I thought that would get your attention. It is true to say that ever since Photoshop 3 was released we have been using the software for half the price of that paid by the majority of our other contemporaries. This is how you too can benefit from half price Photoshop and other goodies. We use a process known as version hopping. We miss out every other upgrade in order to save money and run our business more cost effectively. It cost us exactly the same to upgrade from Photoshop CS to CS3 as it did for others to upgrade from CS2 to CS3. Virtually all of our image adjustment can be done within CS anyway and the reasons for the upgrade were threefold; for training purposes, Intel processor compatibility for use with my laptop and extra RAW format capabilities. We see ourselves relying on Photoshop less and less now that Lightroom has become more sophisticated. Before you automatically upgrade and of your software ask yourself ‘how much more money will I make as a result of using the new software and can I wait until the next version?’
The same goes for computers and cameras too. I was delighted that Canon didn’t take the same upgrade path with the 5D as it did with the 20D. In the time that the 5D has been current the 20D became the 30D then the 40D now the 50D and there are going to be a lot of photographers locked into a continual upgrade psychology as a result.
Marko, the Lovegrove picture editor has a dual core Apple G5 PowerMac with 8Gb of ram that is now nearly 4 years old. It still works as fast as it did the day it was bought. The trouble is we will need to replace it for an Intel chipped model in order to make use of the new brush tool in Lightroom. This then is the right time to upgrade now that a real advantage is obvious. In the mean time there will have been perhaps as many as 10 upgrades in Apple’s product line to tempt us.
Julie (Lovegrove) still uses her 3 ½ year old Nikon D200. Yes we could have rushed out and bought her a D300 or even a D3 like so many other D200 users did a few months ago. Then came a D700 completely out of the blue to tempt the newly equipped D300 users into convincing themselves to buy a second body. Then of course it will be the turn of a D700x with a 16mp or 21mp sensor when it comes out in a few months time (speculation based on experience). Yes, Julie’s D200 is looking a bit dated and the guests at yesterdays wedding had newer and better cameras than us but that’s not the point. We got the pictures we wanted and more importantly the profit without the need to buy yet more cameras. Both our cameras (my 5D and Julie’s D200) will be replaced in the New Year as the next season gets underway with whatever equipment happens to be the best at the time. My message is let your business dictate your upgrade pace – not the equipment manufacturers.
PS: If you version hop or maximise the profit in your business in a way that would benefit other photographers please let us know your tips and tricks using the comments box.