Eight major reasons to choose Capture One as your RAW converter

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Discover why Capture One Pro 7 should be your application of choice when working with your images. Get to know the wealth of pro tools and the features added to give you even better results from your RAW files.

I’m often asked at events why a customer should choose Capture One as their application of choice for working with their images. In this blog post I will give you the major reasons.

Traditionally, our customers have chosen to use Capture One due to the quality of RAW conversion. Capture One 7 can deliver great out-of-the-box results in terms of pleasing natural looking colours, fine detail and low noise. Since the introduction of version 7, Capture One has taken a quantum leap in this aspect and even more features have been added allowing you to achieve even better results from you RAW files.

Capture One 7 also offer a wealth of professional tools to enable you to capture tethered, use Live View as you are used to on your DSLR, all in a completely customizable interface.

I was inspired to write this post by Doug Peterson from one of our US Partners,
Digital Transitions, as he had posted something similar on a photographic forum.

Capture One RAW conversion

You may have read in earlier blog posts about the new conversion engine in Capture One 7. Even before version 7 was released, customers chose to use Capture One, as they knew it would deliver the best image quality from their RAW files. To stay ahead of the competition the processing engine was completely revised and still delivers what our customers need: Ultimate image quality out-of-the-box.

The question of “Good Color” can often be subjective, but we believe that enough of our customers are convinced to be able to state this confidently. Especially when it comes to skin tones and saturated colors and highlight transitions.

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Noise Reduction

Currently Capture One supports over 300 different camera models. Each camera supported has had a specific ICC profile built for it and is also carefully tested to determine the best noise reduction parameters for the full range of ISO settings. Even though the settings in the Noise Reduction Tool are set to 50 and 50 for all cameras, the ‘under-the-hood’ reduction differs for each camera and ISO setting.

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At the respective settings of 50, we have made the best compromise between preserving detail and reducing noise. If you prefer a different look you can adjust accordingly.

We also try to remove as much noise as possible and not just ‘shape’ the noise. If you prefer a natural film grain look then you can add this in the Noise Reduction Advanced Tool (Capture One Pro only).

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Professional Tools

A lot of our customers only use Capture One for tethering – i.e. capturing directly to Capture One. Capture One 7 has a number of tethering features that make it an obvious choice.

  • Plug and Play. Simply connect your DSLR and start capturing.
  • Live View. If your discipline is capturing still life and advertising shots, then being able to compose with Live View is a real time saver. The quality is extremely high with a fast frame rate. Additionally you can adjust the focus of the lens electronically with three degrees of coarseness. This aids composition and really ensures the focus point is exactly where you want it.
  • The Overlay function allows you to impose another image on top of the Viewer window. This could be a layout to ensure you are fitting within the requirements of the shoot, for example a magazine cover.
  • Capture Pilot is our iOS application that allows you to view and rate images, plus remote control your camera from your Apple iDevice.  If you don’t have access to an Apple product you can also use any web enabled device, but with slighty less functionality.

Other professional tools include the Focus Mask, which reduces time on initial edits. If you are used to focus peaking on video cameras then the result is similar. The mask shows on the Viewer and Thumbnails indicating the sharpest areas of the image.

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To check focus in general, use the fixed focus window to keep an eye on sharpness. This is especially useful in Portrait and high volume product photography. Read more on tethered photography here

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Adjustment Tools

Capture One 7 has a number of feature rich adjustment tools to give you the creative look you desire. There are too many to mention in a simple blog post! I will use the Color Editor Tool as an example.

This tool allows you to really nail down particular colors (even down to the saturation of that color) and make finite adjustments.  There is the possibility to make up to thirty different corrections and also save these as an ICC profile or Preset for future use.

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It is our opinion that far more precise color edits can be made with this method of first selecting a color and then applying changes to that color, represented with a color circle, as opposed to using arbitrary sliders used in other applications.

Tools for Production

We understand that outputting final images to a number of different formats and sizing is often necessary.  For example, a high resolution TIFF and a lower resolution JPEG for web/email. In Capture One 7 you can setup a number of “Recipes”, which can be enabled with a single click and then “start a process action”. This prevents you from having to enter an output dialog box multiple times to produce multiple file formats.  Actions can also be set for MetaData, Adjustments and Water Marking.

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Asset Management

Capture One 7 introduced Asset Management for the first time. While the concept of Catalogs is not new, we wanted to create a catalog system that had broad appeal and removed some of the limitations of other solutions available. For example, you can work with multiple Catalogs and more than one at the same time. Therefore you can choose to store your work in one or several Catalogs with no limitations.

With Catalogs we introduced the world to the concept of adjustable previews, enabling users to edit and work with their images, without having direct access to their raw files. This has proved to be an extremely valuable feature, making it possible to edit on the go while leaving the raw files on the hard drive or NAS in the studio.

We used our experience with Media Pro to make search and filtering fast and efficient with a simple interface, while implementing several organisational tools to make your Catalog efficient and well structured for easy cataloguing and retrieval. We can also import your catalogs from other applications to help you get started with Capture One.

Customization

Capture One 7 comes with a number of default workspaces, which you can choose as your starting point.  Moving on from here you can change the location of the Tools and Thumbnails, decide what tools appear in which tool tab, create floating tools and more. You really can design an interface that works for you.

Also, think about designing workspaces for specific tasks to help increase production.

As well as customizing the interface, all of the shortcut key actions can be changed to your own preferences, helping you optimize your workflow.

Support

Finally, we have a number of ways to support and help you with Capture One, including an support department staffed with highly proficient technicians and photographers with years of experience between them, normally answering within hours and not days.

help.phaseone.com is a complete searchable manual for Capture One complemented by our YouTube channel (PhaseOneDK) which has over thirty videos on working with Capture One.

Our interactive Webinar program covers many aspects of working with Capture One.
Find out new dates here

Also, don’t forget this blog!

If you have yet to take Capture One Pro 7 for a spin, then download the 60 days free trial today

 

Best regards,

David

 

David Grover

David Grover

David Grover is part of the Capture One marketing team based at our head office. He runs our weekly webinar series on Capture One 7 and produces the video tutorials on Capture One too.

16 thoughts on “Eight major reasons to choose Capture One as your RAW converter

    1. The Image Quality Professor

      Hi Per,

      Thanks for pointing it out. At the bottom of each post, there are several social media share buttons, but we will incoorporate it at the top soon. Please go ahead and share if you feel like it.
      Thanks,

      All the best,
      Niels

      Reply
    1. David Grover Post author

      Hi Paul,

      I am not sure I fully understand your question regarding ‘HD processing’.

      If you mean for processing video footage, then in some ways yes. We do support the Cinema DNG format in Capture One, and look out for a tip on that workflow soon!

      However, for full blown editing, Capture One is not designed for that task.

      David

      Reply
  1. Lester Cantem

    I have and love using Capture 1 Express. What benefits will I gain if I upgrade to Capture 1 Pro? My camera is a Nikon D700 with a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Lens. Will this specific lens/camera combination be supported in greater ‘out of the box’ detail?

    Reply
    1. David Grover Post author

      Hi Lester,

      The good news is that you get the same quality of RAW conversion with Express as you do with Pro. So upgrading to Pro won’t necessarily change the out of the box experience.

      What you do gain in PRO is additional features like tethered shooting, more advanced colour edits and Local Adjustments (as a couple of examples)

      For a full comparison, take a look here…

      http://www.phaseone.com/en/Imaging-Software/Capture-One-Pro-7/Pricing.aspx

      I hope that helps!

      David

      Reply
  2. Languor thy Flats

    Sorry, but if feel that I’ve wasted my money and a lot of time and effort with Capture One. I started on version 3 and am now equipped with version 7.

    Everything was fine until I bought a medium format camera that Capture One won’t include in its profiles list, a Leica S, therefore forcing it’s established customers to invest in Adobe products. Some lame excuse about Leica not lending them a camera to evaluate. Sad when some Capture One dealers have the product on their shelves.

    I just don’t buy this as a Leica shortcoming, it’s Capture One issue to resolve. Wonderful if one owns a penny Panasonic, or a two penny Ricoh, Capture One is the tool for you, but Capture One claim to be a professional solution. So, why such an unprofessional approach ?

    Can I get a refund ? Nah !

    Reply
    1. David Grover Post author

      Dear Langour thy Flats,

      Thanks for your comments.

      It sounds like you are a dedicated user of Capture One (as you mentioned you have been using it since version 3), so naturally it is disappointing that all your cameras are not supported.

      So far, Leica have chosen to bundle the S system with Adobe products, which is of course their choice. If they are interested in bundling with Capture One in the future, we will of course be happy to discuss with them.

      I hope you will let your feelings known to Leica as well.

      With regards to ‘one penny Panasonic’ or ‘two penny Ricoh’ cameras we support more than 300+ cameras now, including professional models from Canon and Nikon along with other popular cameras, used by professionals in their daily work.

      David

      Reply
      1. Languor thy Flats

        But where’s the logic in that David ?

        You support 300 cameras, but to support the Leica S they have to bundle Capture One with it ?? How many of the other 300 cameras are from manufacturers who Bundle Capture One. Any ? Hasselblad don’t bundle Capture One, do Pentax, Olympus ? Do you cover the M series ?

        My point is that you have ‘Leica customers’ who want to use Capture One. I know that Leica are fully aware of this and they are working very closely with Adobe. But Capture One is a universal product and would benefit by S users producing their best work with Capture One.

        If Canon launch a medium format camera with that be subject to a boycott ?

        Please understand, this is a frustrating issue for at least a few S users and I cannot imagine this is hard for Capture One to fix.

        Bewildered. :-(

        Reply
        1. David Grover Post author

          There is no such boycott of Leica. It is simply that we get very few requests to support the S system, probably because Leica is steering your towards using the bundled product.

          Reply
  3. Mike

    Still waiting for keyboard short cuts for 800 to 1500 per event. The guys in Vegas at your booth said nothing was in the works. Just checking in to see if there’s a FAST way to move each slider with a keyboard short-cut.

    Reply
    1. David Grover Post author

      Hi Mike,

      I am not sure what you mean by 800 to 1500 per event?

      However, any active slider can be adjusted with the cursor keys. Holding down shift increases the increment.

      Additionally, by navigating to Capture One>Edit Keyboard shortcuts you can create your own shortcut for any of the tools, including the various adjustment sliders.

      David

      Reply
  4. tomasz

    One more for Leica S! Please :-)

    I am aware they are your competition, but there are also a lot of people out there who rely on your software for developing purposes, not only for photography. When we received files from Leica S, we had to use Adobe solutions and that is not our normal workflow.

    Reply

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