Its not red hot news, as Phase One A/S released version 10 of its Capture One Pro raw development software a few weeks ago now, so much as some welcome added extras in the form of a number of excellent training and webinar videos by Phase One for those of us new to Capture One Pro and that are very useful for veteran users too.
This past year, 2016, has been an amazing one for raw processing and image editing software, as I have mentioned several times before now in other articles, with major updates as well as entirely new products.
We as photographers benefit from a broader choice of products and, in my humble opinion, the software makers benefit from one of them lifting the bar higher again with the rest challenging themselves to match and even surpass the current leader’s example, or diverge into a completely different direction.
I have barely had time to properly digest how Capture One Pro 10 has lifted the bar and have yet to try its new features out, but the stand-out for me is its new three-step sharpening process.
Three Step Sharpening
Full control over the sharpening process from Capture to Output. Diffraction Correction, new creative tools for Halo Control makes sharpening easier, and recipe independent output sharpening remove the need to guess amounts for final size.
While trying out and working seriously with a range of image editing and raw processing software recently, I have noticed some divergence in the way each product sharpens images. Those variations seem to depend on which camera the raw files come from, and, of course, how the user manipulates each product’s sharpening controls.
X-Trans raw files from Fujifilm’s X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras are a case in point. Opinions vary widely amongst experienced users as to which raw processors get the best out of X-Trans files but I have also been noticing differences with raw files from other cameras.
There is clearly more to sharpening than meets the eye. From the evidence Phase One has understood that and its solution is a three-phase process with the welcome ability to see the result of that in version 10’s Output Proofing tool, before hitting the Process button.
Bravo Phase One for seeing the light, and now I hope that all the other raw processing and image editing software makers will follow that example, find their own ways of improving sharpening and even go beyond Phase One’s achievement in version 10 of Capture One Pro.
Now the question is, will Capture One Pro be supporting Fujifilm’s groundbreaking GFX 50S medium format digital camera? Not according to a Phase One representative:
“It is unlikely that we will support the Fuji GFX 50s – we have a long standing policy of not providing support to direct competitors of our core business.”
If true, even more incentive for makers of other raw processors and image editors to equal then surpass the features in Capture One Pro 10.
Right now I and other photographers of my acquaintance are relying on a range of raw processing software in order to get the best out of each camera brand’s sensors and lenses. Not all raw processors are created equal in terms of core functionality, regardless of other possible image editing functions.
Wouldn’t it be incredible if all such software’s core features rendered the best conversions possible for all raw file types from all cameras and lenses, levelling the playing field in that regard, but then strived to differentiate themselves in other ways?
One or two to get the best out of Fujifilm X-Trans raw files, others to get the best out of other brands’ raw files, another because it has a decent Digital Assent Management (DAM) function, it all adds up.
Being an independent, self-financed photographer/moviemaker having to maintain licences for a range of similar, oftentimes overlapping, software in order to get the best out of what one does is incredibly expensive. It would be good to narrow things down a little.
- Youtube.com: Phase One channel – scroll down the page to Capture One 10 Tutorials and Capture One 10 Webinars.