What you DON’T know about RAW image files :: Lightroom vs Capture One

One image, 2 editors… why are the resulting images different? I’ve compared the calibration algorithms in Adobe Lightroom and Capture One and the results are extremely interesting. To understand the resulting photos, you have to understand a few things about RAW format and how it is interpreted.

Adobe Lightroom has been the market leading software for image editing for what seems like forever. But we are entering a time where we actually have choices and depending on your priorities as a photographer you can choose what image editor works best for the photography you make.

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  1. says

    I’m really glad you did this. I’ve worked with pro shooters who have sworn by Capture One for years, but I’ve just become a (partial) recent convert.
    I haven’t been happy with the way Lightroom handles Sony RAW files. And I’ve had some pros who are diehard Canon users (as I once was) tell me that they were unhappy with the results they got, even when testing the new a9. It seemed to me that it was also a factor that they were using LR to process the images.
    Capture One seems to handle Sony better. The images seem sharper, with less noise at higher ISOs and the color is more true. (Interestingly, I dialed down the red on the Adobe calibration because it was over-saturating.)
    I am continuing to use LR for cataloging and for processing my older Canon files and any other random files I have.. It would be interesting if you tried C1 on Canon or Nikon images vs. LR.
    I also like the ability to work in layers in Capture One, which avoids some trips out to Photoshop. The latest v.11 is a really good image editor.