Skip to main content

New prices! Are they for real? Perpetual scam!

Comments

56 comments

  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    There was a public announcement about it, including an email from the company, at the end of last year. Followed by a considerable uproar from users. It was also covered on various photo sites, DPReview, Fstoppers, etc.

    2
  • jose fuj usoz

    After much consideration, I'm going back to Adobe, where I escaped from when I discovered the original Capture One. After years of enjoying these editions of CO, many many years, I leave it with regret, but the plans that Capture One has been proposing make it for me an even more unfriendly company than Adobe.
    I repeat, for me CO is a much better program (for my needs) than Photoshop or Lightroom, but I no longer go for these new proposals.
    I will continue to read all these developments just out of curiosity on the forums.
    Best regards to all,

    2
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    Is there anything in this "offer" that wasn't mentioned when the new "loyalty scheme" was announced months ago?

    1
  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Of course, if you already have a version of Capture One and a perpetual license for it, you can do noting and carry on using that for as long as you want. You don't have to buy a new version right now. You can wait and see whether enough new features come along that tempt you to shell out for a new version at that point. 

    Ian

    1
  • Markus Stamm

    Just for the record: I am also a long-time perpetual-license holder and also never received any official communication regarding the planned licensing changes or the loyalty program.

    1
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    Just a thought to put it out there: maybe check your spam filter. I’m not sure how anyone even tangentially involved with Capture One could have missed the uproar around this licensing change. I have my issues with the new license but lack of awareness isn’t one of them.

    1
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    Might want to re-subscribe to their mail list, then.  Not throwing shade nor intending it to come across that way.  It was and still is a big hullabaloo. 

    1
  • Shane Baker

    Ian Wilson

    Of course, if you already have a version of Capture One and a perpetual license for it, you can do noting and carry on using that for as long as you want. You don't have to buy a new version right now. You can wait and see whether enough new features come along that tempt you to shell out for a new version at that point. 

    I don't know who the genius at C1 is who came up with this scam, but I doubt if many will fall for it. AUD347 for a one-off update - especially against the AUD171.48 a year I am now paying for LR (in several flavours) and PS.

    I can't think of a single piece of software that I own that is a "one-off" product. I've just updated iOS and will update MacOS soon - all for free. In recent weeks I've had updates for FCP, Apple Pages, Affinity Photo and many other apps, and no-one has asked for payment.

    I'm baffled - and very, very disappointed with C1.

     

    1
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    This has been known to the general public since last Dec-March (with final details appearing in March).  If you got no emails on that topic, then login into your account on the Capture One site and make sure you are subscribed to the right newsletter info. I wasn't getting the emails either (though I would read about changes online) and I resubscribed and now I get the emails.  Probably I unsubscribed awhile ago because I didn't want their marketing info.  But, if you want to know about their offers and pricing changes and license changes in your inbox, you have to be subscribed.

    Anyway, Capture One has removed capabilities from the perpetual license.  There's no avoiding that conclusion.  They haven't stopped it, it just has different terms - the biggest difference being that you are only entitled to a upgrades and bug fixes for a short time after buying it and prices have increased.

    If you like Capture One and want to continue with the company and want to stay with a perpetual license, here's what you can do.  Pretty much like clockwork, Capture One offers a sale price on the perpetual license about once a quarter for 1-2 weeks.  I see it regularly on B&H (I have Capture One in a wishlist in my B&H account so it's trivial to check its price), but it's also offered other places.  This is clearly a company-driven sale because it happens at multiple places at the same time.  You won't usually find that sale price on Capture One's site.  The price I regularly see for a new perpetual license for the latest version is $179.

    So, if you buy this new sale-priced perpetual license every year to get the latest version, you still pay less than the subscription.  If you buy it only two out of three years (skipping one year out of three), you save even more.  In fact, if you skip one out of three annual upgrades, you even save money over the subscription if you pay full price for the perpetual license. 

    If you want every new version, then just subscribe as it's cheaper and the upgrades come more frequently.  After five years of subscription, Capture One will give you a free perpetual license if you ever decide to stop your subscription.  So, that somewhat addresses the biggest objections to subscription because if your photography hobby wanes and you don't feel like paying every year to retain the ability to edit your existing library, you can always just get a perpetual license to continue to be able to edit your existing library and photos without having to pay every year.  If you've subscribed for 5 years, the perpetual license will be free (so they say, nobody has ever actually tried it as the policy hasn't existed for 5 years yet).

    But ... if you're on the fence with Capture One and OK with a subscription plan, then frankly, Adobe's $9.99/mo photography plan that includes both Lightroom and Photoshop is a way, way, way better deal than Capture One's subscription or perpetual (basically $120/yr).  Not only is Capture One's subscription more expensive, but you have to separately acquire a pixel editor to handle some of the edits that Capture One can't do.  I use Affinity Photo (which is quite reasonably priced) with Capture One, but it isn't as well integrated with Capture One as Photoshop is with Lightroom.  A major downside of Lightroom is that there is no perpetual license so you have to continue paying the subscription for as long as you want to be able to edit your library.  You can still use the library to organize your photos after the subscription expires and you can still export from your library, but the main editing features are turned off.

    FYI, I'm currently on a perpetual license for version 22.  I skipped version 23 because it didn't contain any new features that were relevant to my workflow and thus not worth spending money on.  If this latest new version (with the AI features) seems interesting, I will wait 3-6 months before buying a new perpetual license to get it because we have to wait for the bug fixes on a major new feature to follow since it's uncertain how long a perpetual license purchase will get bug fixes.  So, a consequence for Capture One the company is that us perpetual license buyers will wait longer to purchase until it is proven to be stable.  If find it somewhat laughable that they want perpetual users to pre-buy sight unseen something that there are no reviews on and no user feedback on.  That would be just foolish to buy sight unseen - particularly something that is AI driven and who knows how well it actually works or what problems it has. 

    But, some people "fall for a deal" - I guess that's marketing.  I'm savvy enough to know that there will always be new deals in the future so I'd rather wait until I'm sure what I'm buying will work for me before giving them my money.  And, with the way perpetual licenses works now, the longer I wait, the more new features and the more bug fixes will be in my next purchase too.  Obviously, I wouldn't wait forever if the new features prove themselves, but you get the tradeoff here with the bonky way their perpetual license works now.

    Ironically, I only do all this waiting for proof of utility and stability because they raised their prices and don't offer bug fixes for long.  If their upgrades were priced like Affinity Photo is and their bug fix policy was like Affinity, I'd probably buy everyone as soon as they were announced as they are always worth the upgrade and you get continuous upgrades all the way up until the next major version.  Affinity knows how to do this well (pretty much the opposite of Capture One).

    1
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    Maybe they turn things around in the future but currently I am quite pessimistic.

    Same here. My impression is that they do fix some bugs once in a while (possibly introducing new ones), but fundamental problems and shortcomings are generally ignored in favour of new though not quite fully developed features. It would be nice if more priority was given to improving existing functionality rather than adding more features that also need improvement.

    1
  • Shane Baker

    Hi Ian

    I'm neither defending nor criticising the new approach. Just pointing out that anyone who currently has a perpetual licence need not spend any more unless they want to.

    I apologise if my post smacked of criticism of you. I was just articulating off your post to express my continuing disenchantment with the whole approach of the people running C1 - and the fact that I have been forced by simple economics to "vote with my feet".

    Regards

    Shane

     

    1
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Markus Stamm

    Because, let's be honest: most of us have the Adobe subscription anyway to have PS. So basically we get LR for free, because it's already included in their basic plan.

    "Most of us"?  Really?  That seems like exaggeration.  I'm not sure where you get your info from.  I know a number of Capture One users who use Affinity Photo (very reasonably priced and with great upgrade policies), not Photoshop.  I'd be surprised if there are lots of regular consumers/prosumers who pay for both Capture One and Adobe's photography plan.  Maybe some pros who are hooked on some of the unique features of Capture One would do so.

    1
  • Markus Stamm

    No, if you buy 17.0, then any bugfix releases 17.0.x will be free.

    If you want to upgrade to a higher version 17.x, then yes, you need to pay for the update.

    1
  • Pierre Laviolette

    I bought Capture On 22 to get the HDR feature and the feature does not really work, it does not chose the best parts of the input files so often the resulting file is more blown out or clipped than the input files (I don't dare install bug fix versions). This is with adjust disabled. Anyway I don't trust C1 anymore, will use it as long as it works on my Mac and then see what else there is. I suspect C1 was bought out by someone and they have to make their investment back or they want to sell and so are trying for max profit to make the books look good

    1
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    I agree Shane, that is the sole reason such companies even exist, and there is nothing in the business practice we have seen here which would indicate that this owner is any different from the others. That includes the typical sales/marketing buzz which we see.

    If at least they would go the extra mile and make new features as perfect as it could be (instead of following a typical 80/20 rule (80% of a feature can be implemented in 20% of the effort) and if they cared more about software quality (instead of breaking existing functions so often) then the new prices could be a win-win situation also for the customers.

    1
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    So the company can be expected to be sold before it's run into the ground completely?

    I'd have no issues with the higher prices, nor necessarily with the subscription model, if the change came with improved software quality and reliability rather than not quite finished features and insufficient resources for fixing the many issues and limitations of Capture One.

    I'll most likely stay on for now though as I don't know what else to use. I'm reluctant to go back to Lightroom, tried PhotoLab but didn't like its cluttered, unintuitive interface. And Photomator is nowhere near being a viable replacement.

    David Mantripp Any idea how long the 30% discount offer lasts?

     

    1
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    David Mantripp

    I'm not requesting a roadmap. My complaints here are about the quality of the software, the lack of resources for fixing obvious issues and limitations, the not quite finished state of new features. As mentioned above, I'd be OK with higher prices, subscription too, if this was accompanied by improvements beyond what you'd expect anyway.

    1
  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    It's not as though Capture One doesn't have its disadvantages; the new licensing model is just one of them. Just as going back to Lightroom is a compromise, so is sticking with Capture One.

    1
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Just as going back to Lightroom is a compromise, so is sticking with Capture One

    • Tendency for regression defects, with virtually every release, I am not really able to use any release beyond 15.2
    • Very bad bug fix policy for perpetual license customers 
    • Not sufficient fine tuning for new features
    • Lack of resources for fixing issues and limitations, the addon modules and new functions seem to be favored over the core product quality
    • Lost appreciation for their perpetual license customer base
    • Consequently, uncertainty how long the perpetual license model will be offered
    • Price is also a point. If you don't change or upgrade your photo gear too often there is a point where software to hardware cost ratio is becoming an issue, and taking into account what new features are actually worth for you (which of course is very user-dependent)

     

    1
  • Greg Theulings

    ..... And then, just a few minutes ago, you receive an e-mail stating you get an extra 40% off when you upgrade to the upcoming version of CO Pro.

    That - to me looks as if they are desperate and tells me things are not going very well in terms of pre-orders or sales.

    Sorry, but it has all been too little too late.
    I am back to LR as I was still working with Photoshop anyway and for the money CO asks as in a monthly fee. It just doesn't offer me what Adobe does. I wonder, how long before CO needs to sell off all its assets to another software publisher. Here Serif comes to mind, who would have a great start with CO in their product portfolio.

     

    1
  • AllMediaLab

    It's the first time I visit this forum in a year time and never got an email with information about a new kind of perpetual license. I have no time to lurk around this forum all the time and think a company has to communicate with their users directly and not only on a forum!

    The first time I have been reading this was when I got a mail today with a so called "loyalty offer" and clicked on the link in the mail to see what it was about. 

    At the FAQ there was this text about the perpetual license that shocked me:

    "Getting a perpetual license means you get the current version of Capture One that’s available at the time of purchase and you can continue to keep using that version as long as your hardware and operating system support it. The license doesn’t automatically update when new features are released like the subscription, so you you’ll need to purchase a new perpetual license if you want later the latest tools and updates".  

    0
  • Markus Stamm

    I check my spam filter and folder regularly. No email about the licensing changes nor the royalty program arrived here (and also not for last year's pre-upgrade pricing, about which I found out after the deadline). And yes, I would have missed those changes, since I do not regularly check the big photography related sites anymore. Luckily someone pointed it out to me while discussing C1 in general some time this summer. My main source of information about C1 is their official communication.

    0
  • Markus Stamm

    I did re-subscribe last autumn, just to be safe. Several "regular" marketing mails did arrive again afterwards (like the "May Sale", the announcement of C1 for iPhone, "exciting spring news", etc.), but no individual upgrade offers or anything about licensing.

    0
  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    Markus Stamm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Can't explain that one, then.

    On second thought, I seem to recall something some time back where if you unsubscribed from a mail list you would get taken off all lists, marketing, etc.  However, if you resubscribed later, you'd only be added back to a subset of mail lists.  I might be mistaken on that but I'm pretty sure that was a thing.  Might want to open a ticket.  Request Support.  Top right.

     

    0
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    And, with the way perpetual licenses works now, the longer I wait, the more new features and the more bug fixes will be in my next purchase too

    Not so sure about the bug fixes, I observed a tendency to release minor or major versions with regression defects. It is tough to find a version with no broken functionality, after15.2 there is none to date I am aware of, at least for the Windows platform, and even in 15.2 there might be new bugs which I did not notice personally. Add this on top of the shortened free bug fix period and price increases I can not recommend C1 to any newcomer anymore. Maybe they turn things around in the future but currently I am quite pessimistic.

    0
  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Shane Baker - I'm neither defending nor criticising the new approach. Just pointing out that anyone who currently has a perpetual licence need not spend any more unless they want to.

    Ian

    0
  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Shane Baker - no problem!

    Ian

    0
  • Markus Stamm

    Just pointing out that anyone who currently has a perpetual licence need not spend any more unless they want to.

    ...or unless OS updates happen or they buy a new camera or new lens ;) 

    Seriously: I use C1 since version 3.5 and have been happily upgrading my perpetual license yearly, knowing this would give me not only bug fixes but also new features in the upcoming year. Typically at a price lower than the yearly subscription plan.

    That option is now simply gone, at least in a way it is now longer obvious in advance which option is cheaper.

    C1 used to be the only (!) alternative to LR if you don't like subscriptions and want to have a database driven media library combined with a decent RAW converter. Now that we're more or less forced to subscribe to C1, I guess many will seriously reconsider if they want to continue using C1. Because, let's be honest: most of us have the Adobe subscription anyway to have PS. So basically we get LR for free, because it's already included in their basic plan.

    0
  • Markus Stamm

    Brian Jordan thanks, that sounds like a possible reason. I will open a support ticket then.

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    BeO - My point about "waiting" for bug fixes was meant to be in relation to a major new feature (like AI masks).  With no commitment from the company to fix bugs in a perpetual license piece of software I purchase, I pretty much need to know that it already works just fine (no major bugs that impede use) BEFORE I buy it.  

    Unfortunately, pretty much all software introduces regressions (new bugs in old features) from time to time.  I don't know of any way to avoid those in purchasing.

    0

Please sign in to leave a comment.