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Thread: Capture One Pro?

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    Capture One Pro?

    I have been a Lightroom user since the very first Beta release and from a workflow standpoint Lightroom and all the subsequent versions has worked very well for me. I now find that I can't upgrade to Lightroom 5 because I am using OSX Snow Leopard which has me bummed a bit as I am not too keen on updating my operating system. There doesn't seem to be any must have features in Lightoom 5 to make me want to upgrade my operating system for now anyway. While Lightroom 5 has served me well from a workflow standpoint I have always been intrigued by Capture One Pro. I know I can download a trial version but I am wanting to know from a pure quality of processing/rendering, if Capture One can produce a better image? I realize this is a subjective thing and I am not looking to replace Lightroom but to possibly use Capture One Pro for those very special images that I want the absolute best from. How does Capture One Pro handle shadows and highlights compared to Lightroom? Any input about this would be greatly appreciated.
    Best,
    J. Paul

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    There are many others on this forum with more technical expertise than I possess who might be able to make a more accurate comparison between the two programs. However, I will say that for the past 4 or 5 years I've become hooked on C1's RAW processing.

    For awhile I used both LR and C1 but got tired of bouncing back and forth. If I tried really hard with LR, I could come close to the look that C1 produces almost instantly. But as you say, it's a very subjective thing and my preference may not match yours.

    There are lots of fans here, I believe both Jack and Guy (for example) use it. On the other hand, it's got some quirks and if you've been a long-time LR user, you may find the C1 approach to be less than intuitive. Which I put up with simply because I believe it to be the best RAW processor.

    Best of luck regardless of which path you take.
    Tim

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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    Tim,
    Thank you for your thoughtful reply! I can't imagine replacing Lightroom (at least in the short term) because it does serve me well getting work out the door for clients, but my personal work with my best images I would like to give Capture One Pro a whirl I think. I would like to hear from Jack, Guy and others too that would be willing to share their thoughts.
    Best,
    J. Paul

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    Many like and prefer LR's workflow, but once I got use to C1, I never looked back. I like absolute control over what I'm doing as opposed to the "by feel" parametric adjustments of LR. I also feel that comparing them on a purely technical standpoint, C1 does a better job of converting, extracting the most detail and most accurate color from the raw file. Yes, you can tune color in both, but IMHO, C1 gets you a lot closer right out of the gate.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    Jack,
    Thanks so much for your input! From everything I have read your observations seem to be right on. I did read (from one source) that Lightroom does a better job with highlights. What are your thoughts on this and how well does Capture One Pro handle highlights and shadows?
    J. Paul

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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpaulmoore View Post
    Jack,
    Thanks so much for your input! From everything I have read your observations seem to be right on. I did read (from one source) that Lightroom does a better job with highlights. What are your thoughts on this and how well does Capture One Pro handle highlights and shadows?
    J. Paul
    This was true of Capture One v6.

    Version 7, IMO, takes the crown back.

    LightRoom is simpler and has a large education ecosystem (books/videos/etc). Capture One provides more control and more image-quality-oriented tools but has a steeper learning curve.

    It's an entirely biased and self-promoting suggestion (though I think still a very good one), but if you are going to switch consider taking a Capture One training class so that you spend a lot less time on the learning curve.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    Thanks Doug! I really appreciate you (and others) for taking the time to answer this for me.
    Regards,
    J. Paul

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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    I think Tim described the "situation" pretty good.

    I've been using C1 since version 1.xx and LR since version 2.x. In terms of quality, they are BOTH very good (they keep getting a leg up on each other with each version, but only slightly).

    LR has a more logical workflow (from a photographer point of view). C1 workflow is more convoluted and the learning curve is steep. You HAVE to watch tutorials even for some basic functions. v7 brought in some things that LR used to have (and I guessed many users requested) but I had to unload it since it was crashing all the time (I'm on Lion). I didn't try the new version so I can't comment on it (I'm afraid to put it on my computer yet).

    The question is: what do you think you will gain by using C1? It's not a small cost to get it (Pro) so you have to make sure it's worth it to you.

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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    Valentin, thanks for your reply! What really intrigued me about Capture One was that it just produces a better file from the get go. I love the workflow with Lightroom and I am very comfortable with it but if I can get a better looking photo from it I would certainly consider it for my personal work.
    J. Paul

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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpaulmoore View Post
    Valentin, thanks for your reply! What really intrigued me about Capture One was that it just produces a better file from the get go....
    J. Paul
    Keep in mind that it's not always the case. Yes, on some images the default from C1 is better than the default from LR (and viceversa). What I found is that you can get the same output from both (with tweaking). To me, it looks like the default from C1 is more sharpened (which people like in general). You can change your defaults in LR (in case you didn't know).

    BOTH are very good RAW converters with good features.

    The best part: you can download and try it for yourself for 30 days before you make a decision. I highly recommend it before you spend the money.
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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    Thanks Valentin! These are good points to consider.
    J. Paul

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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    I just bought it after the demo was finished (I used Apple Aperture), I also tried Lightroom but unfortunately found it nothing to my liking!!!

    Aperture is really nice and handled every file I through at it. I scan my B&W negative with Gray Gamma 2.2 Profile which I couldn't get it to work with C1 and LR, but Aperture handle it without a problem. What drove me away from Aperture 3 is the uncertainty of future update (I read about Final Cut X) and it's export setting.

    I scan my negative now in color Adobe RGB (Bigger file and convert with PS) then handle it with C1 and find it a bit difficult but manageable. one thing I really hate the viewer options.

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    Re: Capture One Pro?

    I've been demoing Capture One Pro 7.1.3 on a late-2012 iMac which presumably has plenty of speed. I've been a LightRoom fan and am using LR5 but thought I'd check Capture One out. I imported my LR catalog into C1. Of the approx 25K images in the LR catalog, C1 imported about 9K and rejected the others. When done, the LR catalog was about 1 gig and the C1 catalog about 25 gigs, presumably because LR keeps its previews in a file apart from the catalog while C1 has only the one file. In comparing the two applications, similar results are achievable. IMO, LR has better local adjustments. C1 has a highlight recovery that I like better. C1 also has several features in the user interface of its exposure panel that I like. If I had to choose one I'd pick LR but it'd be nice to have both.
    Ed

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