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Subscriptions, Licenses and Cost of Ownership



  • Stuart Watson

    As a keen amateur photographer and also retired C1 is becoming extremely expensive and the new and confusing price structure prompts me to explore other alternatives in a similar way to many other contributors. I can't even understand the actual figures. In the second Table taking the Perpetual license with an upgrade every 2 yrs the upgrade cost appears to be £224 ( inferring a discount of 25% from £299). Where does that come from, as elsewhere discounts of either 40% ( after 1 yr ownership) or 20% ( after 2 yr ownership) are mentioned.  This does not appear to be a business strategy designed to increase the number of C1 users.

  • Iris Weeber

    Oh my dear! Very hard to understand how it should work!  :oS

    Does anybody know if I am getting all updates and new features from the last year if I am purchasing a perpetual license for example every year?!

    @management of Capture One:
    nice try, but very confusing...! Think this will not satisfy your precious customers...!



    Surprised!!! The offer until 14 February to upgrade from version 22 to 23 is 209 € !!! Until now I have recommended C1 to many photographers.Not any more...Your reputation was also based in a kind of "character", that you are losing.I suppose new persons in C1 are responsible for this. Pity...

  • Roberto Picó Pastor

    Uso Capture One, porque me gusta el software, pero ya empieza a subirse al cielo, y me entristeceria que siguieran con esta idea, con esta política tienen más que perder, espero entren en razón y vuelvan a poner los pies en la tierra.

  • Matt Baldelli

    So disappointing they are forcing the subscription model.  They should keep the upgrading as it's been, everything's a subscription these days and it's frustrating AF.  I'm happy to pay an upgrade fee when needed but I refuse to start paying a subscription if I don't need to.  I hate adobe's model and since the subscription plans, their software just gets worse and worse with bugs with every update.  

    If C1 decided to bundle all their features into a subscription model I'd get it but this is only for C1 its not for the iPad app or their new live feature.  Please don't force us to go to a subscription model you'll loose a large customer base. 

    Listen to your users don't do this to us!

  • Class A

    AFAIC, Capture One made it easier for me as a perpetual licence holder. In the past, I was wondering whether upgrading might be worth it for me, given a new set of features/changes.

    With the new scheme, I don't have to wonder anymore because an upgrade will almost certainly be way too expensive.

    Makes it easier to accept my current version for what it is and not worry about potential future purchases anymore.

  • Audrey Wancket

    Phase One users-

    This is disappointing as I am a "loyal" phase one/Capture one user.  I use it, I share it when I teach and or speak...
    Will there still be a Capture one DB?  I use that to tether and then I also own CO 22.  I will have to look at maybe Hassalblad or such to get away from CO if they will not support the phase one equipment.


  • Ebenezer Goose

    Purposeful price confusion on steroids! This is easier to understand...

    GIMP, perpetual licence plus free upgrades, forever, no hidden nasties or gotchas, as many copies as you like:-.  $0.00

  • Shannon Noble

    My nostrils flared and my eyes bugged out shortly after I purchased CO and I got notice of an upgrade cost within less than a year after that initial purchase. I upgraded then with major hesitation and cringed again when #23 popped up just as quickly. My stinking feeling though was that this upgrade path was counter productive. 

    No single program does everything I need so I had a roster of programs with which I could reverberate through as needed back and forth. I've chalked up a lot of experience from doing this along with an extensive history in film/video colour grading and doing digital vfx for the likes of Sony, Paramount, NewLine, Disney, and more. I am comfortable disposing of my needs for CO; eliminating other software and updates as well. I weened myself off of PS/Lr years ago. That said I've been getting the results I need with Affinity Photo and ACDSee Studio for Mac for asset management. ACDSee has some very good colour tools as well. Heck, I've been getting great results pulling alpha maps from my images with specific filters in Filter Forge to colour correct through in Affinity; totally unexpected and surprisingly good. 

    Seeing the cost of everything skyrocketing during and after this first couple years of Covid, especially walking into a market and seeing the cost of FOOD rise astronomically, I'm seriously considering switching out of photography altogether . . . taking up drawing stick figures in the mud. 

    Thank you. 


  • Gary Michael Gittelson

    What I find troubling is that there isn't one C1 user defending this new subscription offer on here. No one is happy about this. No one from C1 has the balls to address anyone's concerns on this forum. I saw a webinar and thought the explanation given was poor and just demeaned anyone who has been truly loyal to this brand. Like suck it up and reach into your pocket for crying sake!

    I cannot figure out where I stand being a C1 22 perpetual license holder IF I want to go along with this subscription offer. Do I have to buy C1 23 for $179 USD and then subscribe at $179 USD per year. Or can I keep my C1 22 license and decide later after 2.14.23 if I want a subscription? Will they want me to pay anyway for C1 23 before I can subscribe? I cannot figure out this absurd chart, any thoughts out there for me?

    What as wrong with the way things worked before, it was a personal choice, what to upgrade to and not worry about paying for upgrades that made no sense for me. The difference between C1 22 and C1 23 is not worth the extra cash for my work flow but it seems that now I have to pay to have the software and if I decide to stop at that subscription point I have to pay to keep it? And maybe get bug fixes. WOW! C1 works perfect for my workflow and would like to keep using. Lightroom does a fine job on images but not conducive for my workflow needs.

    Best to everyone in their decision 

  • Mispel3991

    I left C1 a couple of years  ago because of the pricing and kept an eye on the new features over the time. The quality was disappointing certainly if you consider the cost. I switched to On1 Photo Raw. It has it’s quirks, but it is a much more pleasant company, pricing is reasonable when you make use of the many special offers, it is fairly  easy to learn and gives me the results I like. I tried Affinity, but it lacks any kind of user friendliness. 

  • Chris Tucker

    I am an amateur photographer using an iMac.  Was happy for years until Aperture was no more.  I intensely dislike the subscription models and Capture One 20 seemed the best choice (perpetual licence) to replace it.  However, your pricing has now gotten so far out of line for my needs, that I will probably not buy Capture One again.  And to be honest, your new schemes are very confusing to follow.  Further, the "discounts" for loyal users are a joke.  There are now other games in town.  So, good luck going forward...  

  • Clau_S

    We should talk about what is a loyal user vs what is a loyal customer. I've been a loyal user since v5 even though not exactly the loyal customer they want us to be since I skipped a few versions (but I bought Media Pro too). Prices went up crazily and I didn't upgrade after 20. It started as a beautiful story of an affordable thing, it's miserably ending in misery. I've done the math many times in the past and always ended up telling people that subscription made no sense 'cause even upgrading every version was going to be cheaper for a license buyer in no more than 3 or 4 years compared to subscription. Also you were not compelled to upgrade and you could keep using your software. It'$ c£ear why th€y're changing. I'm here just to say that, as things stand, I'm another one who is going for the 4th route: RIP Phase One +--

    ps: last year I upgraded the entire Affinity Suite to v2 even though I didn't really need it. That's what you do when you respect someone's work, effort and price policies.

  • Micheal Jennings

    I think I will goto Photo mechanic and Affinity workflow, don't really want to go back to Adobe. This sucks, I am an Amateur photographer and do this for fun. Now its just getting out of hand how much its costing.

    So all the sessions I have I will have to export now ?

  • Mark Hopgood

    Prices in USD don't include sales tax which is why they appear cheaper than other currencies.  For instance a new licence in AUD is $489 and my upgrade cost from 22 to 23 is AUD$330.  More than a new licence in USD.  Hopefully people will realise that to get the discount from a subscription to a perpetual licence is at least one month more than the yearly discount offer.  So to get 60% discount you need subscription of at least 37 months.  That is how I read it in any case.  Prices shown above are based on a static cost without increase, an unlikely scenario.

    With the commitment to release updates more frequently a perpetual license has an extremely short shelf life.  I have done calculations on various scenarios and the cheapest by far is to get a new licence every 3 years and try to make it last.  Over 5 years Capture One subscription is close to double that of Adobe for many less program options.  Yes I prefer Capture One as a RAW editor however I need other software for a complete editing suite, with Adobe I do not.  The upgrade price for a perpetual licence has increased by 60% in the last 2 years in Australia.  Who knows when it will stop.   


  • Chris Tschida

    Clau_S, I fully agree with your comment about Affinity Suite V2!

    And if you look at their feature set, their constant and very focused customer feedback loop, it is amazing value they create every year and at an affordable cost. I use mostly Publisher, and a little bit of illustration and photo editing I don't want to do in C1. This is what I would expect form a really good software company, in stark contrast to C1. I will ask at Affinity forum if there is hope for some features being worked on soon to make it feasible to use their suite as a DAM as well as the photo editor, which is also VERY good Photoshop replacement already. But the point I want to make is this: Affinity is very lone and shining example of what software companies should be like. Take note C1, I am not going to stay with you, even if, and it is a big IF anyway, that you read the room and perhaps change your mind... I won't keep financing any greedy and disrespectful company such as yours. Regardless of what you may decide from now on. You have lost me for sure now, good bye.

  • David Bleeker

    I guess I really have to 'Reimagine my workflow!'

  • William Kyburz

    Well, with your pricing scheme as presented, I have purchased my last version of Capture One. If your VC group is following your customer reactions to the new "Loyalty" Program, I hope they step in and help save the company from fully destroying the C1 business model - but I fear the VC may be at the root of this change.   

  • Diego Righi

    The subscription price is more expensive than the complete package with all Abode programs purchased on Black Friday. You should focus your sales on gaining quantity, not this absurd individual price!

  • Can Çevik

    In addition to what's already been said, please remember that Adobe has local pricing for countries with worse economies. Where I live, an annual subscription to Adobe's photography thingie (LR + PS + some other stuff) would only cost me $32.5 per year. 

    That's not a typo, that is the price for me. Actually the entire CC package would cost me $10 per month, which is still well under what you're trying to charge us, regardless of where we live. This is almost unheard of in the world of software these days.

    Also keeping in mind that you've clearly said that you'll reduce the number of feature upgrades instead of rushing them for each new version, should we simply assume that people who upgrade every year would rather switch to upgrading every two years and those of us who already upgrade every two years would switch to three... which is where your loyalty program simply ignores us altogether?

    Sorry but right now I have two options, I either upgrade my license to v23 before this whole thing or... I don't. You've made a great software, please don't ruin it like this. 

  • Gustavo Otero

    Si ya antes era malo el sistema de actualizaciones, ahora es imposible de aceptar, espero que esta gente escuche a los usuarios y entre en razón, o como ganan mucho dinero vendiendo cámaras de 50.000€ les importa poco los usuarios del software, o pretender hacer un club exclusivo patético

  • Robert Nason

    From 'good buy' to GOODBYE
    in the blink of an eye

  • Paul Traynar

    So the cost of ownership (perpetual or subscription) over 5yrs for C1 is about £1000. Looking at the competition over the same period:

    • Lightroom/Photoshop subscription (and if you cancel you can still use Lr to export your edited images at no cost) - ~£600.
    • DxO PhotoLab perpetual licence upgrade every year (last Nov I paid £69) - £350.
    • ON1 perpetual license upgrade deals seem to be about £60 - £300.

    Clearly C1 is now not economically competitive (given most people will probably need Photoshop anyway since Affinity doesn't quite cut it). I can see the C1 bean counters salivating at the consistent revenue stream subscriptions provide but it looks like they will be experiencing an eye watering drop in revenue as existing perpetual license users stop upgrading and abandon C1 for the competition.

    As much as Iike C1 as a RAW editor I can't justify the cost or uncertainty of continued access to my edited images. Even though I have a perpetual C1-22 license I'm probably going to have to switch now to minimise the aggravation of not deing able to export my images from C1 when OS upgrades finally kill my license.

  • Steve Miller

    I left Adobe because of being forced into subscription. Next time C1 release an update I'll be taking a long hard look at it and seeing if it might time to switch to DXO Photolab.
    Looks like C1 is really aiming for the Pro market.

  • Joanne Diochon

    Yeah, what everyone above said.

    I left Adobe when they tried to force me into a subscription and just kept using my CS6 versions of Photoshop and Illustrator. Then I added Capture 1 with the free Sony version and, over the years switched, over to the Pro version, in large part because of the perpetual license availability. Now it seems Capture1 is trying to force us into a subscription version too, but somehow pretending they aren’t, with this complicated list of almost incomprehensible options. I’ll pick choice one and just keep chugging along with my present ‘perpetual’ license on an earlier version while I look into switching my workflow into On 1 Photo Raw which I also own. As an amateur photographer, with a limited income, I can’t justify the expense of continuing to pay a never ending and expensive subscription for C1. And C1 has lost my loyalty and my trust with this underhanded push to the subscription version. 

  • Jules Tibolt

    I'm so disappointed, I agree with all the other negative comments, for me the biggest mistake the company has made to date.

    Absolutely incomprehensible to me.

  • Kevin Raber

    I just published my thoughts on all of this... please take a look at the article.


  • Enrique Gallart

    Siento que no supieron en capture one apreciar a los pioneros que compramos PH 10 20 P 30 P 20 H1 Y TODOS LOS LENTES.

    Después nos compramos capture one pro desde el principio. Qué le pasó a Phase one perdio la brujula.

    Yo estoy desilusionado de phase one y capture one, me duele haber recomendado tanto las marcas. Y ahora mis colegas también.

    De acuerdo con la mayoria de los comentarios anteriores.










  • Stuart Watson

    Kevin, I look forward to being able to view you tutorial on migrating from C1 to LR

  • Matt Carter

    I'm done with their nickel-and-diming. I'm only a small hobbyist.

    I get more joy out of Darktable now.



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