Medibang Paint has been a freemium app for many years. It's free to use but has several tools or features locked behind the paywall. Medibang Paint also happens to be the competitor to Clip Studio Paint. In this article, I will compare the differences between the two apps. I actually use Medibang quite often simply because it's free.
In August 2021, Medibang introduced Medibang Premium, a subscription service that offers more features. Don't worry, Medibang Paint is still free to use on all platforms, e.g. MacOS, Windows, iPad and Android. Users who have paid to unlock features in the past will still get to keep those features. This subscription service is optional and just an add-on should you need additional features.
What are the additional features from Medibang Premium
Here are the extra features added on top of the free version.
More brushes and materials are now available. You can see them when you try to add new brushes or materials via the respective palettes.
There will be no more display ads. You don't have to watch ads to unlock features on the apps that run on tablets.
You can now create folders on internal storage.
The tablet versions of the app can export to more file formats: PNG,JPEG,MDP,PSD,TIFF,HEIF,JP2,GIF,BMP,WEBP
You can place reference photos on the canvas via its own window/palette. I used to import reference photos onto a separate layer.
There are more filters.
And you can now use fonts from your computer's font library. This is huge because the Medibang font library is quite limited.
Pricing for Medibang Premium subscription
Pricing for Medibang Premium is according to online storage capacity:
- 20GB - 2480 yen (~US $23) per year
- 100Gb - 3980 yen (~US $36) per year
- 300GB - 7980 (~US $72) per year
So the pricing works out to be around US $2, $3 and $6 per month respectively for 20GB, 100GB and 300GB of online storage. The pricing seems quite reasonable to me.
Pricing for Clip Studio Paint subscription
You can pay for the desktop apps (MacOS and Windows) via one-time purchase of subscription.
- CSP Pro: US $50
- CSP EX: $219
The EX version has more features but is significantly more expensive. You can compare CSP Pro vs EX versions here. For illustrators, CSP Pro already offers pretty much all the drawing tools and features you can ever thing of.
For the tablet versions of CSP, only subscription plans are available.
Tablet CSP Pro annual pricing with 10GB online storage:
- Single device - US $25 ($2/month)
- Dual devices - US $44 ($4/month)
- 4 devices - US $54 ($4.5/month)
- One phone - US $6.50
Tablet CSP EX annual pricing with 100GB online storage:
- Single device - US $72 ($6/month)
- Dual devices - US $100 ($8.5/month)
- 4 devices - US $118 ($10/month)
- One phone - US $17
Medibang Premium subscription pricing is quite competitive to Clip Studio Paint.
With Medibang, there's no limit to the devices you can use their apps on. For CSP, the subscription license is tied to the number of devices. And there's no obvious way to deactivate the CSP license on one specific device to switch to another. Deactivation of CSP license happens automatically when you want to switch to a different device, and when you deactivate too many times, that license will be locked.
The issue with CSP license being tied to a specific number of device is not a problem if you don't switch devices that often.
Anyway, CSP trial version is available for testing with all the features available except the ability to save. You can compare both Medibang Paint and CSP to see which app is more suitable for your needs.
Medibang vs Clip Studio Paint
CSP offers more tools and features for illustrators. You can adjust the general pressure curve settings, or individual pressure settings for brushes. There are countless ways to customise a brush, and there are just more settings you can tweak with the tools and settings.
Medibang is designed to be more user friendly without many of the complex customisation features. The drawing tool set is also more limited compared to CSP, and the Android tablet version has even more limitations compared to desktop or iPad versions.
Which one is more worth the money really depends on the art you want to create. Go install Medibang Paint and the CSP trial to try and compare for yourself.