Do You NEED the Full Version of Photoshop?

May 16, 2013

I got an e-mail from someone who described themselves as a “Photoshop hobbyist” who used the software to create “grandchildren’s birthday cards.” This person was quite upset about Adobe moving the Creative Suite applications, including Adobe Photoshop, to the cloud along with monthly rental fees.

This brings up an important discussion between wants and needs. I don’t think anyone would question that Adobe Photoshop is the most powerful and most used image editor on the planet. Does that mean it does everything? No, it doesn’t. The important thing to understand is that it is designed, marketed and priced for professionals doing paid projects. Keep in mind that the list price for the boxed version (pre-cloud) of Adobe Photoshop CS6 is $699 (selling for around $625 at Amazon). The version included in the current cloud package is Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended and its list price in a box is $999 (selling for around $800 at Amazon).

Adobe Photoshop ElementsIf you feel you must have software with the word Photoshop in the name, why not get Adobe Photoshop Elements 11? It is currently selling for $68.09 on Amazon and comes on a disc. Some of you are going to say that it is a lite version and isn’t good enough. OK, name one feature that it doesn’t have that you need. Seriously, most users who say they must have Photoshop will probably fail to name a single feature.

Yes, there are also many other image editors on the market that may meet your needs. Personally I use Corel PHOTO-PAINT for all my editing and I don’t feel I’m missing anything even though I do own Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended.

So while you may want the full version, you don’t need it. This is especially true if you are a self-proclaimed hobbyist. Don’t believe Photoshop Elements is good enough for the majority of users? Even Scott Kelby the President of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) says so. Of course Adobe won’t tell you that as they are thrilled to sell you the higher-priced version.

Speaking of Scott Kelby, he did an episode of his online show The Grid with all kinds of information about Adobe’s decision on Creative Cloud as well as discussion of why Elements is good enough for many users. The full episode is about an hour long, but I encourage anyone outraged at Adobe to watch it.

He also mentioned how people commenting on his blog post about Adobe’s decision were attacking him personally. As in more than 90% of the comments blamed him personally for Adobe’s decision even though that decision is harmful to his business. I understand that feeling as I often get comments (on the blog, Facebook, e-mail) attacking me for something where I was just the messenger.

Know the Real Price of the Cloud Options

Another message he passes along is that many Photoshop users are complaining about the cost being $50 a month for Creative Cloud. For the entire suite of products, that is the price though it can be lower if you have current products. Yet if you already have a current version of Photoshop and want only Photoshop, the cost is $10 a month for the first year. No, you won’t get Illustrator, InDesign and all the other tools. But for those who only want Photoshop, the price may not be as high as you think. After the first year the price will supposedly be $20 a month for just Photoshop. Just as Adobe could raise that price and upset users, they could also lower the price. None of us can predict what will happen. Scott certainly is as informed as anyone, so I encourage you to watch The Grid if this is something important to you.

It is very common that I get complaints about something based purely on incorrect information and this misunderstanding of the prices of Creative Cloud is a perfect example. Before you go on a rant about something, make sure you truly understand it first.

I encourage you all to share your thoughts on Creative Cloud in our Facebook poll. The same user who complained about Creative Cloud being too expensive for hobbyists, also complained that I made the assumption that everyone uses Facebook. Each and every one of you has the right to decide if you want a Facebook account. Facebook made it easy for us to create a poll and that’s where we put it. If you want to share your opinion outside of Facebook, leave a comment on the blog as it does not require a Facebook account.

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