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Software Reviews

PhaseOne Capture One Pro - Product Review

Neil van Niekerk (Neil_vN) on February 7, 2006

Keywords: software


Capture One Pro is software specifically dedicated to handling and editing raw images, with emphasis on raw workflow. This review is based on version 3.7.1

Nikon D2Hs, D2x and D50 users - you'll be happy to know that Capture One version 3.7.3 is now able to read Nikon white balances (pre-defined, auto and custom).

Please note that I limited the scope of this review to raw workflow, and don't touch on important functions like shooting with a tethered D-SLR, or on using the Phase One camera back. For a complete list of Capture One's features and functions, check the Phase One website.

First off, to give you an idea of what Capture One looks on a PC:


Capture One PC screen


The application's main window is divided into 4 sections:

- Menu & Toolbars
- Thumbnail window, which displays the info about your images, and is used to select images.
- Preview Window, where the selected image(s) is displayed and updated in real time.
- Functional tabs


There are five Function tabs, which correspond to the main stages of the raw workflow:
- Capture
- White Balance
- Exposure
- Focus (where sharpening can be checked)
- Process (where the images are finally processed as tiffs or jpgs)



As I mentioned, the images are displayed and updated in real time in the Preview Window.
This is one of the most important and impressive aspects of Capture One - changes made to the images (whether WB or exposure or sharpening) is displayed near instantly. This program is a speed demon. If you've been editing your raw files with an application like Nikon Editor up until now, then you're in for a sweet surprise.

And yes, you can size the thumbnails as you wish, and also re-size the thumbnail window.

The file browser is called up via an icon from the Thumbnail window and appears below the thumbnails, as shown in this screen-grab. It makes navigation as easily accessible as it needs to be for an efficient workflow.


Applications main window screen


My first impression was that Capture One Pro didn't look like 'standard' Windows-based software. There were fewer menus, and there were more icons spread around the screen.

Also, right-clicking did nothing in most instances. I've become so accustomed to Windows-based programs where right-clicking on anything shows the relevant options, that I felt initially lost when Capture One didn't do the same.

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Neil van Niekerk Neil van Niekerk (Neil_vN)

Wayne, USA
Gold, 29 posts


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