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Capture One Pro – Do you need to make the switch?

Capture One Pro message – Need to make the switch? first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Darina Kopcok.

This can be a known scenario? You take a photo shoot and you have connected your camera to Lightroom. Everything is going well, but you still have a lot of photos to do. The clock is ticking, and you can feel the time crunch. Out of the blue, Lightroom crashes and you have to unplug everything and restart your computer. While your client taps their foot and breathes impatiently in your neck.

Welcome to the reality of tethering in Lightroom.

Don't get me wrong now, Adobe Lightroom is one excellent program.

I have used it for years. It is a powerful database for your image files. Lightroom has excellent color management tools and other functions such as noise reduction and stain removal, making it the only program many photographers use. In fact, the speed and stability of tethering in Lightroom is one thing that has leapt forward in 2019.

But if you are photographing a genre that requires tethering, such as food or still life, or if you are a portrait photographer, you might want to consider switching to Capture One Pro (COP).

For years I personally resisted making this change. I did not want to learn another program or complicate my workflow. But when Lightroom continued to crash and freeze during a groundbreaking shoot with a large advertising client, I decided to make the switch. As a still life shooter, I think COP is unbeatable.

If you are a pro-shooter or semi-pro, I would say that Capture One Pro is a must. If you are a hobbyist, you may still find that learning this image processor is worth it.

This article is not intended as a tutorial. Instead, I want to help you through the functions and benefits of using Capture One Pro. There are numerous resources online to learn how to use the program, many of which you will find in Capture One Pro when you log in to the interface.

What is Capture One?

Capture One Pro is a RAW file editor and a management system. It has been around for about 20 years and was created by Phase One, a Danish manufacturer of cameras with an open platform in basic format.

The software naturally supports Phase One's own cameras, as well as more than 400 digital single-lens reflex cameras, such as those from Canon, Nikon and Sony.

In fact, COP has entered into a relationship with Sony. If you are a Sony user, Capture One Express is a free image editing editor that comes with your camera and includes some of the essential editing and workflow features that you will find in Capture One Pro.

Get started with Capture One

The first thing you need to know when you start working with this software is that the interface looks nothing like Lightroom. For those who used Lightroom, Capture One Pro will be confusing for you.

This is often frustrating for Lightroom users in the beginning, so they give up before they start.

There are many differences between the ' s programs. What has become intuitive for you in Lightroom may not work in COP.

COP has Lightroom's library functions with the benefits of Photoshop for working in layers.

It is an all-in-one solution for many photographers.

Benefits of using Capture One

So why is Capture One worth a new learning curve? Let's see:

Superior tethering

As you may have seen from the introduction, tying with shooting is incredibly stable in COP, while Lightroom is known as super-glitchy.

Another advantage is that COP has a built-in Direct images position.

If you have used the Live View function on your camera, you may have noticed that you can only use it in natural light or when you use a constant light source such as an LED or the modeling lamp on a mono head.

However, Capture One offers a Live View function within the program itself.

If you are a photographer for food, products or still lifes, this feature will increase your productivity across the roof. You and your stylists can make the step-by-step adjustments needed in still life photography, all while viewing the components in the frame on a computer or laptop monitor.

Moreover, it has a cover feature. This allows you to upload album art, such as a product package layout or magazine cover, so that you can ensure that your subject fits the parameters required by the project.

Sessions versus Catalogs

Both Lightroom and Capture One Pro act as RAW photo editors and organization software for your image files. However, their organizational structures are not the same.

Lightroom can open one catalog at a time. These Catalogs can be subdivided into multiple collections and collection sets.

In COP, photos ' s are organized in Sessions. These are ideal for separating individual client sessions and different collections. For example, stock photography or personal photos ' s. This is a better approach to large sets of images.

As with the Lightroom Collections, you can create session albums and move your images from different folders on your hard drive to a folder of favorite sessions without physically moving them.

COP creates an automatic folder structure within the session. It creates four default folders every time you start a new session: Capture, Selects, Output, Trash.

The Capture folder contains all photos taken with a tethering or imported from your SD card. After you have made a selection of your favorite images, they are automatically moved to the Selects folder. If you want to delete specific images, they are moved to the Trash folder by default. However, they are not permanent deleted – you can restore them.

The output folder is the folder where your exported images are sent unless you choose another folder.

The power of layers

Capture One Pro offers the functionality of the Lightroom Library interface, with the power of Photoshop layers.

Both Lightroom and COP offer general adjustments that change the entire image, as well as a set of local adjustment tools that you can apply to smaller parts of the image.

However, COP includes the option to make local adjustments on multiple layers. Lightroom users must switch from Lightroom to Photoshop for multi-layer adjustment.

The options for the layers of COP are less powerful than those in Photoshop, but more powerful than the single-layer tools of Lightroom.

Of course you can apply a number of masking types of adjustments with Lightroom with the adjustment brush and other tools. The customization tools in Lightroom have been improved with every upgrade.

But if you have made several adjustments and have to go back a few steps, remembering which adjustment you have made can be confusing.

With COP you have a clear overview of all the adjustments that you have applied to the image.

You can create radial masks and linear masks and fill masks over the entire layer and erase parts of the mask. You can also create masks based on brightness, applying adjustments only to the highlights or shadows in your photo.

Last but not least, you can change the coverage of these masks.

For example, if you have created a color treatment that you had in mind, but the colors are too saturated and bold, you can reduce coverage to reduce the strength of those colors. All this while maintaining your color treatment.



Better color management

There is so much flexibility when it comes to color management and color correction in COP.

First of all, Capture One has individual color profiles for each camera. So, when you import the image files, you get something that looks like the preview on the back of your LCD screen.

Lightroom files, however, have a more neutral starting point. This is great for photographers who opt for more muted palettes.

Conversely, the colors of the COP look brighter and more vivid before you make adjustments. The adjustment options in both programs give similar results, but the starting point will differ slightly.

The color tools in COP are also incredibly powerful and versatile.

While Lightroom has the HSL (Hue-Saturation-Luminance) panel with sliders and RGB curve adjustments, COP still offers a number of ways to work with color.

You can use the Levels, Tone Curve, Color Editor, or Advanced Color Editor tool.

The color options include shadow, mid-tone and high-light adjustments for color balance and a channel specifically for adjusting skin tones. COP also has an adjustment option for luminance curves.

Some disadvantages for using Capture One

A disadvantage of using Capture One is that as a less popular image processor there are far fewer options when it comes to supporting third-party products such as presets and plug-ins.

However, COP has a function called Recipes, which are similar to presets.

The other major drawback is the cost.

For US $ 10 per month you can use both Lightroom and Photoshop.

COP costs USD 20 per month if you choose the subscription option. It is $ 180 USD if you pay a whole year at a time.

However, unlike Adobe, Capture One also offers the option to purchase the latest version of the software for $ 299. Adobe now only offers a subscription-based service – much to the anger of many photographers.

Take Capture Pro for a test run

The best way to get started with Capture One Pro is to download the 30-day free trial and import some of your images from your hard drive.

Make some time to go through the tutorials and really get to know the program. Consider how you can set up a workflow if you make the switch from another RAW editor such as Lightroom.

To sum up

Like every program, there are pros and cons and there. There is no perfect program.

It comes down to making a well-considered choice. Hopefully, this introduction to Capture one Pro has helped you understand some of its benefits.

Are you using Capture One Pro or are you considering making the switch? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.

catch a pro - do you have to switch?

Capture One Pro message – Need to make the switch? first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Darina Kopcok.

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