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



  • Jiri Skorepa

    A good reason to finally fully switch to Affinity Photo2. Their license is really a one-time paid license and upgrades for several years included. And the price is incomparably better.

  • Norbert Rupp

    Thanks for your (disappointing) newsletter C1, after I was blinded and spending money for two times with your sales speak for the major releases 20/21 and 21/22 before releasing the new versions, to get functions which until today are not very important for my workflow, I missed the offer to update to 23 and (what I´ve realised today), was a very good decision. Funny that on the time of the release of C1 23 I got an offer of DxO to get a full version of DxO PhotoLab 6 Elite for less money than the update from C1 22 to 23. I bought PhotoLab, because I thought the whole marketing bla bla of C1 will go in a direction, where I´m forced again to switch from one raw converter to another. Sorry, I was right, but I´m very surprised it will happen so fast. I think I have time enough to work until the first problems with C1 will appear caused by the OS or camera. But the experience I got when I switched from LR (because of the subscription model) to C1 will help to do this step without any headache.

    Was happy with C1 for most of the time since many years, but this doesn´t mean that there is no point to quit.

    Merry xmas, bye and all the best for your future ...

  • Peter Fester

    I came to C1 because I didn't like the Adobe subscription model. And I will leave, rather than be forced to a C1 subscription.

  • Jaron Horst

    This is an extremely disappointing, profit-driven move.  I will be hanging on to Capture One as long as I can but I will be exploring other more traditionally licensed products for future us. 

    There should be no reason for me to potentially pay for a new license many times a year or be forced to a subscription model.  At the very least, you should do like JetBrains which is you get a year that includes all updates (feature and bugfix) during that time AND you get a perpetual license to whatever the last one released during that year was.  

  • Stamatios Stamou Jr

    Thank you for sending me back to Adobe Lightroom. I left Adobe and went to Capture One due to the exact same move you are doing now. There is no more reason to stay with Capture One. Good luck with the community.

  • Dirk Ziegler

    You was the main competitor of Adobe. Now you are no competitor anymore. Adobe will be happy about your decision and gain more clients while you loose them.

  • frisco

    Voilà effectivement une excellente aubaine pour DXO PhotoLab ! 
    J’étais passé de Litghroom à C1 pour ne plus avoir à subir le diktat économique de l’abonnement annualisé obligatoire. Naïvement, je vous ai crus intègres et plus passionnés de photographie que de bénéfices…Votre brutal changement de cap prouve tout le contraire.

    Bien fait pour moi et pour tous ceux qui paient cher leur logiciel afin d’assouvir leur passion pour l’image de façon non professionnelle. Je délaisserai donc « Capture One pour la photo de mariage » et je choisirai Dxo qui propose un logiciel performant, évolutif et sans abonnement avec malheureusement tout ce que cela comporte d’aléas et de difficultés. J’invite les utilisateurs floués et déçus à faire de même et à se tourner définitivement vers des alternatives moins aliénantes et plus respectueuses de leur usagers.
    Le traître dans cette histoire n’est pas celui qu’on croit…


  • Bartłomiej Dąbrowski

    I've already hesitated whether to upgrade to C1 23. Since few years the upgrades were getting more expensive to a point, where an upgrade costs as much as a whole programme few years back. So I already felt like bying new perpetual license every year. 

    And honestly? You were always so far behind the competition as far as features are considered. Remember how long did we have to wait for panorama stiching? And then you offer upgrades for almost a full price and give us some minor new functionalities.....

    Right now you remind me of Apple. Every time they show a new iPhone to the world they rave about some new features....that the competition has since few years. I've already skipped some versions due to no real innovations or really worth enhancements. 

    Some people already mentioned this, since most of us use Photoshop anyway, going back to Lightroom seems like a good move now. 

    And dear Capture One Team, when you said in your e-mail to the community this morning that "many of us have told you we want access to new tools and improvements sooner..." I guarantee you what you gave us is FAR from what we ment. 

    Look, even the camera companies can introduce upgrades in their products via a firmware upgrade. So if a hardware company can do that, a software company cannot? Ofcourse you can but you choose not to. This shows us where your'e going and what kind of "approach you are ready to embrace".....

  • frisco

    This is indeed an excellent boon for DXO PhotoLab!

    I had moved from Litghroom to C1 to no longer have to suffer the economic dictates of the mandatory annualized subscription. Naively, I thought you were honest and more passionate about photography than benefits... Your sudden change of course proves the opposite.

    Well done for me and for all those who pay dearly for their software to satisfy their passion for the image in a non-professional way. I will therefore abandon "Capture One for the wedding photo" and I will choose Dxo which offers a powerful, scalable and subscription-free software with unfortunately all the hazards and difficulties involved. I invite blurred and disappointed users to do the same and to definitely turn to less alienating alternatives that are more respectful of their users.

    The traitor in this story is not the one we believe...

  • Richard Reader

    Having read this, and the email, a few times now I feel that this is very underhand. It's not a subscription scheme in itself – if you decide not to upgrade then you still have a working version of the software – but it’s pretty near as damn it.

    As I see it it works like this. A person who has already upgraded to Capture One Pro 23 (16.1.x), will get 16.2.x, 16.3.x etc. plus any 16.x.x upgrades until 30th September. That’s really no different from what has been in the past. However, after 30th September there will only be the 16.x.x upgrades until the next feature upgrade arrives and then that’s it, no upgrades at all unless you pay up for the upgrade/new version. Again, that’s not too different from now – those with Capture One Pro 22 or earlier aren’t seeing any upgrades now that 23 is out.

    The crunch is that from 30th September those early adopters of C1P23 will now be in the same boat as anyone buying a perpetual licence from 1st February (and those who haven’t move on from 22 and earlier), viz. if you want feature upgrades (16.x) then you’ll need to pay, but then you’ll only get the bug upgrades, 16.x.x, until the next 16.x comes out.

    If we look back to earlier versions of C1 and the number of new features that came out during the year before the following year’s ‘full’ version, it seems that you could have to fork out three or four times each year to keep up to date not just on features but also for bugs. The question is, how much will these incremental upgrades (that according to Capture One, so many people have been after??), actually cost? Until that’s known no-one can budget, and in some respects that is the main issue. Considering the price hikes in recent years, and the way this has been announced, Capture One are going to have to provide some pretty hefty reassurances that each one isn’t going to cost 200 bucks every quarter, and then everyone is going to ask what those reassurances are really worth.

    For the record, I’m still using C1P22 having upgraded every year until now. I don’t intend to upgrade my cameras anytime soon so 23 offers nothing to me. I’m not going to pay £24/month or £179/year for something that I don’t own – so subscription is out (come on Capture One, get real, I can get Lightroom, Photoshop, storage, a website etc. for far less than that if I wanted to go down the subscription route!), and I’m blowed if I’m paying a discounted price of £199 at the moment for features I don’t use. How your ‘loyalty’ thing will work I don’t know but loyalty is a two way thing.

  • john jensen

    I have been a faithful customer since V7 this just plain ridiculous and a greedy move. I am much better off with any other tools.

    At least you could have informed us before black friday so we could have purchased an Adobe subscription at a discount😈

  • Stephen Waddington

    Upgrade pricing will no longer be available after 31st of January and will be replaced with a new loyalty scheme. More details will be announced on February 1, 2023.

    Why can’t you tell us the details of the loyalty scheme now? I can see no legitimate reason for withholding this information until after the upgrade price window has closed, other than trying to scam those of us who haven’t already upgraded to 23. 

    This behaviour is shameful.
    I’ll continue using 22 for as long as it is functional, but I’ll be looking elsewhere after that. 





  • EM

    Absolutely unserious. Contract is contract.

    Request for refund of purchase price of V23 upgrade is out!

  • Petri Wessman

    Feeling angry, and also glad I didn't upgrade to 23 yet. This announcement means I never will, and I'll start to look for alternatives to C1.

    I switched to C1 specifically to get rid of the exploitative subscription model, but now this move is transparently meant to force everyone to move to a subscription model. With license prices steadily increasing over the years and amount of new features per major version decreasing over the years in C1, I've felt that C1 has become a bit too expensive in any case -- and now this, where I'd need to buy a completely new license each year. Ridiculous; the upgrade pricing was already on the "painfully expensive" scale.

    You want me to switch to a subscription? Never going to happen. And if I did want a subscription model, Lightroom provides much better value for money on that front.

    This is a bad move, driven by "money first" company leadership. You'll lose your permanent license holders (which according to the newsletter are about half of your total users). Hope the money you can squeeze out of the rest will make up for that loss.


  • Iris Weeber

    Wow!!! What an amount on feedbacks!!!!

    Seems as if there is a clear picture on what the customer wants...!  :o)

  • Peter Timmermans

    Bought the last +/-5 updates of Capture One, until Capture One 22. For the first time, I decided not to upgrade (to 23) because it has no useful features for me. I'm glad I didn't upgrade for I would feel cheated. I spent quite some money on this raw convertor - and it was worth it for it is one of the best, if not the best - but I won't stay. I can't afford a fake non-subscription at C1's prices for I'm only a modest amateur, and I feel let down by C1.

    Always paid a premium price for C1. No problem with that. But given this new "non-subscription subscription" I have to say Adobe's offering looks very appealing given the relatively modest price compared to C1's price, and considering all the advances Adobe has made in recent times (the AI subject recognition is second to none for instance).

    Or maybe it's time to have another look at DXO.

    It won't be C1 anymore, that's for sure. 

  • Peter Timmermans

    P.S.: It's a pity you didn't communicate this before Black Friday, for I could have purchased a year's worth of Adobe subscription or a DXO product at a pretty big discount. 

  • Petri Wessman

    "When Capture One was sold to an investment company..."

    Ah, that would explain it. Investment companies have only one mission: wringing out the maximum profit from a company, at any cost. Companies rarely survive that, since what typically happens is that previously good products are destroyed by lack of support and jack-up prices. Which is what seems to be happening here. :(

    Oh well, time to examine the (non-subscription) alternatives.


  • Jeremy Lim

    Chiming in I just got here (C1 22) and I don't want to invest further after this.

    I agree, if I'm going to work in a subscription-esque way, I might as well rejoin the Adobe ecosystem.

  • Dennis Grunwald

    This is a really bad move. Lately this company has done many strange things and in many ways mistreated its loyal customers.

    Adobe is way cheaper and you get the Ipad version and photoshop. Loyalty is earned and this move will make me change back to Adobe.

  • Peter Timmermans

    Upgrade pricing will no longer be available after 31st of January and will be replaced with a new loyalty scheme. More details will be announced on February 1, 2023.

    Must be really good what you have in store, given you can't even communicate in advance what your "loyalty scheme" will encompass. Is that a way to get as many people to upgrade before February? Rest assured... there's nothing that can convince me to upgrade my version 22 given your anouncement today.


    I'll do a market study between Lightroom (far more bang for bucks even if it comes with a subscription), DXO (top-notch quality on par with C1 but expensive and a pretty big learning curve) and ON1 RAW (not the best RAW convertor alas, but top-notch when it comes to bang-for-bucks and features).

  • Etlingo

    A move to push people down the SaaS / subscription route - not great. The sly, disingenuous marketing speak it is couched in - really bad, patronising and offensive. At least be honest.

  • babaluga

    A stupid coincidence.

    I switched from Lightroom to C1 despite an existing Adobe CC subscription, because C1 offered much better preformance. I was able to overlook the fact that I didn't even have decent sharpness filters. I can only agree with the previous speakers - either the financial situation of the company demands this step, or someone can't get enough of it. My next step is clear - away from C1 to (the already subscribed) Lightroom Classic. This is now fast as a rocket, well integrated with PS, offers AI support at its best and ... has a sharpening filter ;-)

  • Peter Timmermans

    Hi DXO. If you're reading this, I'm really saddened I didn't get this news before so I could use your Black Friday offers.

    Is there a chance you might give a discount to C1 users who are looking for other horizons? ;-)

  • Christian Zenker

    Wenn man die Preispolitik und den Druck den C1 in der letzten Zeit aufgebaut hat, um seine Kunden in das Abo-Modell zu drängen, beobachtet hat, wundert einem dieser Schritt nun wirklich nicht. Ich habe daher schon bei Version 20 die Notbremse gezogen, da abzusehen war, dass man mit C1 keinen verlässlichen Partner hat.

    Ich denke junge, dynamische möchte gern Marketing- und Salesmanager versuchen das Maximum an Geld aus Ihren Kunden heraus zu holen. Ob ihnen das gelingt, liegt an uns, den Kunden. Wir entscheiden, ob C1 damit durch kommt oder nicht. Gott sei Dank, gibt es alternativen für uns Fotofreunde, die in dieser Hinsicht (noch) einen zuverlässigeren Eindruck machen. Und wenn schon kein Weg mehr an einem Abo vorbei führt, dann wähle ich bestimmt nicht C1, ich sage nur "Adobe".

    Betrachtet man z.B. Produkte wie z.B. Affinity Photo, so sieht man, dass man auch anders mit seinen Kunden umgehen kann.
    Die neue Version 2.0, die nach vielen kostenlosen Updates kürzlich veröffentlicht wurde, habe ich gerne gekauft. Nicht etwa wegen der neuen Features oder Funktionsupgrades, sondern aus Sympathie für deren Geschäftsmodell, das sich so deutlich von der um sich greifenden Abzockmentalität so manch anderer Firmen unterscheidet. Da ist man gerne bereit einen Beitrag zum Erhalt eines Produkts, beizutragen. Vor allem wenn die Preise so fair wie bei Affinity sind. Schade, dass Affinity noch nicht bei den RAW-Konvertern mitmischt. Ich denke, dass würde vielen der Abo-Model freaks das (berechtigte) gar aus machen. Aber was nicht ist, kann ja noch werden...

    Bei fairen Umgang mit seinen Kunden und ebenso fairen Preisen, hätte ich kein Problem, z.B. durch den Kauf von regelmäßigen Updates, einer Firma zum kommerziellen Erfolg zu verhelfen. Allerdings dürfte ich dabei nie das Gefühl haben, ausgenutzt und in ein ungewolltes Marketingkonzept gepresst zu werden, wie das aktuell bei C1 der Fall ist.

    In diesem Sinne liebe Fotofreunde, ALLE MACHT DEN KÄUFERN!!!


  • fabio Maione

    Ho aggiornato alla versione 23 pagando ben 209 euro e ora apprendo che al 30 settembre 2023, cioè dopo 10 mesi anziché i canonici 12, non avrò più diritto ad alcun aggiornamento. Non mi sembra un bel comportamento. avreste dovuto imporre il limite alla scadenza di un anno dall'acquisto! Sono deluso da questa inattesa novità.

  • Patrick Claybrook

    It's a bold move Capture1.  By going this route, you are essentially saying that Capture1 can compete with adobe.  I suspect that the only reason you have the market share you do, is because people like me are sick of Adobe's subscription model.  Good luck getting people to switch now.  Also, you might want to take a look at the success that Black Magic's Davinci Resolve is having against Adobe Premier.  Black Magic is playing the long game, and it is paying off.  I thought that's what you guys were doing.

    As someone who just purchased a Capture 1 license, I feel completely ripped off by this.  In all honesty, I'd really like to have a refund.  I haven't even began learning to use the software yet, and if I'm going to have to pay yearly, I no longer see a reason to invest the time.  The entire reason I went with Capture 1 was to get away from Adobe's subscription based model.  I guess I'll be looking into other alternatives.  If there aren't any, I'll just stick with PS and LR.




  • Iris Weeber

    Peter Timmermans

    same as I thought about - well timed after BlackFriday!!!

  • Guy Daudelin

    As it seems like this new policy has not been posted to social media and/or photo blogs yet, there might still be time to reverse course and maybe avoid this coming PR disaster.

    As I said in my other post, if you just change the wording and say "Pay yearly for a year of updates", I would have no problem with that as this is already what I'm doing. Charging for multiple updates in a year is too much like the subscription model.

  • Ivo HUTH

    I will switch to a subscription, let’s see what Adobe has to offer for students… Bye C1!


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