Do You Need Photoshop CC?

Do You Really Need Photoshop CC?

Ever since Adobe announced the changes to the Creative Cloud, the Internet has been ablaze with people threatening to jump ship to Gimp, and abandon Adobe completely. While some users have good reason to complain, many may be blowing steam for no good reason. This article is mainly going to be directed at the hobbyists who are disappointed that they “can’t” upgrade to Photoshop CC. 

While I definitely support Adobe, I also try to look out for those who watch my content. As I’ve mentioned in my “Thoughts on the Creative Cloud” article, I like the Creative Cloud model, but it certainly isn’t perfect. Many of my viewers will survive just fine with their current version of Photoshop.

Do you really need it?

I think the question you need to be asking yourself, is “Do I really need to upgrade?”. I guarantee that the majority of you will answer “no”. If you edit photos as a hobby, or create the occasional web graphic, there’s probably no need to upgrade at all. The version of Photoshop that you’re currently running, whether it’s CS6, CS5, or even Elements, may be more than you’ll ever need

What’s New in Photoshop CC

To help you figure this out, let’s take a look at some of the bigger features in Photoshop CC.

Shake Reduction

Shake Reduction

As I demoed in my Shake Reduction video, this feature is nice…in very specific situations. It’s used to reduce camera shake in your images, which doesn’t occur very often these days. I had to really hunt through my images to find decent candidates.

When this feature may work for you: If you’re a forensics detective, or frequently take pictures while under the influence, you may benefit from this feature. Otherwise, you probably won’t find yourself using this new filter very often.

Camera Raw Filter

Camera Raw Filter

This is a nice addition to Photoshop for those who work a lot with raw images. If you’ve opened your raw image without converting it to a Smart Object, the new Camera Raw filter will allow you to hop back into Camera Raw to continue your edit. This filter will also work on standard, non-raw layers, as well!

Do you NEED it? It depends! While it’s a nice addition, there are other ways of accessing Camera Raw. When your initial edit within Camera Raw is complete, holding down Shift will allow you to open that image as a Smart Object. This will give you the ability to dive back into Camera Raw at any point. Sure, you won’t be able to easily use Camera Raw’s adjustments on your other layers, but how often do you really need to?

Editable Rounded Rectangles

Rounded Rectangles

Alright, this is something you may be looking forward to. It’s one of the smaller new features, but it can certainly save you a lot of time! Being able to quickly and painlessly change the radius of your rectangles corners is something that I’m definitely looking forward to.

NEED it? If you do a lot of work with vector shapes, this will definitely be a time saver. However, if you rarely find yourself creating rectangles, creating a new rounded rectangle with the updated radius doesn’t take that long!

Upright within Camera Raw


Upright, which you first saw in the Lightroom 5 beta, allows users to straighten out their photos with a click of the mouse. No guessing involved! In addition to leveling out the photo, Upright can also fix any perspective issues that the photo may have.

Necessary? Again, this depends on what you do. If you have, or are planning on purchasing Lightroom 5, you’ll already have this feature. If not, take a look at the photos you edit. For simple leveling, Photoshop already has a handy “Straighten” feature within the Crop Tool.

Radial Filter within Camera Raw


One of the other new features within Camera Raw, is the new Radial Filter. Again, this is also available in Lightroom 5. This feature allows you to create customizable vignettes around your images, or selective adjustments in a radial format.

Are there alternatives? Sure! There are plenty of ways to create vignettes on your images, without the use of the Radial Filter. As for radial adjustments, these can be done using the Elliptical Marquee Tool, or by utilizing Layer Masks. Plus, if your adjustment doesn’t need to be radial, the Adjustment Brush is still available.

Creative Cloud Syncing

Sync Settings

If you use Photoshop on multiple computers, you’ll love the fact that you can now sync many of your settings to keep your workflow up to date. preferences, actions, brushes, swatches, styles, gradients, shapes, patterns, contours, and tool presets can all be synced via the Creative Cloud.

When would I need this? Again, if you run Photoshop on multiple computers, or if you’re worried about your hard drive crashing, this is a great addition. Otherwise, it may not be worth the upgrade.

Camera Raw Support

One area that many photographers may be concerned about, is future camera support within Camera Raw. Thankfully, Adobe has confirmed that, even if you choose not to just on the Creative Cloud, you’ll continue to receive updates to support new cameras. Even if you’re running Photoshop CS2, or Lightroom 1.0, camera support will still be available via Adobe DNG.

Of course, as mentioned in Adobe’s article, you won’t get new Camera Raw features such as Upright or the Radial Filter, but at least you’ll be able to access your shiny new camera’s raw files. (As with any new camera, support isn’t available immediately. Camera manufacturers and Adobe work together to try to provide support as soon as possible).

Bottom Line

The bottom line is this. After looking over these new features, and the few that I didn’t mention, if you don’t think you’ll be needing them, then there’s no need to upgrade. If Photoshop CS6 is providing everything you need, save your money and buy a $19 latte.

Despite what people may be saying, Adobe isn’t forcing anyone to upgrade from their current versions. Yes, new features will only be available to those paying monthly for their software, but again, those new features may be completely useless to you. Why spend your money on features you’ll never use?

However, if/when you do need the features coming with Photoshop CC, then the option to upgrade is always available to you. Sure, there are still some things that you may not like about the Creative Cloud model, but Adobe is listening. Feel free to voice your opinion…just not at me. I have no say over what Adobe ultimately does.

Note on future training: While future tutorials, starting June 17th, will be demoed using Photoshop CC, 95% of what I teach will be achievable using Photoshop CS6. Those who don’t upgrade will still be able to enjoy and benefit from my training.

  • Daniel Thomassin

    Bonjour; Merci beaucoup pour votre post il va être bien Utile !Bonne journée

  • Ray

    I do understand you position but for those of us who aren’t pros but do occasionally need a little more than Lightbox the problem lies in the fact that one would be hooked into a monthly subscription for life. Another question is what about ten twelve years from now when CS6 is totally outdated? Where are folks to turn who need the features of Photoshop but can’t afford to keep up subscriptions for that long?
    My guess is that someone will fill the void. It’s entirely possible that Gimp will become more usable for pros and semipros. Thanks for your great tutorials and trying to understand the folks who are caught in the middle of this thing.

    • I don’t think any of us can imagine what will be in 12 years. Computers as we know them will be completely different in 12 years. CS6 will still be a strong option for hobbyests for at least 3 years. I really don’t think Photoshop CC is necessary for the occasional photo editor. At least not at it’s current state.

      • Guest

        Haven’t really been following this too much. So does this pretty much mean that Adobe will no longer continue the CS series. So realistically no CS7 two years from now?

        • As of right now, you’re correct. Adobe can always change their minds, though.

  • David Pike

    I’m sure this has all been covered/discussed before… but my problem is: I could invest in this for a couple years, run into hard times when I CAN’T pay the monthly fee – I’m left with nothing. Seems like my time would be better spent learning a new program? I love PS… but, I love learning new software too

  • rainschub

    And here it is (tatata): The new overwhelming great solution from MS for you: Windoofs creativest cloud!!

    Nothing has changed but you will get 1 gb of online storage and a few other useless gimmicks (enough that we can name the baby “cloud” and tell that to our stack holders)

    All that and the full access to our OS for the little monthly fee of $50!!!

    No longer great barriers for you to use this great OS and your PC! Only half the price of boxed version (today 🙂

    Always get automatically the newest updates like Windoofs Pissta or Windoofs 8 (If you want them or not and with no possibility to aware. If we want to kick out XP we will do.)!

    It´s absolutely great, astonishing, amazing. Create your World!

    Sugar glossy pink BS!

    The small print:

    Windoofis will connect to your bank account and when there is enough money it will start up. Else not.

    Yes, we have full access to your cloud files and can handle them as we like. We are also allowed to cut access without any reason. But we will not do. May be… Trust us… Like you ever did (har har)

    You will never lose FULL editable access to your files (as long as you pay).

    No, there are not so many other Apps (in most cases none) that can read and FULLY edit your creations. We tried to not tell you this. Xuse, that we don´t pointed out better.

    No we are not longer motivated in doing updates (we never were a lot), as you will have to pay anyway.

    And yes, it´s true, we will not longer sell other packaged OS, as we indirectly promised a few month ago, when we said, that our latest OS would be the last upgradeable (and forced you a little bit, to bring your old versions to actual). Xuse again – that´s part of our new philosophy.

    Yes, you will always have to upgrade your hardware if we decide, it´s necessary. Elsewise you can use our provided old version (we will not give our non subscribing long time users) but you have to pay for the latest. Sorry for that.

    Ehm, yes, you are a kind of Beta-tester in future. Ehm, and we don´t give any warranty for anything. Ehm, good luck.

    (May be our new updates – if they ever come to table – will not break any workflow like in the past. And if: Now you can be sure it hurts all users not only that, who installed first).

    No, YOU don´t have to decide if it´s good for you. So it´s not any longer only an option. It´s a must, you must like.

    Yes. it´s true, we bought also the competitor with the hooked fruit and all the others, so we are a monopolist right now. But you have enough choices to go nowhere. So take it or not. We are not forcing.

    No, we are not listening to concerns, especially not if you are only a loser. Sorry, user was meant.

    And we even don´t care about you.

  • Rich

    Will there be an option to ‘subscribe” to Photoshop only without having purchased a previous version? I might consider
    getting one of their programs (Photoshop) but every thing I have seen indicates that option exists only if you’ve purchased an earlier version.

    • Yep, you can certailny subscribe to only Photoshop.

  • amieb05

    I’ll do it if they reduced the monthly price for the whole suite of $50. Before that, goodbye Adobe. Period.

  • kwaku nyantekyi

    For me it’s all about the Cineware plugin in after effects. I need to see how far that workflow can be pushed before deciding if it’s worth the upgrade.

  • Norrlandspatriot

    I need newer Photoshop because the “free” Photoshop CS2 don’t work well with Windows 7 and I need a GOOD photo editing program.

  • arthur schwartz

    You really do not need the Adobe Photoshop CC. You can still get Photoshop CS6 Extended that downloads directly from Adobe and there is not any Monthly subscription fee for One Hundred Fifty One Dollars.