Technology

Adobe Photography Plan vs Photoshop Only


If you are in the market to get Photoshop, you will find lots of strange pricing option with very little explanation about the difference. At the end of the day, Adobe wants you to buy the All Product Plan and lock in with a year commitment at $55/mo. Here are the differences between the Photography plans and why each exists.

(Prices shown are from July 2022)

Photography Plan 20GB

  • has a 1 year commitment, $10/mo or upfront $120
  • 20GB of cloud storage
  • Photoshop and Lightroom

Buy this if you want the cheapest option for Photoshop + Lightroom and don’t plan to use more cloud storage.

Photography Plan 1TB

  • has a 1 year commitment, $20/mo or upfront $240
  • 1TB of cloud storage
  • Photoshop and Lightroom

Upgrade to this if you want Photoshop + Lightroom and you want to store all of your images in Adobe Cloud.

Photoshop Only

  • no commitment, $31/mo
  • with 1yr commitment, $21/mo or upfront $240/yr
  • 100GB of cloud storage
  • 14 day refund period
  • Only Photoshop

Buy this if you plan to only use Photoshop for less than 4 months a year. (e.g. need it for a 1 month gig)

All Products Plan

  • no commitment, $83/mo
  • with 1 yr commitment, $55/mo or upfront $600/yr
  • 100GB of cloud storage
  • 14 day refund period
  • Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Acrobat, Indesign, Premier, etc

Buy this if you want more than just Photoshop + Lightroom.

Alternatives to Adobe

Pixelmator Pro

This is a great $40 (one time) purchase that only runs on Mac that actually fills my needs for Photoshop + Lightroom. It has great healing brush, layer support, lightroom style sliders, etc.

$40 (one time)

https://www.pixelmator.com/pro/

Affinity Photo

This is another good tool that mostly fills my need for Photoshop but feels a little less polished and more in the GIMP territory. I like that it is available on both Windows and Mac.

$55 (one time)

https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/photo/

GIMP

I feel bad complaining about a free app that can get most of what I need done but there is just something about the UI of GIMP that makes it feel like an old 2000 era app dragged kicking and screaming to 2022.

(free)

https://www.gimp.org/

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I'm a 33 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.

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