New to Capture One

Started Aug 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
MiraShootsNikon Contributing Member • Posts: 942
"Real" RAW

Ron AKA wrote:

ImageAmateur wrote:

MiraShootsNikon wrote:

...This is the big reason why Capture One processes RAW with a very "finished" perspective--sharpened, rich color, full of tone. .... It's not a joke that a credible Capture One workflow can be (1) shoot > (2) import (if not tethered) > (3) tweak exposure (if necessary) > (4) export / done.

Never thought of it like that, but that does make sense.

Adobe Camera RAW has an Auto button as well, and I presume Lr does.

LR's "auto adjust" for white balance or for exposure and tone isn't the same thing as the "bespoke" profiles with which Capture One defaults RAW conversion. LR / ACR's "auto" buttons perform a real-time per-image analysis--they aren't a set principles or adjustments tied to the specific camera.

Capture One doesn't import RAW and then apply adjustments based on image-per-image analysis; rather, it has a set of parameters hooked up to every camera profile (just like ACR / Lightroom--which I discuss below). D700s get a different tone curve, sharpening, noise reduction, etc. than do 5D3s. Essentially, the guys at Capture One figure out what they think a pleasing-but-flexible result from each camera is, and then they set the default processing to do that. It's a little bit like one of the manufacturer's JPEG processing paradigms.

Those who are particular with their RAW image development, may prefer to start with a real RAW image instead of a partly pre-cooked one though.

That's an excellent point, and it's an issue with Lightroom / ACR, too. If I open a RAW file in a diagnostic tool like RAW Digger or similar utility, what I see is very different than the Lightroom import default. Actually seeing the "real raw" in RAW Digger makes it clear that Adobe is applying camera-specific curves and color profiles and performing other tonal manipulations to display the Adobe Standard / zeroed-sliders starting point. It is, in other words, just as "cooked" a starting point as Capture One's.

So if it's not the "real raw," then what is the Lightroom / ACR default start? Why does "Adobe Standard" look the way it looks? I hypothesize that it's a kind of "lowest common denominator" of tone and color, the combination that will allow pretty much every camera's output to look more or less the same at the start--but I don't know that for sure. (And it looks suspiciously like Canon's "neutral" JPEG picture style . . . but I digress.) Anyway, the Phase One folks tell us why the Capture One default starting point is the way is. Adobe doesn't. Personally, I'd love to hear someone from Adobe talk more about it.

(I have often thought that the above workflow--shoot, import, tweak exposure, export--with Capture One Express is the definitive answer for folks who want a better-than-JPEG result but dislike the idea of serious time and effort with RAW proofing.)


Many folks regard Capture One and Lightroom as complementary rather than competitive tools. A common workflow might be Session-based RAW conversion in Capture One, TIFFed into Lightroom (or catalogued in Bridge) for asset management, quick Photoshop / plug-in round-trips, and easy multi-format export. That approach gives you the best of both--Capture One's excellent RAW conversion, Lightroom's excellent management and extensibility--without too much hassle.

Hmmmmm, did not really think of that either. Understood. I guess where one depends on filing /managing and exporting a whole host of images on a regular basis, that makes sense also.

I may be failing to see it, but it strikes me that Capture One Pro 7's Catalog does pretty much the same thing as Lr. In fact, I would suggest it has been copied from Lr. Prior to having the Catalog option C1P7 only had Sessions as an image management tool, and it is quite specialized in purpose.

Big, big, big thing that Capture One's catalog doesn't have: round-tripping to Photoshop or other external editors.

In Lightroom, when you want to roll into Photoshop, you just alt-E your photograph and Lightroom automatically catalogs and stacks the Photoshop variant before sending you into Photoshop. You work in Photoshop or any other editor of your choice then drop right back into Lightroom. And it can be even more flexible than that, because you can open any Lightroom asset in Photoshop as a Smart Object--so everything you've done in Lightroom becomes non-destructively editable within Photoshop / ACR, too.

In Capture One, you have to export and then re-import and stack / group the edited file yourself. And there's no opening your Capture One edits as a Photoshop Smart Object.

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