Author Topic: Price  (Read 4037 times)

Offline Starman1957

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Price
« on: 2018 March 26 03:05:49 »
I am woundering how many astronomers are using PixInsight software, and how much more there would use it if the price was affordable!
Is it really necessary to keep the price for a licence astronomical high ?

Offline Geoff

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Re: Price
« Reply #1 on: 2018 March 26 03:36:27 »
People spend thousands of dollars on equipment to acquire images and then quibble about a couple of hundred dollars to process those expensively acquired images. I've never understood the logic behind that.
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Offline Niall Saunders

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Re: Price
« Reply #2 on: 2018 March 26 04:37:37 »
Perhaps you want to look at 'other' software packages - from the 'generic' (non-astronomy specific) graphics packages, to the dedicated astroimaging packages.

How many of these packages have NEVER increased their license fee?
How many of these packages can be used on multiple platforms, and on multiple PCs - for the cost of the original license?
How many of these packages have had release after release, improvement after improvement, and yet have NEVER charged anything other than the original license fee?
How many of these packages have this massive user-based help and discussion forum, where users can learn about PI from the developers themselves, as well as every skill-level of other users?
How many of these packages provide a free, unrestricted, trial version of their application, with a period that easily allows users to decide whether it is the software for them?
How many of these packages would give new users 'personal' support, even to the extent of extending the trial period if it would be of genuine help?


Think carefully before you buy - are you going to be getting value for money? If not, then it is quite simple - don't spend your money. Find another application that will do the same job, or better, for a smaller outlay and long-term investment).

There are many PixInsight users who would happily pay 'more' for the PI application once they realise just how 'commercially different' it is, and just how little the software has actually cost them over time.

"Astronomically high"? No, in fact probably not high enough  :D
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Offline sreilly

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Re: Price
« Reply #3 on: 2018 March 26 06:08:11 »
I am woundering how many astronomers are using PixInsight software, and how much more there would use it if the price was affordable!
Is it really necessary to keep the price for a licence astronomical high ?

You've stepped on the proverbial cow pie now. As a newcomer you may not be aware at all of the design and usefulness of PixInsight but in time you would. I've spent more money on taking courses in Photoshop and learned far less trying to interpret how to use PS than I spent on Pix Insight's program and get far better results without all the pain. And that didn't include the cost of the program. Let's face it, I could have saved thousands of dollars if I had found and bought Pix Insight years ago instead of all those programs that now get sometime use on terrestrial images, which PI can also process. I use a program that focuses the telescope that cost $150 and it's worth every penny in its ease of use and support if/when things get weird. I suggest taking a hard look at how many hours it takes to write the program, support it, improve upon it, and then wonder if it's priced too high. But then maybe you value your time far less. This isn't a program that goes out to 100s of thousands of people. We're a relatively small percentage of people.

How many programs have you found that will do what Pix Insight will do? How many were written buy astronomers for astronomers? Most programs will do very basic processing and if that's all you need/want then yes, go for it. But if you want a program that will allow you to eke out the fine details, allow you to align images of different image scales, run specialized scripts, and so on then you'll need Pix Insight. And if you take the time to learn how to use PI you may discover that buying your license was the smartest purchase you've made in a very long time. I use 8 different programs every clear night to remotely gather my imaging data and only one to process it. I use PI daily and have never had it fail me. For the current exchange rate it works out to less than twice what I paid just to make sure my telescope is well focused.

I guess it all boils down to what you think is important. Getting the data and then having the tools to make the image as good as it can be is my goal. What's yours?

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Offline msmythers

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Re: Price
« Reply #4 on: 2018 March 26 09:48:19 »
Starman

I do understand what you are saying as someone who is on a very fixed budget. Now let me explain how I decided 5 and half years ago to purchase PI instead of what everyone it seemed like on the internet was suggesting which was buy the subscription to PS at $10 a month. $10 vs at the time $235 but it really wasn't. PI only has an update charge when they have a major version release. That has been stated to be when PI v2.0 happens. In the last 66 months we have had countless major tool updates, complete rewrites of the core program and no update fees. That works out for me to $3.56 a month. Seems cheaper then $10.

Another argument people had for the other big software was plenty of documentation. Well that was not exactly true. At that time I could not find documentation that PS supplied that was targeted at the astrophotographer, I couldn't. What PI had was a website forum that had nothing but astrophotographers using this one piece of software willing to help almost immediately. Also the writers of the code responding to questions and fixing true bugs almost in realtime. Also the documentation fo PI is built into the software on screen. You hover the mouse over a section and the documentation for that parameter appears. More in depth is available on this forum.

As someone with very limited equipment, most used, most very low grade and living in a very, very light polluted region I placed the software for processing at the highest point of my needs. It was going to be what made the big differences in my images. Most people in this field would never consider taking pictures with my setup, in my location let alone processing them. I come from a science and engineering background doing some computing in Microwave RF and I can tell you processing can make all the difference in the world but you have to have top rated software tailored to what you are doing. I choose what seemed like the most expensive option. It was at the time over one quarter of my budget. So I do understand but I know what you get is so much more for your money.

Oh yeah try to run a second copy of that other piece of software on a second machine or third or forth at the same time legally. It will either cost you a lot more for each new license of your breaking the law.

And I can no longer really get outside to capture images but I can still process and there is no other piece of software I'd rather work with. I even use PI for all my daytime processing needs.



Mike
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Offline OldSkyEyes

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Re: Price
« Reply #5 on: 2018 April 05 12:13:52 »
The way I looked at it was: if a filter could do what you can do with pixinsight, wouldn't you want to buy that filter...
Although some free 'filters' are also available, but with my bad eyes I really like the very well done text size scaling in pixinsight.
You are also buying a platform/library, not just a program, so if you can do some programming you can customize it.
My only reservation is the program team is very small AND working on 3 (4?) different operating systems, everyone dies sooner or later, so, future proof ???

That said it would probably not be a bad idea if there was like a light version for like 50 euro or maybe even a free version, with the option to upgrade to full later if they require it, this will allow more users hence more new good scripts.
What needs to be disabled in a light or free version?  I'm sure the designers of the platform would be able to figure that out.
'PixInsight Pro'  is a good name for the current 'full version'  :)

About the possibility that a new major version would be released, frankly that would be a stupid idea of them.
Like I said it's a programming platform/library meaning they would need to support two versions in the future, some new code (they didn't write) will maybe work on the old version and some only on the new one, it's a maintenance nightmare for a very small design team and will result in users saying that the program isn't stable.

What they could do though if they have the Light/Pro (disable) features in place is add new major features as a paid add-on. (obviously updates/fixes stay part of the purchase price)

Offline Juan Conejero

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Re: Price
« Reply #6 on: 2018 April 05 12:28:17 »
Quote
AND working on 3 (4?) different operating systems

Definitely 4 operating systems. The next version will be available on FreeBSD.
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Offline Niall Saunders

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Re: Price
« Reply #7 on: 2018 April 05 13:46:59 »
Quote
everyone dies sooner or later, so, future proof ???

Well, as someone who has 'walked away once', it doesn't take much to realise just how immortal we all really are  :angel:

That said, there is plenty of software out there that is just no longer supported at all - even though 'it could be'. Some of this is astronomy-based, and a lot of it needs obsolete operating systems to be able to run it, and even more obsolete software development packages to try and mofify it (or to even try and port it to newer environments).

Yes, our development team is very small, but the quality of the code that has resulted belies the fact that so few people are directly involved in the process. Perhaps the best that any software user can ever hope for in such circumstances is that provision may have been made for the 'PixInsight baton' to be handed on someone (or to a select few) in the event that the 'main runner' has to step away from its continued support and devleopment.

But, let's draw an analogy here - you might really, really want to buy that impressive car in the showroom. However, it is going to really stretch your budget. So, even after a really nice test-drive, and a lot of pensive pacing around the showroom, you eventually talk yourself out of the purchase because 'spare parts' or 'dealer support' might not be available in the (long-term) future. And, then you find yourself 'wondering and wishing' as you drive out of another showroom in a car that you didn't really want, and away from a salesman who was only really interested in you up until your cash was in the till (and his commission was in his bank).

Sure, you still have a new car - but you know it will always be 'second-best', and the dealer's after sales service and warranty promises are as worthless as the toilet-paper they were written on.

Perhaps the 'way forward' for PixInsight is to be like Microsoft - where you simply pay a small monthly fee until such time as you choose to stop using the software. Sure, these payments would be 'affordable' but, as the months pass, it will soon be obvious that you have payed more than the original 'one-off purchase fee'.

There are probably thousands of PixInsight users who, quite happily, can barely even remember that original one-off payment - and of that group, as I said before, many, many users who have had so much pleasure learning PI and developing their astroimages using PI, that they would pay more now.

Just remember, ownership of PixInsight is not compulsory (yet  :police:), so make sure you have fully researched your options, and made full use of the (otherwise unrestricted) time-limited trial version before you commit.
Cheers,
Niall Saunders
Clinterty Observatories
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Altair Astro GSO 10" f/8 Ritchey Chrétien CF OTA on EQ8 mount with homebrew 3D Balance and Pier
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Offline jshortt

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Re: Price
« Reply #8 on: 2018 April 06 11:43:15 »
I think Pixinsight is extraordinary value for money. I'd recommend it to anyone who's semi-serious about astrophotography.

One factor I think the OP might have in the back of his mind is that, unlike all the gear one buys, the software can't be re-sold. I do wonder if a subscription offering would entice more people but I'd guess that's very unlikely to be anywhere on Juan's priority list. And rightfully so since keeping PI the best is way more important

So if you can't get your head around making the purchase decision after trialling PI think about how much time you're going to waste trying to use "free" solutions

John

Offline Astrostar

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Re: Price
« Reply #9 on: 2018 May 24 10:07:01 »
I can unreservedly state that since being introduced to PI by other Users within the Basingstoke Astronomical Society (UK), I believe we have software with the quality of a Rolls Royce for the price of a Mini. Hats off to the authors!! 8)

Offline FlyingBeagles

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Re: Price
« Reply #10 on: 2018 July 18 00:26:50 »
While I completely understand budget constraints (applies to me too), I would be totally lost in getting the best out of my images with without PI.

I’ll be honest, the learning curve does my head in, but well worth the effort.

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Offline speach

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Re: Price
« Reply #11 on: 2018 July 18 16:46:18 »
well it's a lot cheaper than Adobe Photoshop that works out at about $350 a year ongoing.

Offline MarkBPlym

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Re: Price
« Reply #12 on: 2018 November 02 05:00:36 »
I really enjoyed using the trial version of PixInsight unfortunately my extended trial period I was given ended before I managed to do any serious workflow with my astrophotography images.

I have decided to save up and purchase a full license as I think is it good value for money for what it does. Up to now, I have been using Photoshop CS2 with astronomy tools but it does not come close to what PI can do.

Offline dpastern

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Re: Price
« Reply #13 on: 2018 December 18 08:06:20 »
I am woundering how many astronomers are using PixInsight software, and how much more there would use it if the price was affordable!
Is it really necessary to keep the price for a licence astronomical high ?

I don't think the price for PixInsight is unreasonable.  Let me explain my thoughts on this.

a) The PI team provides regular updates and fixes - more so than many other commercial software products

b) PixInsight runs on nearly every major O/S platform (Windows, OS X and GNU/Linux and soon freeBSD I believe).  That is far better support than the vast majority of other commercial software packages

c) a growing number of commercial software providers are charging customers for the privileges of updates (yeah, I'm looking at you software bisque)

d) PixInsight can be installed on as many computers as you see fit - there are no extra licence requirements.  This is vastly different to most other commercial software products who will insist on a separate licence for each additional computer install.

e) Once you get used to the PixInsight UI, you'll realise how good it is.  Alternative pieces of software lack in comparison imho.  I remember showing a video of the PixInsight UI to my best mate (he's not into astro processing, but he is in the computer support industry) and he was immensely impressed with the UI.  And he's not easily impressed. 

Have you see the price of Adobe Photoshop?  It ain't cheap.  Maxim DL?  Same.  Yes, there are other astro processing software packages out there, some even free, but they are quite limited in scope when compared to PixInsight. 

PixInsight isn't cheap.  But it's worth every penny imho. 

Cheers,

Dave

PS One more advantage - the documentation for PixInsight is generally far better than most software applications.  It's also a very stable piece of software from my experience. 

Offline SuffolkObs

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Re: Price
« Reply #14 on: 2018 December 19 05:32:46 »
As a new user of Pixinsight, but with over 20 years of experience working commercially with Photoshop and other "commercial" software, I am thrilled with my purchase and do not consider this to be an excessive expense at all, in fact consider it odd that others would.  Like the majority of other users here, I have a limited budget but considering how much can be spent on the hardware side of astro-imaging, the purchase price of Pixinsight was something of a no-brainer for me and I didn't even consider using Photoshop, even though my company has a licence.  Pixinsight is specialist software designed to achieve a specific result, namely to analyse and extract the best from a restricted signal. Without wishing to sound derogatory, Photoshop and other general purpose software can achieve only so much before you reach the limits of what the software or any plugins can do; quite simply they are designed for a more general manipulation of image data and they do it well.

To see this point in action, take a look at the core application size of Pixinsight (v1.8.5) at around 193 MB, compare it to that of Photoshop CC v2018 at 2.25 GB. Photoshop comes with a lot of baggage and over the years is bloated by code and resources that are rarely if ever used by even the most advanced users. Take a look under the hood and you will see language plugins that are 175 MB - almost the same size as the entire Pixinsight app, a list of standard plug-ins that are over twice that size, font control systems, media server systems and other features that make it the Jack of all trades. A racing driver is not going to use a MPV on the track (unless you work with Mr Clarkson) any more than a fine artist will start with a Dulux colour-chart and hope for the best. This hobby is not cheap and for me there was no logic in spending thousands on the best equipment I can afford and then try to extract the best results out of it using a Swiss-army-knife;  instead I'd rather not buy those extra two filters (yet).

Cheers,
Anthony