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2023 - Upcoming changes to our perpetual license



  • Ivo Sedlacek

    Money money money
    Must be funny
    In the richmen's world ....
    So bad approach it is ...Pure money obsession and to mine it from the users as much as possible ... If you don't pour money to us, you will not get anything. 

    Any updates to the given version are always free and within the paid version - for any software in the world ...

    Capture wants now money for everything ...

  • bajuta

    That means, I bought version 23 and I don't even get a year of updates.

  • Roon

    And to think I paid € 35,- for the upgrade from v3 to v5 . . . . . . 

  • bajuta

    Und warum gibt es für Softwarefehler keine Garantie?
    Ich musste die Version 22/23 kaufen, weil die Version 21 auf dem M1 nicht richtig, funktionierte (luminanzmaske).

  • Roon

    Grin, ein Bug ist nicht unter Garantie, oft is die einzigste Garantie: "Wir versuchen die bug in ein nachsten Update zu loschen"


    Entschuldiging fur keine umlauts, weil mein Tastatur da Problemen mee gibt ;-)

  • Ian Farlow

    Make sure to add your voice here:

  • Roon

    @Ian, that is a good idea.
    Glad to see that the general opinion about the "improvements" planned by CO are unanimous.

    But I'm curious what the "Loyalty program" beholds.
    I've been a CO user since v3, so hopefully that has earned me some credits and I'll maybe receive money when I purchase a new license ;-)

    I'm not a fan of Lightroom, but I've heard that it has made some improvements since v4 that I used ;-)

    Or, does anyone have an opinion about DXO Photolab v6?
    (downloading the trail as I type this)

  • Dirk Ziegler

    This is disappointing. Subscription of C1 is far too expensive. This is the end of C1 for me. I don't like subscriptions.

  • Paul Traynar

    Just found this thread after I posted a similar post expressing jaw dropping amazement at what C1 are foisting on it's loyal users. Pay for a licence and get no point release enhancements - whaaa? Think I might be reverting to PS/Lr.

  • Abbott Schindler

    I just posted comments to the above referenced thread. From what the C1 users I know have said, it could be that not enough of us upgraded to v23 (I didn't, for several reasons). Still, the way they announced this is very poor. Companies are allowed to change their licensing models, but making this announcement after the pre-upgrade period passed is pretty poor. I wonder if they'll announced the new "loyalty program" pricing before the v23 discounted upgrade period ends at the end of January.

    Now I remember when Adobe announced their change to subscriptions. If memory serves accurately, two parst of their rationale were a) that they wanted to feature updates/new features more frequently, and b) because of U.S. law, they couldn't add new features to an existing version. Obviously companies like Capture One, Serif, Readle and many others put the second rationale to rest. I'm sorry to see Capture One apparently adopting at least part of Adobe's marketing playbook.

    Maybe it'll now make more sense to skip more versions that don't offer useful updates to particular users. Or maybe they'll keep us guessing. This is definitely not a welcome announcement!

  • Petri Wessman

    "But I'm curious what the "Loyalty program" beholds."

    If it was in any way tempting, they would announce it now, and not after the "renew license" deadline passes. There is no honest reason to do it the way they are doing, which means it will be a ripoff.

    I'm pissed off that I didn't know of this move earlier, so I could have grabbed a Black Friday offer from a competitor. To be sure, I'm still leaving C1; not wanting a subscription was the reason I got C1 in the first place, and now with licenses being effectively removed (with crazy pricing and limits), that means goodbye C1. But it would have been nice to be able to switch for a cheaper price.

    ...on the other hand, DxO "elite" full license is still much, much cheaper than C1 license (which I'd now be expected to buy each year), and DxO has very reasonable upgrade pricing too. Like C1 used to have, years and years ago.

    C1 owners would be well to read this Twitter thread, because the "trust thermocline" is about to hit them.

  • richhass

    Clearly, what CaptureOne is saying is, "we can't come up with enough new ideas/features to perpetuate our revenue stream, so we are going back on our promise to provide software you can buy and own."

    This is EXACTLY what Adobe pulled with Lightroom when Photoshop went to a subscription-based only business model. Adobe committed to keeping LR available as a stand-alone product you could own. That changed, of course. This was main reason I migrated to C-1 years ago—and to be clear, Capture One made a point of selling the fact that you could own their software license. 

    Capture One's promise of a product we can own is now devalued to owning a product we will ride into the sunset (albeit with minor bug fixes). Fortunately, I didn't jump on the C-1 v.23 upgrade—and I won't now. I'm already subscribing to a PS/LR bundle from Adobe (and not subscribing by choice!) Since I'm already paying for LR, it makes little business sense to subscribe to Capture One, too. 

    Capture One is a great product and I would have continued paying for upgrades. Unless Capture One does an about-face, I'm headed back to LR. Extremely frustrating and disappointing.




  • Juergen Kammerer

    I have purchased DxO Photolab as soon as they have added support for Fuji X-Trans sensors. I'm very satisfied with it. Their de-noising technology is the best out there. I'll switch over to DxO. 
    I will no pay permanently for C1, especially since there is not so much innovation going on to justify this new policy. 

  • C-M-B

    Yeah I don't think they've really thought this one trough.

    Realistically speaking what they're going to see is a sharp decline in people who purchase upgrades starting today and an even sharper decline in people who purchase a completely new license - and that's all they're going to get from that move. Everyone who is/was willing to go for the subscription has already done so, that's it. 

    By skipping CO23 I am already 100% forced to buy a new license so I have no need to get one for CO24 to just to save money. There's no incentive left. And by buying CO23 I'd still have to pay for "updates" (whatever the hell that means) and be left with all the bugs they haven't fixed for years.
    So why bother? I'll stick with CO22 for as long as possible, then I'll get the next full license in 2025 (maybe) if it's still available but most likely I'll switch to something else in the meantime. 


  • 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.

  • 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 C1 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.

  • J Keating

    Who does this? Marketing people do this.

  • Jerry C

    I suspect the announcement is vague and ambiguous because C1 wants to see just how users react. 

    Sure, the last upgrade was a bit ho hum, and they have likely caught on to a lot of us waiting for the year end discounts to justify upgrading or just skipping versions, but this new marketing scheme is unclear in its scope and intent. It seems primarily designed to drive users away from the perpetual license. The idea that new features could not be released in mid year with a point release is disproven by previous point releases with new features.

    I could consider paying for new useful features when available as long as the average yearly price of a perpetual license is stable and actually worth the price and that there were updates to correct bugs as long bugs needed fixing. Perhaps C1 could sell a basic product for a much reduced fee and allow us to buy the additional features for a reasonable price, a la carte.

    Many of us do not need some features or anticipate the need for new features to keep up with our needs. In fact, I doubt many of us would have trouble living with any debugged version since version 12 or so. C1 has reached a point in development where its potential features are limited to those that other software do better and can connect with C1 via plugins. For me, C1's biggest need is to develop a better DAM and better use of our GPUs. 

    So, I wonder if the company is realizing that upgrades have had diminishing attractiveness, in part because they are not a big deal, and in part because they break too little new ground.The only way to make money if they cannot wow us with a feature we want badly enough to pay for is to drive the user base toward subscriptions that they have to keep paying for even if they don't need new features. Revenue flow depending on diminishing numbers of yearly perpetual license upgrades is not so reliable. 

  • Matt Puttock

    This is disgraceful - you knew about this before launching version 23, and I signed up fully and reasonably suspecting a year's worth of upgrades - you gouged us for that money before announcing this, knowing many of us would not have bought with this information in hand.  That is appalling.  I won't spend any more if this is as it looks.

  • francois pellegrini

    I first purchased a C1 Pro 5 license in Dec. 2009, and since then have always upgraded it to the latest version (except to C1 23, which would not bring me any value in spite of a steep price increase). In the light of what is proposed for the future, I will continue working with C1 22 for the time being and then move away from the Phase One line of products as soon as a good opportunity arises elsewhere (e.g. during Black Friday 2023). 

    The cost to upgrade C1 Pro 6 was only 69€ in Dec. 2010, VAT (i.e. 25% of this amount) included. The marketing approach for C1 now looks like a farce... and this will be without me in the future. They have decided to milk cows, but I am not a cow ;)

  • Abbott Schindler

    John, that's not how I read their vague announcement. It looks to me like upgrade cycles are being moved from current November/December timeframe to September, and new versions will be released in September.

    Yes, if you buy before February 1, you'll get updates until their next release, but I don't see anything that leads me to believe that they're moving to February annual releases.

  • Benjamin Kim

    Capture One is failing. I've seen many digitechs and photographers complaining about C1P in real life while they are working and I have to say, C1P is not doing well. Instead, they are charging more money than before with less improvements and features. Is this why we are using C1P? Killing Capture Pilot to replace with Capture Live is already a joke and yet they still not able to bring better features. Paying $10 per month is so bad too. Different business does NOT justify higher prices.


    While LR CC is getting better and better, C1P is just falling behind. Look at C1P mobile version, it sucks. This is not professional at all and their updates aren't satisfying and now this? I'm not sure what to say. It just a matter of time before C1P overrun by LR CC in future. I'm very seriously concerned as they are not listening at all. 

  • George Tzortzis

    Sad to hear the news. Well I guess if it serves them well, they will keep it. If they see a major part of clients abandoning the platform, they will take it back, that's how the free market works. History however (adobe and others) has proved that most prosumers are willing to pay the subscriptions, as they feel they have no other choice. The concerning part in my opinion is the numerous subscriptions that us professionals have to pay these days, in order to keep up with client's demands. It seems that I ve reached a point that I have to pay more and more every year, in order to keep business alive, but that doesn't cope with my service prices, that I cannot increase accordingly. I m wondering how many of you guys feel the same. Subscriptions for a full time photographer like myself, means Adobe, C1, Motionarray, Invoice program, website, google mail, dropbox and the list keeps growing...


  • Gerhard

    I bought C1 in November and the first thing I get now is the information that C1 switched to a subscription model. This was a major reason for my decision, besides the functional advantages. I generally dislike subscription models, so it seems that for me it was a very short trip to C1. Very frustrating this greed of today's society.

    It is a very bad style to announce a new C1 v23, Black Friday discounts and then announce this change. money money rules the world


  • Pascal van Gerven

    To me, the key question is: what does the new “loyalty scheme” look like? I guess February 1 will be a turning point for many owners of a perpetual license, who have already seen C1’s upgrades becoming perpetually (pun intended) more expensive over the past years. C1 looked so great to me as an alternative for Lightroom five years ago. Now I’m not so sure anymore.

  • Diego C

    What great news, it is just what I was waiting for and needed!!!

    I'm not sure I'll give money for the update from v22 to v23, it doesn't seem to me there are so big improvements to justify the price of the upgrade.

    Thank you Capture it was good to be together, but I will have to look for something new.

  • Sylvain Beaucage

    C'est une mauvaise nouvelle. Suite à Aperture, Lightroom, j'utilise Capture One depuis C12. Je n'ai jamais hésité à payer pour les mises à jours. Même si je ne voyais pas pour moi l'intérêt immédiat de le faire. J'ai aussi souvent recommandé Capture One à mes amis/collègues. Hier j'ai reçu un courriel concernant ce changement, il n'y avait aucune explication justificative. Pour moi je considère que c'est un changement majeur, qui remet en question ma contribution avec Capture One. Je pense que je vais garder Capture One 23 quelque années avant de faire les mises à jour et je crois je ne serai pas le seul. 

  • Cameron Davidson

    I've been a Capture One user since version 2.7.  I plan to continue using C1 Version 23 as long as possible.

    I'm not keen on subscription models for software - I understand the reasoning and economics behind the decision - but I still don't like it.

    Doubt I will switch to the subscription model. Unless Fuji or Leica changes their RAW format, I don't see a need to upgrade - since V23 gives me everything I need. (Hopefully, Apple will not change its OS again that require upgrades to software in order to work properly in their system.)

    I will lock the OS on my MacBook and imaging machine and learn to live with the program as it is. (which is fine for me right now.)

    Regarding subscriptions, since Capture One was sold/spun-off from Phase One a couple of years ago, does anyone recall seeing an announcement from Capture One that they would never change the perpetual license or go to subscription only?

    C1 is still the best IMO.  





  • Gerald Moulder

    Can we assume that if we do not purchase V23 we are no longer considered loyal?  I have been a long time license owner purchasing upgrades since version 7.  Version 23 offered no value to me so I cannot justify the price of the update.  C1 managed to remove the best in the business output tool last year when the deleted the Output Tool Tab and replaced it first with the external export window then the export tool tab.  This more than doubled the number of steps to setup dynamic output and even more steps to reset the recipes from dynamic output. Not to mention the fact you can add a watermark within the Export Tool Tab, move it around, resize it, but cannot view the watermark unless proofing is turned on. DxO Photolab, LR, and On1 Photo do not require proofing to see such a change that otherwise might be sent to a client by accident. The new tool tab icons are a disaster for those used to the more compact and meaningful icons.

    C1 may want to reword the loyalty scheme as scheme can mean a ruse, flimflam, trick, trickery, and a number of other synonyms that are not favorable.   I am not surprised with the licensing changes so I have already returned to Adobe.  $9.99 USD per month which includes LR, Bridge, Photoshop, Camera Raw and a large number of tablet based apps (this is the photography package), Photo editing only is avalable with DxO which still is by owned license.  Compositing is available with On1 Photo Raw and Affinity Photo 2 should you need compositing.  

  • Markus Schwerer

    Capture One hat beschlossen mehr Geld für sein Produkt zu nehmen - wie Adobe. Das macht man am Besten in dem man vorgibt, dass man auf der Höhe der Zeit sein will und dem Anwender stets die neuesten Programmupdates servieren möchte. Das könnte man freilich wie bisher mit dem jährlichen Update - will man aber nicht mehr, weil da die Kasse nicht so klingelt wie beim Abo-Modell. Also kann man, wenn man eine Version erworben hat zu einem Preisnachlass von etwa 30% auf die nächste Version updaten, wenn einem danach ist. Allerdings erhält man dann unverschämterweise nur Korrektur-Updates, keine neuen Programm-Updates. Das könnte man natürlich tun, will man aber nicht, weil es ja schliesslich um Gewinnmaximierung geht ;-)


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