Ever since Adobe started offering up their Creative Cloud option for accessing their suite of applications I have been a full-on member. Many people were put off by the idea of the “cloud” versus having their own licensed copy sitting on a DVD in their desk drawer. Plus there were many misconceptions about how the new apps worked. Did they run off of the cloud? Would you not be able to use the applications unless you were connected to the internet? Are aliens going to read my mind through my Photoshop interface?
None of this was true. So yes, the CC apps would need to check with the Adobe servers every so often to validate you had a subscription but other than that they ran natively on your local machine just like the previous ones. They also updated themselves when needed, offered an online workspace for you to store your files, and also let you install two copies of the applications just like the old install from DVD option did.
All of this appealed to me and for $50.00 a month, I now had access to the whole suite of applications. No longer did I just have the latest Photoshop with a 4 year old version of InDesign or Premiere installed next to it. Everything was the current version and I didn’t have to lay down hundreds (or more) of dollars in a lumps sum to get everything I needed. Very cool, for me anyway.
Fast forward a few years now and I’ve been pleased with the suite and haven’t thought about the price. Recently however, I began considering the cost of the whole suite. I pay $50+ a month and I mostly live in Photoshop. Excepting some occasional work in Premiere and Acrobat, I really don’t touch Illustrator, InDesign, or even Dreamweaver anymore (and DW was one of my favorite apps!). That combined with the fact I have been a upset at recent updates that have hurt some applications such as the latest copy of Premiere being fussy about media in previous projects and moving it offline while it was still in place.
Also there is an issue with printing from Photoshop that Luminous Landscape just discovered and it took several times reaching out to them before they conceded there was a problem and it would be addressed (in August). I’ve got my own issues with the Photoshop interface not responding to key presses and some other buggy interface issues that have cropped up in the last two updates.
With all that said, I decided to re-examine my spending with Adobe. I still think they have some of the best tools out there and I won’t give up on Photoshop (Adobe, hurry and fix the printing issue) but I just can’t warrant spending $50.00 a month for all the apps when I could get just Photoshop and Lightroom for $10.00 a month. I did some research over the weekend and found some alternatives to Premiere. For my limited need at home for video editing, I landed on Davinci Resolve 12.5.
Resolve has all the features I need and a lot more and plus it is free. It actually bests Premiere in many ways (in my opinion) including the interface and the way one interacts with clips in the timeline. Also the color correction is very impressive and one of the best in the industry. Yes, SpeedGrade (Adobe’s color grading product) has been wrapped up into Premiere and it is a worthy contender too but one cannot beat the cost of Resolve. The free version does have some limitations but it will do what I need to do and allow me to slim down my spending on my subscription to the tune of $40.00 a month.
There you have it. I’m now spending nearly $500.00 less a year on software. That’s a lens or a new strobe unit, or some cash to go in the advertising budget. Plus I may have actually gained a bit in productivity of video editing at the same time. If you’re in a similar boat to me, you might want to look at what alternatives may be out there for your apps. I’m not trying to suggest that everyone dump their Adobe apps and run. I am still a big fan of their products. I just feel that quality control is becoming an issue on their recent releases and updates. Maybe a little attrition on the customer front will remind them that they need to work a little harder if they want to stay on “top”.
That Affinity Photo application from Serif looks pretty spiffy as a possible Photoshop alternative… just sayin’.