Capture One Pro 10.1 | Workflow

May 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


Images posted in this article were shot on a variety of Fujifilm cameras for my review: X70, X-Pro2, X-T1 and processed using the default settings for Capture One Pro 10.1 except for Colour & Contrast. One image (The Iguana) was sharpened with one of the Sharpen Soft Image settings.

"So full disclosure...regular readers know that I've been on the roster of Fujifilm North America's X-Photographers for a handful of years now. The X-T1 camera is my daily driver for much of my professional work. The X-T2 was launched some time ago but my X-T1 is hanging tough. It's hard to justify the upgrade while it continues to work extremely well. I haven't had a single day of downtime with constant use. I also use an X-Pro2 from time to time."

After a few kicks at the can, Capture One Pro 10.1 finally get's it right with Fujifilm RAW files.

For most Fujifilm users the Film Simulations and amazing image processing engine is all they need. Photos are ready for viewing and sharing with no further editing needed if exposure and focusing are satisfactory. The rest of us who want complete control over the end result have to shoot RAW and work towards the finished product. RAW File Converter by Silkypix comes with each camera purchase and produces wonderfully rendered images but not without a major cost. It's not the most user friendly application and it runs slowly even on late model computer systems. Adobe Lightroom CC is an all-in-one solution with reasonably good RAW file processing, cataloguing etc. It does just about everything  "good enough" but nothing particular really well. Even after nearly five years of offering Fujifilm support, X-TRANS files are still treated like second-class citizens.

"Enter Capture One Pro version 10.1"

Support for Fujifilm RAW files has been greatly improved and the program itself has undergone some very interesting streamlining. It's much easier to get right down to work editing without reading through a ton of the manual. I don't know how the developer did it where Adobe still struggles...but the application is very fast on a late model computer and it now has GPU acceleration for Fuji files. I'm impressed. Unlike Lightroom, this actually makes a difference in rendering speed and screen updates.

I imported a handful of files to test things out for myself.

Lightroom tends to display bad behaviour when handling images with leaves, grass...fine hairs etc.  This is bad for me in particular because I love to see fine details pop with loads of micr-contrast. I know the lenses are capable of delivering that but more often than not Adobe Lightroom simply isn't doing it's part. Also under some circumstances colours experience some smearing. Capture One Pro seems to have that all resolved now. Colours are crisp and separated and transitions seem much smoother. The best part is the rendering of fine detail...the grass looks nice, and not like a watercolour painting.

The above image of the rusted bolt shows real bite in all the grungy texture. I used the Fujinon 60mm Macro lens which is an extremely sharp piece of glass, as are most macro lenses regardless of manufacturer. The Lightroom defaults often won't do that lens justice without me having to jump through hoops. It can be a real challenge to get this kind of sharpness without introducing artifacts. While I've developed some good workarounds, it's nice to just trust a software application to do it's thing. I'm a photographer, not a software engineer.

I did my best to match the colours in Capture One Pro as they would appear in-camera (with Film Simulations) and I think I got pretty close without having to break out the Colour Checker Passport tool. That's about the only thing I missed from Lightroom...

I took about 5 images of this Iguana and only two of them were critically sharp. It was a hot afternoon  ( I don't do well in the heat) and he was moving around quite a bit. The image above was slightly front focused...I saved it by using the "Soft Image Sharpen" tool on setting #3. I managed a good result without introducing artifacts.

This shot is at ISO 1600 at F2 using the XF35mm (ver 2) lens...I was BBQ'ing late one night and the light level was very low. In fact all of the light is coming from the flames and hot coals. excellent render at DEFAULT settings with very good colour and contrast. The Lightroom version was definitely not this good.

Leigh Miller |

I don't really do as much fashion/beauty work these days but portraits/headshots remains a large component of my practice. Beauty shots are slightly more demanding because they tend to be shot very tight and I want details like skin texture and hair..eyelashes etc to be rendered well. At time like those I resort to the RAW Converter by Silkypix software to render the file, after which I'll export it for in-depth editing and retouching in Adobe Photoshop. Capture One Pro 10.1 is going to be my goto for this from now on. I've gotten more consistent result with COP 10.1 with easier control over colour and fine details...not to mention, it's so much faster and efficient.

Brass Tacks....

I'm very happy with this new version of Capture One Pro. It hits all the right notes for abundance of features, great tools, better Fujifilm X-Trans RAW handling and, fast.

It's still not for everyone.

The application is far more expensive as compared to Adobe Lightroom CC and doesn't have the same level of file handling. Although it's now easier to figure out on the fly, Lightroom is still more user friendly for the uninitiated to advanced workflow experiences. Consider it an investment if photography is a very serious pursuit and/or your job.


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