Adobe Carousel, How Does It Compare?
Adobe Carousel Review
I was intrigued by Adobe’s release of Carousel last week. Carousel is like iCloud for photos with simple yet powerful editing features borrowed from Lightroom and digital filters similar to other Apps.
That sounds great but like iCloud Adobe wants an annual fee for Carousel, $99 per year or $9.99/mth with a currently running introductory price of $59.99 or $5.99/mth. After perusing the fine print I could not find a storage limit restriction and the literature mentions you can store 100,000 photos in Carousel and their product page claims unlimited storage so I assume there is no limit.
Carousel vs Flickr
This is where I see Flickr losing out on a huge market opportunity. Consider Flickr only charges $25 per year for unlimited uploads and has Picnik photo editing integration they really should have stepped it up and created a better photo editing interface and integrated mobile device filters and editing like Carousel into an app. If they did so there would be no reason for anyone to be using something like Carousel.
Carousel vs Apple’s Photo Stream
The closest competitor to Carousel is Apple’s iCloud service which is their paid cloud media storage service. The difference is Carousel is geared strictly for photos and has unlimited storage. On Apple’s iCloud Photostream only the most recent 1,000 photos are kept and they are kept for only 30 days. Photostream is more of a short-term workflow tool, while Carousel is a long-term tool. Carousel allows ALL of your pictures to be available, not just the most recent ones. You are allowed to share your photo Carousel with up to 4 other people. There is also the issue of price, Apple’s fees are 5GB of online storage is free; 10GB is $20 a year; 20GB is $40 a year; 50GB is $100 a year vs Carousel’s all you can eat plan of $99/yr on special now for $59/yr.
Adobe’s Carousel includes 17 filters a la Instagram or Camera+ but they just don’t seem to have the finesse of the apps that have been around the last few years. Where Carousel excels is in the “Adjustments” settings which is a subset of the best parts of Lightroom but controlled by a single slider. Contrast, Shadow, Vibrance and one that seems stolen from Camera+ “Clarity” are very effective for improving iPhone photos, especially Shadow and Clarity.
Like other photo apps, you can share the photo to multiple social networks. Carousel supports the main ones Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email but Adobe is behind Instagram in the number of networks it supports.
Carousel is a good solution for people who want to just edit and sync photos but not any other media from their computers, iPhones and iPads and manage all of them in one place.
Consider the closest competitors are either:
a) iCloud which is geared towards all types of media and does not offer unlimited storage and has no photo editing
b) Flickr which costs less but does not include photo editing.
There are of course other mobile photo editing apps, but they do not sync up edits with your desktop photo library. Adobe Carousel solves this problem by seamlessly syncing all your photos from multiple devices so you can peruse all your photos in one place whether at your office desk or strolling during vacation.
It appears Adobe’s Carousel has potential market for their service, it syncs desktop pictures to a cloud service that is also shared with your phone and tablet. It offers built in editing so you no longer need to jump into another app for editing before upload, saving you another step and the price while not the best is reasonable for unlimited storage.
Currently Carousel is only for Apple OS systems but Windows and Android versions are coming soon.