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New License Model: Changes to the way licensing, updates, and upgrades work

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1065 comments

  • Sunil Thakkar

    Basically making the subscription look more attractive to slowly phase out perpetual. You will lose many customers in this process, just as adobe did when they went full subscription. They did succeed in the end.

    However, capture one isn’t adobe. The adobe subscription gives you lightroom, photoshop and lightroom cc on the iPad. Whereas capture one makes you pay for iPad and has nothing like photoshop. A very bad deal indeed. There is no way you will survive with this model, unless you reduce prices.

    It sucks. But it’s tough to justify supporting the company anymore. Last two updates offered very little. But to continue using iPad I will eventually have to update my desktop too. It’s just too confusing.

    Simplify and go subscription only and make it reasonable. This will win people back.

    -2
  • Sascha Schlachter

    I still think it’s a pitiful, greedy and shady approach of doing business. We will see what C1 will do. The customer will have to wait. I don’t know nor understand how they dare behaving like this and people will probably not accept it on the first hand as for their ethics. For the time being there’s not much competition. Ergonomically and performance wise there are not many competitive contenders. Lightroom, ON1. DXO will not be it for me, Luminar neither

    1
  • David Mantripp

    "Ergonomically and performance wise there are not many competitive contenders. Lightroom, ON1. DXO will not be it for me, Luminar neither"

    That's basically the problem, isn't it?  You could add Exposure to that list.  Nice software, nice company, but sadly not as good as CaptureOne.  The only application that I know of that can pretty much deliver the same basic quality and flexibility in adjustment as C1 is Iridient Developer, and that has no catalog, no local adjustments, and as such just isn't competitive any more. Sadly.  Closest other option is Bridge+Photoshop+PhotoSupreme, but that's a destructive editing approach.

    I'm hoping that with hindsight this will all work out ok, that it's all fundamentally down to poor communication, but the last few years' price gouging don't lend much support to optimism.

    0
  • J M Smith

    This is more of a post on how I have managed my library of images and how I am preparing to transition out of C1P.

    The folder structure on my external drive matches the way I use C1P (every major category or shoot has its own folder and corresponding catalog), e.g.

    Images
      -  Wildlife Photography
        -  Birds
          -  20220310 Lake XXX Eagle Shoot
            -   Keepers
              -  JPG Exports
              -  TIFF Exports

    So in this shoot I captured more than a thousand images and then used Fast Raw Viewer to cull the images.  The keepers are then moved into this folder structure (MacOS) and imported into Birds Catalog.  I have dozens of catalogs because C1P chokes on large catalogs.  I am toying with moving the metadata from the catalog to XMP files.

    All of my culled images are stored in an external archive drive.

    So the preparation for move to another RAW Developer is facilitated by all of my keepers/edited imaged exported to large high quality jpg files and then the images that are really good or that I may want to edit further using Affinity Photo, I will export to TIFF.  I rarely go back and reedit images so once they are done they are done, so the export to jpg and tiff plus a very well organized file structure sets up (hopefully) a fairly drama free transition to another RAW Developer. 

    0
  • J M Smith

    "David Mantripp
    "Ergonomically and performance wise there are not many competitive contenders. Lightroom, ON1. DXO will not be it for me, Luminar neither""

    David,

    For me both LR and DxO are comparable to C1P in nearly every aspect.  Luminar for me anyway is a nonstarter.

    I have been trialing both LP and DxO now for a few days and will probably transition back to LR as bad as I detest subscription models, they are probably the right solution, for me.

    1
  • David Mantripp

    Well by the literal meaning of "comparable" you're absolutely right.  Snark aside, I'm absolutely certain that both Lr & DxO (and indeed Exposure, which I regard very highly) are perfect for a lot of people.  For me subjectively they are not... the common factors being that my personal approach to editing requires luminosity curves, which none of these offer.  Indeed the lack of such a feature in Lr appears to be due to the "my way or the highway" attitude of one of the original developers.  I also prefer C1's UI and general non-linear approach to Lr's narrow minded modules (although yes, I know, that can be alleviated, but still...).  I find DxO to be a complete clutter, and have no real use for advanced de-noising, although I hugely admire its optics modules, and general output.   But when I add it all up, C1 still wins, for me, despite the price pain. I should add that personally I've actually had very good experiences with C1 customer support.  But of course it's all subjective.  Absolutely no way on earth do I claim that I'm "right"!!!

    (add if C1 dies tomorrow, or raises the price to 1 gold bar / month - so another 10% - then Lr would be my second choice)

    0
  • J M Smith

    David, It sounds like we are in violent agreement :)

    My biggest fear is what happens to CO when the private equity owner exits. That is why I am strongly leaning towards LR because of the size and strength of Adobe.

     

    1
  • Menno de Vries

    The clarification from Jack-W  is helpful and clear. However there is one major thing he (and many users) forget when mentioning "it is always your decision when and how often to get the latest version"; As there are no updates anymore at all after a new version, C1 will soon be incompatible with updating operating systems. You are stuck with an old OS or you will need to buy a new version C1. This makes the perpetual license flawed.

    0
  • J M Smith

    Menno,

    Exactly, however CO spins it is immaterial.  It is in fact a defacto subscription model.  The perpetual model becomes unsustainable for the end user very quickly.

    So my contention is, if we are being forced into a subscription model, then for me anyway, I am going to transition back to Adobe where the value proposition is much more favorable to the end user.

     

    3
  • Weldon Thomson

    “ As there are no updates anymore at all after a new version, C1 will soon be incompatible with updating operating systems. You are stuck with an old OS or you will need to buy a new version C1. This makes the perpetual license flawed.”

    This is why it would seem way more fair for them to consider differentiating between “updates” that maintain the functionality of the existing software and features, and updates that provide entirely new features and functionality. The former should be provided for perpetual licenses for a much longer period of time than 1 year and, ideally, beyond a couple of significant upgrade cycles. New upgrade purchase should only be necessary for the latter, if desired.

    2
  • Mark Hopgood

    From the number of posts it is obvious that Capture One is the preferred photo editor of all of us here.  I can get great edits in less time than other software with the occasional trip to Affinity Photo or Topaz etc.  I also acknowledge that the underwhelming feature set for CO 23 was probably because of the iPad app being brought to market, a new income stream there for Capture One.  Like all software however, once the price of ownership becomes either too high or the price relative to value is too high then companies will see a reduction in their customer base.  As others have mentioned the new upgrade path for perpetual licences will see the program go quickly out of date unless every/most updates are purchased especially for those that use the latest OS or get new camera bodies.  It is obvious that we are being not so gently pushed towards a subscription as the new licensing really is unsustainable unless it comes at a significant price drop compared to the current system where one could manage their cost by not upgrading to every version.  For some that was the only way to mitigate Capture One's recent high pricing levels.   Although I can't find the answer on the current website I found a reliable comment that once you stop your subscription then you loose the use of the program entirely.  Despite the fact I always export an edit to a tiff, to loose access to the catalogs that I have spent hours on makes a subscription with the current rules a non starter.  

    I currently have CO 22 and it is compatible with macOS Ventura.  As I am usually a few OS versions behind I reckon I can keep using it for a few years yet.  If I feel the new loyalty price is too steep I will reluctantly have to transition to other software.  There will be sufficient time to upgrade my Photo Mechanic 6 licence to their plus version which is a DAM and start using an alternative RAW editor.

    My take on why there has been no announcement of the loyalty scheme is that it is still not finalised, perhaps those in the decision making team are not all strongly aligned.  Time will tell.

    1
  • Geoff Westerfield

    As if the new licensing scheme/scam isn't bad enough I was informed Version 22 will not get updated to support the Sony A7RV. This is crazy as it's not a feature. It's so simple to add the raw file support to an older version. Apple does it with f*****g Photos.The A7RV was out before version 23 was released but I believe they purposely held out support. I was holding off on moving to LightRoom until February so I could see how the so called "Loyalty Program" would work but if I have to pay $200 to update to versions 23 for camera support I guess there's really no need to wait around for 3 months.

     

    "Sony A7R V has been added in Capture One 23, so there's no way to edit the files from it in an older version. Please see our version-appropriate list here: Camera models and RAW files supported by Capture One

    We generally release free updates to any version of Capture One up until the point we release an entirely new version (like Capture One 21 to Capture One 22).

    If you want to make sure that you get all new updates and upgrades to Capture One, make sure you are on a subscription model rather than a perpetual license. The subscription license guarantees you access to the latest version of Capture One with the newest features without any additional costs."

    2
  • Jacques Dubé

    “ [...] C1 will soon be incompatible with updating operating systems. You are stuck with an old OS or you will need to buy a new version C1. This makes the perpetual license flawed.”

    Exactly. That's what Adobe did a few years ago, and why so many of us came here as refugees.

    3
  • FirstName LastName

    Pretty shady they make the perpetual license so unappealing as to push folks to a subscription model. The perpetual license with no new feature updates wouldn't be so bad if:

    -- 1. they'd update the camera profiles in a modular manner so it's not necessary to purchase the entire app. Especially, since they're taking away the upgrade path. It's silly that one would have to fork out $299 just because they have a newly released camera. From what I can tell, it's basically just the .icm file. If I'm not mistaken, I *think* one of DXO apps was doing that. It would download/update specific modules specific to your raw files.

    -- 2. they'd provide bug fixes for the current and the previous version. C1 has a habit of breaking things that weren't broken before so this should give plenty of buffer time to iron out issues.

    2
  • Eric

    Jusy got this email today from DxO:

    "DxO’s superior corrections come as standard – are you up to date?
    With support for over 1700 new camera and lens combinations, the latest DxO Optics Modules offer superior lens corrections not seen in other software – including greater field of view and improved lens sharpness. They’re free for DxO users, so are you making the most of them?

    Remember, updates are free for DxO software users – and if your camera and lenses are supported you’ll be automatically invited to download the latest DxO Optics Modules."

    Yeah.......  It's as if they knew ...... :-)

     

    3
  • SHS
    .... So in this shoot I captured more than a thousand images and then used Fast Raw Viewer to cull the images.  The keepers are then moved into this folder structure (MacOS) and imported into Birds Catalog.  I have dozens of catalogs because C1P chokes on large catalogs.  I am toying with moving the metadata from the catalog to XMP files.

    All of my culled images are stored in an external archive drive.

    I use the same method (but another structure for the images). I stopped using C1 catalogs long time ago; instead, I use XMP files and Photo Mechanic as a file management tool. Maybe PM+ could be a good solution for you, too. Extremely fast, very flexible and powerful in handling metadata. I'm currently looking at how I can work with PM+ and DxO PL together. 

    3
  • Edwardsson

    I have been using a combination of Affinity Photo (more or less since the release of the first version of the software, now I use v2) and Capture One 22 (which I bought in July after using the free Express version since early 2022). It suits me fine, but I am concerned about the email Capture One sent out last week. I am not ready, or willing, to pay an excessive amount of money for future upgrades. 

    Affinity Photo (and also the Serif company's other software Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher) had been able to provide free updates for the last five years or more. That's nearly unbelievable. Now when they launched the second version of their software suite (including all the previous apps I mentioned, both for macOS, iPadOS and Windows) they only charged about £110 (SEK 1395) for all these versions of their apps. 

    I do not ask or demand Capture One do the same, especially since they only have one app to sell to us. However, if Serif (the makers of the Affinity software) manage to upgrade and sell a perpetual license for all their apps, for all platforms and without a subscription, Capture One should at least consider changing their price plans (for both the perpetual license and the subscription license) and the company's very poorly communicated plans for the future.

    If they now get rid of the year-numbered versions (21, 22, 23 etc) and instead decide to go back to the numeral versions of Capture One, they could also make the perpetual license to cover one year from the purchase no matter when the customer bought the license. If you bought it on 12 May 2023, it would then be valid until 11 May 2024, regardless if there is a new major version released during that time or not. If the version number is 16.2.5 on 12 May 2023, and there will be a major upgrade to 17.0 on February 23 2023, your license will be covering that upgrade as well. During the year that the perpetual license is valid, you will in this case receive all the updates, bug fixes, and new features as well as any upgrade from one major version to another, as long your license is valid. 

    To suggest that a perpetual license only covers for what Capture One calls service release (16.x.x) and not also feature release (16.2 to 16.3 to 16.4 etc), is not only unfair against the customers, but it's also bad for the company in the long run.  

    Many users have also compared the prices between what they get from Capture One and what they get from Adobe. Here I believe that Capture One has to reconsider its prices. They can not charge more the double what Adobe does for their combined offer of LR and PS. I really enjoy editing my photos in Capture One, but I do not believe that Capture One ought to charge this excessive amount of money for just one single app, especially not since Adobe only charge half for access to both Lightroom, Photoshop and the iPad version of Photoshop. Capture One should include its iPad app in both the perpetual license and the subscription license. 

    What the company has done now, is ruin its reputation badly. We, as users, are probably getting a hard time trusting them again. Trust is earned over time, and trust is very easily gone. Hopefully, Capture One has understood in the last few days, that they ought not to change the license models for the worse. If we should be able to work this thing out together and be able to have a future relationship between us as users of their software and them as a trustworthy company, they have to reconsider their plans (as we have interpreted their plans in their email from last week).

    And one last thing, new updates regarding cameras and lenses corrections should be free for at least the next three years after a licenses has expired. 

    5
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    Peter Edwardsson:

    I really enjoy editing my photos in Capture One, but I do not believe that Capture One ought to charge this excessive amount of money for just one single app, especially not since Adobe only charge half for access to both Lightroom, Photoshop and the iPad version of Photoshop.

    I agree. And I'd very much like to hear how Capture One justifies a price of almost two and a half times that of the Lr + Ps / Lr + 1TB storage packages. Not least considering the limitations of Capture One (e.g. support, DAM, GPS metadata).

    3
  • Aoma Tani

    It would be very helpful if Capture One has some sort of a roadmap on what features they are currently working on, and what they plan to release in the near future. Plans can and will definitely change, but it'll be good for customers to understand and be in the know for upcoming releases.

    3
  • Richard Reader

    What I find pretty abysmal is the lack of communication coming out from Capture One. When anything is said it's a replay of what's been said before.
    Apart from the issues relating to the perpetual licence there are some photographers who are giving up on the subscription due to cost (particularly when compared with Adobe); lack lustre updates; performance issues on the new Apple chip etc. Basically things aren't looking rosy all round. Incidentally, for anyone wondering what happens on the subscription scheme if you pull out - you lose access to the application entirely. No going in to just export or manage your catalogue as per Adobe LR; you're out, no access anywhere.
    I'm still on C1P22 for Windows but have no intention of shelling out nearly £200 for 'features' I won't use. My cameras are supported and so will be any lens I buy in the next year or so. I need to upgrade my PC at some point but Win11 will be fine. If, at some point Capture One pulls my C1P22 on the activation server then it'll be a final farewell and I'll move elsewhere.

    3
  • Wolfgang Stoiber

    @Edwardsson suggested:

    If you bought it on 12 May 2023, it would then be valid until 11 May 2024, regardless if there is a new major version released during that time or not. ... During the year that the perpetual license is valid, you will in this case receive all the updates, bug fixes, and new features as well as any upgrade from one major version to another, as long your license is valid. 

    I think this would be an acceptable modern way to think of licenses. And also respecting some kind of "warranty" period. This way no one would have to hold back on buying until there is a "major release" and instead jump in the moment you think the offer is right.

    Some smaller software developers are using this model as it builds trust. (Typeface.app for example) 

    Hell, you could even sell me a so called "subscription" if it meant that I buy one year of updates and support. Then it would continue monthly and when I cancel I can keep running the version which was the last. At this point I would have already paid more than the old "perpetual license" anyway.

    2
  • FirstName LastName

    This will make you lose a new customer before you had him. I was about to switch from Adobe to C1. Good thing I've been waiting. Applause Capture One...Applause. This is what happens when money is put above everything.

    2
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    Aoma Tani:

    It would be very helpful if Capture One has some sort of a roadmap on what features they are currently working on, and what they plan to release in the near future. Plans can and will definitely change, but it'll be good for customers to understand and be in the know for upcoming releases.

    It would indeed. Something like this public roadmap for Cyme's Peakto, for instance, would be very welcome. But so far transparency hasn’t exactly been one of the foremost qualities of Capture One. Unfortunately.

    3
  • J M Smith

    9 December 2022
    Open Letter From A Digital Technician To Capture One.

    Wow this is amazing!!!

    https://openletter.earth/open-letter-from-a-digital-technician-to-capture-one-6cca76e8

    5
  • FirstName LastName

    Aaaaand. Canceled subscription. I was "trying before buying" to see if C1 was going to work for me. Looking for a new product, I've got a year to do so.

    Read the writing on the wall, C1, a very large, very vocal portion of your community hates the SaaS model. The entire market has reached Subscription Saturation from cell phones to movies to TV to software, and we are DONE with it. We get it, we UNDERSTAND; you make more money with subscriptions. But subscriptions are a worse value, and consumer unfriendly. C1 gained market share and popularity after the Adobe train-wreck precisely because you had an attractive perpetual license offering.

    I hope others will take their ball, and go home as well. Unless we show companies with our wallets, they will go for maximum profit over consumer happiness.

    Edit: Requesting a refund, as it's been less than a week since they billed me. It would be entirely anti-consumer for them to not honor a refund request.

    5
  • Edwardsson

    J M Smith

    https://openletter.earth/open-letter-from-a-digital-technician-to-capture-one-6cca76e8

    I hope everyone here will sign the open letter, which I did as soon as I read it. Thanks for bringing the letter to my attention!

    3
  • Weldon Thomson

    On the other hand, the great thing about the subscription model is that, if I had started that rather than bought the perpetual license only a couple of months back, I could have cancelled already and been out of pocket much less $$.

    3
  • truepictures

    It's been a week since all perpetual licence holders received an email from C1 with far-reaching and sometimes momentous changes to C1's terms and conditions. In the past 6 days, well over 500 comments have been posted on this site alone. And for the past 6 days, C1's management has stubbornly ignored this customer feedback, and this on all channels.

    There is a method to this behaviour by a management. The problem is simply ignored, the comments become fewer and fewer and at Christmas everyone has better things to do than to continue to be upset about C1's behaviour. The "protest" will fall asleep. Of the perhaps 400 individuals who have written here, some will switch to the competition, some will comply, very few will take out a subscription with C1 (better value for money with Adobe).
    Ultimately, the C1 caravan will simply wait until the storm has passed and then simply move on. If C1 really is financially dependent on a few hundred licence holders and therefore listens to us, the company would be anything but healthy. Everything that is happening seems to have been planned for a long time, including the management's "wall of silence". This includes our outrage and channelling such as in this post. It is only a matter of time before all the steam is let off and the lid can be closed again.

    As many have already suspected in the comments: the management's goal is the full implementation of the subscription model. If not now, then in a year or two. All those who do not want a subscription model should look into viable alternatives (which have already been mentioned) as soon as possible. C1 has irrevocably terminated its long-standing relationship with the perpetual licence holder. Even 500 or 1000 plus comments won't help ...

    3
  • Steve Kaye

    Hello Capture One,

    I hope you notice that your customers are afraid and mad about the announced changes. Many have announced plans to stop using your software.

    The problem with a subscription strategy is: It gives the company control over a person's photos. If, for some reason, the person stops paying (or is unable to pay) for the subscription, then all their photos become locked.

    It's similar to holding a person's life work as hostage in exchange for payments. And that should be outlawed. [ Hint: Here's an opportunity for legislation that makes a subscription service illegal. So contact your representatives. - - - I'm going to contact my Senators. ]

    So what are you really trying to accomplish?

    I recommend publishing some clarification.

    Wish you the best.

     

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