Adobe announced today that it is going subscription only for its Creative Suite of programs. And it’s made Aperture look even cheaper.

Right now, Aperture costs just $79 through the Apple Store.

Adobe’s pricing for a single desktop application will be $19.99 per month, or $49.99/month for the whole Creative Suite.

That’s a big difference in cost, especially if you are not an Adobe power user and have an existing version of Photoshop that you’re happy with.

$79 to own something forever vs. $240 for one year!

That stinks, but a lot of people use Lightroom (or Aperture) and Photoshop together, we should look at things slightly differently.

Right now, you can buy Lightroom 4 for $107 from Amazon. Photoshop CS6 is $610.

That’s a total of $717.

Now if you plan to upgrade in two years, you are really taking a hit paying $49.99/month for the Cloud, because you’re talking $1200 instead of $717 — an increase of 67%!

Heck, even if you factor in Adobe’s first-year discount for existing CS3 or later customers, which is $29.99 for the first year. For that, the two-year cost of subscribing is $960 ($36o for the first year, $600 for the second).

It looks even worse if you think you’ll be happy with the same version of Photoshop 3-4 years from now. Many people still get along fine with CS3 (2007) or CS4 (from 2008).

As it stands now, the Creative Cloud looks VERY expensive if you are just a Lightroom (or Aperture) + Photoshop user. However, the pricing is pretty decent for power users that take advantage of all the Adobe products and upgrade regularly.

And man, Aperture looks pretty good at $79, even if Lightroom beats it out features-wise. (I prefer Aperture’s workflow to Lightroom’s features personally)

Fortunately, you will still be able to purchase Lightroom with a perpetual license, which is probably way more attractive than the cloud option for most people.

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