Adobe Bundles Photoshop + Lightroom for $10 Per Month

Today at Photoshop World conference in Las Vegas, Adobe announced a new packaged bundle tailored specifically for Photographers. It consists of the Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, Behance ProSite and 20 GB of cloud storage – all for $9.99 per month. There are two conditions with this deal: you have to sign up before December 31, 2013 and you must currently own CS3 or a newer version of Photoshop. Many photographers complained about Adobe’s decision to move the Creative Suite platform to the cloud and their new subscription-based pricing model. We wrote a number of articles criticizing Adobe’s decision and talked about the pitfalls of going to the cloud, including the high monthly costs.

Adobe CC Limited Time Offer

Previously, Adobe’s pricing model was to charge $20 per software application, or $50 for everything. So if you wanted to subscribe to Lightroom and Photoshop (which are the two most used applications among photographers), you had have to pay $40 per month. Starting from September 17, 2013, which is the projected launch date for Lightroom 5.2, you will be able to get both software packages, along with some other extras at quarter of the price. Adobe has already discounted Creative Cloud pricing before and it is doing it in a much more aggressive manner again.

So why is Adobe cutting the price further and making this deal specifically for photographers? There are several reasons for this. First, it was the photographers that complained the most on Creative Cloud, giving plenty of negative feedback on photography sites and forums, which even led to online petitions such as this one (40K votes). That in itself steered many photographers away from buying Creative Cloud products. But the biggest drive, in my opinion, is company’s shareholders and projected sales numbers. Adobe’s leadership projected to bring in a total of 1.25 million Creative Cloud subscribers by the end of 2013, as clearly stated in this forecast document. Obviously, the company is nowhere near that number (the total number of CC subscribers was at 700K at the end of June 2013), so it has to do everything it possibly can to get closer to the goal. The $10 price is obviously meant to be a huge incentive for many photographers out there that still own packaged versions of Photoshop or Lightroom, so Adobe is hoping that it will gain a lot more customers by the end of the year. In a way, they simply don’t care about the dollar figures at this point – they just want to meet the 1.25 million goal. If it does not happen, company’s top management will get their hands slapped by shareholders and investors, while the stock prices of the company will plummet. That’s the fate of any company that over-promises and under-delivers in a market economy.

My recommendation – if you hate the whole Cloud idea, stay away from this lure. Adobe wants a 12 month commitment from you right now and it says that the pricing will stay the same once you sign up. I seriously doubt that you will be paying just $10 per month forever – the pricing will most likely increase once Adobe’s customer base is large enough and the shareholders are pleased.

However, if your main complaint was the high price tag earlier, then this is obviously a good opportunity to get the latest and greatest Adobe’s products for cheap…


  1. 1) Hoeras
    September 5, 2013 at 4:12 am

    Who can sell me a copy of CS3? :-)

    If I could find somebody willing to sell a CS3 (or later), would that qualify?

    Just wondering…

  2. 2) Wfp
    September 5, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Wow I have a boxed copy of CS3. Wonder what the market value is now!

    • 2.1) Diamond
      September 15, 2013 at 10:38 am

      How much would you sell it for?

  3. 3) FrancoisR
    September 5, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Hello Nasim,
    I signed the petition and we won as simple as that. But I hate the idea of the CC. Just as I hate Lightroom’s philosophy of controlling my environment. Under the pressure of my friends, I started to learn using it. Basically it’s camera raw in a different package.

    Yes we won the battle. Unfortunatly It’s clear that Adobe wont go back. At the end, if the price stays the same, I will have to go for $10.00 a month and jump ship. Adobe will have won the war!

    Thanks again, love your site!

    • 3.1) Mike
      September 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Lightroom is Camera Raw in a different package??? I suggest you keep learning Lightroom, you obviously haven’t even scratched the surface of its capability.

      • 3.1.1) FrancoisR
        September 7, 2013 at 7:01 am

        I know I have to, but still dont like it lloll…

        • Terry
          September 8, 2013 at 10:19 am

          As you learn LR you will find just the opposite – you control its environment not it controlling yours. Used correctly it is amazing and by far the best way to work with large numbers of files.

  4. 4) Omar
    September 5, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Thanks Nasim

    Please could you make a review of Topaz software and which version of it could be better choice for photographers

    Thanks a lot

  5. 5) Neil
    September 5, 2013 at 6:16 am

    I’m mildly tempted but will pass. I have CS6 and Lightroom 4 and can’t find enough in Lightroom 5 to upgrade. Was tempted, though, with theoretically better Fuji X-Trans support and the simpler VSCO presets to upgrade (to keep compatibility). But I’ll pass because I object to the product philosophy even if the price is better.

    One comparison I’d love to see here is a comparison between Exposure 5 and VSCO. I’ve seen a few comparisons out there but most are short and hardly useful. I’m sure yours would be more useful. Maybe include Nik’s, too.

  6. 6) HomoSapiensWannaBe
    September 5, 2013 at 7:19 am

    To whom it may concern at Adobe:
    I am a LR user (v4.4) and was ready to purchase CS6 until Adobe chose to offer it only as a cloud-based subscription. I don’t want to subscribe to software via the cloud – – at any price! I want to own the version with the features that I need and use. I will upgrade when the value proposition is compelling. I eagerly await Adobe to reverse course and offer Photoshop for direct purchase again, then I will reconsider. Meanwhile, I am looking for alternatives.

  7. September 5, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I agree with your assessment and will avoid their enticement, I think. This seems like a “bait and switch” or come-along. The next step I can see them doing is moving LR to cloud-only, which would be a disaster if they stop updating the owned copies that people are using (along with Element and whatever) to avoid the cloud. They surely are trying to force people to the cloud by hook or crook.

  8. September 5, 2013 at 7:37 am

    I am hearing great things about Capture One Pro, from friends. I think I might prefer it’s DAM features to LR (because, yes, I am an idiot and haven’t learned LR’s well). It allows you to keep all images in a specific folder and subfolders, and then you just select that folder and work in it. For people like me, old and old school who started organizing in folders long long ago, it’s better than screwing with LRs catalog system. For me, I think.

    • 8.1) Neil
      September 5, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Actually, Lightroom does manage things in folders just like you’re thinking. The Catalog is really the database of metadata and settings applied. So you’re not gaining that feature. Lightroom does give you the option of just using the folder browsing mode or a collections mode. It’s really quite nice.

      Capture One is intriguing but not super compelling yet to me personally. I’m curious about an Aperture X or if PhotoNinja gets improved further.

      • September 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

        re “Lightroom does give you the option of just using the folder browsing mode”

        I need to learn how to use LR this way! Can someone post a link to a tutorial? I am such a tech dummy at times. I learn by doing, and need to take a LR workshop. I am so used to using PS and Photo Mechanic.


  9. 9) Winston Cooper
    September 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Bravo to Patrick Downs in noting those of us who still organize in folders. I will also note that for serious hobbyist photographers Photoshop CS/CC seems to offer to much, Lightroom, for me, offers to little or unneeded but Elements seems to offer the right balance of simplicity and usefulness..except for ACR. What I would like to see is the ability to add the latest iteration of ACR into newer versions of Elements. And no, I will never cloud anything.

    • September 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

      ABSOLUTELY. Elements + the full ACR + Perfect Photo Suite 7 would do 95% on smaller jobs or single images. LR is still much faster for processing a big batch of portraits or a wedding, event etc.

  10. 10) Luc Poirier
    September 5, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Two most important questions come to my mind, before deciding to make the jump .

    1- Can I be able to uninstall from my main computer and reinstall my CS5 paid version on to another computer while having installed photoshop CC on this 9.99$/month offer ?

    2- If after a year of subscription, I decide to terminate this offer, will I be able to uninstall my CS5 and reinstall it on my main computer ?



    • 10.1) Neil
      September 5, 2013 at 9:21 am

      They run side by side. You wouldn’t need to uninstall. You should be able to keep running CS5 simultaneously with creative cloud version.

  11. 11) Art
    September 5, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Thanks again for a great web site and all the information you share with us. Personally I have a feeling that this promotion is going to somehow turn into a “bait and switch”. I am sure that Adobe’s lawyers will figure out how to raise the monthly license fee once they have you hooked. So for me even though it is tempting, I am going to pass. I am beginning to feel that Adobe’s grand plan is to lock up all sales of its products to itself (no retail store sales) and milk the consumer for every cent they can get out of them by charging a monthly licensing fee that can change when the contract expires. My gut feeling is that in the near future Lightroom and Elements will be moving into the cloud with the creative suite and when that happens I will have no part of Adobe at all.
    I have also been trying to move away from adobe products, I am now using “Photo Mechanic” as my organizer instead of Lightroom and experimenting with “GIMP” as a Photoshop alternative. Hopefully in the near future I will be trying out some different editing software as time permits and I do more research for alternatives.
    Since I really do not want to use Photoshop & Lightroom anymore I have made a stronger effort to get it right in the camera (if possible) and rely less on the software. The amazing thing is that it is working. Most of my editing now is very slight exposure changes or maybe some noise reduction for those times when I have to use a high ISO and print big.
    Hopefully in the future we will see more software reviews on your site. Also if anyone is using software they recomend please share as I am open to suggestions.

    • September 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

      re “I am beginning to feel that Adobe’s grand plan is to lock up all sales of its products to itself (no retail store sales) and milk the consumer for every cent they can get out of them by charging a monthly licensing fee that can change when the contract expires. My gut feeling is that in the near future Lightroom and Elements will be moving into the cloud with the creative suite…”

      I agree 100%.

  12. September 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

    “Previously, Adobe’s pricing model was to charge $20 per software application, or $50 for everything. So if you wanted to subscribe to Lightroom and Photoshop (which are the two most used applications among photographers), you had have to pay $40 per month”

    That’s not accurate. To purchase Lightroom as an individual app, you still buy a perpetual license. I don’t believe it’s available as a “cloud” app on its own; under the cloud model, it’s always part of a suite with other applications. So, the cost of Lightroom and Photoshop would have been $20/month plus the one-time Lightroom purchase of around $150 or less, depending on whether it’s an upgrade or not.

  13. 13) RB
    September 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

    This looks like a decent alternative to PS for a lot of users

    and capture one pro 7 is a top quality raw converter that also integrates DAM.. free trial can be found here..

    I think we should be cautious of buying into Adobe’s offer because once they have us enrolled in the subscription model they can jack the prices up again later.

  14. 14) loaker
    September 5, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Now if they will only allow that price to be applied to those who had educational versions of PhotoShop. Not our fault we were taking classes

    • 14.1) Richard
      September 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      That’s an interesting question. I have CS5 student, but Lightroom 5 full version. I can’t see adobe going as far as to include either your or my edition in the $10 cloud bonanza. However, perhaps they will take a lead from Googles plug in giveaway earlier this year and at last be a hero, instead of zero!

      We shall see.


  15. 15) loaker
    September 5, 2013 at 10:54 am

    This was announced at PHOTOSHOP WORLD….and they said that “THE PRICE WILL NEVER CHANGE”…this should be interesting…..

    I think it’s just a way to draww in folks to use LIGHTROOM as sales for LR5 havew been lagging.

  16. 16) Craig
    September 5, 2013 at 11:49 am

    This new bundle has gotten me thinking again. [Dangerous]
    I can’t help thinking that it won’t be long before Lightroom will become a member of the creative cloud.
    You know it will happen, unless more competitive editing programs come on the market.

  17. 17) Ed Long
    September 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Enjoy your site, your reviews, you thoughts.

    I look forward to following your input. And yes, from time-to-time i drop a few $ into equipment at B&H. Out of appreciation for what you are doing i will use your portal.

  18. September 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    So I have spent my whole summer absorbing Krough’s “The DAM Book” and plotting my next big move. Do I leave Aperture and my Photo Mechanic and make my first leap into LR(5)? I was about to jump. Now this new $9.99 monthly offer could be just the incentive I need or a long-term curse to my DAM movement. Forever linked in a cloud at $120/yr.

    Cloud usage is frankly nothing more than “time-sharing” without the scheduled wait time – for us who remember time-sharing. It could be a good thing and just the price of doing business.

    So boys and girls I don’t understand the reluctance to move to the cloud but I do understand bait and switch and attempting to meet corporate sales goals. Been there – done that (meeting goals not B&S).

    So I guess I will wait a few more months to see if Cupertino will ever come up with an improved Aperture solution. Meanwhile, I am just creating folders (3-2-1) on my Drobo.

  19. 19) Michael
    September 6, 2013 at 7:18 am


    Any idea if one get’s a credit or return if you’ve already bought LR5, as I have? Otherwise, this is a good deal. Thanks.

    • 19.1) Richard
      September 6, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Without Lightroom it’s a great deal anyway. CS6 will be superseded in 3 years by CS7, so the suite will now cost a lot less over 3 years than a new version DVD would have cost and about the same as an upgrade.

      The deals not available in the UK yet!


  20. 20) Motti
    September 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    You said:
    “…I seriously doubt that you will be paying just $10 per month forever – the pricing will most likely increase once Adobe’s customer base is large enough and the shareholders are pleased…”

    I absolutely agree with you. In fact, I bet that in as short as two years those who subscribe will find themselves paying as much, if not more, for the cloud services than for the stand alone product. The problem will start when Adobe will upgrade the programs and all those who subscribe will have no choice but to work with the updates that, no doubt, will cost a lot more now. Even if you do not want to upgrade (and no doubt, pay more) you don’t have a choice. You’re stuck.

    One dose of this drug and you’re hooked.

    If you have the stand alone version you can work with it for a few years. I worked with CS for almost 5 years.

    The problem for people like me will be when Adobe will stop their stand alone production completely. I hope other companies out there pay attention and start working on feeling up the vacuum that Adobe will leave.

    I will not become a renter and support a multibillion dollar company like a slave. I will upgrade according to my own needs and not their greedy needs.

    Cheers everyone.

    • 20.1) Mike
      September 16, 2013 at 2:22 am

      So you will just buy stand alone versions of said multibillion dollar company and support them that way?

      I’m already forced to upgrade Lightroom and Photoshop because they don’t add RAW support for new camera bodies into old versions of those applications. They get you one way or another.

      • 20.1.1) Luc Poirier
        September 16, 2013 at 7:49 am

        Hi Mike
        My 0.02$ comment:
        I have CS5 and it does not support the D7100 ,NEF files. I just downloaded the free DNG adobe converter and now my CS5 Camera RAW can make all the corrections , it was doing on my D7000 .NEF files including the camera profile, distorsion correction, WB, etc. You can ask during conversion to keep embedded in the DNG file your old .NEF files so you will be able to get it back if one day you wish to do it. One thing to remember It will practically double the size of your DNG file, if you choose that option.

        Have a nice day

  21. 21) Bob Denis
    September 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I’m unclear about this. I own CS6 & LR5 and have both installed locally on two different computers. So, I can take them anywhere, work on photos/videos, etc and not worry about whether or not I have internet access. If I sign up for the CC option, am I going to lose the ability to work without being connected to the internet? Can I continue to update the products that I’m running locally? It seems to me there are several unanswered questions here about where this software will run (I assume some functionality will only be in the cloud) and once I sign up for the service, will I lose access to my locally installed products?

    • 21.1) Luc Poirier
      September 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Bob
      My 0.02$ comment:
      I am not sure but I think I read somewhere that you have to reconnect only once a month, to automatically reactivate the licence.


      • 21.1.1) Bob Denis
        September 12, 2013 at 7:23 am

        Thanks Luc. Has anyone else read/heard something along this line?


  22. 22) Richard
    September 12, 2013 at 1:18 am

    All of this discussion is pure completely academic to us folks in the UK. Adobe are offering the deal at £17.50 a month or approx. $26.50! That’s £210 per year ($315). Adobe stinks in my view!


  23. 23) Bosswana
    September 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    We have the same in Australia. For one product in CC it is still $19.95pm. I have switched and will probably not go back unless they can give a much more captivating product.

  24. 24) venezia59
    December 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    But it’s not $10 a month! It’s a total bait and switch. Nowhere do they tell you that all the apps like Lightroom and Photoshop are trial versions, and after 30 days, you have to pay for them, on top of your $10 a month CC membership. Total bullshit. I signed up and quickly realized what I’d done, went to cancel, and had to get into an interminable chat with an Adobe rep in India, trying to sell me up to CC by giving me a free month etc. I feel like the way it’s presented is TOTALLY dishonest. It actually says “Get CC for $9.99 including Lightroom and Photoshop.” That’s deceptive language.

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