Photo Editor Pixelmator Pro Will Be Released on November 29, Cost $59

Photo Editor Pixelmator Pro Will Be Released on November 29, Cost $59

First announced back in September, Pixelmator Pro is an upcoming photo editing app for Mac that introduces an improved workflow and utilizes macOS High Sierra’s Core ML (machine learning) framework and Metal 2. Today in a new blog post, the release date and pricing has been revealed.

The Pixelmator team has stated that November 29 will be the launch day for the Mac app, with a starting price of $59. After the initial purchase, future updates for the app will be free according to the blog post, however they note that the debut pricing of $59 will not stay. As they deliver new features to the app in the future, the pricing is said to go up. They give a $99 “intended” price point, but I have a hard time believing that is nothing more than marketing nudging people to impulse buy and not wait, similar to what Serif pulled with Affinity Photo for iPad a few months back.

The blog update also officially clues us in that there will be a Pixelmator Pro for iPad coming too. No further details on the iPad app were mentioned other than it will be a “great friend” to Pixelmator Pro for Mac.

You can read up on everything new coming in Pixelmator Pro on their website.

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All the way back to Paint Shop Pro when it was owned by JASC I was hoping for a truly viable alternative to Photoshop and I concluded years ago that it wasn't going to happen until someone or some company with deep pockets, and a long term dedication to such a project, came along. At one time it looked like Apple would be that company, until they neglected and then abandoned Aperture. Then I tried Lightroom and I realized that is the only photo editing app I wish to use. Trying to emulate the way Photoshop works I think is the wrong idea. Photoshop, while extremely powerful is an archaic and clumsy way to edit photos. The industry should be moving away from that direction and incorporating missing Photoshop *like* functions into RAW developers such as Lightroom.

Peter Guyton's picture

I have been wrestling with some of those thoughts too. The RAW developers are great to a point then they stop. They have dangers too: the danger (in LR, C1P, the old Aperture let's say) is that your edits are stored in a database and the completed image does not exist until you export to JPG or TIFF or print.

As Aperture users (like me) found out, if the company pulls the plug on your RAW developer, it's very difficult to migrate/preserve those edits to a new RAW developer (if not impossible). Yes, LR and capture One (C1P) have an option to import other catalogs, but it is at best an estimation of the original and your images will not look the same.

LR users may face a similar dilemma in 2 years (my guess and fear) when/if LR "Classic" has it's plug pulled by Adobe and you'll have to switch to LR CC (Cloud) and pay through the nose for cloud storage ($600/year for 5TB is what I'd need to pay based on current pricing). I personally left LR a couple years ago for CaptureOne and don't regret it.... but PhaseOne could pull the plug on C1P too, I realize that.

So my main concern is that RAW processors may not be "The Answer"... and it is obviously very difficult for them to include things like content-aware fill, advanced layer compositing, frequency separation, 20+ blending modes for layers etc. So I think we'll continue on the [RAW developer] + [pixel editor] path like LR+PS, C1P+Affinity etc. for the foreseeable future; a place where RAW editing goes "to a point" and then you do the heavy lifting (if needed at all) in PS/Affinity/Pixelmator.

Not 100% sure, but it seem like the new "all-in-ones" Luminar and On1, try to combine both worlds into one package. However internally they seem to be "RAW developer" and "pixel editor" rolled into one tool with a discreet step which converts RAW images to "pixel" (TIFF or PSD-like proprietary files) which can then be layered and blended and such. So I don't know that they are that much different than LR + PS.

And then there's more the old school approach where you "develop" all your RAWs as step 1, then use PS (or Affinity or ?) for all your editing. In the age of relatively cheap 8 and 10TB drives, this workflow is clearly an option and you don't have to worry about losing your edits should your RAW developer pull the rug out from under you.

Anyway, more questions than answers for me, but I'm glad to see PS get some more competition and while I am a bit wary of RAW developer "lock in" , I keep march deeperer and deeper into being locked-in myself :-)

Fascinating insight, this has made me think.

I was only addressing user interfaces and the actual act of editing photos. For that I simply believe Photoshop to be archaic and clumsy.

There is also nothing technical, that I can see, preventing Adobe from incorporating the things you mentioned into LR. It also doesn't have to be the same exact implementation. In fact, it shouldn't be. Layers in Photoshop is an overly complicate mess, for example.

Unfortunately Adobe will probably never get rid of Photoshop because they benefit from the often unwarranted prestige of that overly complicated and archaic app. Adobe rides off the industry standard status that that app has achieved.

That said, I'm seriously considering dedicating my current iMac as a photo editing machine using LR 6. I have no plans on continuing my Adobe Photography subscription and I'm generally satisfied with what it can do. I'm also tired of having to play the cross your fingers game with updates that I hope will work correctly and without breaking other things. That applies to the macOS and apps, that in the end slow things down to a crawl. It would be a computer that never needs updates and that would be segregated from the Internet for security and networked to a newer "connected" computer. I liken it to a digital version of a darkroom enlarger only far more powerful. No more having to deal with future software, their headaches and their expense just to support a hobby.

Dan Janjilian's picture

For the cost of $59 this should have had a bit more to offer. I mean, I don't want to sound negative, but I see no reason to buy it despite all the claims about it being a next-gen editor.
But I guess this is the industry standard now. Nothing new.