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Adobe’s decision to phase out its one-time payment desktop apps has not been a popular one. While there is merit to paying a one-time larger fee for one desktop app, Adobe’s Creative Cloud comes with a lot of great advantages, and represents good value for money.
So why should you purchase the Adobe Creative Cloud? We’ve compiled a list of reasons to invest in the Adobe Creative Cloud…
1. The Creative Cloud Is Value for Money
There are four different Adobe Creative Cloud plans available, which you can pay for on a monthly or yearly basis:
- Photography plan: An entry level plan with just Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
- Single app plan: Any one single app of your choice.
- All apps: All 20+ apps available and more.
- All apps and Adobe Stock: All 20+ apps available and 10 free Adobe Stock photos.
If you want to get the most value for money, the All Apps plan is a no-brainer. You get over 20 creative desktop and mobile apps, 100 GB worth of cloud storage, access to a portfolio website, and access to premium fonts through Adobe Typekit.
So what’s the alternative to Creative Cloud’s monthly plans?
Adobe made some major changes to the one-time purchases of its software. Prior to those changes it could have been prohibitively expensive. Photoshop, for example, would have set you back over $1,000.
While that’s no longer the case, you can purchase the license for a few select (and much cheaper) Adobe programs, but they come with severe limitations.
The intended audience for Adobe Photoshop Elements, for example, is not the professional or aspiring professional photographer, but rather the enthusiast amateur. If you’re not going to be shooting in RAW, or don’t need all of Photoshop’s advanced features, Elements might be the right fit.
And if you purchase Photoshop Elements from Amazon, you stand the chance of paying a little less than if you buy directly from the Adobe website.
The only other program available in the Elements family is Adobe Premiere, and lies somewhere between the full version of Adobe Premiere and iMovie in terms of features.
Or you can purchase both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements as a bundle.
If you want more robust features, you can still purchase Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6, but Adobe is no longer providing software updates, and it’s unclear how much longer this will be available for purchase:
Since Adobe has made it all but impossible to purchase these programs as one-time downloads, it’s worth looking at the prices of software available from competitors.
- Instead of Adobe Photoshop, you can get Sketch for $99. (You only get one year’s worth of updates, but keep the software when the year is up.)
- Instead of Adobe Lightroom, you can get Capture One Pro for $299.
- Instead of Adobe Premiere, Mac users can get Final Cut Pro for $299.99. Windows users can opt for Vegas Pro for $599.99
Compare that to the Creative Cloud: You can get one year’s worth of Photoshop CC and Lightroom for $120 a year, or the entire line of programs for $600. You can also space out the payments with a month-to-month plan, so you don’t have to pay a large chunk of money upfront.
So some of the competitors may be more affordable, but you will have to decide if they have all the features you are looking for in editing or creative software.
2. It’s Affordable for Photographers
If, as a budding photographer, you don’t want to spend a minimum of $50 a month or just don’t need the full repertoire that the Creative Cloud offers, there is another option.
You could sign up for one of Adobe’s three photography plans.
- Photoshop, Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic and 20GB storage.
- Lightroom and 1TB storage.
- Photoshop, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC, and 1TB storage.
Lightroom Classic is the traditional version of Lightroom, while Lightroom CC is a more cloud-based version.
Each of these photography plans also come with access to Adobe Spark‘s premium features, which include customized branding, choosing your own colors and fonts for text, and access to templates. (The free version of Adobe Spark is available to anyone.)
For the price of a few cups of coffee a month, you can get one of the most popular options for photo management and editing software for photographers. It’s versatile, robust, and when used to its full potential, can save you a ton of time while editing.
3. You Get Instant Access to New Features
With Adobe Creative Cloud, you always have access to the latest features. Adobe is constantly improving existing features and adding new ones—so by signing up for Creative Cloud, you’ll always be the first to try out what’s new.
And with Creative Cloud you only have to upgrade when you want to. If you prefer to stick with a previous version, you don’t actually have to hit the update button.
4. Cloud Storage and Collaboration Are Invaluable
With Adobe’s Cloud Storage you can access your files from anywhere and can easily share them with others.
The Creative Cloud plan allows you to install the software on two computers. So if you’re working on something in your office on your desktop, you can seamlessly take it anywhere with you on the go and work on it on your laptop.
But where Adobe’s cloud storage really shines is through its collaboration features. Cloud storage allows you to easily share your content publicly or privately with others.
Some of the great things you can do with Adobe’s collaboration features include:
- Preview PSD files with layers. This is particularly useful if you want to show a client two or three different options, but can do that all with just one file, by toggling layers on an off.
- You can share files or folders via email, with the option to download the files and folders. People you share the files with don’t have to be Creative Cloud members.
- Viewers can add comments to the Adobe page, so you can manage all feedback and revisions in one place.
- You can share the final product publicly on Behance.
- Much like cloud storage services like Dropbox, you can sync files and folders directly to your Cloud storage using the Adobe Creative Cloud folder on your computer. Sharing folders gives you seamless shared editing with other Creative Cloud members, and you can easily revert to previous versions if you don’t like changes someone else has made.
5. Achieve Consistency Across Disciplines
For better or worse, employers are always on the hunt for that unicorn candidate: the one person who can do it all. Photographers are increasingly expected to have video skills. Videographers need to have animation skills.
By using the Adobe suite of programs, you can achieve seamless consistency across disciplines.
That’s not to say that if you know how to use Adobe Photoshop, you’ll be able to jump straight into video editing with Adobe Premiere. But at the very least, the learning curve will be that much easier. You’ll be familiar with the interface, and the way that Adobe programs tend to operate.
Which Creative Cloud Plan Is Right for You?
Deciding which plan is right for you really comes back to what you’re planning on doing.
If you’re laser focused on photography, the Photography plan makes the most sense, and is the most affordable.
If you need a different program like Premiere or After Effects, given the choice between the Single App plan and the All Apps plan, it really makes more sense to opt for the All Apps plan.
A difference of around $20 per month will get you thousands of dollars worth of apps. If you’re planning on learning new skills, it just makes more sense.