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



  • Markus Ullius

    Maybe other companies will provide offers to switchers from C1?

  • EM

    On Black Friday, Adobe's Photoabo with Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, Lightroom mobile (iOS, iPadOS, Android) was available for €80 per year. 
    Why the hell should you pay €219 just for a CaptureOne subscription? Which doesn't even include CaptureOne iPad. Is CaptureOne so much better. NO!!!

  • Bill

    Markus Ullius. No need.  Capture One is doing that quite nicely all by themselves.

  • Marek

    My guess is that this move is a result of people not going for the latest upgrade to v23 in as high numbers like they used to. I am one of them. The latest price was simply too high for an upgrade. And I will not upgrade any more in the future, given the new licensing model.

  • FirstName LastName

    I find your statement:

    Q: Are you getting rid of the perpetual license option?

    A: No. The changes we are making allow us to shift to the latest software development practices without removing perpetual licenses altogether. While over half of our users are on a subscription and close to 80% of new users choose a subscription, we still understand that perpetual licenses are important for many of you. That’s why we’re committed to keeping the option open 

    ....highly disingenuous!

    Of course you can try and argue you're not getting rid if it (as you're not turning off the tap today). But the fact remains that you're letting it wither and die - so you are defacto getting rid of that option.

    So please don't treat us all like fools and dress it up in some marketing nonsense.

    I moved from Adobe to Capture One BECAUSE I could pay without subscription.

    So back to Luminar and Affinity Photo I go.....

  • Ariel Estulin

    Capture One at the moment. Yes the community has spoken, and not very favorably. Capture One was the anti Adobe subscription software everyone loved. You've just set your house on fire.

  • Andreas Westendarp

    Ich bin damals nur von Lightroom weggegangen, weil ich den Versprechungen von Adobe zum Lizenzmodell vertraut und mich dann als treuer Kunde hintergangen gefühlt habe. Nun beginnt hier das gleiche Spiel.

    Was nun? Entweder eine technisch gleichwertige Alternative zu Lightroom bzw. Capture One finden. Schwierig!

    Oder aber aus den beiden vorgenannten Firmen bzw. deren Produkten das unter dem Strich günstigste wählen. Das werden dann wohl wieder die Produkte von Adobe sein.

  • Peter Timmermans

    You are ditching your current system, and replacing it by something new in less than two months, on Feb 1 2023.

    Yet you cannot even tell us what you will be replacing it with.

    I thought this sort of behaviour was beneath you, but clearly I was utterly mistaken.

    I'll keep using C22 PRO for now (so mightily glad I didn't update for the first time), and see what to buy or subscribe to in the next few months.

    It's not see you later, it's goodbye. You're not a serious company that treat its customers with respect.

  • sp N


    C1 employees will know what this means for the company. The best will easily find employment elsewhere.

  • john jensen

    Please add your comments on Dpreview, and everywhere this news is shared…the world (and competitors) should know

  • Petri Wessman

    There was a recent Twitter thread about a "trust thermocline" I read recently, which applies 100% here. I suspect C1 will hit that, hard.

    "One of the things I occasionally get paid to do by companies/execs is to tell them why everything seemed to SUDDENLY go wrong, and subs/readers dropped like a stone. So, with everything going on at Twitter rn, time for a thread about the Trust Thermocline

    So: what's a thermocline? Well large bodies of water are made of layers of differing temperatures. Like a layer cake. The top bit is where all the the waves happen and has a gradually decreasing temperature. Then SUDDENLY there's a point where it gets super-cold.

    That suddenly is important. There's reasons for it (Science!) but it's just a good metaphor. Indeed you may also be interested in the "Thermocline of Truth" which a project management term for how things on a RAG board all suddenly go from amber to red. But I digress.

    The Trust Thermocline is something that, over (many) years of digital, I have seen both digital and regular content publishers hit time and time again. Despite warnings (at least when I've worked there). And it has a similar effect. You have lots of users then suddenly... nope.

    And this does effect print publications as much as trendy digital media companies. They'll be flying along making loads of money, with lots of users/readers, rolling out new products that get bought. Or events. Or Sub-brands. And then SUDDENLY those people just abandon them.

    Often it's not even to "new" competitor products, but stuff they thought were already not a threat. Nor is there lots of obvious dissatisfaction reported from sales and marketing (other than general grumbling). Nor is it a general drift away, it's just a sudden big slide.

    So why does this happen? As I explain to these people and places, it's because they breached the Trust Thermocline. I ask them if they'd been increasing prices. Changed service offerings. Modified the product. The answer is normally: "yes, but not much. And everyone still paid"

    Then I ask if they did that the year before. Did they increase prices last year? Change the offering? Modify the product? Again: "yes, but not much." The answer is normally: "yes, but not much. And everyone still paid."

    "And the year before?" "Yes but not much. And everyone still paid." Well, you get the idea.

    And here is where the Trust Thermocline kicks in. Because too many people see service use as always following an arc. They think that as long as usage is ticking up, they can do what they like to cost and product. And (critically) that they can just react when the curve flattens

    But with a lot of CONTENT products (inc social media) that's not actually how it works. Because it doesn't account for sunk-cost lock-in. Users and readers will stick to what they know, and use, well beyond the point where they START to lose trust in it. And you won't see that.
    But they'll only MOVE when they hit the Trust Thermocline. The point where their lack of trust in the product to meet their needs, and the emotional investment they'd made in it, have finally been outweighed by the physical and emotional effort required to abandon it.
    At this point, I normally get asked something like: "So if we undo the last few changes and drop the price, we get them back?" And then I have to break the news that nope: that's not how it works. Because you're past the Thermocline now. You can't make them trust you again.
    Classic examples of this behaviour are digital subscription services, where the product gets squeezed over time, or print magazines (particularly in B2B) that constantly ramp up their prices a little bit each year until it's too late.
    Virtually the only way to avoid catastrophic drop-off from breaching the Trust Thermocline is NOT TO BREACH IT. I can count on one hand the times I've witnessed a company come back from it. And even they never reached previous heights.
    So what's the lesson for businesses here?
    - Watch for grumbling and LISTEN to it.
    - Don't assume that because people have swallowed a price or service change that'll swallow another one.
    - Treat user trust as a finite asset. Because it is."
  • Nathanael King

    This is a disappointing, dumb move.  I already chose not to update to Capture One 23 because of the high upgrade price (although I upgrade EVERY previous version for the past several years).  And now I'm glad I didn't upgrade! You should fire the person making these decisions.  You're valuing a temporary profit while sacrificing brand loyalty.  I'm seriously considering moving to Lightroom or another raw processor.  I don't want another subscription, and I'm willing to pay for a good piece of software that offers reasonable upgrades.  Apparently, this is NOT describing Capture One.  Very disappointed.

  • Ian Farlow

    Capture One would do well to look up Trust Thermocline, read about it, and understand it before it's too late.

  • Steve Oakley

    I left adobe due to subscriptionware. C1 was the best solution at the time. Now its going to go to the dust bin once the perpetual lic ver stops running a few years down the road. CS6 surprisingly ran for at least 6 years for some folks, but I'll be happy to get 3 or so and move to something else. I really hate C1's workflow of spraying files EVERYWHERE on my drives rather than having a central caching location I can manage. just one more thing to deal with. I won't miss that problem. The question is what will I move to that supports Fuji well ?

    @C1 i think your consulting firm who told you that you'll loose maybe 10% of your customers but make it up by year 2 with more revenue really didn't understand how many customers you have that don't want subscriptionware. You are going to kill your business because if I have no choice but to pay a subscription, I'll go back to adobe as its a better value. Or try something else that isn't going to want money from me every month.

  • Jean-Claude Cajolet

    The cost for the last update with the perpetual licence is really high for what it's offered. At the beginning, I bought a perpetual licence because I thought it could cost less. I also have PS for things that I cannot do with C1, so from now on, I won't go in this new way of money maker and as long as I can do what I want with C1, I'll keep it at version 22 but slowly I'll go back to LR and PS, a bit longer as workflow but it's shorter on the wallet.

  • daniele ponticello

    After years on LR, I abandoned Adobe for you. I was and still I am displeased with the subscription.

    Now this stab.

    I know you don't give a damn about an anonymous comment like mine, but after years of being a happy CO user, I want to vomit all my disappointment for this behavior on you. Shame on you !

    I'm happy with my intuition not to upgrade to CO23. As long as it goes, I'll continue with CO22.

    But this is a goodbye.

    For me you can fail.

  • Francis Carbajal

    I’m going to be honest here.

    I became a C1 user when I won a C1 8 license from a raffle. Until that point I had less-than-legally used LR and various Adobe products for years, as had many students (and some professionals.) Until this point I had been buying perpetual licenses every other year, despite leaving professional photography years ago, because I felt that C1 was a better product and a better business model. Can you imagine having that much of an impact on a costumer? To have them continuously support your business despite no longer needing your product or services.

    I’m fortunate. I can walk away no problem. But I urge you to reconsider. Your customers don’t need Adobe Lite or the investment firm who bought you, your customers need Capture One.

  • Weldon Thomson

    Already foolish enough to fall for upgrading to 23 less than a month after buying 22, I like Capture 1 but, now, I am regretting my purchase. I can’t see how this will help the business, there is a lot of competitive non-subscription products that are also pretty good (and even Lightroom is way better now) and getting better all the time, even for Fujifilm files.

  • Tim Ovens

    You write: "Many of you have expressed a desire for us to make changes faster and to implement features more quickly."

    i didn'find any comment of those many people, who are happy about this change. Do not sell it as if it is the will of us users. For professionals it may be OK to go the way like Adobe. But for Non-professionals you can be quite sure, that they are not happy. If you just want to make more money (or need to - maybe), then please write openly and do not do as if you fulfill the will of the users with single licenses. Every one who has a single license has decided to have it and not to subscribe...

    Sorry, but this not good style of communication with your  paying users.

  • Andreas Westendarp

    Nun verstehe ich auch, warum ich in diesem Jahr erstmals keine E-Mail zum Upgrade-Angebot 33+20% bekommen habe!

  • Chris

    Hi folks,

    DXO Photolabs is at the time (from my view) the best alternative to LR subscription and CP1. Let's show the company, who is sincere, that this is the way to treat customers and give those our money and loyality.

  • FirstName LastName

    Adobe did this to me, shortly after purchasing Lightroom 6. For hobby photographers, it doesn't make sense to buy a subscription year after year. Looks like I'm stuck on CaptureOne 22 Pro.

  • Martin Stricker

    Seid wenigsten so anständig euren Kunden vor dem Ablauf der derzeitigen Upgrade-Möglichkeit genau mitzuteilen zu welchen Konditionen C1 zukünftig zu erwerben ist. Dann kann man sich rechtzeitig eventuelle Alternativen überlegen

  • Jacques-Albert De Blasio

    I think all has been already said. 

    As many have already written, I find the way you describe the move to this new model a much too obvious marketing blabla. It's a shame that you cannot be more straightforward. Those last years have been really messy in terms of communication. New upgrade every year (as usual) but absolutely no idea of the new features, very pushy and annoying reminder emails to upgrade upgrade upgrade... Why do you keep thinking that your customers do not deserve much more transparency ? And now you talk about a "loyalty program", giving us absolutely no details - I am 99% sure that you haven't yet any idea of how to implement it. Alas, I guess this is what we get in a world run by CFOs and CMOs.

    I did upgrade many many years, but stopped at C1 22. C1 22 was already underwhelming in terms of new features (from my own needs point of view of course), C 23 even worse. It honestly feels like you've hit a glass ceiling and don't know what to improve anymore (even though you are lightyears behind LR with your cataloging capabilities). Plus, C1 22 is painfully slow on my Mac (the last Intel Mac Book Pro of .... 2020 ! so not like 10 years ago...), to the point of not being useable and enjoyable as it used to be. On top of this, the fees have been getting higher and higher every year for upgrades. 

    I personally don't think that your new model will hit me that much, in the sense that I am perfectly happy with what I have today with C1 22 (apart from how unoptimised it is for Mac Intel). But for sure, I will not upgrade every year, even more so if it is every year at full price. This is the part I can absolutely not understand. I do not know of any other company which would sell an upgrade at full price every year; will you, really ?? But maybe I misunderstood ? 

    Anyway, in the end I guess you will have what you're looking for: more customers moving to the subscription model. It was huge over the internet when Adobe made the move, a lot of people crying and shouting, and in the end ... well, Adobe is making more money that ever. This is a sad, sad world.

  • C-M-B

    Ronald Tan Only works if you don't intent to upgrade your camera gear and if you're happy not using it on a modern computer/modern OS.
    Try running 12 Pro with a camera that was released in 2022 on a computer with a Apple Silicon. 

    EOL doesn't mean "I can use it forever", it means "as long as everything else still works with this product, I can still use it". Which (realistically) means you have to upgrade every few years to keep it compatible with modern stuff and have it perform better. 
    I wouldn't want to go back to editing current images on a Mac from 2008.

  • Filthy Lucre

    Meh. I bailed out at V20. Sorry that it's come to this but it is what it is. C1 and Adobe can both go to hell.

  • Wolfgang Stoiber

    I always considered c1 as still inferior to Lightroom (except for some features) I bought perpetual licenses for three years just to be rid of adobe's SaaS model and to support the product which would eventually get to replace it for me. 

    Now I'm loosing trust in this company.

    I haven't even been able to successfully convert my older Lightroom catalogs to CO... so if there will be no CO v24 I could as well go to adobe's (cheaper) photography plan, as much as I hate subscriptions... and adobe...

  • Sascha Schlachter

    Honestly? You are making fun of your customer base and this is not the first time! So, and in the most civil manner: S H A M E on you ! You must be kidding. Pay for every feature release? How much do you think normal customers will be ready to pay for what they consider the best photo editing software? NOTHING, as there are other viable options out there, which do not terrorise their customers (at least not all). Good luck, you don’t need my money anymore.

  • Steven Schweizer

    Like most, I see no reason to stay with C1 if significant changes are not made to the perpetual license policy that secures the interests of perpetual license owners: C1 23 and future license holders. The announcement’s oily language and despicable release so soon after the release of C23 (which I purchased) tells volumes about whose interest C1 is truly pursuing. Hopefully, C1 execs will reconsider revise today’s policy announcement and I eagerly await their response of the loyal C1 users who have cared enough to share their thoughts on this blog.

  • Lutz Platow

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

    I am curious how this loyalty scheme will look… Buying a new licence for each update would be one of the worst marketing ideas I have ever heard from. Wouldn’t like to leave but if you force me. Good bye.


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