Jewel on the Shore Processed in Capture One Pro

Ten Reasons Why I Love Capture One Pro (Podcast 702)

After four years, this week I share ten reasons why I'm still completely in love with Capture One Pro for my digital workflow.

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Murray foote
    Posted at 22:48h, 25 April Reply

    That’s a very useful article, Martin.

    I’m currently using both Lightroom and Capture One (and FastRawViewer for culling for that matter). Images I process in Capture One I export back to Lightroom as ProPhoto JPEGs so I maintain an overall catalogue in Lightroom.

    Your section on Workflow Speed reminds me I need to do some more research on image selection and assessment in Capture One, to see whether I should be spending more time there.

    But the main takeaway for me is tethered shooting which I’ve never done in Capture One and only a couple of times in Lightroom, clearly a more primitive interface for this purpose. I’m likely to be digitising old slides before too long and testing whether to scan them or copy them. If I take the copying route, tethering to Capture One is the obvious choice.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 10:32h, 26 April Reply

      Hi Murray,

      It’s great to hear from you. I personally wouldn’t be able to work between two applications as you do, simply from a personal character/trait perspective. Not a right/wrong thing. I am too binary. Often to my detriment, I’m either in, or out. If your workflow is working for you, that’s all that matters, and I understand, because I did miss the ability to keep more images in a larger catalog when I used Lightroom, but I got used to working with my yearly folders and my separate Finals catalog for all of my selects from over the years.

      Shooting tethered in Capture One Pro is a huge benefit, and one that I think is often overlooked. That’s another reason I included it. I don’t do it often enough, but when I do, it’s a solid feature that is in my opinion without rival. Even the Canon tethering software is clunky and not very stable. It takes many more steps to set up and then can freeze the camera up etc. Capture One Pro tethering is one click to connect, and I’ve never known it to fail.


  • Wade Gibbons
    Posted at 01:39h, 26 April Reply

    HI Martin, thanks for your thoughts on Capture One.

    I have also been using Capture One Pro since I started using Fujifilm gear a few years ago and saw a marked improvement in raw conversion relative to Lightroom. Given photography is a hobby rather than a profession, I struggle with the cost of having a licence for Capture One as well as Lightroom/Photoshop simply so I have access to Photoshop for things like focus stacking, exposure blending etc., – essentially image blending. Do foresee anytime in the future that Capture One would consider including this functionality? I have tried alternatives such as ON1 PhotoRaw and Affinity Pro, but neither really were at the same standard as Capture One or LR/PS.


    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 10:47h, 26 April Reply

      Hi Wade,

      Thanks for the comment. I have no inside information on the future of Capture One Pro, so this is purely my personal opinion, but at this point, based on the trends I’ve seen over the years, I don’t think we’ll see things like focus stacking and exposure blending any time soon, but I would love to be wrong. I didn’t expect them to implement Luminosity Masking, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that I am. 🙂

      I am using Affinity Photo instead of Photoshop for some things at the moment, but for me, it falls apart because there is no JPEGmini plugin for Affinity Photo and Affinity do not yet support these Photoshop plugins. From both Capture One Pro and Photoshop, when I’m ready to export a JPEG, I just hit the JPEGmini button, or build it into my Capture One Pro export recipe, and it gives me a high-quality JPEG file with just the right amount of compression applied for web use, etc.

      If Affinity Photo can use this plugin, or use the Photoshop plugin at some point, I will stop my yearly Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom subscription. Even now I am paying for Lightroom, despite not installing it for four years now, because the Photoshop/Lightroom subscription is cheaper than Photoshop alone. Just one plugin is holding me back. Otherwise, while there is a learning curve, I believe that Affinity Photo is the only editor that can replace Photoshop, and the fact that they have a feature parity app for iPad that uses the same files, and the Serif Affinity inter-app compatability, in my opinion, put them years ahead of the competition. But, to avoid confusion, I should add that this is all for image editing and illustration, publication work. Capture One Pro is my go-to asset management and raw processing app of choice.


  • Peter Morch
    Posted at 22:18h, 27 April Reply

    Thanks for this post. If you ever have time, could you post your process for B&W conversion using Capture One? I’m relatively new to the software and would greatly appreciate a bit of a tutorial as you like to use it. Also, like you, I also use JPEGmini plugin as an export recipe. I think it’s a terrific addition to C1.

    Thanks in advance

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 11:53h, 28 April Reply

      Hi Peter,

      Absolutely, I intend to release an updated version of my black and white conversion process very soon, but please check out the tutorials that I have already done, as much of it is already covered in there, it’s just a bit outdated now.

      I’m pleased you have found JPEGmini too. I couldn’t agree more. It’s a great addition and I’m really pleased that they have a Capture One Pro plugin available for it.


  • Greg Scott
    Posted at 03:54h, 28 April Reply

    I have been using Capture One for about 4 years. I need to make better use of the luminosity masking option. I do use layers a great deal but the main reason I switched from Adobe Camera Raw is I prefer C1s RAW editor interpretation. I also prefer the design of C1s level adjustment that allows optimization for each channel as a default setting. I use an automatic levels adjustment when importing because it helps me to pre-visualize the potential in RAW files when making initial selections for editing. I usually revisit the levels adjustment at the end of editing just to make sure I am not clipping any channels. All of this is very easy to do. I agree that the flexibility customizing the user interface is an excellent feature in this application.

    Good article.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 11:55h, 28 April Reply

      Hi Greg,

      That’s about the same amount of time as me. Congrats on making the switch!

      Luminosity masks in Capture One Pro was a huge update in my opinion. I don’t use it on every image, really just a small percentage, but when I need it, it’s so nice to have.


  • Thysje Arthur
    Posted at 13:59h, 16 May Reply

    Hi Martin!
    I really do enjoy your podcasts! And this particular one came at a time when I was seriously looking at Lightroom alternatives and not having much joy. I still use Lightroom 6 and have never gone to the subscription model. For a variety of reasons, not necessarily the subscription model itself.
    I’ve listened to you talk about Capture One before of course but this time I felt ready to investigate the software for myself. I downloaded the 30 day trial and had a look at the interface, and then looked at the 30 day challenge page the CO people put together, and slowly over the period of the last few weeks have learnt a lot. I also accessed the YouTube videos, especially those by David Grover, and they were very useful.
    I’ve created test catalogs and sessions, with a handful of images I just picked from my archives to play with. And right away I felt the quality was there in my images. The details are great, as you found with your crane. As I experimented with the tool set and other things, I began to feel that I can process my photos much more intuitively. I began to see that often only a fine adjustment is needed to bring out something in a photo. And I LOVE the layers!
    We had a wedding in the family in March, just before New Zealand went into lockdown because of the virus. I was not the principal photographer, but our granddaughter had asked me to photograph the groom and his family getting ready for the ceremony. There was much happening in my life at that time because only the week before my mother passed. She was 92! And with everything happening, I had only given my photos of the wedding a cursory glance in Lightroom, had a little go at processing a couple and then laid them aside for a later date. I was not particularly happy with the process in LR, and it is a reflection of how I’ve felt the past year about my photography. I just didn’t feel I was getting the best out of my images. So your podcast was timely indeed!
    Once I felt I got the hang of the layout of the interface etc, I created a catalog for the wedding shots. There weren’t many, but immediately I noticed the difference! In no time at all I had my picks done and I was happy with the result!
    My next experiment was to take an old photo from 2008 with my entry level DSLR Canon 400D and EF-S17-85mm lens. Not the sharpest tools on the block. However, I learnt a lot back then. I now use a Canon 6D Mark II, and L lenses. I love it!
    Anyway, I chose some images from back then to process in CO, and I have to say I was impressed all over again! I have a mere 10 days left on my trial, but I’ve seen and experienced enough to know that YES! I’m jumping ship!! I’m delighted with the software and it’s really boosting my enthusiasm again. We’ve just been given more freedom to move around the country in NZ and I’m already planning some photography trips.
    Thank you for your podcast Martin. I wasn’t going to avail myself of the opportunity to gain a license by commenting here, but then I thought, well why not! I’m sure you would be interested in what I’m up to. It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch.
    Here is a link to my Dropbox folder where you can see two images I’ve processed in CO. One of the wedding, and an old one I took in July 2008.

    I hope you can access that alright! Dropbox creates such weird links!
    Anyway, Martin, I wish you all the best and hope that you and your wife will remain well and not get that nasty virus!


    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 15:09h, 16 May Reply

      Hi Thysje,

      Once again, it’s lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much for taking a look at Capture One Pro, and for taking the time to write down your thoughts, and sharing your photos etc. I was able to see the two images, no problem. I can see from the beautiful tones and how you’ve controlled the exposure around the sun in your sunset shot that you have gotten the hang of Capture One Pro. Likewise with the exposure in the wedding group. Nicely done!

      Sorry to hear about your mother. We lost my father-in-law too just this week. He was also in his nineties, so they both had good innings, but will be sadly missed all the same.

      I’ll post a winner of the license on May 25 or shortly after. Please stay tuned!


  • Thysje Arthur
    Posted at 14:01h, 16 May Reply

    Oops! Sorry Martin, I clicked too soon and forgot to do the captcha thing!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 14:15h, 16 May Reply

      It’s absolutely lovely to hear from you Thysje! I’m going to blast this off so that you receive confirmation, but I’ve unspammed your main comment and will delete this reply and your follow up in the coming days. Now let me go and read your main comment. Thanks for getting involved!

  • Juan Ernesto
    Posted at 10:20h, 20 May Reply

    Dear Martin,

    First, I wanted to thank you for the wealth of knowledge and stories you bring into our daily walks with our pup “luna”. I was able to take Capture One out for test drive and take you up on the challenge to write a paragraph and share an image processed with Capture One:

    What I like about Capture One: Nothing like being a first time user of a product and/or application to really get an appreciation for the work that goes into making it a delightful experience. By delightful I mean intuitive, powerful, and memorable. There are three things that stood out as a longtime user of the alternative products: first, the ability to finetune any edits (color, luminosity, dynamic range, black & white) with the aid of the dynamic sliders, simply makes the process a joy to watch the image come to live; second, masking has never been easier and so impactful thru the use of layer masks and selection options; third, the UI, while daunting at first look, allowed me to partition my workflow into more guided and focused activities, i.e. almost like assisting me in how to post-process an image. From my many years as a product designer and photographer, I can appreciate the art and science that goes into making a product a win in the eyes of a new user. Looking forward to enjoying the Capture One ride.

    This imaged was captured during the many walks we’ve taken during this time of shelter-and-chill. Hope you enjoy it!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 12:48h, 01 June Reply

      Hi Juan,

      Thanks a million for entering, and for providing such a beautifully written and thoughtful paragraph about your experience trying out Capture One Pro. I cannot agree more with your comments. Wonderfully put!

      I’ve held off from replying for a number of reasons, but mainly because I’ve been down-periscope working on our app, and I’m just slapping myself back into action to reply here and announce a winner. Another reason though, is because I’ve been unable to decide which of you to award the license to, with just yourself and Thysje jumping to the challenge, and both submitting wonderful write-ups and images.

      After almost a week of deliberation, I’ve decided to flip a coin. I haven’t yet done that, but I’m going to do it shortly after this, as I write the manuscript for this week’s episode, which I hope to release later today. Please stay tuned!


  • juan ernesto
    Posted at 03:17h, 02 June Reply


    Wow! I was inexplicably delighted after reading your post from earlier today announcing the winner. The Morrocan Coin Toss was the icing on the cake – luck can be a great friend in our life’s journey. Looking forward to this next chapter of exploration with Capture One Pro.

    Thanks to you Martin and the team at Capture One for making my day and opening-up new creative possibilities.

    P.S. Martin, it would be great to see an image of that Morrocan coin for good charm.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 16:19h, 03 June Reply

      I’m pleased you are happy about this Juan!

      I’ve just added a photo of the Moroccan coin to the top of the post in which I announced you as the winner here:

      It needs a bit of a clean, but it’s a great old coin.

      All the best!


  • David Enzel
    Posted at 05:22h, 08 September Reply

    I am new to Capture One. I created a session and and have 7 selects and would like to import just the selects into a finals catalogue but I cannot figure out how to do that, Would appreciate some help. Thank you.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:16h, 08 September Reply

      Hi David,

      Congrats on making the switch! First, create a new Catalog called Finals or whatever you want to name it, and then in your originals catalog select the images that you would like to add to the Finals catalog and right-click them, then select Export Originals from the shortcut menu. Put them in a place that you will keep all future finals and I use a single year folder for each new year. You then need to import your exported images in the new catalog. There is a more detailed explanation at the bottom of this post:

      I hope that helps!


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