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Capture One – When the Going Gets Tough…


…the Tough Get Going. Demosaicing the X-Trans sensor is a tough task, and in about a week, Phase One is expected to release a new final version of their successful Capture One (aka C1) RAW file processing software. Although it’s just a minor update (7.0.2) on paper, this is major news for Fujifilm X-Trans camera users. There’s also a crazy amount of hype  going on about it in the virtual sphere. Several beta testers have been stating that C1 is putting Lightroom/ACR to shame. This usually refers to X-Trans image detail reproduction, which is pretty lame in Lightroom. So this is a no-brainer: Of course, detail rendering is better than in Lightroom! DCRAW and Silkypix put Lightroom/ACR to shame in this category, as well.

That said, I think detail rendering is pretty decent in this C1 beta, but it’s also nothing to brag about too loudly (at least if you know how to use Silkypix 5 or the DCRAW based “RPP” converter). In any case, it’s always great to get new workflow options, because competition is good for us customers. I’m also confident that Phase One’s X-Trans market entry and increasing sales of current and future X-Trans camera models will put more pressure on Adobe to get their act together. Not that I really needed Lightroom, as I appear to be one of those very few human beings on this planet who have no problem at all processing X-Trans RAWs in (gasp!) Silkypix 5.

I have played with C1’s beta version for almost two weeks, and I’m quite pleased with its ability to recover highlights, which seems to be on par with Lightroom/ACR and definitely better than Silkypix 5. There are still several issues, though, which I will not get into specifically at this time, as I expect them to be ironed out in the final version of the software. It’s called “beta” for a reason, at least hopefully so.

Here are a few successful examples of me developing some of my high dynamic range test samples  in Capture One (click on them for high-res versions):

DSCF6339 (Capture One version)

DSCF5915 (Capture One version)

DSCF5528 - A Storm is Coming (Capture One version)

Please let me take this opportunity to thank you all for your warm welcome here on Fujirumors – and for so many of you also expressing their support by pre-ordering “Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1“, which will start shipping in just a few days, as my publisher has told me.

With respect to the topic of my next regular column, it appears like we already have a winner. However, please still cast your vote if you haven’t done so already. Your votes are not just helpful in determining what topics to discuss in future editions of this column, their accumulated number is also a good indicator of your general interest in this column altogether. That said, I’m already mentally preparing to write something insightful about “extended ISO” settings. See you next Friday here on Fujirumors, and have a great start in 2013!

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Rico Pfirstinger studied communications and has been working as journalist, publicist, and photographer since the mid-80s. He has written a number of books on topics as diverse as Adobe PageMaker and sled dogs, and produced a beautiful book of photographs titled Huskies in Action (german version). He has spent time working as the head of a department with the German Burda-Publishing Company and served as chief editor for a winter sports website. After eight years as a freelance film critic and entertainment writer in Los Angeles, Rico now lives in Germany and devotes his time to digital photography and compact camera systems.