difference between the newer versions of Photoshop CS's has been too small for me to warrant the upgrade and price (so I've usually always missed a few out).........and I've definitely always thought that all the PS CS software has been WAY too expensive to start with!

I am definitely going to check out "Gimp", cheers for the suggestion.

P.S what I was trying to explain is this..........do we really want all this new stuff?.........yes we do!:-P, but we want it on our terms surely?Eeeek!!!, we are the consumers, we should get what WE want!, not what we are told to want!........but I genuinely think we have been sucked in to "need" all this cool tech.......and now we love it/need it/couldn't live without it..we are at the money makers mercy.....and they will do what they want with us!...and the vast majority of us (me included) will followTriste

inviato il 31 Maggio 2013 ore 18:47

I had been using PSE6 and then upgraded to PSE10 last year (or the year before). What I think will happen will be third party developers will provide enhancements to the "lesser" programs, PSE, etc, that will emulate what the newer editions of PS CC offer.

Then Adobe (as well as other primary SW vendors) will come up with other ways/barriers to make such enhancements either illegal, or very inefficient......if at all useable. Such is the way that Microsoft maintained its (evil) empire; (along with capturing market share).

How else does a major corporation stay in business without incrementally enhanceing their products and corraling us into automatic upgrades with exhorbident fees? Planned obsolesence is the basis for their survival.

inviato il 02 Giugno 2013 ore 10:12

I still use CS4 and as I have very small business company for photography, this CC came to me as a shock. So I am in dillema, what to do now. But since I am currently satisfied with CS4 I know If I buy CS6, I will have time for about 4-5 years, before I upgrade or change program.

The only concern is CameraRaw. But Since I will buy Lightroom too, I will have option to convert RAW files.

I don't like that thing with CC, where I am left with nothing, If i can not affford to pay anymore. In my case, I will at least have CS6, which is enough for most of my work.

24 € per month isn't a lot, but in two years you get the price of CS6. If the price of CC don't change. IF! I highly doubt, that this "promotional" prices stay the same.

So, goodby CC, hello CS6 for me. :)

inviato il 04 Giugno 2013 ore 11:44

surely the only reason why Adobe Photoshop has chosen this new route for their CS* (now "CC" lol ) range!.......they must have lost so much money over the years because of pirated copies or illegal downloads?

CC won't help to reduce piracy since it requires to be downloaded and installed, it is not a true cloud software.

inviato il 18 Giugno 2013 ore 3:18

Adobe will never stop piracy if they had in the first place made more affordable to the average photographer they would not have this problem I belong to large forum here in Australia and no one is willing to go to CC they will just use what they already have and not update to a newer vision of Photoshop I cannot see CC working for Adobe

inviato il 21 Novembre 2013 ore 10:24

Please include DxO optics pro as another alternative; although it started as just a RAW converter, it now covers most editing needs (http://www.dxo.com/intl/photography/dxo-optics-pro) and has a simple transfer for finishing in other software when really necessary

inviato il 22 Novembre 2013 ore 21:33

FYI, the GIMP currently only edits in 8-bit per color channel bit depth mode... JPGs. So for those who prefer to maintain bit depth as long as possible, you have to wait for GIMP to be updated. This is supposed to happen very soon, in version 2.10 (as of my note, GIMP is on version 2.8.8).

There is also Picture Window Pro, which many people like.

inviato il 23 Novembre 2013 ore 10:29

Actually I am using CS6 that is correctly working together with all of my cameras. For my opinion there are still many things to learn and to explore in CS6, so I am really pleased with this version. Eventually I am planning to update my computer hardware for a faster workflow or a better monitor.

Otherwise I would be interested to test a future version of GIMP that is able to work in 16-Bit colors. So I hope the developers of GIMP will successfully finishing it in one of the next versions.

Adobe`s concept of monthly paying is good for their own enterprise but for my using of PS I can not see any real advantage. I can imagine Adobe will change the monthly costs and maybe some conditions of their cloud`s using even if they will get enough customers with CC. We will see...

My main point to improve is still behind the camera, not with processing in the latest software version. :-)

inviato il 04 Gennaio 2014 ore 22:55

I personally will not be going for this new subscription based photo editing option.........I've always felt that the difference between the newer versions of Photoshop CS's has been too small for me to warrant the upgrade and price (so I've usually always missed a few out).........and I've definitely always thought that all the PS CS software has been WAY too expensive to start with! as of now i use cs6+capture one and have no intention of ever upgrading to give Adobe any more money as i can do all i want to with what i already have i find capture one will some thinks even better than photoshop but you still need photoshop to resize your file size to web or print in my PP work flow i view
my files in a program called faststone then delete all unwanted files before using a DNG converter faststone is a great program and its free how good that

inviato il 29 Giugno 2016 ore 1:53

For many years I used Paint shop pro, however for some forgotten reason I dumped it and now use Photo Scape, a free editing program that does a fantastic job, it has it's limitations, but once you have got used to it it's hard to fault.

inviato il 01 Agosto 2016 ore 11:09

I used to use Paint shop pro, but these days I am using Photoscape and find it quite adequate for my needs, and it is free.

inviato il 01 Novembre 2020 ore 15:58

The biggest problem with cloud software is not the difficulty of dealing with heavy files, it's power consumption!
Today, digital energy consumes 10 to 15% of the world's electricity (or 10 nuclear reactors), and this consumption doubles every four years, which means that in the near future, the Internet will become the world's leading source of pollution.
Of course, using software installed on a computer consumes electricity and thus produces CO2, but in smaller quantities.
There's still time to be good.


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