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Perpetual License Changes and the Loyalty Program - How it Affects You

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132 comments

  • Jürgen Lachmuth

    Trust in a company? The feeling of being blackmailed?

    I didn't receive the mail about the new license model from mid January due to a deactivated account. Still no response, why my account has been deactivated.

    Maybe it's because I haven't updated to CO23 after seven Updates in a row (?) ... or maybe I've reported too many bugs...

    1
  • Michael Parker

    Judging by what Adobe provide I reckon a fair subscription amount would be £5 a month .

    1
  • mountainview

    The more I think about this conundrum C1 created, the less convinced I am that it is a sustainable path for growth. What I do not understand is, why C1 is not taking notice what product & pricing strategies other smaller/specialist companies are taking. I completely understand that there are budgetary constraints running this company, but allow me some hypothetical thinking.

    One example that comes to my mind is "Da Vinci Resolve", a very powerful video editing software which is actually handed out for free. How can they afford it? They are holding back features and codecs that are only relevant for professional workflows. This group has to pay to get these features. The smart thing, there is only one app Da Vinci has to develop and keep current.

    I am not arguing that C1 should be handed out for free to enthusiasts (would be nice though), but to at least consider discretionary pricing. There are certainly some features that are primarily relevant for professionals. I guess most enthusiasts would not bother if tethering was not available, C1 Live or Sessions or Cloud for that matter. Why not stripping these features from C1 and charging half the amount ($7.50) a month for a subscription or $99 for a perpetual license that is good for one big number increase (roughly yearly). Apparently there are about 250K C1 users. So based on the $179 prepaid subscription that amounts to a projected revenue of 44.75m. Of course this is assuming there would be no churn of users which would reduce the revenues (which is highly probable under the proposed pricing). Further on, let's assume there are 100K professionals among them who would pay full (17.9m). To achieve the same revenue you would need about double the number of enthusiasts compared to the current share (ca. 300K).

    Am I missing something? Does this sound completely off in a world where roughly 6m mirrorless cameras are sold every year? Of course you could tweak the numbers, but I think the argument is clear. There is a lot of growth potential in this enthusiast market. Why not capturing more of it without compromising the core identity of the brand.

    0
  • FirstName LastName

    I just received another email urging me, (someone who does not want to consider subscription, because, being retired, you never know when you can't pay for subscriptions), to upgrade my perpetual licence from 22 to 23 to get the feature updates until September. However, no one advertises what the roadmap for the next few months is. As there is nothing of interest for me as an enthusiast in the 23 version so far, and the recent interview with the CEO left me with the impression that C1 is focusing on platform integration and client sharing, I'm left wondering what C1 is asking me to spend my money on. I get it, in future, when I want the features C1 has introduced, I have to pay for that version. But, during this period of transition, I am being asked to gamble 23 will have editing features added that will make an upgrade worth it. If C1 would tell us what is coming, those of us hanging back can make an informed decision.  Again, I get it, this is no different that deciding to go for upgrades in previous years. However, no doubt in future C1 will be teasing and publicising the upcoming features of future versions before release, so why not now for 23?

    David  

    3
  • Brian Buxton

    Why is this so bloody confusing?

    I have wasted an unreasonable amount of time trawling the faqs, these forum posts and all the damn emails C1 have sent and it is still unclear what the best option is. For sure it is clear whatever choice is made C1 is going to be more expensive and at the same time deliver less value, but why all this nonsense? If it is going to be more expensive just put the fucking price up don't mess about with this idiotic crap. 

    2
  • Christian Zenker

    hm, more than 200 € for Capture One 23 and only 7 months for updates that will probably never come, as it looks. Seems to me to be a good deal only for C1. Probably they trying to skim off money again quickly. C1 is becoming more and more suspicious to me

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  • Barton Taylor

    Maybe i'll upgrade if along with new-features you also fix the old-new-features that don't work. I was excited to upgrade to C1 22 last year for the Pano stitching and HDR merge, both of which are half baked and disappointing. I'm stitching files from a technical camera, so pretty much collage reposition stitching (the individual frames can be off or skewed a few pixels at worst) but C1 can't stitch them properly half the time and there is no pro level of refining the stitching process. And HDR is not usable, the biggest issue for me being that the merged file (both pano and stitched) keeps the original camera profile and curve, but the colours get messed up so it doesn't match the original IIQ file.

    So I paid $$ for the upgrade and got Overwrite in the export section (very basic feature that should have been there long ago), and magic brush (sometimes magic — if I really need to mask something it's much quicker to go to photoshop, please add some proper selection tools one day). And some new bugs that eventually got fixed.

    None of it seems like good value. Imagine if I'd been on a subscription since before I upgraded to 22 and paid all of that extra money for nothing compelling — when in fact I didn't even need the upgrade to 22, let alone 23.

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  • Class A

    @Barton Taylor

    I agree with everything you are saying in your latest post, except that I wasn't excited for C1 22 as I don't need stitching and HDR in C1. Your account of the utility of these two new additions is not the first I've read that essentially characterises them as disappointments.

    If you haven't used ICE by Microsoft for stitching yet, give it a try. It got the stitching right for me when Photoshop failed. It is post-processing stitching, but I don't find that to be a huge disadvantage. There's also Hugin which is most likely much more flexible, but I haven't used that.

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  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    If finally they would do something to improve Capture One's handling of metadata and catalogues, I'd be happy to switch to a subscription. Unfortunately there's no indication that these two areas have any priority at all. 

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Barton Taylor

    They even introduced at least 2-3 new bugs in v22 on existing functionality. 

    Class A

    In my experience, ICE very often blows out highlights (which are not blown out in the C1 exported files), but if it doesn't, the stitching results are quite good.

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  • Class A

    @BeO

    New bugs in functionality that already existed is not good at all. Imagine you catch one of these as a perpetual licence holder and they aren't fixed before the next feature update...

    Hopefully, Capture One will be diligent about fixing bugs for releases before a new major version is released.

    Anyhow, it is this lack of regression testing and overall stringent quality control that always makes me wonder how people can refer to C1 as "professional software" or "software for professionals". In my view, it is not enough to target professionals and/or have professional customers, rather the software should be exceptionally reliable, robust, and prioritise user control over a minimal learning curve for beginners.

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Software is no different than a camera as far as user experience is concerned, as a user/purchaser I know which features it has and which it doesn't have, but the most annoying things are things that get into my way, bugs, especially introduced by new firmware/software upgrades, poor performance, hangs, slow startup times, unreliability etc. I fully agree with the exception of your last statement, because otherwise I would already have fully switched to darktable.:-)

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  • Barton Taylor

    Class A

    I don't really need stitching or especially HDR but it's nice to have. The drawcard with stitching in particular was not having to leave C1, and also ending up with a raw file to work on. Can't use ICE since I'm on MacOS. I liked Gigapan or whatever it was called, and have tried Hugin but it seems more fiddly (it has all the regular hallmarks of tinkering open source stuff, great if you have the time). Like I said I am doing very simple reposition stitching (fixed lens, digital back moves, no parallax problems) so it should be easy. C1 just needs to add some anchor points like the other apps have to guide them. And PTGui isn't good value if it's only a very occasional operation. What annoys me is that not long ago C1 and P1 were one and the same, and being P1's thing is digital backs I would think they would factor in my particular use case.

    HDR, well instead of masking in some highlights here and there — a trip to Photoshop — I figured it would be great for workflow to have some more wiggle room with a couple of bracketed shots merged and still in Raw, alas it was not to be.

     

    BeO 

    indeed, I discovered a new bug yesterday where my toolbar position wigs out. I need to open customise toolbar do nothing and then hit done and then everything goes back to where it should be. Not to mention the debacle of making C1 dumber by removing the export tabs, thankfully reinstated when they realised their mistake.

     

    What I am not clear on, does the upgrade price (for perpetual) stay the same or change after the loyalty program starts? There is 20% off currently, but if I wanted to upgrade at the end of the year, assuming there is a compelling reason by then, how much will it be?

     

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Barton,

    I have no idea, but given the current inflation rates and the ever increasing profit expectation of C1's "real" customers (which is, the investors of the private equity fund, not you and me) I guess maybe 20% higher than today?

    1
  • Franz Peter Baer

    C1, Ich bleibe bei der Version 2022. Stelle jetzt auf ON 1 Photo Raw 2023 um. Bietet mir mehr für weniger Geld. Mich habt Ihr als Kunden verloren.

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  • Archimedes Alcantara

    I am more confused each passing day. Really, this is a shame, almost need a lawyer to interpret all the conditions to upgrade. As of today, it is much cheaper to buy a new C1 23 than to upgrade from C1 22 ? This is C1’s Loyalty Program for Customers who supported C1 from the start ? Am I wrong, do I need a lawyer to explain why I am wrong ?

    Time to look somewhere else for me going forward….

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  • Michael Fleck

    How to ruin a company and valuable customers trust in 3… 2… 1…

    Now that's what I call a massive shitstorm! So many comments, all expressing dissatisfaction.

    Regular customers, loyal customers from all over the world complaining. You can see from this that the customers do care what you do with them and the "loyalty programme".

    There are many competing products out there. It would be so easy to switch. DxO, Lightroom, On1, Topaz, Exposure7, just to name a few. But customers take the time to comment because apparently it DOES matter to them and they don't really want to switch.

    So many comments. What is amazing is that there is no comment from Capture One itself. Icy silence. Instead I got a 40% voucher yesterday, as previously announced. It seems C1 wants to continue the line ironclad.

    We'll see if it makes enough money and sales increase, even though they've pushed a lot of customers away. If the maths doesn't add up, we'll see discount promotions again. Special offers. What's the point of a 40% voucher if it's not redeemed? 40% of 0 is still 0.

    The market determines the price. The eternal law of supply and demand. If interest wanes and no money is earned, customers will have to be wooed more again.

    I find it very cheeky to also call this rip-off a loyalty programme. Loyalty has no price tag. Loyalty comes from conviction and heart.

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  • Michael Parker

    Does anyone else think it’s a strange loyalty scheme that rewards loyal subscribers by giving a discount to buy a perpetual licence, with the chance then that they’ll stop subscribing so losing their their loyalty, and not actually rewarding customers that continue paying their subscription fee?

    Unless, of course the promise of new features is classed as rewarding loyalty, features that are as of yet unknown or how frequent.

    I guess they’ve number crunched this, but the sort of loyalty scheme I’d be more tempted by would be if they also offered a 20% discount off a yearly subscription for each year you’ve subscribed or off a perpetual licence with the 5th year of subscription free or a perpetual licence for free.

    Then in the 6th year they could reset to 20% discount and so on.

    That way people who only ever subscribe will benefit too, not just those who, ironically, have potentially decided to stop contributing to C1 cash flow.

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  • Lesley McEwan

    I have been forced to make a decision as an older Catalogue in C1 won't work with Apples updated Ventura.  It worked with 13.00 but not 13.2.  Does this mean if I have subscription for 5 years and get a perpetual licence it will only work until Apple has updated its operating system?  For now,  I am going to buy another perpetual licence and spend the next year re organising my files and trialing new programs. 

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  • Brian Buxton

    This seems to be the plan for most people I know. Keep a perpetual just long enough to find something with a better licensing system. I don't really understand what C1 is doing but I think they are losing a huge part of their customer base because of poor communication around a conflicting message.

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  • Jan Godrie

    Lesley McEwan

    Depending on which version you've got.

    Capture One 23 (16.1.1) is supported up to macOS Ventura 13.2.1 while Capture One 22 (15.4.3) is only supported up to macOS Ventura 13.0.1. I guess you've got Capture One 22?

    Obviously you can try running it on unsupported macOS builds, I know some that do, but I strongly advise against it.

    If you get a free perpetual license after 5 years of subscription, at a certain point there will be a cutoff when a newer OS build or version isn't supported anymore. On the other hand, there is nothing that keeps you from running the latest supported version of macOS indefinitaly for the perpetual license version of Capture One that you own.

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  • Henk de Haan

    Like I said in another thread: this should be covered by the EU warranty rules and Capture One will have to fix this for C22.

    Hopefully someone from the EU who bought a C22 license in 2022 will make an official complaint.  

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  • Jürgen Lachmuth

    Regarding to the EU warranty rules:

    I was thinking the exact same, when Capture One told me they won't fix the issues introduced in CO22 (collapsing toolboxes, loupe tool not working properly). I even discussed it with Paul Reiffer on his fabulous YouTube channel. But no response from Capture One - so I gave up and subscribed for a year to figure out an alternative. 

    Guess what: The collapsing toolboxes haven't fixed in CO23 so far...

    My trust in this company and the communication is below 10% - lets see, what they can come up with in the next year... 

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  • Henk de Haan

    All software contains bugs and no company will fix all known bugs in their programs. They will prioritize the bugs and balance the development effort between the bugs and new features.

    The problem Lesley is experiencing has been fixed in C23 v16.1.0. Capture One cannot force their customers to refrain from OS updates or to pay for a new version of the program. It is not only in violation of the EU regulations but it is also a sign of very bad customer support (especially since backporting the fix is probably not a lot of work).

    Several people (including myself) voiced these concerns during the youtube talk between Paul Reiffer and @Rafael Orta. Unfortunately no follow-up has yet been issued...

    0
  • Kip Vaughan

    C1 should release more then Four point releases for a major update. They said they need to keep pushing out major releases but in many ways the opposite is true. After doing several features updates they can usually fit in more that are service updates.

    By the way it is weird that a point release of Mac OS 13 was what broke a pretty recent version of Capture One.

    0
  • Mark Breyley

    Let me add one more voice to the Loyalty Test complaints log!

    Support gave me a link to a download version that is not offered from the website, at least not where I could find it. Here's my reply to them:

    I won't bother using the download, because of your new pricing impost. I'm in Australia and am a hobbyist, not a professional photographer, so will only update the software every three years and only if there is something useful in it for me. The upgrade path with discount that was available from C1 20 (Sony) to C1 Pro 23 has disappeared, and the Loyalty path has no discount at all unless I pay the much higher price for a subscription. 
     
    At $41/mth, three years of subscription is $1476, which is more than I paid for my high-spec laptop. I would need a 66% discount just to bring it down to the $504 full price of a perpetual licence with no discount, so your 20% Loyalty discount on subscription only is an insult and a penalty to me. The perpetual licence now costs over six times what I paid for my current licence only 2.5 years ago, and a subscription would be 18 times my current licence. That's not inflation - that's extortion!
     
    It is clear now that your Loyalty program is actually a Loyalty test - are we willing to pay you for our loyalty to your product? I'm not. 
    You have broken trust with your users and will pay for it with your reputation and your revenue.
    Have you read your own community's posts lately? I've yet to find anyone with any loyalty remaining - now I know what burning loyalty smells like!
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  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    "At $41/mth, three years of subscription is $1476"

    An annual subscription is 219 euro (at least in Denmark), i.e. 657 euro, or around 700 USD, for three years. Does the price really vary that much between countries?

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  • Jan Godrie

    Thomas Kyhn

    $41 Australian converts to €25,83. So it's actually a bit cheaper as compared to the EU where it's €29/month.

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  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    Jan Godrie

    Thanks, I should read that properly the first time!

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  • FirstName LastName

    This is by far the worst Marketing Plan I have ever seen. Dead stop. Ok, we have to accept that Subscriptions are now a way of life but just compare what Adobe are offering in their Photography Plan, with the new Capture One Loyalty Programme. Seriously, what are you doing Capture One ?

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