Photoshop Subscription Alternatives


Today’s Question: I have a desktop [older] version of Photoshop 6 and don’t want a subscription. I tried Lightroom but didn’t like it. Wondering if the new version of Photoshop Elements is a better alternative with updated features beyond Photoshop 6? Any experience or thoughts appreciated.

Tim’s Quick Answer: Photoshop Elements is a reasonable alternative to Photoshop for photographers, though it does lack some of the power of Photoshop. I do think the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan ( represents a good overall value for photographers. If you don’t want a subscription plan, another option worth looking at is Affinity Photo (

More Detail: There are a variety of software tools that aim to compete on some level with Adobe Photoshop. In fact, there are several new entrants to the market that I am currently evaluating and will be reporting on soon.

In the meantime, I think Affinity Photo may be a better solution for photographers than Photoshop Elements in terms of providing more features that are closer to the power of Photoshop. You can learn more about Affinity Photo here:

Of course, I also think it makes sense for photographers to consider getting past the understandable frustration of the subscription model for software, especially considering that such a large number of software tools are now available only via subscription. You can learn more about the options for the Creative Cloud Photography Plan here: