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Software Reviews

Capture One Pro 7 Review

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

Keywords: capture, phase, software, postprocessing, capture_one, phase_one

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Who is Capture One for, and what does it do for you?

Phase One would argue that Capture One produces the very best renderings of your Raw files. Adobe, Apple of DxO might disagree and say that their's are the best. Ultimately, the quality that your images appear at has more to do with the time you have to work on them than the brand of software you are using. Capture One excels at workflow. You can move adjustment elements to whichever pane you like, and easily switch from tool to tool with keyboard shortcuts. With version 6 I found that Capture One responded noticeably quicker on the computer I had than Lightroom did, especially when you have a big catalogue of images. Version 7 is slower and more demanding on an old machine. If you have a new machine then pretty much any software is going to zip along.

Where Capture One has leapt ahead, though, is in team photography. If you have someone on lighting, someone on art direction and someone commissioning the shot, then there are a lot of people who need access to the images as they come out in order to do their jobs properly. With wifi and Capture Pilot, anyone on your team with an iPhone or iPad can see what's going on, and if you've paid for the upgraded version of the software you can actually control the shooting from your iPhone.

Digital photography has already taken most of the guess work out of the photo shoot, but Capture One/Capture Pilot takes it to its final conclusion. The make-up artist can now know exactly how their work is appearing on camera, the photo assistant can see immediately whether the shot is in focus or not, the art director can see whether it's going to fit the layout.

This isn't to say that Capture One is only for commercial photographers. It's enjoyable to use, intuitive and powerful, and if you aren't currently bought-in to any particular system, it gives a very creamy, refined experience. In terms of its target market, though, Capture One is fighting hard to be not merely the best choice but the only choice for high-end commercial work.


(3 Votes)
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Originally written on January 28, 2013

Last updated on August 25, 2016

Martin Turner Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

Expert professional PJ & PR photographer

Bidford on Avon, United Kingdom
Moderator, 4972 posts


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

Expert professional PJ & PR photographer

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

Expert professional PJ & PR photographer

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

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

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

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

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Remarkable product and excellent review. Thank you.