|Near Port Vila in Vanuatu [Click image to enlarge.]|
Capture One Pro 8 has been out for almost a year now, and the reports are that it's an outstanding raw converter. This has caused the forums to light up with comparisons between the various converters; but, principally, between Lightroom and Capture One. (DXO is often in there, but usually the focus is on LR and Capture One.)
First a little background. I'm a Lightroom user. I've used it for a long time and I'd like to think that I'm reasonably proficient. I don't really know Capture One (although I watched a few of the Luminous Landscape videos), but it seems clear that it's a front runner with outstanding features.
If I find something works well for me, I'm happy to mention it; but I don't proselytise. I do, however, subscribe to the view that over time, most often, competing purveyors leapfrog one another in quality and features. For this reason and because my time is valuable to me, I don't switch lightly.
There's a steep learning curve in raw conversion software, particularly if large format printing is part of the workflow. So, I'm just going to let the debate rage and watch the next few incarnations with interest.
Shootraw.co.uk is a two-person, one-on-one training organisation in South London. They teach Lightroom, Capture One and Photoshop. I like what they have to say about switching:
Don't make the decision to switch between applications based purely on reviews – that should go without saying. If you are an expert user of either Lightroom or Capture One Pro, you'll likely get better results than most users of the competing application – expertise will almost always be more important than your choice of raw conversion software.
NB: It worries me that some of the "reviewers" of raw conversion programs don't distinguish between the inherent conversion qualities of the programs and the fact that some programs make more default adjustments following conversion.