#251 Showdown: LightRoom Vs Capture One

#251 Showdown: LightRoom Vs Capture One

UPDATE : A comparison of C1 v7 with C1 V8 and LightRoom has now been published here.
 


 

Ever heard of David and Goliath? Well, that is about how things stand between the Goliath -nay the inventor- of photographic post-processing-, the ubiquitous Adobe, and small -but maybe nice, who knows?- Danish Capture One.

For a few years I have been a user of LightRoom, Adobe’s middling software. More powerful than Photoshop Elements, and sporting a useful catalogue feature, but a lot less potent than behemoth Photoshop. I am well used to LightRoom, and wasn’t especially unhappy with it until Adobe struck. They decided that all further upgrades to Photoshop would be on the Web-based, rental-version-only Creative Cloud. Clearly, not everyone loved the idea of having to pay a monthly fee instead of deciding if and when they might upgrade and own the software outright. They liked it even less when it transpired that, should you cease to pay the CC fee for whatever reason, you would lose access to your pictures, which became Adobe property. Now, it seems, Adobe will let you opt out of CC without seizing your pics, but in doing so, you lose all your edits and all your tools. Now some people claim to love this approach, but I did not, and still don’t. I decided it was time for me to look for alternatives. As I write this, I am not totally sure how matters progress, as it seems Adobe will, in fact, issue an upgrade to Photoshop. Still, the idea of losing access to my pics and/or edits is a powerful motivator even if Adobe hasn’t yet replicated its Photoshop policy with LightRoom, and claim to have no plans to do so.

There are essentially 2 alternatives: DxO and Capture One (and others as well, but not so widespread, and also the dedicated Canon, Nikon and Sony software). There also is Aperture software for and by Apple, who have just now announced that there would be no further development, so Aperture users may feel it is time to jump on another bandwagon. I had read many reports that the Capture One RAW converter was the best of the bunch, so I decided to try that one first.

1. Basics.

– Starting up with Capture One requires investing some time. The interface is not the same as Adobe’s, and it took me a few tens of hours before I got reasonably comfortable. Now, 3 months into the process, I am still learning quite a bit thanks to the excellent C1 tools (see later), and have yet to achieve the level of fluency 5 years of LightRoom brought me. But, as to finding out whether Capture “is your thing”, the 60-day free trial should be more than enough, as was the case for me.

– Capture One is more powerful than LightRoom in terms of post-processing, even if only because it will let you do local area adjustment layers and masks , a powerful feature Adobe only includes with Photoshop.

– There may be differences between RAW processors, but they are dwarfed by the differences the software generates at the post-processing level, simply because each one is a different tool, and, as such, induces the user towards different results. Thinking twice before spending 200€ for different software that could make all your pics better just sounds stupid when you think of the cost of any piece of gear.

– Capture One has a vastly better trove of learning and support tools, all of them free. Webinars, newsletters, online videos. Wow! By comparison, Adobe only offers a FAQ-type online help. No comparison! C1 could be better yet, though: their search engine for technical tips is not the best, and sometimes points you to pages that don’t exist.

– Price: LightRoom is a bit cheaper. I paid 90€ for mine, an upgrade to LR 5 from LR 4, and 120€ for Capture One version 7, using a promotional period. Hardly a deal-breaker, but a + for Adobe, if only of trivial importance.

– Migration: Capture One claims that they can migrate a LightRoom catalog into a C1. I haven’t tried it yet, but neither have I found evidence that this a fake claim

– Robustness: no doubt about it, LightRoom is very robust. Features work as advertised, they dont just “hang” the system, and neither do they crash it. So far, I would say that Capture One is robust, but not quite as much as LightRoom. I have had just a few minor hangups when trying to load pics from my camera. But no crash, or lost files (of course!). Not a deal-breaker IMHO unless you happen to be the really worrying kind, but that round goes to Adobe

-Speed: now I am not a PP expert or fanatic. I like to get, as much as I can, my pictures right from the start. Call me old-fashioned. So I don’t like to spend hours in front of my computer, agonizing tens of minutes to make one picture absolutely perfect. And, to some extent, neither do I enjoy beautifying a shot with software to the extent that the picture is better than reality is or was. With that in mind, I find the two essentially equivalent. With a bit of practice, I can process a standard shot (using no batch processing) in just about the same time, around 30 sec. and decide whether it is “worth” more care, or not. So I call this a draw

2. Features

– Sharpness. This round goes to Capture One big time. There is a slider called “structure” which, combined with some sharpness, gives me better results than I ever could get out of LightRoom. If you are a sharpness fiend, Capture One is for you.

– Noise suppression. Again, this round goes to C1. Better, more flexible noise suppression. If you are into noisy shots (I am not, I take care of those with a tripod and long exposures whenever I can), try C1. Though I suspect that LightRoom is actually a bit better at RAW conversion of seriously underexposed shots, so it may actually require a bit less noise suppression.

– Colours. This is a highly individual choice. I like C1 colours better. More saturated straight out of conversion, more sparkle. But that’s just me. And the combination of the colour adjustment tool and local area adjustment is just so cool…

– Dynamic range. Another round for Capture One. It has a great tool by which you can stretch the DR of a shot in a second, to great effect. LightRoom lets you do it too, but it is far from as nice and easy.

– User interface. Call it a draw. The LightRoom UI is more intuitive, simpler (and I have been used to it for years), but the C1 UI lets you do things that I would have LOVED to be able to do with LightRoom. It has an “undo” feature for your last stroke(s), as well as one on most major tools. This alone could be worth buying into C1 for those of us who love to try out stuff. But a simple and effective UI is no less desirable, so a draw it is, as I see it.

– Catalogue. This round goes to LightRoom. While this function exists in Capture One as well, it is simply better in LR, which was originally designed around it, and Capture One not.

3. Sum-up

I could of course, go on and on. There are many more features and benefits that are worthy of discussion, but, ultimately, it comes down to a binary decision. One or the other, as it would be overkill to have 2 processors and 2 catalogues of pictures, unless you are a lot more devoted to PP (Post Processing) than I am. So, how do I view things? Capture One is, in my view and for my needs, better than LightRoom. Learning tools are much, much better (I just got an e-mail that reminded me that I have a free Webinar on colour control for which I am signed up coming up tomorrow). That I can do layers and masks is probably the single largest difference, bringing it closer to PhotoShop. When it lets users process multiple shots, such as panos or HDR, which a major feature I would love to see, it will be a total no-brainer. Until then, it is my software of choice, and I encourage people to try it out.

4. Pictures

The first batch of pics is the one that matters most IMHO. I picked them from my Iceland trip with Boris, already posted on DearSusan. Without looking back at what I’d done then, I reprocessed a few from scratch on Capture One. So they are not identical, nor did I strive for them to be. I just went where the software lead me. The first pair is LightRoom, and the second Capture One

DSC09868 DSC09872

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As you have guessed, shots 1 and 4 are the same, but look very different.And, to be honest, becuse I didn’t look back at the shots I’d processed and posted 3 months ago, I am shocked. Capture One gets a lot more colour out of the shot, and that without help from the saturation slider. Part of the difference comes from the white balance tool. The A7R and Olympus combo gave me very blue shots, which needed correcting. The C1 tool just did a much better job of getting the foamy water back to white . And when I turned the exposure down, up came to glorious orange of the rising sun. Not so on LR, where I had to battle to get rid of the blue and settle for a much more “misty”, or “hazy” atmosphere. At this stage, to me as a non-expert, it does feel like Capture One’s highlight recovery is significantly better than LightRoom’s. The same which the swirling water, where LR gives a much smoother result, and C1, with the help of the “structure” slider shows more turmoil. 2 & 3 are not the same, but show that there is indeed a “group look” to what I chose to do with either processor. As they say “horses for courses”, choose the one that suits you.

The second batch is made up of pictures I took with my Canon camera (5DII and III), and processed originally in DPP, Canon’s proprietary software. In order to keep the test as bias-free as possible, I will now reprocess the shots fresh into LR and C1. This way, my “ability”, “mood”, my “taste”, and whatever else might have influenced the outcome of comparison n°1 will be eliminated.

IMG_0187 IMG_0127

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Now this is the first time that I process shots at the same time in LR and C1. The differences are striking. For example, on LR, the clouds are not burned out. On C1, I need to turn exposure down by 1.6 stops to eliminate any burnout.  The results are very much more comparable than on the previous batch. What does this mean? That the Sony preset on C1 is much better than LR’s, whereas this is not the case with the Canon preset.

We can check that with a third comparison. Simply RAW pictures unprocessed, so that the result shows only 2 things: the quality of the RAW processing engine, and the default presets for both. As always, LR first, then C1.

IMG_0202

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Now there is no doubt in my mind which one is more to my taste. While the difference is not as great as in the first batch, the colours in the mid-tones are better, and in particular the differentiation in colours is greater in C1. Oh, did I forget? This is with a Canon picture. Now let’s try a Sony unprocessed RAW. And, just to be as favorable as possible to LR, let’s choose one where there are no issues with highlight  recovery. Oh, and just because I am such a tease, instead of an A7R picture, I selected one with a NEX 7, well known at this time, so that any preset Adobe or Phase one have in place has already been fine-tuned.

 

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Ok, now we know what is due to the RAW processing engine itself, and what is due to the processing possibilities. Remember, I am not a processing champ, far from it. Regular Joe is more like it. So I am not saying, coming back to the first and startling example, that LR “can’t do it”, only that, given both pieces of software, my limited ability, and my limited appetite for tens of hours of learning all the bells and whistles, this is what I get.

Last batch. Another Sony A7R shot, like the first pair, also processed in both LR and C1, but, this time, at the same time. And again a different type of subject.

DSC00683-2

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5. Conclusion

So there it is. There is not one face-off where I prefer the LightRoom images. And in at least one case, it suffers a catastrophic loss. It also fails to win on features, and hugely on support, not counting the threat to Adobe users of being railroaded into a cloud-rental only program. Do you understand why I jumped ship?

 


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30 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Lignum Draco July 02, 2014

    Thank you for this useful post.

    I’m still in the Lightroom camp and lethargy being what it is, will probably stay with for a while. 🙂 I tend to use Nik a lot in Lightroom. Learning a new workflow seems like a major stumbling block. But I know what I’ll move to now if/when the time comes.

    • Avatar
      pascaljappy July 03, 2014

      I’m with you on that one. Learning Capture One is probably a lot of fun and Philippe soon got the hang of it. But changing the complete workflow is a major pain …

      That being said, the results speak for themselves. And there is a lot of room for improvement in the way LightRoom handles colour casts and highlights, which makes the use of extra software such as Nik’s excellent suite almost a necessity. If Capture One can solve this and make Nik an artistic extra rather than a systematic plaster, it will be well worth the effort.

      So I have downloaded the software and will reluctantly drag myself into testing it this summer.

  2. Avatar
    Paul Perton July 02, 2014

    I’m an Aperture user. Has Apple mis-read the situation in announcing that Aperture is ready for the knacker’s yard and now trying to recover the situation?

    What I don’t understand is why Apple has made such a pudding out of all this. If Aperture is to be discontinued, why do it before you can deliver Photos to replace it?

    Today, I can’t see that Photos will be any more than an 80-odd% fit to Aperture’s abilities although the use of add-ons will no doubt make a workable solution – if you use Viveza (you should!) and SilverEFX, you’ll know that either can (and often does) do more in specific areas than Aperture.

    So, is Apple trying to stop the LR migration because they can’t deliver a modern Aperture? Given that Aperture is written (I think) in a rapidly obsolescing Objective C and used an SQL database for storage, it clearly needed updating. LR is written in Lua a much more modern language and doesn’t use a database at all, rather opting for a catalogue.

    Apple is busy moving the functionality of products like ColorSync into the OS in order to deliver a single layer of functionality and services to all its apps. Those changes will break Aperture and perhaps the task of rebuilding it into a really modern app is too great, probably requiring a dedicated development team. Given the declining Aperture user base – there hasn’t been a significant update for waaaaaay too long – hence Photos – smarter than iPhoto and (a bit) dumber that Aperture.

    That said, my plan is now to continue to use Aperture and import some duplicate pics into LR (which I loathe) and compare the results. That’ll mean that I’m ready to make the jump to LR if Photos proves useless. Also, I can continue to access Aperture for the foreseeable future (at least until after Yosemite is replaced) and move my images somewhere else (after your comments, Capture 1 looks interesting) if I need to.

  3. Avatar
    Tim Ball July 03, 2014

    Arrgh! The horror of imagining that Lr might end up in the clouds with a rental fee to pay…too horrible to contemplate, especially as I’ve only recently gone through the learning process with Lr5, moving over from Canon’s DPP within the last year.

    The thought of learning another new workflow/system is a major downer.

    However, the difference in the first set of pictures (with the A7r), does seem a rather compelling reason to at least investigate Capture One, especially as I too now have an A7 and OM glass.

  4. Avatar
    philberphoto July 04, 2014

    Basically, I agree with all of you. Learning a new workflow is just such a needless hassle. That is exactly what Adobe are counting on to keep all its customers neatly in the fold, and milk them, milk them, milk them. I decided to move out because I simply couldn’t bear the thought of ever losing all my edits, let alone my pics. But, where this gets interesting is that I end up with what I consider the wisest spend on any gear since I started to shoot RAW. Oh, and by the way, I forgot to mention in the post that I deliberately stayed away from shots where I would do a layer/mask, else the comparison would become apples (sorry, Paul) to oranges
    I am now busy exploring why the difference is such on certain shots, and not on others. More soon. All the more so as I have yet to learn all the C1 tricks. Like the “aspect” slider which can make your subject a bit taller or a bit wider. Neat!
    Tim, I sympathise. I, too, moved on to LR from DPP. Not very good software, but great RAW converter…

  5. Avatar
    Hans van Driest July 11, 2014

    I see where you are coming from, but would like to point out that the cc version of LR and Photoshop are not cloud or web based. You can use cloud storage if you like, for your images (more like back-up, I would think), but the software is stored local on your computer and will work without internet. with a limitation of 30 days, in which period the software needs to confirm you still are a paying customer.
    assuming you will keep all your work local, and if you store your edits in a non proprietary format, like tiff, noting will be lost whenever you stop the subscription. everything will still be on your disk. you simply will not be able to do any new editing. I am in no way connected to Adobe.
    love you site.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 23, 2014

      Hans, let me try to explain better what I don’t like. Let’s assume that I pay the fee for 3 years or whatever. I will have spent as much as buying the software. With the fee, I stop paying, and I lose access to the software (not to my pics, though, as you point out, because Adobe was pushed back from its original plan which went so far as to give Adobe ownership of my pics!). If I had bought it outright, for the same money, I could continue using it forever legally and happily, though without access to upgrades. Basically, the original plan convinced me in an instant that Adobe were not to be trusted, and the rest just went downhill from there. That said, other people may be happy with their approach and their product, I have no problem with that, it is just soooo not for me…

  6. Avatar
    Mark Alan Thomas July 14, 2014

    Both Aperture and Lightroom use SQLite databases. The Lightroom catalog is its database file. Also, Objective-C is a more robust programming language than Lua which is more of a scripting language used primarily for the Lightroom UI. Since Lightroom’s underlying processing comes from Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom contains a lot of C too.

    Lightroom started out as a kind of rapid prototype/proof-of-concept, which might explain why Lua was used in the first place. I have long suspected that they kept using Lua for the commercial version simply because that was the quickest way to get it to market.

  7. Avatar
    Ray July 14, 2014

    All of these apps tend to lock people in. To change, one needs to adapt to a new workflow (as in drag and drop new images via the Finder if using C1 on a Mac), learn a new app, walk away from a catalog of non-destructive edits and build a new catalog with appropriate keywords, ratings, comments, presets, etc.

    That’s a lot of time.

    The fact that C1 initial renders look better to many, including myself, borders on irrelevant in terms of making a change. There’s certainly no shortage of PP apps that provide better initial renders than Adobe. For Nikon, C1 or Nikons own app. Fuji, just about anything. Oly, C1 or Aperture.

    Since few if any of us are going to switch PP apps every time we change camera brand, we compensate in the amount of time we spend in post. I’ve used C1, Aperture and LR. They all have pros and cons and we simply choose the one that’s closest meets our needs. In my case, Aperture as it does a good job on Fuji renders and has excellent and easy to use dam. My compensation is its editing module which has been in need of an upgrade for years now.

    I’m starting to look at the demise of Aperture as a blessing. Perhaps it time to go back to a browser and my editor of choice and forget all this lock-in. Just messing around with a copy of GraphicConverter my wife has on her Air, I see it picks up all keywording and ratings from Aperture. Decent browser. Perhaps it time to stop torturing myself with learning a new all-in-one app?

    • Avatar
      philberphoto July 17, 2014

      Again, I am not arguing that a change in PP software is to be undertaken lightly. It is a major step in terms of commitment. In my case, I just didn’t want to wake up a hostage to Adobe, but I can understand all those who are loath to commit the resources before the fox is inside the henhouse, and indeed sympathise with them. My surprise, though, is that what was driven from fear ended up as such a plus. ’tis all.

  8. Avatar
    Murray August 07, 2014

    For many years I shot tethered into Lightroom and it was my go to pp programme, familiarity & laziness kept me in the Adobe camp. I installed CaptureOne Pro 6 trial and it sat on my HD for months until Adobe introduced the cloud subscription. You do need to invest time to get the best out of C1 but it is so worth it. The ease of levelling horizons – one simple tool, the keystone tool is excellent and the brilliant ‘recipes’ for multiple outputs at one time. It’s possible to export JPEGS, TIFFS with or without watermarks and at different resolutions and quality quickly and easily. It’s certainly true that the more you use it the more you will get out of it. Sign up for the live interactive webinars, available on YouTube afterwards and you can learn very quickly. The results are so good that I’m going back to old CR2 files and importing them into C1 to re-process them. I haven’t used LR for months and see no reason too. If they keep improving it I won’t need Photoshop either.

  9. Avatar
    Silas August 08, 2014

    Your comparison of LR and C1, in this article, seems tainted by the bad taste you have towards Adobe’s choice to change their marketing model. You said, “Clearly, not everyone loved the idea of having to pay a monthly fee instead of deciding if and when they might upgrade and own the software outright”. You’ve never owned Adobe products, or any software for that matter, you purchase the right to use them; read the fine print. In this regard, there’s no difference between the current and previous marketing schemes.

    As for LR vs C1, you are comparing apples to oranges. Many of the features you boast about in C1, are missing from LR, because PS fills that gap.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto August 08, 2014

      Silas, there is no doubt that I was not happy with the direction Adobe was taking, nor did I try to hide it, and why. Under the “old” system, even if a “client” didn’t “own” the software, as you correctly point out, once the fee was paid once and for all, the software could be used ad infinitum, so, in effect, it was the same as owning it. The “new”system, as advertised, meant that, as soon as you stopped paying, you would lose access to the software and use of it, plus all your edits. Not exactly a step forward IMHO. So, yes, I was dragged into a change that I didn’t yearn for. The silver lining I discovered was that I actually prefer Capture One over LightRoom. And, yes, as you state, it does incorporate powerful tools which Adobe puts into PS, so, in a way, it like a PS-lite (not as powerful, though, let’s be clear) at LR prices. Does that bias my review, as you accusingly suggest? Each reader can make up his/her mind in that respect, but, if you read the comments to this post, you will see how reluctant photographers are to change software and their workflow, so you can understand the bitter aftertaste.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 23, 2014

      Hans, let me try to explain better what I don’t like. Let’s assume that I pay the fee for 3 years or whatever. I will have spent as much as buying the software. With the fee, I stop paying, and I lose access to the software (not to my pics, though, as you point out, because Adobe was pushed back from its original plan which went so far as to give Adobe ownership of my pics!). If I had bought it outright, for the same money, I could continue using it forever legally and happily, though without access to upgrades. Basically, the original plan convinced me in an instant that Adobe were not to be trusted, and the rest just went downhill from there. That said, other people may be happy with their approach and their product, I have no problem with that, it is just soooo not for me…

  10. Avatar
    SteveG October 29, 2014

    Users of Sony cameras might be interested in the Capture 1 offer currently available through Sony: Capture 1 (basic) for free and a cheap upgrade to Pro.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto October 30, 2014

      You are right, Steve, it is a very good offer, since it is free! Also, Capture One have now released version 8. It incorporates content-aware healing, rather than “just” cloning to get rid of unwanted parts of images. That alone might be worth the 69€ upgrade. There are also other new features, and it also promises an improved and faster RAW converter. I will very probably upgrade, but haven’t had the time of late. When I do, I’ll report back.
      Still, the long and the short of it is that, while many people do indeed think Capture One is great, few are willing to go through the hassle of changing. This means that Adobe’s close-to-bullying tactics might well be successful.

  11. Avatar
    Norbert October 31, 2014

    Would it be possible to provide the original RAW files used in this comparison ?
    Thanks, Norbert

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 06, 2014

      Norbert, it is not DearSusan’s policy to share RAW files. In this case, either you can replicate my findings with your own images, or you can’t. In either case, you can make up your own mind as to the suitability of either solution to your needs, wants and likes. I didn’t present my post as THE TRUTH, but only as my opinion, within the scope of my taste and ability. My advice is, when choosing which of your RAW files to use for a comparison, if it is the idea behind your request, I would go for files that test both the shadow recovey and the highlight recovery ability of the software. Have fun!

  12. Avatar
    Dang not what I wanted November 05, 2014

    Software is the chemical in the darkroom.

    • Avatar
      pascaljappy November 06, 2014

      Exactly, without the headache from the fumes 😉

  13. Avatar
    Jeffrey McPheeters November 16, 2014

    I’m a long time Aperture user, having migrated from C1Pro to Aperture 1.5 back in the day. This summer, after Apple announced the retirement of Aperture, I took a look at C1Pro7 and while I liked it overall, felt it was not stable enough for my workflow. So I’ve been using LR5 quite a bit to test it’s management style while still maintaining my Aperture libraries (all referenced libraries, btw, as with modern computer speeds, drives, and network setups, it becomes less advantageous to maintain proprietary database catalogs, especially for mixed session/catalog workflows as I do). I will test C1Pro8 now with some importing of LR catalogs and Aperture catalogs and see what I think. Hopefully the speed and stability issues have been solved. I have used LR5 extensively now for several months, processing many thousands of images, time lapse projects, etc., and have found a few things I like and many which I don’t like. I do happen to appreciate the wealth of 3rd party support for LR5 as well as managing files going to Flickr, Smugmug, and Facebook. Perhaps C1Pro and their modernizing their plugin api will gain some attention from major 3rd party plug-in image editing software developers.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 23, 2014

      Geoffrey, what I think will get third party developpers’ attention is that Phase one have done a deal with Sony in that all A7 owners now get a free copy of Capture One Pro, limited to Sony cameras. That should be a huge boost for the Capture One customer base, what with new Sony cameras coming out like the A7 MkII and the forthcoming A9. Hopefully the C1 ecosystem will now grow, with useful plug-ins, because such an ecosystem does indeed contribute a lot to LightRoom and Photoshop, if you don’t mind the cost and time.

  14. Avatar
    David G November 19, 2014

    I have been working with both C1Pro and LR for quite a while.

    Here are some thoughts….

    * RAW processing appears sharper in C1 than in LR. Could it be that C1 pre-sharpens RAW images more than LR does? I don’t know.

    * High Dynamic Range correction works much better in LR than C1 – particularly highlight correction which often barely does anything in C1. LR has more sliders and you can go both ways, negative or positive on the graph. You can also fine tune lights and darks in the HDR tools in LR.

    * Colors seem more saturated in C1 and the saturation slider in C1 is overly sensitive compared to LR which I believe is easier to work with. LR also offers a Vibrance correction tool which C1 lacks.

    * B&W conversions seem to be good in both, though I admit I like the LR color modules for filtering b&w images in LR slightly better than those in C1. I actually migrated some images with the edits that I converted to b&w in LR into C1 — I then further edited these images in C1 and got the best results combining edits from both LR and C1. Silver Effex from Google’s Nik Software has the best b&w conversion but the most time consuming and one must export as a TIFF.

    * Heal and clone tool is much more sophisticated and right on the money in LR. Also the local adjustment tools seem to be more subtle in LR.

    * EXIF metadata is better in LR. I have had the dates my pics were photographed changed in C1.

    * Processing and then exporting is more sophisticated in C1 than LR

    * You can change the look of the image before adjusting in C1. This is great, but confusing.

    Those are some differences between the two programs I noticed. I am still up in the air. I love the sharpness from C1 so much more than I don from LR. But I think the adjustment tools in the Develop Module of LR is ahead in most areas than C1.

    So… I am still unconvinced that either is the solution and it is so frustrating that Nikon, which I use for most of my work, has abandoned their own professional software to a watered down version.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 23, 2014

      David, Capture one have now released version 8, and it seems that they were listening to your thoughts. The High Dynamic Range function is now much better. Plus you can also apply HDR correction as a local adjustment on top of that, which makes it up to twice as strong. Also there is now not only a clone function, but also a heal one, which can be very handy. I will write on that soon, hopefully with examples.

  15. Avatar
    Kevin Myers November 30, 2014

    I have been experimenting with C1 pro 8 vs Lightroom. I am only a keen amateur and certainly do not have the trained eye of a professional however I really can see very little difference between the two after processing, apart from high ISO shots where C1 is quite noticeably better. I do like C1 though and the new version does seem to offer controls which are not available in LR however I am very disappointed to learn that C1 will not be supporting Pentax 645z files as it is a competitor in the MF market. I do not think this is true but Phase One do. C1 therefore is not a universal RAW converter and will only work with files from their own camera ‘team’ and certain non MF cameras, it will not even properly read the DNG file the Pentax can shoot in. This is fine if it were free software but for the money they are charging it should work with all file formats. It is a shame as I was beginning to think that it could be a genuine replacement for LR but sadly it is not.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 30, 2014

      Thanks for your comment Kevin. If indeed you are shooting a Pentax 645Z (congrats!), then the only choice you have is to convert your files to TIFF, and then to process them in C1, not a very attractive proposition. I agree with you that, if indeed C1 does not support Pentax MF files “only because it might help a competitor”, it is a narrow-minded view which costs them software sales without (my guess) bringing them many extra Phase One MF sales. My guess would have been that they are not bothering to support Pentax MF bodies only because there are not enough of them around yet to justify the work of supporting yet another format. On the other hand, I understand why C1 does not supoprt the DNG format. That is an Adobe proprietary format, and for C1 to pay a license fee to Adobe, assuming that Adobe are willing to sell them one, which is far from a given, sounds a bit unlikely. And, by the way, please stop mentioning how good your Pentax 645Z is. You cannot imagine how much it hurts Pascal…:-)

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    naldo November 30, 2014

    Hummm…last version’s C1 has also a “Subscription option” I don’t remeber for version 7. Price is 8€/month (then 42€/month!), I hope they will not migrate into adobe’s subscription model only.

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      philberphoto November 30, 2014

      I have absolutely no objection to a subscription model. If anything, it gives customers an extra option. What I object to is paying rent for many months, and then being left with nothing to handle pictures which have been processed with said rented software. If Adobe had not been so predatory as to think they could get away with taking posession of former clients’ pictures, I might not have reacted the way I did. But there are more than one way out of this. For example, if you rent for enough time that you’ve paid as much as if you’d bought, you get the right to use a certain version of the software, but without forthcoming upgrades. That would be eminently fair, I would think. Or, if you stop renting, you get an option to buy that takes into account how much rental you have already paid up. And I have have good news for you. The regular rental rate for C1 Pro V8 is not 42€/month, after the initial period at 8€/month. It is 12€ if I read properly. Considering the purchase list price of 229€, a monthly rental of 12€ is about fair I would say.

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        naldo December 01, 2014

        Yes, it was wrong… now I read 12€/month at the end of the first period, correct. Off course I worried only about the possibility of “only” subscription model (in the future), not “also” 😉

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    Tim Ball December 18, 2014

    I’ve finally started to process my Sony A7 files in Lr5. Now I’m really struggling to reproduce the colours I saw, and want. Non of the profiles provided seem like a good starting point! What a difference from the Canon 5DII files in Lr5, where I had few problems.

    Looks like I’m going to have to sign up for that Capture One trial after all. Ho hum!

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