5 Reasons Why Lightroom Is So Expensive

There are several reasons why Lightroom is expensive, especially to hobbyists or those outside of the US and you may be curious as to what those are.

I’ve discovered 5 main reasons why Lightroom is so expensive and what that means for you and other consumers of Adobe creative products!

1. Subscription Model

Lightroom used to have a standalone version of Lightroom. However, with all things these days, they went to a subscription model. It costs, on the cheapest end, $9.99. While that may not seem like a lot, on a monthly basis that can add up, especially for hobby users or those outside of the US.

Many people have complained about the subscription model because they would rather pay an upfront licensing cost instead of the monthly based subscription. However, doing it this way does allow for updates and new features to come out and update easier.

It also means that they don’t have to keep releasing versions of it. This means you do not have to keep paying the entire upfront cost anytime a better version comes out. So, while it does seem to be a little pricey, in the long run, you won’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on newer versions.

You may still be able to find older standalone versions for sale or the licenses at least. Anything relatively new must go through the subscriptions. It does also do automatic updates and things like that which can be a problem if you like a specific version more than a newer one.

Subscriptions are the way that almost every tech industry is heading toward, but in some cases, it can feel more like a hindrance than a help.

2. Cloud Storage

One of the big perks is cloud storage. You get 20-100GB, depending on which package you choose. However, you can always spend a little extra and get even more storage. For photographers, this means having a place to keep and store RAW files easily.

Cloud storage doesn’t come super cheap though because when you store files in a cloud it is using space on servers and can make it more expensive for them to host these files. That is why cloud storage prices are how they are.

Some people feel like cloud storage isn’t worth the extra costs that are automatically tacked on, but in reality, it came everything much easier. Storing and accessing your files right from cloud storage can be helpful for a lot of people.

Cloud storage can also help keep things organized, especially for those that may have a hard time keeping things separated via folders on the computer. It can also be helpful if you only have so much space available on your computer.

3. Add Ons

Not only can you get lightroom, but you also have the option to get packages from the complete adobe suite. Obviously, these options will increase the cost of the base monthly price, but depending on what you need to achieve, it could be worth it.

For instance, an extra $10 a month can get you photoshop and 20GB of cloud, compared to $9.99 for lightroom with 1TB of storage.

You may also want to try dabbling in other things and the Adobe Creative Cloud, for the entire thing, is $54.99, which comes with things like illustrator. You may also note that there is an option for a free trial of adobe stock. That is not included in the packages. It is a standalone subscription that costs $29.99 a month. However, if you are doing a lot with stock photos, it may be a good addition to your arsenal of creative tools.

4. Quality

Lightroom is by far one of the best photo editing tools available. Now if you are doing less editing and more manipulation, that’s more of a photoshop tool. However, for photographers/photo editors, you will find that lightroom offers everything you need.

It’s fairly easy to learn with a clean UI that makes it an easy-to-navigate program. It’s also incredibly popular which means if there is something you aren’t sure how to do in Lightroom, there will most likely be a tutorial somewhere online.

Adobe also has the support you can contact for any bugs or issues with any of the Adobe products under the Creative Cloud umbrella.

Lightroom also helps tremendously with keeping everything organized. This means you shouldn’t have a ton of problems keeping track of all your photos, RAW or otherwise. If you choose to use their cloud service, all those photos will be backed up as well.

There is no longer the issue of losing photos that you have on your PC because of a hardware failure, All these little features and perks may not seem like they are worth the money separately, but when you add them all together, you can make your life so much easier!

5. Name Brand Recognition

As with all popular things, the name can make a product worth a lot more just on reputation alone. Adobe has been a leader in photo editing and photo manipulation. There are free or semi-free alternatives out there, but nothing even touches on Lightroom.

The reason why name recognition and reputation play such a large role in the pricing of goods or services is that you know what you are most likely to get. Obviously, sometimes things go wrong, but when a majority of users are reporting good things, you can have peace of mind.

With how popular Adobe products are, it’s surprising that they aren’t charging more for some of the services that they offer. They do also offer free trials, which is something that a lot of companies have moved away from.

So, you can try it risk-free before you invest your hard-earned money into it, especially if you aren’t sure you’d like to pay for the monthly subscriptions.


As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why Lightroom is expensive. It’s a good quality product that is backed by years of customer raves and reviews. There are also plenty of tutorials online, which makes learning very easy.

The cost can seem intimidating to some, but there are so many perks that make it worth it. And if you are still unsure, you can always give it a test run and you don’t lose anything by trying it.