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Software Reviews

Capture One Pro 7 Review

Martin Turner (Martin Turner) on January 28, 2013


Keywords: capture, phase, software

Capture Pane: Tethering
Capture Pro 6 supported tethering on Nikon and Canon cameras, but it only supported Live View on medium format backs. I discussed this with the Capture One team at the time, and they promised to look into it. The new version now fully supports Live View on the D3 and other bodies. For some applications this is a nice-to-have, but for team-based professional work it substantially lifts the offering. This is because, as well as enabling you to see on screen what you're shooting, Capture One supports Capture Pilot on iPads and iPhones meaning that everyone on your team can see what you're doing and view the images as they come up.

Compared to everyone trying to squidge behind the camera and give their comments on the composition and lighting, tethering is a big improvement. Capture One Pilot takes this a stage further so that the art director can get an immediate update, and the client (if present) can be shown what's going on.

If you're shooting with lights, Live View is not such an advantage as you might think, because modelling lights never really reveal what the lights are going to look like — this may be one reason why it was missed out in version 6. However, the combination of Live View and Capture Pilot gives you almost total previewing and control.

If you want to take absolutely full control, there's also a plugin for Capture One for controlling Profoto lights. As with the computer hardware that Capture One requires, you need the latest Profoto lights with AirSync. Unfortunately for this review, my Profotos are a generation too old, so I wasn't able to test that particular feature.

While tethering you have complete control over program, shutter speed, aperture and so on, and you can pre-apply settings such as white balance so that — after sorting out the exposure and colour temperature on a test image — you can have ever image come straight into the computer ready prepped. This may sound like a specialist refinement, but once you get used to picking the white balance with the colour picker on screen, it makes for a very quick workflow.

Colour Balance and rendering
Compared to version 6, there is just one change to the colour balance panes, but it's a very significant one.

Graphic3  
Base Characteristics - Screenshot  

As a default, all images previously processed in Capture One 6 continue to be processed in the same way. If you click on the Upgrade button, though, you move to the Capture One 7 engine.

Version 6 Engine

Graphic4  
V6.0 - Screenshot  

 

Version 7 Engine

Graphic5  
V7.0 - Screenshot  

The difference is subtle, but significant. Difficult colours such as purples render much closer to the original intent, and there is better shadow detail and colour integrity in the shadow areas. In the examples here, note the bluish colour cast on the arm in the version 6 render which has been entirely defeated in version 7. Note also the better luminosity on the dresses, ad the improved colour on the flowers in shadow.

Images which were fine in version 6 will be fine in version 7, but those tricky images will be enough improved to make a significant difference. This may well be worth the price of the upgrade in itself. The old engine was widely considered to offer the best rendering of any competing product (I'm not looking for a flame war here!), and this improvement may in itself be enough to persuade you to jump from your current system to Capture One.

 

(3 Votes)
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Martin Turner Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

Bidford on Avon, United Kingdom
Moderator, 4523 posts

8 comments

Damian Vines (damianvines) on June 28, 2013

Can anyone verify whether or not live view works with the Nikon D700 and Capture One Pro 7?

Martin Turner (Martin Turner) on March 2, 2013

That's surprising Ian. I use the Mac version of Capture One which supports Live View fine on the Nikon D3, though, oddly, you have to come out of Live View to actually make the capture, unless you have an iPhone or iPad also connected via WiFi in which case you can implement the capture while Live View is running. Capture One Pro 6 only supported Live View for Phase One, Leaf and Mamma on Mac, but Capture One Pro 7 definitely supports Live View. Worth checking that your machine is opening version 7 and not for some reason opening an older install of version 6. One thing I did discover though was that you have to have the latest firmware on the D3 for it to work reliably. This is what the Capture One website says: "Capture One Pro 7 now offers Live View for selected DSLRs. The Live View feature can help speed up image composition, lighting, and focusing adjustments. This function makes it possible to easily view an image on a computer screen in real-time. Previously this feature was available for MF cameras only, but now Live View is also available for supported 35mm DSLRs." In practice not all Nikon models are supported, and also note that you have to disable the Canon drivers to have Nikon support. The text you linked to seems to be a fossil from the Capture One Pro 6 specifications which hasn't been updated, even though it says Capture One Pro 7 at the top of the page.

Ian Thoms (tuss234) on February 28, 2013

Thanks for the review I enjoyed reading it. I have this software on my pc and their website states "Live View is only supported with Phase One, Leaf and Mamiya (M and DM)" http://www.phaseone.com/Search/Article.aspx?articleid=2067&languageid=1 . Live View function only reviews the shot on your pc after it's been taken not as in "Live View" on the rear screen on the camera, a bit frustrating if it's been bought for that purpose. Regards Ian

Martin Turner (Martin Turner) on February 16, 2013

Thanks for pointing this out, Peter. I've had another look at Capture Pilot and what it actually does. I agree that you can now use a web browser to view and rate captured images. What you can't do is actually control the camera settings and trigger the shot. This only works in the the iPad and iPhone versions of Capture Pilot. This is quite important because, for some reason, you can't actually fire the camera while in Live View mode from Capture One itself — but you can fire it from iPad or iPhone Capture Pilot while Live View is running on Capture One. So, while some of the functionality is available for non-iOS devices, there is still quite a step change between what you can do on the web-browser and on the dedicated apps. Perhaps Phase One will release an Android version at some point.

Peter Harris (pshnikchch) on January 30, 2013

Thanks for the review. It is a very good introduction. Regarding your references to using Capture Pilot on iPads and iPhones: Actually in Capture One 7 you can now instantly view and rate captured images on any device connected to the network that runs a web browser. Therefore to Phase One's credit they have become less Apple centric. I have used that function on Android based devices (smartphone and tablets) and PCs running Windows. Maybe you would consider revising the related text. Regards Peter

Colin Green (Seajay) on January 30, 2013

Very nice review, Martin. Capture One Pro 7 is nothing less than awesome imo.

Richard Luse (DaddySS) on January 29, 2013

Excellent review, thanks for taking the time to present this.

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on January 29, 2013

Remarkable product and excellent review. Thank you.

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