Thoughts on migrating to On1 Photo Raw 2018?

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  • Updated 5 months ago
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Now that it's been confirmed on the Adobe Community forum that Adobe won't be keeping their promise to continue to offer and maintain a perpetual-license version of Lightroom (i.e., no Lightroom 7 that you can just buy once and not have to pay an ongoing subscription fee for), I'm about to jumping ship to other software. Photography is just a casual hobby for me, and I have no interest in a subscription model.

 

I've come across On1 Photo Raw 2018, which appears on its surface to be very similar to LR and to have most if not all of the features of LR6 -- and it's significantly less expensive to buy (and is available for one-time purchase with free updates for one year). I've been very loyal to Adobe until now, but now that Adobe has stopped being loyal to me, I think I might be done with them.

 

I know that I won't be able to access my existing edits from LR in On1, but I'll still have my current (old) version of LR if I ever need to tweak anything from my existing catalog, and I can export developed versions of my photos from LR and tweak them further in On1 if I need to. I also know that On1 doesn't have a Book module, but I can use the separate Blurb program for that. (There's also no Web module, but I have no use for it.)

 

Is there anything else I should know before I make the jump to On1? Has anyone here had any experience with the program or with the company, either good or bad?

 

And also before I make the jump, is there any chance at all that Adobe will change their mind and finally offer a perpetual license for LR7? I would hate to dump LR only to find out a month or two later that the reason I left no longer applies, because all other things being equal, I would certainly stay with Adobe if I could.

 

Thank you.

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Jon9999

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  • so disappointed in Adobe that there's no LR7 perpetual

Posted 8 months ago

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Dave Roberts

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I use both LR and ON1 Photo Raw 2018,ON1 is very good indeed, and their customer support is first class. It still lacks a couple of things before I completely jump ship. No Virtual Copies, No direct HDR (but presets are very good), their panarama stitch is first class but principally no cloud / mobile support.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I completely understand that you’re upset by the changes, but do you really think this is the place to be asking for advice about competitors? Would you walk into a car dealership and start asking people about another manufacturer? Or into an Apple store and start asking customers about Android devices?

In answer to your question, I strongly doubt they’ll change their minds about perpetual. I could be wrong, but it’s pretty unlikely.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Fair enough Jon. I only asked a question. Going round asking a company’s customers about a competitor wouldn’t be “the done thing” here in the UK, but perhaps that’s just a British thing. I do agree that Adobe needs to listen to feedback.
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Gary Rowe

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Victoria, really?    

"I only asked a question." ??? Where on earth did that come from?

And, by the way, I've heard many people in car showrooms and phone stores ask about their competition and how they compare.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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You've heard people going round the store asking other customers about those things? Interesting. It still doesn't feel like the right place to me, but we're each entitled to our own opinion.
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Scott Chamberlain

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I live in the UK and I see nothing at all wrong with asking another customer in a Ford dealership for example about their Vauxhall car. We are customers? We can do what we like? It's up to the company that is selling something to persuade us to buy it, it is not up to them to stop us discussing alternatives. Thankfully we don't actually live in such a weird dystopian world where such things are prevented.. yet...
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Nepipe

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Adobe should know that their new purchase model are causing people to consider jumping ship. That is valuable information that every company needs to know, unless they like to wait until it is too late. Of course, this is only a small blip unless more customer voice their opinions either online or with their wallets.

 
(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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For On1, just be aware that as you obviously like to stay up to date, their yearly upgrades are almost the same price as a new license, so it could end up costing nearly as much. If you don’t upgrade every year, then yes, it could be cheaper.
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Jon9999

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Exactly! I've updated Lightroom twice since I bought it 7 years ago, and that cadence has served me well. I have LR4 currently and have been patiently waiting for the release of LR7 to upgrade, since Adobe have previously said there would always be a "perpetual" route. So for me, if I continue to upgrade on the average every 3.5 years, the subscription licensing route would cost over $400 for the 3.5 years, compared to $80 for the next upgrade. I'm sure I'm not alone among non-professional, hobbyist photographers.

(And this has become a more time-sensitive issue, because the Map module in LR4 has recently stopped working. Apparently, Adobe's license to use the Google Maps API times out after a certain number of years, and that limit has elapsed for LR4.)
(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Google changed their API. Lightroom 6 had to be updated for the changes, and since LR4 is no longer shipping, it’s no longer being updated.
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John Porter

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Good point about the economics Victoria.  Jumping ship is a major decision and all these factors have to be taken into account.  For me On1 is a great plug-in, but nothing more.
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Tom de Jongh

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The issue for many users I have contact with is they are happy to keep using the perpetual version as they do not use Photoshop.  As the perpetual version will no longer be sold a great number of amateur photographers will be looking for an alternative.  Asking others about alternative products in this forum is, I believe, quite reasonable as  1. the readers of the forum are exactly the people we need to get opinions from, and 2. if Adobe read these forums and realise the number of potentially lost users they may change their minds about discontinuing the perpetual licence model.

If they continue the perpetual licence model the questions about competing products may will end, especially when Adobe have addressed the performance issues introduced with the latest version.
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Steve Chasey

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Disagree with you Victoria. An awful lot of us have copies of alternatives to LR, acquired out of curiosity or frustration at LR short comings (for our individual requirements).  So quite reasonable to ask a few comparative question - and any competent seller of goods and services will be aware of the competition and how to positively promote their product range without going OTT on the negatives of said competition

To respond to the OP's question, ON1 Raw 2018 doesn't have a book, web, print or publish module. It's library and development 'modules' are similar, and any edits non permanent, just as LR.
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Jon9999

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Thank you, Steve, for providing a straightforward answer to my questions (rather than berating me for having the audacity to question Adobe's decision or for misinterpreting the word "indefinitely," as others have done here).

If On1 is similar except for the modules you mentioned, can you recommend any alternatives for the Book and Print modules (I don't use the other two) that I could use in parallel with On1?
(Edited)
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Steve Chasey

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Not aware of anything - not that I've been looking it has to be said. I don't use the book module and my primary use for the print module is the contact sheet (4x5) to give me a hard copy visual record of the scanned images in my film archives.

I have 17,000 images on Flikr, mostly uploaded via JF's publishing plugg-in, so migration to another LR look alike isn't strait forward as it has to be able to acquire my portfolio as JF's does on initial installation (if you ask it)
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Carl Douthit

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It seems to me that if Adobe was providing in Lightroom and Photoshop all that they have claimed that they would provide and are actually providing (either in direct words or through strong implication), then there likely wouldn't be as much discussion about replacement apps for either one of those products.

There might be continued discussion of other apps as plug-ins (or Lr/Ps as plug-ins for the other apps) or even of people doing comparisons. But great apps/programs can withstand comparison and aren't afraid of the mention of competing products (look at how often Ford, Chevy, and Dodge mention each other's brands in their ads).

Right now, Lr and Ps aren't doing very well in the eyes of some who are comparing them, and so people are talking about different apps as replacements, not as plug-ins.

But for Adobe to shut down threads such as this one would be to prove that Lr and Ps are in the weaker position when compared to certain other apps.

I think that a "better" app evaluation strongly depends on whether the user is a professional photographer, an avid hobbyist, or a casual user who wants a little more power than OS-provided photo apps, or some other reason.

I've made my decision regarding whether or not I will stay with Adobe after the middle of January (subscription renewal date) based on the features and UI that fits me the best. But I don't think stating what I decided fits in this thread.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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To be clear, no one’s shutting anything down. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thread closed here, other than outright spam.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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Quoting Jon9999 "Now that it's been confirmed on the Adobe Community forum that Adobe won't be keeping their promise to continue to offer and maintain a perpetual-license version of Lightroom (i.e., no Lightroom 7that you can just buy once and not have to pay an ongoing subscription fee for),:

This is inaccurate at worst or opinion at best.  Here is additional information. 

Tom's quoted text: " Future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely."  Source: http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2013/05/lightroom-and-the-creative-cloud.html

Definition: Indefinite: 

1.not definite; without fixed or specified limit; unlimited:an indefinite number.
2.not clearly defined or determined; not precise or exact:an indefinite boundary; an indefinite date in the future.

Source:
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/indefinitely?s=t

No where do I read or construe that this means Adobe will always for all time and eternity offer continued new perpetual versions of Lightroom.  That original statement by Tom was made in May of 2013 and 4 1/2 years later:

1. A subsequent perpetual version (Lightroom 6.x) was released.  
2. A perpetual version is still available for sale
3. It continues to receive bug fixes, camera profiles and lens profiles. 

To say that a promise was not kept is a pretty liberal detour around the facts. 

In 2013 Adobe did not see a definite path toward or away from a perpetual license that could be defined in number of future versions, time frames, feature sets and sundry.  Now they do. Indefinite has become definite now. 

Your assertion that Tom's statement constitutes a promise of a version 7 perpetual license is not accurate. I have no objection to persons discussing options, alternatives and the like but please keep your information accurate.  This is the fundamental problem with language.  Carefully chosen wording can be bent to many purposes - not the least of which is to disparage. 

Keep it accurate folks!

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Jon9999

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Please, Rikk, stop. (And thank you for referring me to the Terms of Service, as I was about to violate section 4.2.3 in my response to you.)

Let's pivot back to my original questions.
(Edited)
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David Owen

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Just a note on the subscription model. If you actively use both LR and PS, then I would regard the 10 $£€ a month as a decent deal. If, like me, you rarely use PS these days and are happy to use an old version, then the monthly fee for LR only should be around 3-4 a month taking the old pricing with upgrade once every two years (and even less if you skip a version). This is probably the main reason why so many are looking at alternatives. I do take Victoria's point about the high upgrade price to ON1 meaning you may finish up paying almost as much as for CC (though discounts abound) but, unlike LR, this is  rapidly developing with a huge number of new features over the past year.

Nothing yet matches LR as a DAM with editing features but ON1 is halfway to being a PS/LR combination with only a handful of important features missing at this stage. Critically, it simply processes images (esp. Fuji)  noticeably better than LR on its own - the proper layer features in ON1 mean that for many, all image processing can be done in one app.

Another possible ground for complaint is the lack of new features and especially virtually zero work on the fundamentals of RAW demosaicing over several years. 2012 was the last real process version -- and that from such a large company as Adobe. I have been a loyal user of LR since version 2  and up to v6 it's still my favourite photo software overall. But times are changing and Adobe sometimes seem as if they're burying their heads in the sand. I'm in no hurry to upgrade to LR Classic at any rate but await developments with interest.
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John Porter

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I would be happy to pay £10 per month just for the Library module. But that’s just me.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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You can get it for free. The library module continues to work after you've let your subscription (or trial version) expire.
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John Porter

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True.  All I am saying is that it is worth paying for.
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David Converse

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I'll chime in as someone who migrated TO Lightroom from a competing product., and as a working professional who uses Adobe products in my day job as a product photographer and my freelance work with landscapes and models.

I was a satisfied user of Aperture and very unhappy that Apple ceased development. If I was Adobe CEO, Adobe would license the UI and drop in their RAW engine. Lightroom drives me nuts because, frankly, the UI is terrible. It has numerous misfeatures and poorly thought-out design decisions. The performance of both LR and Bridge are shaky at best, and they are not well-integrated. And no, Aperture wasn't perfect either, but its like Adobe didn't learn a thing from a top-flight competitor.

Having used Photoshop since version 2.5, I'm much more wed to its features and would be licensing it regardless. I see Lightroom as a lousy-but-free bundled program with some of the pro features I need. FWIW, Bridge is also a lousy-but-free bundled program with some of the features I need.

If I didn't run EVERYTHING through Photoshop, I would be actively looking for an alternative DAM.

The impression I get is that Adobe's diversification into and emphasis on mobile and cloud has taken resources from development of its mature, core products. Even a big, wealthy developer can only hire so many engineers. Now you are working on Lightroom Classic Win/Mac, Lightroom CC Win/Mac, Lightroom Mobile iOS/Android, plus all of the smaller stuff. Marketing seems to be throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

As for the licensing model- that's 100% cooked up by suits who only understand dollar bills. Adobe is doing well financially but its business decisions mean its doing so at the expense of customers.
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John Porter

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I think you would be looking a long time for an alternative DAM.  I don't think On1 is the answer.
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avpman

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"I don't think On1 is the answer." - Yet. They are moving very, very quickly with feature introductions. They usually have three beta releases before going public and any bugs are squashed fast.