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Capture One Loyalty Program



  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Hi Mark,

    I like your term "Loyalty test". Dead-on.

    I will keep using my version of C1 until it stops working or a highly convincing new version will be released (but only with perpetual licence), or the alternatives, which I have and continue to evaluate, have too much drawbacks for me personally. As alternatives stand by now I will never subscribe to C1 though.

    I did not pass their latest loyalty test, for years the conditions for customers, and now especially for perpetual licence customers deteriorated, enough is enough, it opened my eyes and I now recognized that this company has turned to one of the most greedy ones on the market. 

  • Aleksander W.

    Choosing a new program is quite simple :)
    C1 annual subscription = €219
    C1 monthly subscription = 29€ :)
    C1 perpetual license (in theory for one year) = €349
    DXO PureRAW = 219€ (in theory, price per year for the new version)
    DXO PhotoLab = 129€ (in theory price per year for the new version)
    Lightroom = first year €9.83 x 12 months = €118
    Lightroom subsequent years = €12.2*12 = €146 (unless there are promotions)
    Pixelmator Pro = €49 payable once. It works fine (Mac OSX only), but has major file organization flaws. I started with this program.
    Besides these, there are other photo editing programs, but they do not differ in terms of price.

    Looking at the above, despite my great reluctance to subscribe, Lightroom is the cheapest, and there is also a nice phone app and 20GB for photos.

    Everyone will decide with their wallet and habits, but C1's pricing policy is a joke. Upgrade from C1 22 to C1 23 pricing as a one-time payment up to €50. It's not worth more money.

    Do you recommend any other apps?

  • Lesley McEwan

    All beware, if you plan to keep your current C1 perpetual licence, as I did, don't upgrade you computer OS, I did with Ventura to 13.2.1 and now I can't open my Catalogues, Sessions which I use mostly, are fine.  But one Catalogue I had spent a lot of time developing has gone.  Luckily with the hindsight of using Aperture I had referenced all images. What to do now?....I am not sure....I am retired and not sure that I could afford a subscription for a long period of time, not knowing the cost next year or the year after.  I have C1 for many years and upgraded many times, now I feel I have been rejected. 


  • woefi

    Lesley McEwan

    What perpetual version of C1 did you use with Ventura? I'm also on the latest macOS version (13.2.1) and use C1 23 (16.1.1) without problems. I hope you don't mean that v22 has problems with Ventura?

  • Sean Breslin

    @Lesley McEwen

    I upgraded to Ventura on my iMac and still use C21. Everything works just fine.

  • mountainview

    This is a really frustrating experience. 

    A tone deaf company that seemingly has no intention to address the issues raised by many customers (and media). A public PR disaster and no reaction at all. Wow. Who or what will finally pop the bubble the C1 management lives in? Hint, it will be you, the customer.

    For years I did not spend any serious amount of time looking for alternative software applications. Now, my whole mindset changed. I want (!) to find a different solution and I have to spend a lot of time for a) testing & finding one and b) getting accustomed to it. I am not a fan of C1 anymore, no advocate, just a frustrated user that tries to find an alternative. I simply do not want to honor their approach. The only thing a customer can do, the only signal that is understood, is to purchase/subscribe or not. Voicing our concerns here is a nice exercise, but the (non-)reaction so far tells me that C1 management wants to push through with their strategy.

    With no guarantees that the C1 will be at least compatible for 2 years with the most recent macOS/Windows updates (about two OS cycles) we are pushed into a situation where we have to choose between security concerns (you need to keep your operating system up to date) and cashing out ever more money than before for an intransparent development roadmap. In addition, the feature freeze for the perpetual license is a more than strange setup. I am not aware of any company that has implemented such a restrictive policy for dot point updates. 

    Now that they got me started. Of course C1 still has its strengths, but by testing alternatives the deficiencies also become more obvious. Which makes me even more angry as they all (without exception!) charge a lot less for performance/features that are in some cases much better implemented. Does that mean that I will happily replace C1? No, reluctantly so. Forcing away a customer that is willing to invest sounds a bit counterintuitive to me, but they have made their decision. I am an amateur photographer. It is a hobby, something a have passion for, but  it has its (financial) limits. Sorry, but you can count me to the people preparing the exit. 

    P.S. Since 2016 I spent USD 1.322,77 with C1. Not enough to be considered a valuable customer it seems.

  • Lesley McEwan

    @mountainvie .I am downloading CO 23 with a 40 % discount the perpetual licence.  I will spend the next year future proofing my files.  Many I suspect could just be changed to jpeg. I am also going to look at Photo Mechanic as I really don't like the DAM on CO 1 anyway. @ Sean Breslin, I suspect it might be any number of things that caused my Catalogues to fail, but I didn't have the option on my online account to deactivate and reactivate any of my c1 22  downloads.  I will also look at Affinity and DXO.  I'll have a whole year to make up my mind. 

  • Henk de Haan

    Lesley McEwan,

    I am downloading CO 23 with a 40 % discount the perpetual licence.  I will spend the next year future proofing my files.

    Good luck, if you bought your upgrade after February 14th you will get updates for a few months until the next feature version (16.2.0) is released.

  • Jan Godrie

    Lesley McEwan

    But one Catalogue I had spent a lot of time developing has gone.

    Don't you have backups from your catalogs? You can always restore those. It's good practice to keep backups of your catalogs on a separate drive. I've got everything back upped, Including my referenced photos, to a separate NAS and offload that to the cloud for off premise backup.

    I didn't have the option on my online account to deactivate and reactivate any of my c1 22  downloads. 

    You should be able since it's a perpetual license. Have you opened a support ticket for this? Perhaps not of concern anymore since you upgraded to Capture One 23.

    I'll have a whole year to make up my mind. 

    You'll actually have much longer since you have a perpetual license. Just no more updates after the next feature release.

    Good luck.

  • Torsten Meyer
    As the holder of a CO 2021 license, I wanted to update, but I lost track here. If I understand correctly, this version is now more expensive than others. I feel duped.
  • James Stevenson

    I'm not angry, just... disappointed. I've greatly enjoyed using versions up to 11, and the time had come to unlock new features and bring the new Sony raw camera files into play. A few clicks later the spring left my step, as I learned that discounted upgrades on perpetual licences for customers who upgraded every 2-3 years are gone, as of Feb. 

    If that's you, save yourself the half hour (and some back and forth with customer services) it'll take to decipher the densely worded new price plan with the following summary of your options: 

    1) Join the subscription model (with a couple of months free). 
    2) Start over as a new brand customer and pay full price for the perpetual licence. 

    In plain language;  subscribe, or we don't really care if you bother to upgrade if you weren't already doing that yearly (like subscribers). 

    There is, of course, a third option. One only has to glance at the great many comments here to see that many will be taking that. Overwhelmingly, small business owners or hobbyists / individuals, are just done with the amount of companies that want an umbilical chord to your bank account. Sadly, C1 just joined that list. 

    Life's too short to fume over such things! Let's put this in perspective. A company with a great asset in strong software just made a horrible decision. If I were in management and saw these comments in these numbers... I'd be smelling more than a whiff of a poor marketing decision. 

    I'll still greatly enjoy using my perpetual vesion 11. It was fun whilst it lasted and will continue to be for my older gen cameras which I plan to keep a long time. 

    Affinity Photo 2 will now undergo a long awaited thorough trial for the new gear! 

    All the best to everyone here - community was great too! 

  • mountainview

    Just as a point of reference regarding competition. Currently Adobe offers in Germany (probably in Europe and other countries as well) a discounted 1-year Photography subscription (LR + PS + 20GB Cloud + iPad and mobile apps) for around € 90, depending on where you get the code. With an app from CYME (Avalanche) you could convert C1 Catalogs (incl. limited editing) for those interested in migrating. For those running C1 in parallel to other editing apps, Peakto by CYME is an amazing photo library software. I am not affiliated to any of them, just trying to figure out what my next step will be.

  • Phrank

    I did the same like mountainview. I Have converted my catalog with Avalanche to Lightroom as I have realised Capture One collapse with more than 500.000 imagesm and I went back to Lightrooom (subscription which i hate) for Digital Asset Management aspects only.

    Unfortunately also Lightroom collapse with more than 800.000 images. The rainbow ball of dead will come and no more application memory let’s you force quit your Mac:-(

    I don't trust any of these companies anymore. I just want to be able to open any catalog in the future and access all my images (with colour edits and meta data).

    So far I understand, if you quit Capture One’s subcription, it let's you move to a perceptual license for 280€ . A big bonus compared with Lightroom, where you won't be access anything unless you have a subscription.

    I'm still not sure if this is really loyal to users who has used Capture One many years with a perceptual license and had regulary updated it for a few euros…

    My strategy is now to be as flexible and software independent as possible. I write XMPs for all images and look how Capture One development goes. I'm a little bit disappointed for it's lacks of improvements for Digital Asset Management…

  • diego bohorquez

    Hoo please if you don't notice Fuji is going to support adobe. And you guys are just looking to drive perpetual license users into the arms of the competition, too bad.

  • Ignacio Larrain

    Greed will kill C1.  I moved to it when Adobe started subscription, it looks like I will go again trough the pain of migrating to something else.

  • Olaf Pokorny

    All those pricing and licencing options are really a little confusing. I understand it as follows:

    The cheapest option seems to be the subscription plan with annual payment. It will cost you 219 € (12 * 18,25 €). If you have a licence for C1 v22 (two years old) you will get a discount of 20 % (219 - 20 % = 175,20 €), if you have a licence for C1 v23 (one year old) the discount is 40 % (219 - 40 % = 131,40 €). Every year on the subscription plan will give you +20 % discount for the perpetual licence which is 349 € full price. 349 - 20 % = 279,20 €. After 5 years you can get a full perpetual licence for free! But what about the price for the next year on subscripton??? Full price of 219 € or 20 % discount = 175,20 €? I don't know!

    So my calculation is this: If I keep my C1 v23 running until the end of 2024, I will get the next perpetual licence with a 20 % discount (upgrading a two year old licence), aka 279,20 €, while I „save“ 131,40 € for the 40 % discounted subscription plan at the end of 2023. If I keep that next perpetual licence again for two years, I will still get 20 % discount for the next perpetual licence as a „loyal customer“, so again 279,20 € (ignoring any higher prices, they might ask for in 2026, which will affect any option!). 279,20 € / 2 = 139,60 €/year. The only drawback of this „plan“ is, that I won't get any new features. But what are those features? Nobody knows so far! New cameras and lenses? Ok, I could live with that, as long as I'm not buying the newest gear and if I do so, I have to keep that in mind. New editing options? Some things are still missing (adding a blur effekt on masked areas, drawing masks by setting a frame of points around an area...). I guess I can live with what C1 offers now for another year and then I can upgrade to C1 2025 or whatever name it will have then... or turn away to something else, too...

  • Michael Parker

    Olaf Pokorny

    They say there will be no Capture one 24.
    They say they’ll release features more often when they are ready rather than waiting for the next major version ( though they have released new features mid version , so I don’t buy that statement)
    Perpetual licence holders going forward will not get feature updates.

    So if you want to stay on a perpetual licence and get a new feature which could come out before 12 months have passed since you last paid for an perpetual licence you will have to pay again. So the upgrading costs could come more frequently than every year as we have been used to in the past.

    Make no mistake Capture One can spin this loyalty scheme as much as they want but it’s plain they only really want subscribers.

  • Olaf Pokorny

    Capture One „24“ may not be called this way (I guess it will be „Capture One 17.0.0“, a step backwards???).

    Yes, they might release new features more often, but no-one needs to update a perpetual licence every time they do. If you like to have every new feature as soon as it comes out, the subscription model may be the right one for you, but if you're fine with the feature set of „your“ version, you can use it as long as you like and wait for the new „killer“-feature you really need to have. Or until you buy a new camera model which is not supported by your version.

    If you upgrade only every two years, you will pay around 140 €/year and hopefully will get bug fixes the whole time (in the EU). That's not the best option in comparison to what has been before, but seems to be one way to avoid the subscription model. I hope, they will re-think their new licencing model, if they see the results next year, when a lot of customers are gone away. But maybe then it's too late. Capture One won't be the first company in the world which died due to some bad decisions of their leaders.

    I will stick wich C1 v23 until the end of 2024 and then I'll decide what to do. Buy another perpetual license? Change to the subscription model? Looking for something else (which is the least preferable option with more than 10 years of edits in C1)...?

  • Ramon B Rodriguez

    Olaf Pokorny

    I moved to a perpetual license, I cannot figure out what new features would be worth and really interesting to pay again for... the only thing that could change my mind is a really good tool to process my negative film scans... and I don't think they have intention to do that, so... 😉

  • Michael O'Neill

    So, I just purchased a perpetual license a month ago and I don't get an upgrade to 16.2 without paying $180? What a ripoff! I was trying really hard to convince myself that this is a good option for my professional workflow, but your business practices are awful. Oh, and Capture One for iPad is a complete data hog, I've got 90 images on my iPad and the program is currently using over 40Gb of storage, most of that is the cache, which I cannot clear. 

    As stated by other users, we should get free upgrades for 12 months from the date of purchase, or just do away with the perpetual license all together. I have no interest in converting to a monthly plan with a company I just paid $300.


  • Phrank

    Michael O'Neill 

    I have upgraded to Capture One 23 for desktop (16) in november and just updated to 16.2 without extra fee. When Capture One 24 comes out it will be tricky and probably expensive. So far I’m happy they just added a new camera which I planned to buy and speeded it up a bit.

  • Taras Kaduk

    This new licensing is a joke. I upgraded to 16.1, and I can't even upgrade to 16.2? I understand I can't upgrade from 16 to 17, but my expectations are that I should be able to be getting smaller upgrades. What you are trying is unprecedented and unfair.

    As much as I dislike Lightroom, I'm giving it another consideration now. Thanks

  • Javier Badani

    Why do you do things so complicated. I have the perpetual license for Capture One Pro. So, how much do I have to pay for a new update? $179? Say the new one, 16.2. And where do I found the place to see this costo and the upgrades. In the main page just shows your normal Plans and pricing, even if you sign in with your account. 

  • Michael Parker

    Here’s a suggestion. I’ve just seen a Facebook post saying C1 is half price via bhphoto @$150.
    One comment was C1 pricing is all over the place at the moment.
    Set me thinking.
    The upgrade price for C1 perpetual had been getting more expensive with every year until it had pretty much reached half full price. So here’s my thoughts have two uograde prices !
    An economy one at say $50 no feature updates and a premium price that includes feature updates.
    I would expect bug fixes and security updates though in both versions.

    It won’t happen I know but it was a random thought that some hobbyists might appreciate. Though I think C1 prefer professionals as their clientele.

  • Andrej Salay

    Hello all, me too was stunned by attitude of C1.
    I am a kind of person, who dont mind using free software, with the slight tax of greater learning curve, and making some "presets" for myself to gain similair result.
    I use Linux a lot, in fact much more than Windows.
    Darktable is the answer to me. (Available for Linux, Windows, Mac.)
    I was positively shocked, how mature this software is.
    I shoot with Fujifilm cameras last few years, Nikons before.

    I was redoing some photos in Darktable to test it, at the beginning of this year, and I can say, after I comprehend philosophy of some developement modules (filmic, base curve, etc), I was able to reach even more pleasant rendering than in C1. But the learning curve was steep and it cost me about 50 hours during two weeks. It started to be much more pleasant and fun after 20 hours.

    If you make yourself presets with values that most suit your style, you can be very effective, once you grasp how modules behave.
    I wish the best to you, and do not miss FOSS software, there are many gems in that area.
    Andy Salay

    Edit: forgot to mention: Stuck with the CO22. Using C1 since version 7, when it became my replacement for Corel Aftershot Pro (former Bibble raw converter, from the early days of raw converters). Bibble was once golden, until Corel bought it and killed it (no real developement, just promises). C1 was the best replacement regarding licensing philosophy and also with similair usage paradigm, and its image quality finally was like what I was awaiting from Bibble. I have upgraded my C1 perpetual licence about five times, paying around 800€ through the years, gradually paing more and more with each upgrade. (trying to upgrade after two-three years, and searching for large dicounts.) Yes, it was possible in the past.
    (Edits: corrected factual errors caused by my memory, looking into some invoices and purchase history in the account.)

  • Jimmy Leonardo

    Too expensive.. Adobe photoshop & Lightroom only 3-4$ / month. Capture One, no AI for subject masking. Bye.

  • Kam

    I have found bugs that seriously disrupt my work flow, if the bugs are fixed in a later version, will I get the upgrade? if not, you should fork the upgrades to that we perpetual licensees still have working program, even if we don't need any newer features.

    Bugs that are fixed should not be considered upgrades.

  • Markku Salonen

    I've used C1 for several years and I like it. This is now confusing me and I still hesitate to renew my order. I am inclined to staying with my 22 version.

    Too complicated and too expensive.

  • Stefan Sipl

    Has anyone tried ACDsee Photo Studio Ultimate 2023 as an alternative? Capture One's haughtiness towards its long-term customers is truly incredible. Such an arrogant approach is truly unparalleled.

  • Michael Parker


    Stefan Sipl
    ‘Has anyone tried ACDsee Photo Studio Ultimate 2023 as an alternative’

    Yes , I tried one of their programs a while ago, but didn’t really like it. Found it slow. Maybe new version is better 🤔

    I’ve tried a few others too DXO, LightZone, On1.

    Never really been happy with them.

    I use Affinity instead of photoshop , the raw editor in there is very crude compared with C1 and Lr in my opinion



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