This past week at the Photo Plus Expo in New York, I heard from my team at the NAPP booth on the expo floor that there’s still a lot of confusion among folks who are interested in upgrading to the Creative Cloud, so I thought I’d do a real quick, simple post with what your options are all the way around, along with hopefully clearing up some other misinformation.

NOTE: Here I’m just focusing on the question at hand: how to upgrade to the latest version of Photoshop, not all the plans for the full Creative Cloud and all the other applications that come with it.

1: You have never owned Photoshop:
You can get Photoshop CC (the latest version) for $19.95 a month

2: You owned a previous version of Photoshop (any version from Photoshop CS3 to CS6)
For you, Photoshop CC is $9.99 a month PLUS you get Lightroom 5 as well and 20GB of cloud storage and a Behance Prosite (custom web portfolio) as well. Sweet!

NOTE: This deal is only available until Dec 31st of this year. If you wait until after the first of the year and miss locking in this insanely low price, whining is strictly forbidden (well, at least here anyway). 

3. You owned Photoshop as part of the old Creative Suite (any version from Photoshop CS3 to CS6).

OK, at this point, you’re kind of hosed, because there is no good “downgrade path” from the full Creative Suite to just one single product like Photoshop. So, you have three options:

Option 1: You can pretend you never owned the Creative Suite and pay the $19.95 a month for Photoshop alone.

Option 2: You can get the upgraded version of your entire Creative Suite, (the full Creative Cloud with Photoshop CC all the Adobe CC Apps like InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver, and a bunch more) for $29.95 a month, which is a savings of around $20 a month over what someone who didn’t own the Creative Suite would pay. This is probably the best option, since you wind up with a totally upgraded Creative Suite called “The Creative Cloud”

Option 3: Wait and see if Adobe comes up with a “downgrade deal” so you can go from all the Creative Suite applications you currently own down to just Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.95 a month. The problem with Choice 3 is; that deal doesn’t exist yet, and there’s no guarantee that it ever will.

Do I think Adobe might come up with a downgrade deal for CS users? I hope so, and I actually think so. I’ve talked directly with Adobe about how photographers stuck in this Creative Suite Purgatory feel and while Adobe hasn’t made some of these decisions as fast as many of us would probably like, they are listening. This is all new territory for them (and the biggest business decision probably in their history), and I imagine they want to hear from everybody on all sides, really analyze all this stuff, and make sure they make the right decision.

OTHER STUFF REAL QUICK:

1. You don’t EVER run Photoshop in a browser. It works just like it always did. You just use your browser to download Photoshop CC onto your computer, just like you would from an App store.

2. Do you NOT have to be constantly connected to the internet to run Photoshop CC. You can run it offline just like you always did.

3. You don’t have to store your photos in the cloud. Ever. You store them on your computer just like you always did.

4. Photoshop CC is the latest version of Photoshop. When you upgrade to Photoshop CC, you get every Photoshop upgrade as soon as they’re released, as long as you stay a CC subscriber.

5. Photoshop works the same way it always did, so don’t let the word “Cloud” freak you out. The biggest difference from a usability standpoint is that instead of buying a “Box” of Photoshop at the store (like we used to do), instead now you download it (so you don’t get a box, but you still get Photoshop).

6. If you don’t want to upgrade to Photoshop CC, you can buy the last non-subscription version of Photoshop, which is Photoshop CS6. It’s $699. You still have to download it, but you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee.

I hope that helps clear the fog on a few of these issue for people who are interested in upgrading to Photoshop CC. If you’re not interested, I’m sure we’re going to hear from you anyway, right? ;-)

By the way: here’s the link with more info on Photoshop CC, including a download link.

I’m up in Boston today, teaching my “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar, so I won’t be able to respond to any of your comments here, but hopefully some of my crew back home might jump in and help if they can. I hope to meet some of you here today in Boston so make sure you come up and say “hi.” By the way, if you’re coming to my seminar, I would dress warm. Brrrrrrr — it’s cold up here!