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Anyone using Capture One Express for Sony?


Well-known member
I noticed that there was a leaflet with my A6500 offering a free download of Capture One Express for Sony cameras. Having been a long-time PS and LR user (now LR CC & PS on the subscription plan) I have occasionally wondered how Capture One compared and this download has at least given me the opportunity to get an idea. Yes it is cut-down (obviously) but has the layout and basic features.

Upgrading to Capture One Pro Sony would cost €79 + VAT (a non-starter as I have other cameras) or to the 'Full Monty' Capture One Pro €335 (€279 + VAT). By comparison the Adobe subscription is costing me (in round figures) circa €135/year (at current exchange rate). So two & a half years of Adobe subscriptions = a full copy of Capture One - by which time Phase One would probably require payment for an upgrade or two...

Therefore it comes down to the features and capabilities plus ease of use (or in my case, an old dog learning new tricks...). Would be very interested to hear from others if they have tried Capture One and preferred its features to LR/PS and subsequently taken the opportunity to switch over.


Well-known member
Thanks for the link Doug, interesting video. Only problem is in the end he mixes the Adobe Process version with using different camera profiles but that's just a detail.
The difference between LR and C1 is caused by the difference in the demosaicing algorithm (process version) and the difference in camera profile.

He also forgets that you can easily change which profile you use, but that's equally true for both softwares.

My own experience is that I have all my files in Lightroom and develop ~95% of my images in there. Only some images also get developed in C1, especially if there are lots of bright reds and/or bright greens in there. then I usually find C1 does a better job in getting closer to the image I want.

However I would not be able to live without the catalog type controls Lightroom offers (keywording, labels, rating, collections, geomapping, etc. etc.) C1 does some of that but more clunky and some elements are fully missing. Also there is no "history" in C1, so when you have tinkered with an image it's hard to go back to an intermediate stage you liked better (unless you made a snapshot there), while in LR you can trace back every step you took.

So that's why I employ the strategy of putting everything in Lightroom and only use C1 for some specific images where I like its output better but for the majority of my images LR gives me essentially what I need.


When the a7RII was released two and a half years ago the LR-profile of it was mediocre. That was the reason I switched to C1 (pro) but also started to interest me in profiling my camera. As C1 use ICC profiles I never looked back since. They are easier to create and to adjust to my needs.

In my opinion C1 is not very stable with its grafic cache. After a few hours working on big files it may disconnect to the grafic card or you can't use the undo-redo function to check an effect. But this is nothing I'm worring about because nothing gets lost and it's only a few seconds to close and open C1 again. On the other hand it's a very powerful program and since the most functions can be used on each layer I hardly switch to PS for further processing because there is no need to.

If you should switch to C1? It depends really on your own workflow. Someone that works only on a few pictures a week may be happy with ACR/PS only and will get the best results. Someone that want to process in the same time hundreds of pictures with a certain style may look after LR. C1 is somewhere in between in my opinion. It gives you more options than LR but on the other hand it's not the best for a default generalized workflow (including catalogs).


I think C1 is a better RAW convrter than LR, ACR and the like. Highly recommend.

LR is more suitable for Leica’s DNG files.


Well-known member
I use C1 and its sessions for all my raw files from Leica, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony gear and finish with CS6 and Nik that are well integrated. I switched from LR as C1 gave me more subtle results.


Well-known member
Thanks to all for the feedback (and link to the comparison video). Will continue to delve into what the C1 Express Sony programme offers so as to help determine whether or not I make the switch from Adobe. Will also be looking into Luminar 2018, which has been recommended to me by contacts on other forums.


I have all the usual suspects (C1 Pro, LR and DxO PhotoLab). I use C1 90% of the time, raw conversion, colors, speed, workflow, all suit me best. However do not dismiss DxO PhotoLab. IMHO it has the very best noise reduction, much better than either C1 or LR, so in case of heavy noise due to very high ISO I will turn to DxO. Also its Clearview is very nice for hazy pictures. Finally, whereas the corrective lensprofiles in C1 are OK most of the time I do think they are better also in DxO, probably because of their use of the lens testing hard- and software. I do not know how C1 determines the profiles but I have had some cases where the correction was not 100% OK (eg creating slight barrel distortion when wanting to remove pincusion distortion). Also, C1 almost alway performs slight crops when using lensprofiles. You can easily remove that crop by using the crop tool, but it does it automatically, so if the crop does not suit you, you have to change it manually.


New member
I still use LR CC, but with my Sony it’s only for cloud storage of the original raws, and culling. Once the culling is done, I bring the Sony’s files into Capture One. What I see, compared to editing the A7II’s raws in LR:

- Sharper default output.
- More natural looking colours.
- The highlight and shadow sliders are a little better, when pushed to extremes.
- The clarity and structure sliders are more flexible (though I probably over use the Punch setting).


Well-known member
By the way Keith, if you like C1, you CAN edit TIFFs in C1 for Sony. I do this with my Sigma Merrill files which have to go through Sigma Photo Pro.

I have tried C1, but I am already invested in the presets and catalogs in LR Classic, so the change would be time-consuming. I do like C1's output though, and I think some of the editing tools are superior to LR. Not to mention the price for Sony is very attractive compared to the CC Photo subscription of $10/mo. But I would occasionally miss Photoshop, and I had some issues with Affinity Photo when I trialed it (crashes, HDR errors). So for now Adobe is still getting my money.

The other option I've considered is outright buying LR6 retail, but I would need a good Photoshop replacement too.