What’s Going on with Lightroom? — Prolost
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Pay for software

I make my living by selling software, so you may not be surprised that I am a software payment attorney. I think Adobe's subscription model makes perfect sense for a cloud-based offering, and I think the prices are fair. For those who prefer Lightroom Classic and are not interested in the cloud, I still think a subscription model is smart. This allows Adobe Lightroom to update at will without having to keep functions for marketing-friendly upgrade cycles in stock.

Despite these opinions, I did my best to support the standalone Lightroom community by publishing a free set of presets that allowed Lightroom 6 users to access a Dehaze customization that was only added to the subscription version. This brought me directly into contact with thousands of Lightroom users who prefer to pay for software once and upgrade if they feel like it. These people are not insane or stingy – many of them have decided to pay a few dollars for this free download if they have had the opportunity.

I'm not here to argue with anyone about how, why, or how often to pay for software. But here's what I'm saying: if you think Adobe has given up perpetual licensing because "they don't listen to their customers," you're wrong. When Tom Hogarty says, "Customers mostly choose the Creative Cloud Photography plan," it wasn't made up. For every person who complains, there are hundreds who are willing to pay as much for continuous, updated access to Lightroom as they do for Netflix or Spotify. The vehement anti-subscription crowd is a very visible, very vocal minority, but it is indeed a tiny minority.

Whether you're a photographer, plumber, or software maker, when you set your price, you choose your customers. This makes some customers unhappy because they feel that the choice is being taken away from them. But there is nothing wrong here. When you make and sell something, I hope your customers will be happy to give you their money, and I will be happy to give you my money.


If you're still lighting your torches and sharpening your pitchforks, keep the following in mind:

  • You can continue to buy and use Lightroom 6 on your own until your computer dies. After 2017 you will no longer receive support for new cameras. With the free DNG converter from Adobe, however, you can convert future camera raw files into an importable format.
  • Being a CC subscriber is not a lifelong obligation to give Adobe money. If you are an occasional hobbyist, you can take a break from payment and resume your subscription when you need it. If Lightroom isn't licensed, it can do a lot, including viewing, searching, and exporting. Classic even allows some basic editing.
  • Photography costs money. If you are now 30 years old and would like to take pictures up to the age of 90, 60 years at $ 10 a month is $ 7,200. I spent about a third of it the last time I entered a camera store with a lens, a light, and a battery. A roll of film used to cost almost $ 10. Get off my lawn. That I wash with water that I subscribe to.

A cloudy future

I intend to migrate my primary Lightroom Classic catalog

5 to Lightroom CC, just not yet. But someday I'll be all in on this cloud thing. I will continue to use Lightroom Classic for everything it can do in a unique way, but the cloud model is just too useful to avoid for a long time. I will keep you informed of this possible transition.


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