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



  • Julien Rabier

    The last thing I wanted was to take out a subscription for Lightroom. But even if it means taking out a subscription, with an announcement like this... well, I want to give my money elsewhere...

  • Dirk Ziegler

    Peter Adams: Yes, it is a difference. I do not buy every year a new version. I am happy with Version 22 and don't need version 23. 

  • Ian Pollen

    Are you reading the room C1? FFS get a grip!

  • Duncan Andison

    C1 Pro 22 will be the last for me it seems. Yes I can afford it (it's used for work) but as I have the full Photoshop package anyway I'll be dammed if I'll be forced into another subscription give the overlap. 

    What this tells me is you're losing out on upgrades each year, because you're really not upgrading much anyway, so you're losing out on a wad of $. What better way to stop this than to make it so everyone has to go on a subscription... no more missing out on upgrade cash for 2-3 years as you have to maintain subs payments. 

    Well, news for you, I'll just setup a virtual machine and keep an OS that works with C1 Pro22. I only really need it for manual keywording anyway. 

    You seriously think people can't see through your marketing BS?!? You really do think we're stupid!!!

  • mattspace

    A "Bug" in software is by definition a fault in the product. It marks the product as being unfit for sale - not of merchantable quality.

    In Australia at least, the minimum statutory warranty for all products sold is 12 months from purchase date (please do not get into semantics of licenced Vs. sold, they are treated more or less identically in many jurisdictions).

    Therefore, regardless of C1's release schedule, it is arguable that they are legally obligated to fix any bug arising within 12 months of purchase, and a refusal to fix any bugs (without requiring additional purchases) outstanding after that 12 months would constitute grounds to demand a refund, on the basis that C1 is and remained a defective product.


  • Mark Smith

    Thanks for the info.  You just saved me a bunch of money as I will no longer be a customer of Capture One.

  • pgrudzien

    Also really disappointed about this change. It is straight up worse for perpetual license holders so I can't find any redeeming positive in this situation. Saying that this is an answer to our calls and that we asked for this is misleading. There is no tie-in between being able to release features faster and having to change the licensing model. Not telling us anything more about the so-called loyalty program and waiting until Feb is also really shady. I can't trust you right now to believe it will be fair for existing customers.

  • Alessio Furlan

    Peter Adams

    No, it's different. Capture One 23 was released in mid -November and included support until the new version.

    Now they tell me that the support will be limited to 30 September.

    You know why? I understood it ... let's see if you get there too. :-)

  • Bill

    It would be really interesting to see the financial analysis that shows increased profit from this move.  

    Given the generally angry sentiment here I doubt it will work out as planned.

    Read the room! Hardly anyone wants this poorly thought out scheme.

    ‘Goodbye C1

  • FirstName LastName

    If you are effectively moving to sub only model what's the reason the pick CP1 over LR?

    Maybe people chose not to buy the permanent upgrade because the last few upgrades have been very lackluster? Adobe's LR have much better new features.

    If you move to a sub only model more people are going to leave. A lot of people (including me) moved to CP1 not because it's better or easier to use than LR but because we don't like the subscription model in the first place.

  • pgrudzien

    Question to the C1 team regarding the change in perpetual licensing:

    Up till now all the camera and lens support updates were included until the newer major version was released. If I buy a license after Feb 2023 will I not get any support for gear released after I bought the license? Even if for example a lens is released a month after purchasing the license?

  • C-M-B

    You guys really want to destroy your own company.

    Seriously, what's wrong with you? Whose decision was it to dump the last(!) reasonably priced upgrade-path for most users? 

    The issue was NEVER about paying upgrade prices.
    The issue has ALWAYS been with you not telling users what they're gonna get when they buy an upgrade.
    The issue has ALWAYS been with you not telling users which features you will or will not ad later on.
    The issue has ALWAYS been with you rising upgrade prices but having little to nothing to make it worth while.
    The issue has ALWAYS been with you not fixing stuff that has been a problem for one or multiple versions. (Like the current bug with tethering in C22 that obviously won't get fixed because C22 won't receive any more updates. Oh well.)
    The issue has ALWAYS been with you not adding stuff that has been requested for ages and when it's finally included it's riddled with bugs and issues.

    Telling users they'll now have to paying a full price for small upgrades is not going to solve this. It doesn't take a genius to realise that, this is not going to work. A supposed "loyalty bonus" is worthless, especially when you don't upgrade all the time anyway.

    I'm really glad I wasn't dumb enough to fall for the subscription-trap, I'll continue using C22 and then well.. there's more than enough competition on the open market, don't think for a second that users won't be ready to dump CaptureOne when the company makes decision like these.

    If you want to make this new scheme work then you HAVE to make one change:

    Perpetual Licenses will have to include perpetual updates with bug fixes.

    That's the only way this is going to work, anything less is just a slap in the face of your customers. 


  • Bill

    pgrudzien. Probably have to buy a new license since it makes them more money. I wouldn’t expect any charitable consideration here given how this has been rolled out.

  • Christo van Rensburg

    Firstly dear Capture One, I need to tell you that I have no intention whatsoever to go on a subscription plan. I will also not buy a new, undiscounted license every year. Not going to happen. Ever. Period. If you do an Adobe on me, I will go somewhere else. Probably DxO, which I already own. Yes, okay, I still use Photoshop CS6, the last "perpetual" version from 2012.

    I have used C1 since the early days, since the demise of Photoshop CS6, so I will hang on to my perpetual license. I currently have C1 Pro 22. This was the FIRST year I have not upgraded (perhaps thankfully?) - there were not enough improvements for ME.

    But here is what is unclear to me from your messaging. Which will be the last Perpetual license. C1 Pro 22, or C1 Pro 23 ?? I can see that my current C1 Pro 22 is a Perpetual license, but I do not understand if C1 Pro 23 similarly will be a perpetual license or not. If C1 Pro 23 is perpetual, I may buy it before Jan 31. If C1 Pro 23 is not perpetual, I cannot see any reason for buying it.

    Please clarify if C1 Pro 23 is also a perpetual license or not. That will influence my decision about what to do next.

    Except for this. Here is what else really annoys me about your strategy. Until a week ago, there was a BF special for 33% off plus another 20% off. But then we did not have this information. Now that special price is gone, you drop this announcement on us. I am very cynical about your honesty here, Capture 1. This will also influence my decision.

  • FirstName LastName

    So where are you all switching to? Let's focus on that question instead of wasting more energy on the worst of all news.

  • Willem Kemper

    Yep, this sucks. I choose C1 to get away from the lightroom subscription strangulation. And I was very content with C1 and was willing to deal with a few not so brilliant solutions that made me adjust my workflow, but hey, I had the freedom to upgrade whenever I felt the need to. And as long as C1 was innovating I did upgrade. As a matter of fact I came to the C1 site to upgrade to 2023, just to read this. Well that is a goodbye then from me. Might as well go back to LR then. 


    I wish you lots of profit and a lot of new customers, because I don´t think the old one´s will stay for long.



  • Guy Daudelin

    Let's be honest, this move is made to bother your perpetual license owners to switch to subscription and "thin out the herd" until there's almost no perpetual license owners left and then you'll be able to switch to a subscription only model.

    All you had to do was change the wording : Perpetual license owners can purchase 1 year of updates in November for $XXX dollars or choose to keep their version which is no longer updated.

    I ALWAYS purchase the yearly update. I almost don't even look at the new features. I just pay to get a year of updates and I am very happy to do so as I understand developing software is expensive and is an ongoing expense. The reason I like that system is not because it's so much cheaper that way, but because of the fact that I have the peace of mind of knowing I can still use the software even if I skip a version, even though I don't skip them. I also like to support companies that give me that option.

    I dumped all of Adobe software when they killed their perpetual license and will do the same with C1, even though I love the software, if you ever do so.

    Now, you need to explain how this will work : If I choose to skip a version, will I be able to upgrade with a special pricing to the next version after that? Will I get the features of the update I skipped in that case? What will the pricing look like for updates? How can we believe you that this move is not made to push us towards subscription?

    Now, let's look at the cost : I just updated to Capture One 23 for 225.40$ CAD. I see that the annual subscription is 250$ per year, so the cost is a bit higher but pretty similar. The difference for me is mainly the fact that under the subscription, you can't decide that you don't pay. The software won't work anymore. I paid a bit over 400$ to buy it at first for that privilege of having the peace of mind that I COULD skip a version, even though I never do it.

    I hope you reconsider and think about just changing the wording on your actual offer like I explained at the beginning of this message.

    EDIT : I'm not sure if the price I see for the subscription is in CAD or USD so if it's in USD, it's quite higher than I previously thought.

  • Ivo Sedlacek

    So bad approach it is ...Pure money obsession and to mine it from the users as much as possible ... If you don't pour money to us, you will not get anything. 

    Any updates to the given version are always free and within the paid version - for any software in the world ...

    Capture wants now money for everything ...

    Subscription is in general so greedy and unfair model ... 

  • Dirk Ziegler

    What would C1 loose to continue with the most wanted perpetual licence (including updates) and lower upgrade price? You loose nothing. But now, the other way around, you loose your customers.

  • Tom Yeung Loi Keung

    I choose Capture One because I'm not too fond of Adobe, which only provides a subscription service. If I need to join a subscription service, capture one is not my first choice.

    Thanks and Goodbye

  • SebYuan

    Let's break down one key point:

    • "You will receive free updates until September 30th, 2023."
      I interpreted it as New Features for all existing 23 pro license holders (before next year, Feb 1, 2023) until Sept. 30, 2023.

      The major C1 version is released in October every year, so we are still getting the promised 1-year "new features" from the release date. (note: your purchase date is not necessarily the release date).

      As long as, until Sept. 30, 2023, both License-based (before Feb 1, 2023) and Subscription-based C1 Pro software have feature parity, I see no issue (maybe even a bit of a benefit if the claim is valid that they will push out more feature faster)

    Now the main question is what happens, after Oct 1, 2023, to the new lenses and raw format support for all existing supported brands such as Canon, Fujifilm, Sony, and Nikon.

    Scenario 1:

    • Say Canon Released a new BSI Sensor for R5 Mark II or R1 on Nov 1, 2023, will the new raw from those camera models be supported for the existing C1 Pro 23?
      If yes, great, no issue. (but for how long? Perpetual or Until a brand new Raw Processing Engine is implemented?)
      If not, do we need a new full C1 License or just pay for a support patch for those bodies and lenses?

    Do existing C1 Pro 23 Users (purchased before Feb 1, 2023) get at least one discounted upgrade to the next full license?
    This is on your pricing page (even now, and a screenshot below). If not, it is literally by definition false advertising.

    Before we rage on and vote with our wallets and some potentially pursue legal options, let's have Capture clarified these points/questions above.


  • xiconfjs

    I can only agree with the majority of users here: It is simply dishonest to say that these decisions were made in the interests of the customers.

  • Petr Salinger

    Ok on 23 I'm not updating anymore. I'm staying on 22. In addition, I installed Lightroom, which I got from Adobe for free with Photoshop. What I was willing to pay for was the freedom and quality. The quality is starting to go downhill and the freedom is disappearing...

  • mattspace

    To be constructive in suggesting a better course for C1 to pursue, it is this:

    • When I buy a perpetual C1 licence, that licence should be tied to the specific featureset of the release I buy.
    • I should keep that featureset going forward, for no extra payment, in each release of C1, since C1 wants to get away from annual releases, and become a running improvement product.
    • New features when added should be an in-app-purchase equivalent, priced relative to their scale within the application as a whole. I should not have to purchase every new feature added in a year, to get the one feature I might want each year. This would allow individual features to succeed on their own merits, and provide an inarguable metric to guide the development of the product to best suit the customers' needs.
    • If necessary, C1 should pause new releases for a year, or two, to concentrate on rearchitecting the application for this modularisation-centric approach.
    • The iPad App should adopt this same approach.
  • Abbott Schindler

    This really upsets me. I've bought every version upgrade since I switched to Capture One Pro (perpetual license) at v8. v23 is the first I skipped because a) it won't run on the OS of any of my production machines, and b) I don't need its new features. My plan WAS to upgrade to v24, by which time I'll have machines running a supported version of macOS. But now, no v24.

    What really really bothers me is that this announcement wasn't made during the discounted upgrade period for v23. Had I known, I would have bought the upgrade and just shelved v23 until I had the planned new Mac. Now I don't know whether to throw out upgrade money on a version that I can't use (yes, I can still run v22, but the cost of v23 is wasted), or wait as planned to see what you do in September.

    Also: nice to announced a "loyalty program", but the total lack of pricing details is terrible. For example, is "loyal" someone who buys every release? Every other release? Something else? And since you apparently plan to offer more "paid feature upgrades" (presumably at more frequent intervals), is the "version" upgrade price coming down, or are you planning to keep the same version upgrade price (which will be too high for "a" feature!)?

    The lack of transparency during the initial v23 upgrade period is very poor and not what I've come to expect from Capture One. Changing policies partway through a cycle is very poor as well.

    If you were going to continue to be as consumer-oriented as I'd come to know you, you'd have announced this change prior to the next version upgrade, kept the next upgrade pricing as it is now, and gone forward from there. That way, you'd be consistent with expectations Capture One has set for many years and given users what I'd consider proper notice.

    Ah: I guess this must have to do with the split from Phase One and now being held by a private equity company. I wonder how many perpetual users will continue buying every update, and I wouldn't be surprised if you lose many to competitors.

    Very sad to see you go this route. I guess on the positive side, there's going to be minimal incentive to stay current with C1 upgrades. I feel sorry for your Support staff who will have more versions to deal with. Or are you planning on limiting support to a fixed period as well?

  • Björn Boscheinen

    whats that? a subscription with extra steps? not gonna happen. either you keep fair pricing for updates/versions or the 23 upgrade was my last purchase. the timing for this was really awful and leaves a sour taste that makes me expect the worst. not gonna recommend c1 anymore until its clear what scheme you are cooking up.

    remember the enthusiastic survey i gave you just recently? consider that nullified in the meantime.

    software is great. but everything else around? you are giving me headaches.

  • Roon

    What's next for 2024? Kill the license servers for the perpetual software?
    So we can't activate our "perpetual version of 22 and 23"

    @CO: at least give us a version of a perpetual installer that simply activates with our serial number without having to talk to your activation servers.

  • Chris

    I was a new CP1 Customer to get away from subscription with Lightroom. For this I even was willing to get over some troubles, CP1 has in some areas. Now the way you are heading is showing: You are going the same direction. The only reason I started with CP1 is gone now.

    Hello DXO Photolab!

  • Marek

    Luckily I did not purchase the v23 upgrade, mostly due to high price comparing to the previous upgrades. My previous Pro versions: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 20, 21 and now 22. I really prefer the perpetual license model, so over time I stopped using Adobe LR and kept Capture One and DxO PhotoLab, with yearly upgrade purchases.

    When Capture One was sold to an investment company and they swapped the whole support team, it became useless to report any issues, because they would not be solved any more. The prices kept increasing regularly, until today when this announcement was made.

    If I have to pay a subscription for the photo software, I will get back to Adobe LR. They at least are adding some really cool AI-based features, which will unlikely ever appear in Capture One. And their DAM is superior in every way.

  • Duncan Andison

    I guess if they push me towards a subs package I might as well make it PS Cloud as I get the iPad app as well with that... no need to pay two subs packages. Keep C1 alive on a VM.


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