Adobe Ship Lightroom V1.

Adobe have announced today that they have shipped Lightroom V1. The Beta Versions of Lightroom are due to expire on Feb 28th so if you have been using it prepare to stop using it or go get the full version.

The full release is available for purchase before April 30th at a £50 discount. The bad news from my perspective is that Lightroom costs £175 at full retail price. I would have liked to see a much more realistic pricing around the £75 – £95 mark to encourage more amateur photographers to take on the superb Adobe product.

I know that Adobe have put a lot of time and effort into Lightroom and thanks to the beta test program V1 should be a very stable and much more polished product both in useability and functionality. Add in the extra expertise brought in through the purchase of pixmantec and the excellent Rawshooter. But a near £200 price tag seems like a mistake somehow. Rawshooter retailed at around £75 before the buyout, and of course it’s not available anymore so Adobe have taken the leading product that retailed at an affordable price out of the market. This leaves those of us that take photographs in RAW and want the best possible processing tool to get the most out of our valuable pixels only one choice. Stick with the RawShooter app you already own or spend a fortune on Lightroom.

Sure, Lightroom does more than simply develop RAW files, it does a damn good job at organizing your images too, and gives you some nice creative options including easy slideshow creation. But again I think that £75 – £95 is a much fairer price to pay. I think it’s time Adobe thought more about volume and less about profit.

One other point of madness I think I should raise is the bizarre pricing structure between Boxed copies and Downloads. In the Adobe online store I can get a boxed copy of Lightroom sent to me for £146.88 Inc. VAT while the 64mb download will cost me £151.25. What the hell is that all about? Surely it costs more to produce a CD a box and all the paperwork that goes with? I have to pay a £4.37 surcharge to download a copy? Come on Adobe…

More and more people are taking photos in RAW these days, or at the very least, thanks to some great camera technology, more and more people have the ability to take pictures in RAW. Since most software that comes with the cameras is pretty poor, and bordering on useless thanks to a lack of features and imagination by the developers. Many people will be looking for something better. Rawshooter was the product of choice for many, and always my top recommendation, unless someone already had Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (costing £69.32 at Adobe but I’ve seen it available for £60.99 at Amazon.co.uk). I can’t recommend Lightroom to most of the people I know, they just can’t afford it!

Damn shame coz it’s a fantastic product. I’m disappointed and I expect Adobe will keep their prices high like they do with almost everything they sell.

Get more details on Lightroom here.

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