I'm an avid hobbyist photographer who does some pro work at times. I am muddling along with LR 4.5 and mostly happy with it, but I'd like to try some of the new features I have read about.
BUT and this is a huge BUT... The horror stories I have read about subscription cancelation abuses and ownership/access of my files, and the relentless monthly charges have me considering ON1 as an alternative to the entire Adobe product line. I have about 3TB of photos that I keep on disk. I really don't want to upload them all to the cloud and pay to maintain them - I do that with a hot swap drive and offsite storage, as us old Network Admins have been doing for years.
Any thoughts from the community regarding my fears, work arounds, and your general level of satisfaction in the 'Customer for Life' zone?
BUT and this is a huge BUT... The horror stories I have read about subscription cancelation abuses and ownership/access of my files, and the relentless monthly charges
I haven't heard any of this ... what are you talking about?
My experience with the Adobe Photography Plan (which is the subscription plan that includes Lightroom Classic) has been flawless. I get charged every month (which I agreed to), I can cancel the subscription if I so choose. I own my files and edits and metadata, even after the subscription ends, and so I don't consider myself a "customer for life", although at this time I have not the slightest urge to end my subscription.
I have about 3TB of photos that I keep on disk. I really don't want to upload them all to the cloud and pay to maintain them
For Lightroom Classic, you don't have to upload a single file to the cloud. It is optional, it happens only if you specifically turn on the option to do so. Don't listen to the Adobe haters, who spread mis-information.
Honestly, I think your entire statement on the matter is nonsense, and the subscription works well and as it is supposed to. You have listened to the Adobe haters spreading mis-information; all of the terms of usage and terms of the subcription are spelled out in legal documents that you have to agree to (and should read carefully), which should count as the FACTS in this matter, even if some people on the internet say otherwise.
I am an "avid hobbyist photographer" also, and Lightroom-Classic is the 'Tool' that supports my photography.
(My volunteer help with this Forum has earned me some benefit from Adobe, but I do not work for, or am employed, by Adobe)
To answer your concerns from my perspective-
The current version 10.3 (now called Lightroom-CLASSIC) is 'miles' ahead of your v4.5 in capability and editing results.
The subscription monthly fee (US$10.00) is a 'peanuts' for the incredible amount of software I have access to that includes-
Lightroom-Classic, Lightroom (for desktop), Photoshop, Bridge, Portfolio website, Lightroom-Mobile, Lightroom-web.
(Consider that Photoshop, alone, cost in the $thousands years ago, and you had to pay BIG to upgrade!) And it is updated regularly!
ON1 is not an alternative for everything you receive in the Photography Plan (20GB).
Your 3TB of photos can remain exactly where they are, on your disks. You do NOT have to upload them in the Cloud.
You never need to use Cloud services at all, except to download, install, and activate the software -in your computer system. You would simply 'open' your Catalog in the latest Lightroom-Classic v10.3, and carry on.
I am a 'Customer for Life'. I could not be more pleased with the what the Photography Plan provides.
A Plan subscription might be a 12month commitment, but you will not want to end it after you become acquainted with what is available.
Note: I am talking about Lightroom-CLASSIC! (NOT the Cloud based Lightroom)
I think the 'Millions' of people worldwide that have taken on the 'Photography Plan' speaks for their "level of satisfaction".
Thanks for the solid, helpful response. I appreciate you taking the time to sort out facts from rumor. Your perspective minimizes my concerns. What I'm left with is not liking subscrition vs. buying software. That's something that I'm still not happy with and why I haven't upgraded in 10 years.
But, I need a tool, already know Lightroom, and upgrade cameras often. Thanks again for clarifying.
Wobert has mentioned all the important stuff, so I won't repeat it. Just as him, and countless other users, I'm very happy with LrC and the Photography Plan indeed costs next to nothing.
Not sure where you've read the "horror stories", but IMO even if some are true, they're extremely far from being the rule. After 13 years of using Lightroom, I always recommend LrC in a heartbeat and I've never considered cancelling my subscription since it has become the only way to get LrC.
I use mostly Lightroom Classic, but the cloud based Lightroom and Lightroom Mobile are nice additions. All pictures I take from my smartphone are automatically synced to LrC and I occasionally share collections with customers (for review) or friends, thanks to Lightroom's cloud capabilities.
Bottom line: don't hesitate to susbscribe. If you're still not comfortable with the (cheaper) annual subscription, try the monthly payments at first.
Hope that helps,
Michael Niessen - Photographer, photo-editor, educator (kelmond.com)
I absolutely support the responses from DJ and Wobert.
I also support the reply by dj_paige. It was not abusive.
While terse and blunt, what dj_paige said was not abusive. I do think you're taking blunt talk as personal.
But on a slightly different note I do have to ask: you state you have 3 TB of images on disk(s). I do you hope you have other disks backing up that data.
"There are two kinds of hard drive users. Those who've had a hard drive crash and those who've not had a hard drive crash YET."
Over the years I've had several hard drives crash and yes I've lost stuff. Here's what I now do:
I have a 4 TB drive that holds all of my images and many documents. I have a 2nd 4TB drive that I use to back up my first drive. I manually do this at least once a week or more often if I've done a lot of work.
I have a 3rd 4TB drive I use for Apple's Time Machine.
I also use a cloud service encase the house burns down. Am I paranoid? No, just a realist. In a worst case scenario, I would not lose much, at worse some time.
[Note: the 4TB is entirely based on what I need. Your needs may demand or less hard drive space. Whatever you think you need, double it. Oh, the backup drives do not need to be SSDs or anything fancy or fast, just reliable. Do not use portable drives as they are not as robust as desktop drives. And be aware that your first backup will take a long time. Also look for backup software that can update your data as opposed to replacing your data. If you're on a Mac I can strongly recommend ChronoSync. If you're on a PC, I'm sure someone can make recommendations.]
"If you're on a PC, I'm sure someone can make recommendations."
I personally use Windows 10's File History to make a backup of my photos/videos to a NAS every now and then. Probably not the best, but already installed and it works fine for me. When I'm travelling (at least 11 months/year, I regularly make a simple (files copy) backups of my recent pictures on an external HDD as well as to OneDrive.
And, of course, the same goes for my catalog and settings folder (often overlooked, but essential IMO, especially for those who like me have a lot of LrC presets and templates of all kinds).
Hope that helps,
Michael Niessen - Photographer, photo-editor, educator (kelmond.com)
Thanks for your concern about my backup routine, I hand-built my own PC with a RAID drive and backup with hot swappable drives on a regular basis. Any fails are on me, not on a company that I hope won't make a mistake or get hit by a malicious attack. I'm not against using them as a backup to my backup, but I take control of my own security. Your recommdations are solid and well thought out.
I respectfully disagree with you about the difference between terse and abusive. I think I found the resident troll with DJ PAIGE. At least I didn't waste any time. There's one in every online group and with a couple clicks I could see that this person is always here, posting and posting. I wonder if they even own a camera. Any disagreement, now matter how respectful brings a full on troll rage. Again, now I know who is the resident bully know it all.
Lightroom Classic is simply the upgraded version of what you have been using, and is light years ahead of Lightroom 4.5 as far as what you can do for your clients. Lightroom Classic installs locally on your computer, just like the version you have been using. The difference, it is delivered and updated via the cloud. And, instead of having to purchase upgrades every year, to enable you to have support for new cameras and their raw formats, updates are made available via the cloud approximately every three months. Instead of getting by with old outdated software and (maybe?) saving a little money, you always have access to the latest tools. Your images are always YOUR images, completely in YOUR control. The Adobe cloud is simply a delivery system to keep you updated with all the latest tools. If you are someone who provides photographic services for others, you owe it to yourself and to them to have the best tools available to provide the best product you can provide. And with an old version of Lightroom like you are using now you simply don't have that to offer.
BUT and this is a huge BUT... The horror stories I have read about subscription cancelation abuses and ownership/access of my files
The subscription cancellation issues may be real. I have read those stories too. You are not reading them here probably because the users replying so far may not have gone through the Adobe cancellation “experience.” Assuming the stories are true, those are the domain of the Adobe customer service/retention department, and not a function of the software itself.
Also, some (not all) of the “horror stories” have turned out to be customers who did not read the fine print. For example, one way to get charged an exorbitant cancellation fee is to sign up for an annual plan and cancel before one year is up. If the intention was to cancel after a few months, a month-to-month (not annual) plan should have been chosen. This is not to place all blame on the user; the difference is not always made clear on the Adobe site (like any company they want to lock you in). The lesson is to read carefully what you are signing up for, and make sure you know the difference between:
A: Annual commitment, paid annually.
B: Annual commitment, paid monthly.
C: Month-to-month commitment, paid monthly.
Many people probably choose B because it costs less than C, but the reason it costs less is you are committing to a year at a time, so you must cancel only at the end of an annual period, or face an early termination fee.
Basically, read the fine print, and read it mindfully.
The issue about “horror stories about…ownership/access of my files” is less clear. The facts are…
1.5 Ownership. You (as a Business or an individual, as applicable) retain all rights and ownership of your Content. We do not claim any ownership rights to your Content.
If you use Lightroom (not Classic), where you store all your originals on Adobe cloud servers, you have access to your originals for up to a year after you cancel, and during that time you can use the free Adobe Lightroom Downloader app to pull them all back down in bulk.
If you use Lightroom Classic (the current continuation of your version), you never send originals to the Adobe cloud because even if you sync collections to the cloud, what gets synced are downsampled Smart Previews. Because Lightroom Classic is built to store originals only on your own local storage devices.
I am like you: I prefer both storing my originals locally and backing them up myself, and I prefer the Lightroom Classic feature set. So I don’t use Lightroom much, just Classic. If you use Classic, it’s unlikely you will ever need to increase the storage you pay for on Adobe cloud servers since you won’t use it much.
Another fear frequently repeated on forums is that Adobe is surely going to jack up the price at any time. But in the near-decade since Creative Cloud started, as far as I can tell, if the price has gone up it hasn’t even kept up with inflation. On the other hand, I cancelled Netflix because their HD rate kept climbing to the point that it is now significantly more than I would be charged for the Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
No, it’s not perfect, sometimes updates come with bugs that need another update to fix. And while Adobe keeps improving performance, it always seems like there is more they can do. But we probably can’t totally avoid that with any developer. If you want to use non-subscription applications, it’s easy to find strong alternatives to the Develop module (raw processing) in Lightroom. What is harder, if you need it, is finding a strong alternative to the digital asset management features in the Library module.
Thank you for answering my questions and concerns. Very helpful!
I actually had to look it up for someone looking at plans today, and realized Adobe really does bury the different cancellation details for monthly vs annual commitments. You can get to them from the sign-up page, but it’s a couple links back. Meaning probably few subscribers understand in advance what the cancellation terms are. You can read them at:
Cancelling a true monthly plan isn’t bad, but if you cancel an annual commitment, the penalty is:
Should you cancel after 14 days, you’ll be charged a lump sum amount of 50% of your remaining contract obligation and your service will continue until the end of that month’s billing period.
If you cancel very early that could work out to hundreds of dollars.
And to clarify the terms for 'Photography' Plans specifically-
Lightroom and Lightroom-Classic are only available as an Annual Subscription (ie. 12 months).
You cannot have a Month-to-month subscription as you can with Photoshop and other software Plans.
So Lightroom & CLassic users- Subscribe for 12 months, Pay Monthly (12 payments US$10) or Annually (1 payment US$120).
The 50% of your remaining contract obligation still applies if you cancel before a '12 month' period ends.
That's right. IF one decides to go with the Adobe subscription program it's best to understand how the program works before making the commitment. Regardless of how one signs up, it is a one-year commitment. Renewals are for a full year. So far, in the years that the creative cloud subscription program has been offered, the price hasn't increased. In fact, as I recall, the price for the subscription for the full package has decreased. I think it boils down to this; either you're in or you're not. If you think you're going to dip your toe in the subscription plan for a couple of months and then drop out, forget it. You'll get burned. If you're a long time Lightroom user and understand the program and want to keep using it then just commit, decide how you're going to make the payment, and then move on. You have to do that with your mobile phone, and I don't think anyone considers dropping that service.
Thank you for addressing my other concern that I didn't mention. 🙂