Lightroom in, CaptureOne out

I’ve been using CaptureOne Pro (C1) for a number of years now. It’s been considered one of the best, if not the best RAW processing tools on the market for professionals and serious amateurs. While I’ve grown to love it’s workflow, there’s always been a few things which bothered me about it:

  • It’s slow. Like go have dinner and come back later slow when processing images
  • Limited undo capabilities.
  • Focus tool is also slow when updating

That said, I’ve always been very happy with the output of C1.

So anyways, I’ve started going through about 2,000 photos I took during our honeymoon in New Zealand/Sydney and decided to try out the Adobe Lightroom (LR) free trial. At first I was confused. The UI is very different and I found some things confusing (highlighting multiple photos at the bottom isn’t the same as selecting multiple photos in the Grid), but once I figured out that quirk, things seem to move pretty well. I still haven’t played with all the features (like what’s a “stack”?), but I was able to figure out that LR was indeed noticably faster and has almost unlimited undo.

The real surprise though came when I compared two images developed using LR and C1. Lightroom was clearly superior in terms of recovering areas near over exposure (nothing can recover over exposed areas) and color. At first I thought, no way C1 is *that* bad. Turns out I had to play with some more sliders to get the result I was looking for, but it required me switching between different tools which was more clicking/tweaking then in LR. After spending about 4x the time, I was able to get something close, but I still preferred the LR output.

Anyways, I still have 2 or 3 free major updates left on my C1 Pro license, but time is money too so I went to Amazon and purchased Lightroom for $200 (they still have the introductory price available which is $100 off).

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