Infocus Blog

So far I haven’t had the inclination to sort out my previous blogs issues so I decided to just start a new weekly blog here.  In this Infocus Blog I’ll be covering any photographic issue on my mind at the time I write this column.  I’ll be writing for all levels of photographers so keep checking back and maybe you’ll find something of interest.

This week I want to discuss Adobes new Creative Suite 4.  Adobe annoys me.  Any photographer or design specialist in the industry uses their products and there’s no question they make the best products out there.  What annoys me is that Adobe thinks so highly of themselves that they can charge near $2000 USD for their average suite of products for a single license user.

Lets take the suite I personally use, the $1699 Web Premium version of their Creative Suite.  You’d think that after laying out $1699 USD for a piece of software that Adobe would support it for at least a number of years, and that they would upgrade it to work with the latest camera models.  The problem is when Adobe upgrades a product you’re already purchased they charge a very steep upgrade fee, in the case of CS4 Web Premium that fee is $599 USD!  Adobe’s upgrade product cycle is roughly every 18 months and once they release a new version they no longer support the old version.  This means that every 18 months or so you’ll need to shell out another $600-$900 USD (depending on which suite you own) for the upgrades and continued support.

Lets be clear about this.  It isn’t like their upgrades are major version changes.  They’re simply tweaks to existing features and occasionally a few new features are added.  Mostly, the upgrades take advantage of new hardware options like multi-core CPU’s and upgraded graphics cards, and they support new camera models in their ACR RAW image module. 

I suppose you could keep using a version Photoshop, a computer, and a camera all purchased at the same time.. for years to come.  Nothing is stopping you.  However, if you want to upgrade the computer or camera, you’re required to upgrade to the latest version at a very steep cost.  And is far too many cases this follows closely on the heels of first time buyers shelling out nearly $2000 USD as a first time purchaser of the original product!  Adobe really loves themselves!

This subject is closely linked to piracy of Adobe products and in a future blog I’ll explain to you how it is exactly Adobe’s plan to charge you these very high prices, so they can intentional “give away” the product to other countries through piracy channels knowing full well what they’re doing, even as they complain to the world that piracy is costing them tens of millions.  The fact is, without piracy Adobe would have a really tough time being the “imaging professionals standard” software provider.  Look for my take on this in future blog entries.