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



  • Maarten Heijkoop

    Since v7 I have been a yearly pré-upgrader, it was the best financial deal. I'm rethinking this now, maybe I will stay with v23 forever, maybe not. If I don't and will choose for subscription I will be caged in C1 forever! All catalogues and sessions are only upward compatible, so if I decide to quit C1, all processing of my images under "subscription" will be lost since I don't own the software, unless I store them as TIFF or DNG. I wil start doing this from now on, tens of thousands of nefs will be transformed to DNG or TIFF, from 50mb to 250mb (...) per image.

  • Ludvik Gomulski

    Bye-bye C1. No subscription here.

  • Ian Farlow

    Before I am chased after with spears and pitchforks—hear me out. Let's wait for the final details on February 1, 2023 for our C1PRO collective to pass judgement on Phase One / Capture One.

    I've got no spears or pitchforks for you, so no worries there. However, the simple fact that Capture One is waiting to release further details months from now says quite a bit.

  • J M Smith

    I have requested a refund of my V23 upgrade and rollback to V22.

    If C1 is going to force me into a subscription model then I might as well move back to Adobe where you get LR and PS for a similar price to C1P.

    There are other options out there as well, DxO, and Topaz, plus open source options such as RawTherapee and Dark Table.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Capture One does not find itself embroiled in a Class Action Lawsuit. Which could render them nonviable.

    In the US anyway, not sure about other locations, the upgrade charge can always be disputed with your credit card provider if C1 denies a refund.

  • Manfred Hofmann

    Wenn Capture One wenigstens sein schwaches Druckmodul auf das Niveau von Liightroom anheben würde, könnte man über alles reden. Aber ich drucke immer noch "über Lightroom", obwohl ich für alles andere Capture One seit Version 11 nutze. 
    Ja ... nun nochmal umsteigen ... mal sehen. 

  • Ian Farlow

    "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."

    Was the mention of a loyalty scheme only in the email Capture One sent out, or was it also in this article? I don't remember, but if it was in this article it appears to have been removed.

  • Jonathan Labez

    We're all writing this to a company that has planned this out for months.  23 was sold to us knowing they were planning to strip the perpetual license.  The higher ups don't care about the vocal minority.  See the number of bug fix and feature requests that haven't been taken care of over the years.  A venture capital firm only cares about record profits, not what us, the client/consumer/photographer wants.  Our interests only align in so far as we use their software.  For techs like me, this move means switching to a subscription and there's no way around that if we want to support new cameras on set.  That's who this is screwing hard. I don't know a tech that uses Lightroom, so there's no switching to get away.

    If Capture One did a software roadmap of features you want to add during the year, that might help us figure out what we want to pay for.  This was a half baked idea by Capture One and the VC to see what the reception would be like.  If you're going to launch something like this, do it with all the details ready, because in the meantime you look callous and do not care about your current customer base.

  • ugo michi

    I agree with most of previous comments. I left LR years ago because i did not like subscriptions and I paid for upgrades of C1 when the next version appeared interesting according to my needs. I skipped some versions and I bought the next one paying for the upgrade price. Now I am using 22. To pay the full price for each new feature is not acceptable in my opinion.  It is clear you want more money from us, but I think I'll give my money to somebody else (maybe DxO I have evaluated in the past).

    Goodbye Capture One !


  • Luca Trombino

    Disappointed and super angry ... for me, it is time to say goodbye to C1 !!!

  • Jean-François Canavaggio

    Seriously, what did you expect with this kind of stupid decision ???
    Do you really want to kill yourself ???

    0 customer will be happy with that. How many are you going to loose ???

  • Billy Bob Trueblood

    In May my subscription renews. It is time to look at adobe. Saves me €80 a year and i can use my ipad pro also. You are over testing you costumers loyalty. Careful with that.


    My impression is that C1 wants to adopt the Microsoft model, with the Office suite available either as a subscription or as a full release every few years, without upgrade pricing (earlier versions of MSOffice had upgrade possibilities) but whoever came up with that idea forgot to realize a few things:
    - most people have to have MSOffice because of file exchange between companies, and MS purposely keeps file formats that include functions that cannot be transcribed to open formats, and that are not well documented. This cannot be done to images, for which a tif file stays a tif file and you can share it with everyone, whether they have the same program or not.
    - competition from private companies has almost disappeared for office suites (Corel keeps WordPerfect office alive, probably thanks to lawyers in the US who got used to it, but only has a tiny fraction of the market), whereas competition for raw developers is very active and switching to a different program is cheaper than buying another office suite has been.
    - bugs are defects in programs. Even if one has to pay for big MS upgrades, updates to fix bugs are included for free, as any defect fixing update should.
    - Updates to MS Office are only important to keep compatibility with other people with whom one exchanges files, and compatibility with the current OS, so for these two reasons people keep upgrading . With C1, customers do want to see real significant change that justifies the cost of an upgrade, let alone a full release. How many of us have requested specific lenses to be supported, only to be told it was the manufacturer’s duty to provide those (I’d like to see the communications with the manufacturers to discover how much energy did C1 put in to get them)? How can one still have plugins that run like independent programs instead of real plugins (i.e. without visible export/import)? What about fully integrated color chart calibration (again, no export of tif file, work in external program, import of profile after closing and restarting C1), something that Sinar has been doing for years (and for free) in their own developer dedicated to their cameras?

    I hope C1 comes up the their senses and tell us all it was only a very early April fool’s joke..

  • Geoff Westerfield

    As a perpetual license holder this news really upsets me but I have nothing more to add as enough people in this forum have covered everything (greed). Hopefully you've read every single one of these comments as they are NOT good. Please just update my version 22 to support my A7R V and I know my way to San Jose (Adobe). I'm so glad I didn't pull the trigger on 23.

  • Juergen Kammerer

    Welcome CaptureOne to the Adobe club. This was exactly the same argument that Adobe gave to their customers "...being able to release new features more rapidly..." The reality was a different one. Yes, there were quite frequent releases. But these releases often introduced some changes on the user interface which no one had asked for. Just to justify a new release. There wasn't a lot of real innovation.. 

    I expect the same thing will happen with CaptureOne, too. Over the last releases I haven't seen a lot of new features which made me really excited. Honestly I was a little bit disappointed, but still kept upgrading. I cannot see a single feature which justified a release prior to next major (yearly) release. This my very personal opinion and it's debatable.

    Something which is not debatable is the increased effort which ia cause by these frequent release cycles. Quality assurance is a major work package in every software development process. I know what I'm talking about since I worked in this industry. It is more effort to do a complete integration testing for new features than it is to test only some bug fixes of existing features. Adobe customers learned this lesson too. When Adobe started their new business model I saw much more bugs than ever before. I'm afraid this could happen here too.,

    I personally made the decision. I'll switch over to DxO Photolab.

    Good luck, CaptureOne 

  • J M Smith

    So I am now trialing for 7 days

    Creative Cloud Photography plan with 1TB
    Starting at
    Lightroom on desktop and mobile
    Lightroom Classic
    Photoshop on desktop and iPad
    Step-by-step tutorials
    Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark

    Then I am going to try DxO, followed by Topaz Photo AI (which I actually own), then Luminar, and may give RawTherapee another spin.

    If Serif would actually release Affinity Develop (a competitor to C1P), I would drop C1P like a hot potato and never look back.

    But CO has opened the door they shouldn't be surprised if people walk through it...

  • Sebastian Greensmith

    What a shocking decision. Very poor C1. Very poor indeed.

  • Thomas Grönwall

    The big question is how the pricing would be with the ”loyalty scheme”. It is possible to create a loyalty scheme so that if I have a recent license and continue to buy all feature updates during a year I would pay approximately the same as I have done each year until now. I hope it will be something like that - a price based on how old my license is, but just more ”fine granular”, e.g. monthly releases instead of yearly. But if I would skip all feature updates during a year or more and then purchased a license I would have to pay full price. Something like that would not be too bad.

  • Guenther Bernhard

    Sad news, especially for non business user like me. For non business users the C1 perpetual license is an expensive, but great tool to work with. Now you cancelled the upgrade option for perpetual license to get more people to the subscription line. Nearly you did the same as Adobe many years ago. I left them too. The C1 perpetual license with upgrade prices was the only reason why I didn´t leave C1. Some days ago I upgraded  early to C1 -23 for reasonable € 167,-. But I don´t agree to pay € 349,- (more than doubled!) or more after September 2023. That´s the end for me to work with capture on after September 2023.

    Good Bye Capture One and good luck.

  • Waveuk

    Moved from LR to CO when CO23 was released, to avoid the month subscription.

    I find very disingenuous these changes where not announced when CO23 was released but just less than a month after.

    I do not want to spend much time continue learning a software that I cannot trust and commit in the long term.

    Would I be eligible for a refund as terms and conditions have changed?

    I think my best option is then move to PL6.

  • J M Smith

    They should have outlined the Loyalty Program with this announcement rather than just laying this turd on the table...


  • Thomas Pietsch

    C1 is now developing more agile? Developing MVP? Useless for me. I stay with my C1 21 because the new release can't improve my way of working, why should I sign to a subscription?

  • J M Smith

    Plus Thomas, people in a production environment will not be able to upgrade regularly.  Software has to be tested in that environment to make sure there are no nasty surprises. 

  • Dirk Ziegler

    What bothers me especially is, that you come up with this AFTER BLACK FRIDAY. I could have bought DXO Photolab 6 ELITE for a reduced price of 30%. Now I have to pay the full price. Yes, I do not want to continue using C1! It has no future for me! Good bye!

    BTW: This is an absolute communication desaster by C1! Are there beginners at work?

  • Javier Cubillo

    CO bye and good luck. Ciao!

  • Peter Timmermans

    I just sent their helpdesk this request. A jamais, Capture One. Thanks for listening to our feedback (as you claim). I'll spend my money elsewhere.


    Please be so kind to completely deactivate my account and remove my records from your databases.

    I realise this means I will no longer be able to log on to your website, download the software I purchased or activate it. I fully accept that.

    Yours sincerely,

  • yale Goodman

    This feels like a situation where more information was needed with this announcement 

    I love using C1p and upgrade as necessary every 2years or whenever a new camera I want is supported.  

    I think before we go all scorched earth, maybe it would be good to get some clarification on what all the numbers are.  
    For example, what if the new licensing pricing yearly ends up being cheaper or a similar price to the previous upgrade pricing?  
    What if the loyalty scheme is a lifetime license, or lifetime discount on subscription pricing. 

    I dont love licensing changes that seem to be a downgrade, but why not wait till you have all the facts.  

    I wasn't planning to get C1-23, and I likely won't now with this change, or at least until February 1st when more information is provided.  

  • Kenneth

    What a disappointment, would not have upgraded to 23 had I known this plan. I’ll skip the iPad also as that subscription probably going to get a hike. Time to switch back to Adobe.

  • Richard Reader

    Capture One, it should be becoming apparent that you have a bit of a PR disaster happening here yet you're staying silent.
    OK, the customers commenting here only represent a small percentage of your total user base, but a good number of them have been with you for a long time, supporting the development of the program over the years. They are ambassadors for your product. When asked by newer photographers which application they should use, these customers point them in your direction. A lot have come to you from Adobe for a particular reason, your older, now seemingly abandoned, business model. They've switched once. They're switching again.

  • Stanislav Víteček

    Hi marketing gurus,

    very hard to add anything new to what other of your customers already stated above. - Apparently from none to very few customers appreciate the direction you are taking falsely in our name. - From, not only mine, perspective this move is:

    • Very very disconcerting;
    • Very very disappointing;
    • and last but not least very very against wishes of majority your customers.

    I'm honest with you. C1 is a very good product. I wish to stay with you. At the same time I do not tolerate lack of integrity in business which is exactly being shown by this change.

    With regards and hope for a resonably oriented customer product,


  • GMeo4k

    I am a new customer of yours, an amateur photographer who has purchased the CO23 perpetual license taking advantage of Black Friday promos.

    Today I find myself having an updated program until September 2023, that's fine!!

    With the current licensing system, if CO24 didn't have features that interest me, I could continue to use CO23, otherwise if I were interested I would buy it by paying the “upgrade” price.

    From March 2023 I will be buying Capture One X, a complete and not updatable product.

    Except for the purchase of constant update packages throughout the year? Pretty much a subscription only when the customer wants it.

    But day after day the product sold will have new functions, which those who bought yesterday will not have (unless they disburse more money).

    It doesn’t make much sense, the hope is that customers will purchase more than one upgrade during the year, but most people will wait, and maybe wait more than a year.


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