The tethering cable for my X-H1 arrived a couple of days ago. It’s a beast; bright orange, 5m long and weighs about as much as a photocopier. I’ll need to anchor it properly to the tripod, or it’ll rip the USB port out of my camera.
First job – test with Lightroom to see if it does/doesn’t require a plug-in.
Silly, naive me. This is Adobe we’re talking about. Of course it requires a plug in. Ka-ching – that’ll be £29, thank you.
Or I could finally expend some effort and try Capture 1 (C1), which didn’t appear to need yet more money being spent on it.
Recent 25% discount offers have made C1’s purchase price quite attractive. Trouble is, V20 has recently shipped and the outright buy option only offers point upgrades, so when V21 comes along, there’ll be another big buy to finance.
The monthly rental looked more attractive, especially if C1 works and I can kick Lightroom etc. to the kerb – I’d save the cost of a year of C1 within weeks.
Hey! What about the discount?
Oh yes, that works too. Nett result, I got a bare bones C1 for not much more than £100 for the coming year, when the otherwise additional £29 plug-in cost is factored in.
Let’s park that for a moment.
My recent Epic Failures post had seen me sorting through libraries I’d exported from Aperture into Apple’s Photos app, to keep the images available. Now, I’m using it to find some truly awful photographs to accompany my tale. Wading through several thousand decade old NEFs, CR2s and IMGs I easily found what I wanted. It all worked so well from a browsing and export point of view – if only Photos wasn’t so handicapped in other areas…
Working through these libraries, I also found quite a lot of photographs shot in China, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand which hadn’t quite made the grade at the time (2007/8). I added them to my boo-boo list, intending to sort it all out when I finished my trawl.
Nett result; I exported 130-odd master images from Photos and imported them all into a brand new C1 library. Next, I immediately exported the dross (for Epic Failures), then set about editing and re-editing what was left.
C1 doesn’t work much like Lightroom. It’s a bit arcane, but having said that, a little time and patience is rewarded with not only great results on screen (my printer is several thousand kilometres away in Cape Town), but an appreciation of just how good DSLRs were, even then.
I hadn’t intended to buy a D2x on our first day in Singapore, but as I’m sure many of you will know, some things are just meant to be. The 18-70 kit zoom that had come with my then DSLR of choice (an early D70) was the only lens available to me at the time and I hadn’t expected much when I locked it onto the D2’s mount.
In 2007 I was right, but (re)processing those images more than a decade later, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not quite Zeiss or Leica quality, but really good 12mp RAW files shot with a plastic lens that have nonetheless rendered wonderful images and awakened many memories.
Back to Capture 1. It’s early days still. In addition to my trawl of the past, I’ve explored a couple of recent Fuji RAW files and liked what I’ve seen there just as much.
C1 is fast, predictable and doesn’t seem to stop working on a whim. The editing facilities are high level and very competent. I especially like that the sliders work when you click on them and can be released without jumping to some other unwanted value. Try that in Lightroom.
C1 is also one of the few serious photo apps that support two monitors – not having a large screen to see my work on is a complete deal breaker for me. To date, the temptation to offer AI-based editing hasn’t arrived and there’s no Replace the sky with elephants button.
Finally, Capture 1’s big selling point is that for all its power and functionality, it’s non-destructive. The original RAW source file is never touched, only read. I’ve railed about XMP sidecars before, but I can live with them for a great non-destructive editing experience.
Yup I’m liking it and who knows, this might just be the incentive I need to bid Adobe adios for good.
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