Today PhaseOne released the version 10 of CapturOne, I still have to test in deep the new version and I plan to do some tutorials about it in the next days (yes, Christmas time is perfect to work on more personal projects) but for now I want to tell why I switched from Adobe ACR (or Lightroom) to CaptureOne.
As many photographers I never explored RAW converters before, everybody was using Adobe, I was using Adobe. Photoshop is really a standard in image editing and I used it to retouch my scanned images well before the digital cameras became the norm. When I got my first digital it was the normal choice to convert the RAW in ACR, and I continued for years with the same workflow.
When I changed from film to digital I was stuck in photographic mental crisis.
With film I used the Fuji Provia a lot for my commercial assignments, and that was meaning the need to be able to have perfect light and exposure. The tolerance of the Provia was a maximum of a third of a stop, and to be precise, when I used it in the view camera, I considered the tenth of a stop variations. All my pictures came out technically perfect (I think also artistically but I try to be modest 😉 ).
With digital I never got the perfect picture out of the camera, I always had to correct the white balance (a lot of magenta dominants with Canon files) also with studio photographs illuminated with the Broncolor flashes that are perfectly chromatically controllable and stable, and usually I had to correct the exposure curves and other parameters.
It was very frustrating. Digital was supposed to be better than film, but the pictures were never good enough out of the camera… and I really do not like the time dedicated to post processing!
One day Adobe decided to make us pay the rent for its products. I did not liked software subscriptions and I do not like it still now, and I decided to try some alternatives I could buy. I did not read many reviews or software comparisons, I just googled for “RAW converters” and downloaded the trial version of the many options available.
I took some pictures made in studio, on location, different subjects from industrial to nudes, and I opened the images in the various software without applying any retouch.
With my surprise my photographic crisis disappeared: the files opened in CaptureOne were great straight out of the camera. No need to change the color balance, also on picture I taken with the Auto White Balance (since then I though it was a totally waste of resources to use it), no need to adjust the curves on the images exposed in studio and no need for sharpness and noise reduction adjustments. Finally I was able again to take correct pictures in camera and dedicate the post processing to the eventual creative enhancements and not to corrections.
The difference is that CapturOne uses a specific ICC color profile for each camera model to elaborate the RAW. That is basically what allows the file to be converted with correct colors and curves. Yes, there are other important things in the conversion engine, but I think the support of the ICC standard from the camera to the final output is the more important. In the first versions I used there were some little limits in the available functions but the beauty of the files made me forget them.
Going on in the years a lot of functions were added and the Color Editor, Color Masks and the layer masks are probably what I use more. I can now have a full workflow in CaptureOne and limit to Photoshop some minor retouching if the file needs it.
The point of this blog post is simple: do not listen to other photographers, bloggers and magazines, you can easily download the trial versions of the software and test it on images you know well and see what is better for you.
I have specific cameras and my own style, so I choose CaptureOne, you can feel better with other software, but give a try to all the options and use your eyes to evaluate.
So, go to PhaseOne, download it and test it with your own eyes.
Have fun and, if you decide to buy it, use the coupon AMBBARBANO to save 10%.
More on the version 10 later!