Just download the new Lightroom 6 or Creative Cloud. I am using the photography CC, it's about $10 AUD. I think it is affordable for an enthusiasts to be on to get the latest photography software from Adobe.
The new features are the HDR and merging panorama. My laptop usually struggled to pull the HDR and big panorama together but with the new updates it could handle the processing easily. I was impress with the performance. For video it is still a struggled for my computer though.
The photo above is an example of HDR and Panorama. I initially did HDR on 3 photos and then merged into a panorama. As you can see from the above photo it did a great job on it. But the great things it is still in RAW format. I can really push the exposures in post.
If you considering the Adobe Photography Plan then try it out for 30 days and see the improvement in your work. You no longer need Photoshop to do most thing for photography like merging and HDR. But if you want to go a little further in you processing then you could with Photoshop.