Question for Lightroom Subscription Users

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JDDavis, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #1
    Like many recovering Aperture users I'm reassessing my future organization/editing choices and I have a question that seems somewhat critical to me.

    Adobe has made their "Photography" subscription permanent at $9.99/month. So you get LR and PS for 10 bucks a month in perpetuity (at least that's how I understand the offer). It's surprisingly tempting except for one thing.

    I've read that if you stop paying the subscription you will not be able to open your files. Is this an internet myth? I could see that you can't open psd files without PS but LR files should be stored as RAW on import (NEF for Nikon) and then perhaps as a DNG if I understand LR. Would it be that without LR you would only be able to get to the originals and you would lose all your edits? Naturally if you exported anything as a jpg or tiff then it would not be effected by stopping your subscription.

    If you import directly into LR (subscription) the originals are stored on your computer in RAW format, right and not on the cloud?
     
  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #2
    I think it's setup if you stop paying you can still open the files, just the develop module fails to work.

    I import into LR and my files are on my external hdd - no cloudy stuff for me!
     
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #3
    That's certainly what I've read.
     
  4. seadragon Contributor

    seadragon

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    Yes, I've tested this. I have the subscription and if you sign out of your CC account on the computer, the software behaves as if you no longer have a membership.

    In this state, LR is fully functional *except* the Develop and Maps module are disabled. You can still use the Library module fully and have access to all of your photos. If you click the Develop module you get the following message:

    "Develop module is disabled. Please renew your membership to reactivate the develop module."

    LR mobile also needs you to be signed in for it to work.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    No myth, you have full access to all the modules of LightRoom except the edit module.
     
  6. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for the info everyone. Just to be clear, if your subscription stops you have full access to your library, including the previous non destructive edits of an image, you can just no longer make new edits? So you could export an old image with the old non destructive edits you originally made?

    If this is so, then I feel much more comfortable about the subscription. I still haven't wrapped my brain around paying $120 a year to access software. It's a new world obviously but it's hard to compare that to paying $99 for Aperture once. Though we see where that led me :rolleyes:
     
  7. skaeight macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #7
    That is correct. You just can't make advanced edits in the Develop module if your subscription stops.

    Regarding the subscription fee, you are also getting Photoshop which used to be around $650 and you always get the latest version, so it actually is a pretty decent deal.
     
  8. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #8
    Not forgetting of course should you change your mind on the subscription you can by lightroom outright, or you can by LR outright anyway and then just subscribe for PS
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    This is why Adobe did this. They saw the resistance by photographers and the concern of getting locked out of their images (or edited/organized images) so they opened LR up a bit and only locked down the edit module.

    Agreed - provided the updates come fairly regularly and don't forget the 650 is a one time fee, if you choose to upgrade, the cost is much less. I tended to hold onto a version until it no longer worked or had features I wanted. This made it much more economical for me.

    That's definitely an option and if LR6 comes out this way, its definitely a consideration.
     
  10. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #10
    I'm not sold on LR yet. One of the things I wish I knew for certain is if Adobe will continue to offer it as a license or will LR6 go subscription only. I would have to think they are going full subscription at some point (if it's profitable). One thing I did read was that LR subscribers would have access to upgrades and new features well before a new version came out for license users. I've been off PS for a while. The only thing I miss is the excellent photomerge capabilities.

    I think I'm down to a few choices now:

    1. Do nothing and wait a little longer.

    2. LR+NIK+PS ($10 a month until at least the Apocalypse or we get hit by an asteroid)

    3. Capture One+NIK ($300 for the license or subscribe for $10 a month)

    If you are on board with a subscription model than Adobe seems the better value. Same price and you get PS. Plus some level of assurance they will stay interested in the photography market. Phase One seems pretty safe too but what if their hardware side tanked at some point?

    I thought with Jobs, Apple was becoming the Yang to Adobes Yin but I guess we're gonna get just Yin.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    I think not rushing into a decision is probably the best option. This will give you some time to fully vet out the options and your needs.

    I run hot and cold on this, I'm under the subscription plan, but to be honest I'm not really liking the idea of continually paying but at the moment I feel I'm getting value for my 10 bucks a month.

    300 s a lot and Phase One may offer a discount like they have in the past. I really like how C1 renders my RAW images. I really don't like the DAM features, the roundtripping with plugins is not as well handled as LR but its serviceable. No integration to social media which is not a show stopper but its a nice to have in LR
     
  12. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #12
    One of the unfortunate drawbacks for me with C1 is there is no Zenfolio uploading extension. I use this a ton in Aperture. One bonus for LR is NIK plugins and the Zenfolio extension are fully supported. You say you are getting value for $10 bucks a month and I would agree.

    Maflynn, are you a Nikon shooter and if so are you happy with how LR is handling the RAW conversion. If any other Nikon users read this and want to chime in it would be appreciated. I was generally pleased with how Aperture handles Nikon RAWs but I've found I like Nikon's Capture NXD conversions better. It's just terribly difficult to use.
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    #13
    I shoot Nikon and am happy with LR. I have only used DXO to compare it with though. I like DXO for its noise reduction, but find the lack of a DAM and the UI not great.
    Also the ability to use plugins with LR is much easier than with DXO (at least in my experience).
    Can't remember the link right now, but I think it was on dpreview they were saying LR6 would still be available as a one time purchase option as well as a subscription.
     
  14. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #14
    This is what I now do. I subscribed to get PS access. LR is still the version I bought from Amazon. If it gets an update to 6 and I like 6 I may install it but for now, using prior LR purchase.

    The way I have reconcilled it, I reckon 3 years is a reasonable model to look at it. If I buy PS I have to pay more than the £310 that the subscription would cost over that period. Plus I was looking to spend £70 on an upgrade for Photoshop express so figured might as well put £40 to it and just get PS...


    Bear in mind I am a bugger for wanting new features. I am a terminal GAS case so YMMV
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    I used to be, and my old RAW images look fine in LR.
     
  16. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #16
    Thanks for all the helpful insights. I've read several reviews from different sources on all the major contenders and comparisons between them. If I can summarize what I think the all knowing internet is telling me it would be that Capture 1 and DXO rank near the top for RAW conversion, Aperture and LR usually fall in underneath in the "totally acceptable" category. Aperture and LR usually top out the list for DAM capabilities and integration with plugins and extensions. Of course personal preference plays a big role in all of this.

    My interest in C1 would rise significantly if NIK listed it as "officially" compatible. It's difficult for the contrarian in me to jump on the Adobe bandwagon even though it's probably the clear winner for offering a total solution.

    If anyone followed my annoying posts on upgrading to the D750 you'll know that this will take me a while. I'd like to see LR6 come out and I'd also like to see the released version of Photos just to see where Apple is really headed. No matter what I'll use Photos for storing/sharing iPhone pics between the family members. Some hard drive upgrades to the MBP and a new monitor are also on the schedule. Bottom line, I'd like my next setup after Aperture to be a long term relationship.
     
  17. JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

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    #17
    I don't think you lose access to your files but I know they charge an extortionate early cancellation fee.
     
  18. GBNova macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #18
    Cancellation fee? Is there a commitment period tied to the monthly plans for the CC?

    I just started playing with LR and I definitely like it for the "whole package" it trys to offer. Eg. Organization and reasonable editing tools.

    The idea that I am having trouble accepting is let us put PS aside for a moment and just consider the cost of LR. I could buy it up front for lets say $140 and use it forever where each month that passes the per month cost goes down theoretically down to pocket change, or I could pay 10 bucks a month forever (assuming it doesn't go up). Let's also assume it would have a reasonable usage life of 5 years. So a program that only really cost $140 up front actually cost me $600 under the new model. Even considering access to all new versions which lets face it are incremental improvements, and having access to PS which I may not use much at all, that doesn't seem like a very good deal to me.
     
  19. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #19
    That's only true if you never upgrade. Who does that?

    For most people that want to keep their software current, subscriptions vs. pay up front are typically just a cash-flow consideration.

    If a piece of software costs $140 up front and $100 to upgrade to the latest version every 2 years, then your outlay over the next 5 years will be $340. If you pay somewhere between $5-$6/month for that software, the net cost is the same.
     
  20. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #20
    Whether you are shooting in Raw or JPEG lightroom doesn't import the original images into a project like it does with Aperture, the original files are still available on disk. The LR catalogue just records changes, etc to these so that anything you do is non-destructive.

    If you decided to stop using LR then import the originals into your new app. You'd have to reapply any changes to the images, metadata and so on. That's more of a big deal than having to import the images.
     
  21. GBNova macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #21
    But if you have already exported the raw images out to new file names or copied over the original file name in the source directory all your adjustments to the raw file would be available to other programs if you decided to dump LR and use another editor to tweak the file further. If I am making changes to one of my raw images with a program I'm paying for I'm going to make darn sure I'm not going to lose my modified file if I choose to dump or otherwise lose access to the program.
     
  22. JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

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    United Kingdom
    #22
    Last time I checked, Adobe pretty much insist you commit to a subscription for a year. When I asked the customer service live chat, they said if you cancel early within your year's subscription, they charge you for the rest of the year. I have no idea if that situation has changed, but it seemed totally outrageous to me.
     
  23. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #23
    It's really $120/year billed monthly. :)
     
  24. GBNova macrumors member

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    Sep 19, 2009
    #24
    I guess that depends on the user. For me anyway I could see LR5 (6) being good enough for me for 5 years before I felt the a newer version was compelling and useful enough to upgrade. Many others may prefer to update every time a new version is released but I'm sure many people don't need or want to. Even in your example of upgrading every two years (which is plenty) it's still cheaper than the subscription model. Where does this $5-$6 a month come from? Can you choose to rent LR on it's own for less than $10?
     
  25. v3rlon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Location:
    Earth (usually)
    #25
    Is any RAW importer out and out hideous? I don't think so.

    If you cannot stand the Adobe subscription, it seems weird that you would take it from Phase One.
    - $10/ month for $130 worth of Lightroom + $650 worth of Photoshop
    - $10/month for $299 worth of Capture One Pro

    Lightroom seems to win a DAM features and plugin support
    Capture One MIGHT win on RAW import, and some like the workflow. It has stronger native editing.

    Photoshop mops the floor and does it all edit wise.

    What does C1 do if you quit paying their sub?

    Wait and see...
    Download trials and load a few test images.
     

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