Bob Rockefeller Photography

Capture One Is Deep, But Narrow


Some programs are shallow in powerful features, but wide in their different uses. Others are have power features that offer deep functionality, but are mostly concentrated on those speciality features. Capture One Pro, by Phase One, is an application that excels with class-leading de-mosaic and color adjustment algorithms, but trails the pack in DAM (Digital Asset Management) and printing tools.

That’s sad, and somewhat surprising, because Phase One also owns a long-established digital media library tool, Media Pro (it was Microsoft Expression Media and iView Media Pro before that). The power of the RAW adjustment abilities leads to pain when attempting to manage, or print, the results.

Getting Comfortable with Capture One Pro


I am getting more and more comfortable using Capture One Pro in place of Lightroom. I still import my new images to both programs, but I find I’m not using Lightroom for the new ones anymore. However, I have not moved all my old images to Capture One Pro just yet.

Maybe a third of those older images have been copied into Capture One Pro to be sure importing works as expected and that Capture One Pro’s catalog works well with multiple albums and a medium-sized keyword library. Just as I did with Aperture, I’m using a managed, as opposed to referenced, catalog.

I still love Capture One Pro’s interface and adjustment tools. I’m coming to grips with the lack of printing presets and I’ve worked around the DAM (Digital Asset Management) limitations, for the most part.

And I’ve learned several things.

Capture One Pro is a RAW Processor


I don’t think that it will surprise anyone to hear that Capture One Pro is a RAW converter first, and foremost. In its early days (my first introduction to it was somewhere around version 3), it was only a RAW processor. The standard workflow was to load images into a session folder, demosaic the file, and allow you to make darkroom-like adjustments to it.

From there, you exported a JPG or TIFF and did what you needed to with the resulting file. Capture One did not concern itself with libraries, catalogs, keywords, or much of anything else. Put a RAW file in, get a nicely developed TIFF out. It was then, and may very well still be, the best RAW image developer available.

But times have changed.

Capture One Pro Customization


One of my favorite things about Capture One Pro is the ability to customize its interface. By making customizations, even multiple customizations for multiple tasks, and saving them as Workspaces, you can create a number of different editing environments within the application.

So, not only does the interface look reminiscent of Aperture’s, but you can mold it to even a greater extent than you could in Aperture. And you’ll find that more of the interface can be changed than is at first apparent

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