Capture One Pro 10.1 | Workflow PT.2

May 06, 2017  •  1 Comment

ISO200 | 1/800 | F4 | 150mm (300mm effective)


Images used for this blog post were made with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 micro four thirds camera and 12-40/40-150mm F2.8 professional lenses. All of them are full-sized final images with exception of the dragonfly which was cropped for composition. As for processing, I let the software handle it using the built in defaults. The finalized images were downsampled to 1280 pixels on the long edge to make them WEB friendly.


I love what Capture One Pro 10.1 (hereafter referred to as COP 10.1) does for my Fujifilm X-TRANS RAW files and I was curious how digital negatives from an Olympus micro four thirds camera would make out. For me, the results speak for themselves. Colour, Contrast..tonality and Sharpness are all bang-on. If you use cameras from either manufacturer stop reading now. Browse to the COP 10.1 website and buy yourself a copy.

ISO250 | 1/320 | F5.6 | 150mm (300mm effective)

As with my Fujifilm test, I used a variety of images shot under very different circumstances to see how the application would handle them.

ISO250 | 1/250 | F52.8 | 150mm (300mm effective)

Hair, Fur and Fine Textures are my go-to benchmark for how good a camera/lens/RAW Converter work to give me the kind of images I like. I saw nothing to dislike...the hairs on the Chipmunk are very nicely defined and have a natural look. You can almost feel how soft he is...

ISO1000 | 1/250 | F4.5 | 115mm (230mm effective)

When I saw this frog on the deck after a hard rainfall the first thing I noticed was the light on it's skin...when I rendered it out in Adobe Lightroom CC it wasn't glistening like this. It was dull...flat and the noise (ISO 1000) was downright ugly. I ended up running it through Olympus Viewer 3 in order to make it work. The COP 10.1 render is very similar...if not slightly better. The skin looks exactly as it's supposed to...moist.

ISO200 | 1/200 | F2.8 | 40mm (80mm effective)

Ditto for this leaf...the water has a very nice sheen...the transition between the focus/out of focus area really works well. Keep in mind...this is all at the "DEFAULT" COP 10.1 settings.

ISO200 | 1/4000 | F4 | 40mm (80mm effective)

There are quite a few competing colours in this image and while I don't have an issue with Lightroom's render (which is similar) I really think COP 10.1 imparts are better organic feel. I can't exactly put my finger on it...but there is a slightly different quality to the clouds of powder that's a bit more believable here.

ISO200 | 1/200 | F2.8 | 150mm (300mm effective)

Check out the detail in this Fig...it looks precisely as it should. Moist, sticky with clearly defined texture. Again...I could have used the Olympus Viewer 3 software which renders images very well, however COP 10.1 is easier to use and much, much faster in general operation.

ISO200 | 1/1000 | F3.5| 106mm (212mm effective)

When I started shooting with micro four thirds cameras I wasn't very impressed and I almost gave up. Then I noticed that a huge divide existed between the out of camera JPEGS and those which I processed in Adobe Lightroom CC. I swapped for a brief time to an application called DXO Optics Pro. Whatever that software did behind the scenes I'm sure I don't know. It's renders were clearly superior to that of Lightroom. I had to go back to Lightroom and reverse process my Olympus images until I got an approximate match. While I think we came about 90% of the way to approximating the DXO renders, something was still missing. DXO just seemed to be reading and interpreting the ORF (Olympus) RAW files better and outputting a much more natural but dynamic image. I get the same impression now from COP 10.1. I just might get a large bottle of wine and dedicate an entire evening to see if I can get Lightroom to match up more closely to COP 10.1. The technology is there...maybe I'm just missing the specific How/Why.

Summary

I know this might seem as me being picky to some of you. Your probably right.

Every dollar I earn in the business of photography is hard fought. Budgets have been in a free-fall for years, gear get's more expensive and complex. On top of all that is the pressure to stay on top of ever shifting trends and market needs. When I buy equipment I expect to get every ounce of capability out of it. If you bought a television that claimed to receive 100 channels but only did 10, would you be satisfied?

I'm guessing no, and that's precisely how I feel about Adobe Lightroom CC. I'm paying (monthly) for software that is increasingly buggy, slow (as compared to Capture One Pro 10.1) and far too inconsistent with the way it handles my Fujifilm and Olympus RAW files. Like a piece of equipment (camera), I want it to just do it's job and stay out of my way. It sucks to always be coming up with "workarounds" to make the experience tolerable.

This version of Capture One Pro does have it's issues but there is no denying the developer is moving along in the right direction.

 


Comments

Nick C.(non-registered)
Interesting read, thank you for sharing. I have been an Olympus user (DSLR first and then to MFT) for several years now. I'd never even think to compare the pathetic "Viewer" software to any of the top branded ones, but it is better than nothing. Having said that, I use Lightroom exclusively and have no issues at all. The only trouble I see in it is the resources it consumes when outputting files.

I see nothing in these photos that would make me change. They are soft, lack clarity and sharpness in general, and especially taken on the pro series lenses. I think that is more surprising to me to see there is not much difference in image quality to lower end lenses, other than the faster aperture of course. Now that most if not all MFT lenses have built in profile corrections for Lightroom, "the lens not found" issue has gone away too for the most part.

Anyway, just my opinion of course. Thanks again for sharing this information.
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