What's the best Adobe Photography Plan for you? These days, if you want to use Photoshop, Lightroom or both, you can no longer buy these Adobe tools for a one-off fee: you have to subscribe to them. The good news is that there are three great Adobe Photography Plans to choose between.
Whichever plan you choose from, you’ll get access to your chosen software to download to multiple devices. You’ll also regular updates for free, every time Adobe introduces a new feature or tool, adds support for new cameras, or just overhauls the software completely. Plus you get easy access to certain parts of the Adobe Creative Cloud, such as Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Stock, without ever having to leave the Photoshop or Lightroom interface.
So those are the similarities between the three plans. But what are the main differences, and how should you choose between them? Read on, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about each Adobe Photography Plan.
Adobe Black Friday sale
Save 40% on 20+ CC apps $29.99/month
Adobe has knocked a huge 40% off the price of its All Apps plan - wherever you live in the world. This comes with Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro and over a dozen other apps – plus 100GB of cloud storage.
Deal ends 26 November 2021
1. Adobe Photography Plan (20GB) $9.99/£8.32 per month
Note: if you’re in the UK or Europe there’s a big saving on a Photography Plan subscription right now. Normally £9.98/month, the price has been slashed to £8.32/month. The offer only lasts until 14 November 2021, though, so if you want to take advantage you need to be quick!
Why are there two versions of Lightroom for the desktop? Lightroom Classic is an older version of the software, the one that used to be sold on a physical disc, which focused on regular desktop storage for your photos. If you used Lightroom before 2017, that’s the one you’ll be familiar with.
The software now simply known as 'Lightroom' is a more modern and streamlined program designed around online photo storage using Creative Cloud. It doesn’t have all the tools of Lightroom Classic, but its stripped-down interface is fast and efficient, and it’s ideal for working on the move in lots of different locations, and on different devices.
Its ‘web-first’ approach brings some key advantages. It means that your full photo library, together with all your albums and edits, is available everywhere, and you can edit and download images at their full resolution. What’s more, because your images are stored in the cloud, Adobe’s Sensei AI technology can automatically recognise and ‘tag’ many different kinds of subject – you may never have to plod through manual keywording again!
Note, however, that with the Adobe Photography Plan, you’ll only get 20GB of cloud storage, which is equivalent to about 4,000 JPEGs. If you need more, then the next Adobe Photography Plan on our list may suit you better.
2. Adobe Photography Plan (1TB) $19.99/£19.97 per month
To make best use of Lightroom’s web-first storage, you need plenty of online storage space, and that’s what the 1TB plan is designed for. 1TB is equivalent to about 20,000 RAW DSLR images or 200,000 JPEGs, and you can upgrade your storage capacity beyond this in the future if you need to.
Like the regular Photography plan, you also get access to Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop on iPad, Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, and Lightroom Mobile. However, if you’re only interested in Lightroom, that may be overkill. In which case, you can still get 1TB of storage for less money by opting for the third plan on our list.
3. Adobe Lightroom CC plan (1TB) $9.99/£9.98 per month
The Adobe Lightroom plan costs the same as the regular Photography plan, but comes with 1TB of cloud storage for your photos. Be aware, though, that Lightroom Classic and Photoshop are NOT included in this bundle.
This is the best Adobe Photography Plan for photographers whose editing needs are modest, and covered by the increasingly powerful tools in Lightroom, but who wish to be able to access their photo library and all their images everywhere, and on any device.
So, which should you choose?
Do you prefer to store and edit your images on your own computer and/or external hard drive? Then you’re best off with the regular Photography plan (20GB), as you’ll get Photoshop and both versions of Lightroom for a relatively low price.
If want the flexibility offered by cloud storage, however, the Photography plan (1TB) is the one for you, although it is more expensive. That said, if you’re ready to ditch desktop storage altogether and you can do without Photoshop, the Lightroom plan is an affordable alternative with the same 1TB amount of cloud storage.
The premium option
These three Adobe plans are all aimed at photographers who are only interested in image editing and image organisation software. However, if you’re also interested in other creative pursuits, such as video editing, audio editing, VFX, 3D modelling, illustration or graphic design, there’s a fourth option that may interest you. The full Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan gets you access to more than 20 apps to use including not just Photoshop and Lightroom, but Premiere Pro, Premier Rush, After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, and more.
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