I have worked as a professional product photographer in the past, and I am a dedicated photographer in my personal life as well. My experience with image editing software started with Photoshop version 5, and has since expanded to cover a wide range of software that covers all skill levels.
The opinions I share with you in this review are entirely my own, and I share the same conclusions that I make when considering purchasing editing software for my own photography practice.
Phase One has had no editorial input on this review, and I did not receive any special consideration from them in exchange for writing it. What is Capture One Pro? It features a complete range of tools for managing a RAW photography workflow, from tethered capturing to image editing to library management.
Version 10 offers several new updates, but as you might expect by the time a piece of software reaches version 10, they are primarily improvements on existing features. There is also a new Styles and Presets tool for comparing styles and applying them to multiple files, a quick option for temporarily resetting all edits, and better control over sharpening features.
For the complete list of updates, you can view the release notes here. How Much is Capture One Pro? There are two options for purchasing Capture One Pro The subscription plan is broken down into several 2-workstation single-user payment options: Capture One also provides better support for localized editing, even going so far as to include a layering system similar to that found in Photoshop.
Capture One also provides a number of additional workflow management options such as variant management, where you can easily create virtual copies of an image and compare various editing options, as well as control over the user interface itself in order to create custom workspaces that match your particular requirements and style.
Please note that the screenshots used in this review are from the Windows version of Capture One Pro, and the Mac version will have a slightly different user interface. Once I ran the program, I was presented with a number of options about which licensing version of Capture One 10 I was going to use.
Considering that this is professional-quality software, the amount of tutorial information available was quite refreshing. There were a great number of tutorial videos covering a range of potential use cases, complete with sample images that could be used to test out the various editing features. Once I clicked through all this, I was finally presented with the main interface for Capture One, and my first thought was that it was extremely confusing.
Working with Image Libraries In order to experiment with how Capture One worked, I decided to import a huge batch of my own photos to see how well it handled a fairly large library import.
Library management features will be quite familiar to anyone who has used Lightroom in the past, providing a range of different options for categorizing and tagging photos. Star ratings can be applied, as well as a variety of colored tags for separating out images according to any system you care to devise. Tethered Shooting As I mentioned earlier, my poor D80 took a swim in Lake Ontario earlier this summer, but I still took a quick look through the tethered shooting options.
It allows you to use a number of the tethering functions from your mobile device, acting as a sort of super-powered remote shutter. It correctly identified the lens that I had used to take my photos, allowing me to correct for barrel distortion, light falloff vignetting and color fringing with a simple slider adjustment. Suffice to say that the exposure controls were as powerful as you would expect from a professional-quality program, and allow for as much control over exposure as you can accomplish with Photoshop.
This is accomplished by creating masks that define the areas to be affected, with each mask on its own layer. The number of image elements that could be controlled in this localized fashion was quite impressive, but the actual masking process could definitely be improved.
Painting masks felt slow, and there was a decided delay between passing the cursor over an area and actually seeing the mask update when moving too quickly. The User Interface There are several unique little user interface features that make working with the program a bit easier, such as the on-location navigator that can be called up when working at various zoom levels by pressing spacebar.
The tradeoff for this power seems to be that unless you customize, things are a bit overwhelming at first until you start to get used to them.
Curiously enough, occasionally when I was using the software I would find various elements of the user interface unresponsive. After closing the program and re-opening it during the course of my testing, I found that suddenly all of the previews for my images had disappeared.
Nothing I did could induce it to show them, except restarting the program, which is rather odd behavior for expensive professional-level software, especially once it has reached its 10th version. The Reasons Behind the Ratings Effectiveness: The image quality it produces is extremely impressive, and the range of tools it has for correction are equally impressive. Ease of Use: That being said, it can be completely customized to match your particular working style, which would likely make it much easier to use — if you can take the time to figure out how best to organize everything.
Not all photographers have experience with user interface design, and the default setup could use a bit of streamlining. There are plenty of tutorials available, and every tool links to an online knowledge base that explains the functionality.
Learn more from our detailed review. The latest version of Lightroom CC has also included tethered capture support, which puts it more squarely in competition with Capture One, and it has a very similar set of organizational tools for managing large image libraries. Layered and localized editing is its strong suit, and even Phase One admits that it wants Capture One to work alongside Photoshop.
Conclusion Phase One Capture One Pro is an impressive piece of software, aimed at the extremely high-end level of professional image editing.