Capture One Pro as an alternative/upgrade to Aperture

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VirtualRain, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. VirtualRain, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    I've been loyal to Aperture over the last five years, but now with it fading into the sunset and the new Photos app found wanting, I spent the afternoon exploring Capture One Pro 8. I previously looked at both LR and C1 a couple of years ago and at the time I didn't like the UI of LR and found the default RAW rendering of C1 to be superior which is why I went back to it today. It’s actually more similar to Aperture than I remember, and superior in a few ways.

    Here’s what I found...

    Photo Organization: Both offer very similar organization options. Aperture has libraries, folders, projects, and albums. C1 has catalogs, groups, folders, projects and albums offering the exact same organizational options. I like Aperture’s self contained Library Files… and C1’s catalogs work the same way. They are essentially package files which makes moving or dealing with them as a single file convenient at times. Both also support referenced files it seems if that’s your preference. UPDATE: More in post #35

    Importing: Importing is equally as easy with C1 as it is with Aperture. There are way more import options in both apps than I ever use.

    Rating: Both offer 5 stars and while Aperture has flags, C1’s colour tags are pretty much identical to flags with 7 different colour options (which admittedly requires an extra click to select). UPDATE: You can select keyboard shortcuts for the flag colours making it very fast and flexible to flag photos.

    RAW Rendering: In most cases, C1 seems to do a better job at optimizing the RAW images from my Canon 5DIII to my eyes. This is actually a well known and highly regarded characteristic of C1. On the plus side, the images are sharper (I don’t need to do any additional post sharpening on my images in C1) and artifacts like purple fringing are removed automatically. The only exception to my satisfaction with the initial render is red tones which appear a slight bit less punchy and a bit more orange than Aperture… this is one thing I’d like to remedy somehow.

    User Interface: The UI is very similar between the two with plenty of customization. As with Aperture, the library, info and adjustments are on the right by default and selected with tabs. The key difference with C1 is that the adjustments are on 7 different tabs rather than a single one but it’s pretty quick and painless to switch between them. There’s also a set of controls over the view layout. C1 has cursor tools at the top which is a quick way of selecting often used tools like zoom, crop, and rotation. You can opt to put the film strip on one side or the bottom. On a 16:9 display, it works ideally to have the adjustments on one side, the film strip on the other so the image can use the maximum realestate in the middle. UPDATE: See below for more on Customizing the UI

    Adjustments: C1 has all the adjustments that Aperture has and more. Some stand-outs...
    - White Balance quick presets like daylight, tungsten, etc.
    - High Dynamic Range: A highlight and shadow slider that works much better than Aperture (doesn't decimate overall contrast). It also seems like recovered shadows in C1 have less noise than Aperture.
    - Clarity: Clarity and Structure sliders that adjust mid-tone contrast and micro-contrast respectively - very effective and much closer to NIK’s structure and nothing like Aperture’s poor Definition slider which can leave halo’s around high contrast objects. There are three methods which offer a wide range of control
    - Lens Correction and Keystone: Obviously something that Aperture lacks… but many people like myself filled the void with PTLens. C1 tools are better in my opinion with their parallel lines tool making keystone adjustments trivial and accurate without an annoying grid and of course, no round-trip is required with C1.
    - Noise Reduction: It may be hard to believe but C1 offers no real improvement in high ISO noise reduction over Aperture. As I said above though, recovered shadows are cleaner from what I can see and any colour noise is easily adjusted out.
    - Sharpening: As mentioned above, the RAW render already has some sharpening applied that seems perfect to me. Of course, if you don’t want it, you can remove it, or you can sharpen to taste. I find the sharpening presets to be great choices without adding any unwanted artifacts.
    - Spot Removal: Works as expected.
    - Clone and Heal: I played briefly with the clone tool and it seems a lot easier to use than the tedious tool in Aperture.

    Local Adjustments: C1 has much more sophisticated brush tools with layers and multiple adjustments per brush mask. However, I loathe brushes compared to NIK control points so I rarely use them. However, given their added flexibility and power, I might be inclined to give them more of a chance in C1. Why can’t anyone else come up with a simple tonal mask selection tool like NIK?! UPDATE: I'm actually using the brushes more in C1 then I did in Aperture. In some cases it can save me a round-trip to Aperture.

    Skin Smoothing: Strangely, C1 doesn’t seem to offer an equivalent to this Aperture brush. You can use a local adjustment brush and negative clarity but its effect is very subtle. UPDATE: There are some great video tutorials on YouTube for portrait retouching with C1... some pros have gone so far to remove Photoshop from their retouching workflow.

    Round-trip Editing: I was surprised that C1 worked with NIK just like Aperture. There’s a right-click “Edit with…” option that launches another program of choice (e.g. NIK Viveza) and when you save, the TIFF image is back in C1 as you’d expect. It works identically to the way NIK works in Aperture. UPDATE: More info in Post #11... However, you may find that with C1, you need to round-trip less. :)

    Exporting/Sharing: I haven't exported yet, but it seems like they have all the export options you'd expect. One feature I like in Aperture is the direct export to Flickr. It seems there's a tool you can get that will automatically publish dropbox folders to Flickr, so I'll have to try that. UPDATE: If you use Flickr, like I do, you'll be glad to know that Yahoo just released a new Uploader App for the Mac that works like a charm with C1... details in post #24

    Performance: I notice that even with OpenCL acceleration turned on, the sliders are laggy in C1... it's just not as responsive. I need to see what I can do to improve things. I'm running 4K displays which may not be helping matters. UPDATE: It turns out that every major RAW converter struggles on a 4K display. If you have 4K monitors or a 5K iMac, you're probably use to the growing pains associated with this technology... it turns out we need to wait for these software vendors to optimize their performance for high pixel density screens. :(

    UPDATE - Customization: One feature I've really grown to like about C1 is how customizable the user interface is. Not only can you control the location and size of the adjustments pallet and film strip browser, but you can completely customize the adjustment tools tabs and bricks within the tabs. You can also setup your own keyboard shortcuts and take full advantage of dual displays. You can save different configurations as Workspace presets so that you can easily recall certain layouts or configurations with just a couple of clicks. For example, you may have one layout for culling photos, and another for doing adjustments... It's very cool.

    Summary:

    It seems like a natural switch. I’m going to try using it over the trial period and see how it goes.

    Is anyone else using C1? What’s your experience?

    Did anyone evaluate it and choose something else?

    UPDATE:

    I'll continue to add more information to this thread and post as I learn more. I've added a number of UPDATES to the above text.
     
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    I think your take on C1 for your usage was spot on. If I could change one thing it would be to handle some other third party offerings such as NIK, OnOne and other filter/modules.

    In my case C1 is way ahead of Aperture for handling Fuji RAF files from their X series cameras.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    I struggled with what to use in place of Aperture.

    I gave C1 a really hard look and came away with the following faults that were in some ways show stoppers for me.

    1. The UI, while customizable, I found the UI setup not to my work flow. Particularly the grid view and switching back to see image.

    2. Plugins, or lack there of. I never really saw how I could use my plugins but it seems I may have missed the round tripping of it.

    3. DAM capability, rudimentary at best, at least imo. I found it had less ability then Aperture or LR

    4. Customer support. I reached out to PhaseOne on a support issue - I never heard back. Not really a way to sell their product.

    5. Storage utilization, perhaps LR is the same but I've not seen this issue to the extent of C1. The C1 library was growing quite large as I worked on my images. It didn't take long for my test library to start growing more then I expected. Now since I was only trying this out, I can't say this is an issue for sure but my initial reactions was that it was starting to chew up a lot of space.

    I know many people swear by it, and its a great product but for me, Lightroom has been a better fit for my workflow.
     
  4. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Really useful review, thank you. I've used it occasionally over the years, but I've always been happy enough with Aperture to prevent me from switching over.

    Interesting to read that the Nik plugins work in C1. I use them very frequently. Did you have to install them into the program or did C1 just find them on your system and work with them? I thought Nik only worked with Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom...

    I use the skin smoothing brush all the time - I think I'll drop C1 a message requesting it!

    Having just read the news about the Photos beta, it looks like for now (and who nows how long into the future) it is not suitable as an Aperture replacement. I've tried Lightroom many times and I still really don't like the interface. Lightroom also doesn't have a skin smoothing brush to match Aperture's ;)

    I'll be trying out C1 today.
     
  5. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5
    When I tried C1's "Edit with..." It presented a list of image editing apps on my system including the usuals like Photoshop and Pixelmator, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see NIK's Dfine and Viveza listed. I did not see ColorFX or SilverFX in the list though. I'm not sure if it's possible to access those tools or not. I need to spend a bit more time with it. However, I use Dfine and Viveza the most and they both work seamlessly with C1. :)
     
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    Exactly how do you invoke any plugin (Photoshop, Pixelmator, Topaz, Nik, Perfect Photo Suite. DxOptics,...etc.) and get a high quality result (TIF, PSD, DNG) dropped back into the C1P library beside the original?

    Personally if a DAM can not invoke a plugin and bring the result into the library beside the original...it is off the DAM candidate list for me.

    Lets see if LR 6 brings in the content aware cloning if so....LR 6 will be very hard to beat as a DAM with basic editing and the ability to invoke lots of 3rd party plugins.
     
  7. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    Capture One Pro as an alternative/upgrade to Aperture


    I already explained that (twice!). Read the thread.
     
  8. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #8
    This concept is key for me. So, if you peruse the NIK website you will see that they list Aperture, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Light Room as compatible editors to launch NIK from. Each has a slightly different method with Aperture being the cleanest...see here: https://support.google.com/nikcollection/answer/3000959?hl=en That's one of the reasons I'm so hung up on Aperture.

    In the past (pre Google NIK) they advertised that the plug ins would also function as stand alone software if you desired. I don't see this listed as a capability anymore but they still (or certain ones) may still function that way. That's probably how C1 accesses Dfine and Viveza through the "edit with" function. This is the same as Aperture accessing Photoshop or Pixlemator with the "edit with" selection. Very useful but not quite the same as the seamless round tripping you get with a true plug in.

    I may be wrong but I don't think the latest version of NIK plugins will work without a host editor. VirtualRain, can you tell us if you have the latest versions of NIK installed on your machine? Maybe you don't and that's why it's working with C1 or maybe Dfine and Viveza still function that way even though it's not advertised as such.
     
  9. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9

    I'll check later. It's possible my NIK software hasn't been updated since I fresh installed Yosemite last year but they won't be any older than that.
     
  10. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
  11. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #11
    So I can confirm that C1 does seamless round-trip editing with NIK plugins. I installed the C1 trial on my rMBP this afternoon along with the latest version of the NIK suite. When you select "Edit with..." from the menu, the list of apps I had available is shown in the first screen shot. Note that SilverEfex was not among the list... no biggie, I just selected "Other" and navigated to the SilverEfex app in the Applications > NIK Collection folder on my computer and selected it (2nd screen shot). I think clicked "Edit Variant" and C1 created a TIFF, it loaded automatically into SilverEfex, I then saved it, and the TIFF was updated in C1 (3rd screen shot)... exactly the same as if I had done this in Aperture.

    I'm very happy about this. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  12. rebby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #12
    3 questions (for now); Does CaptureOne...

    - Allow exporting a RAW file for round trip editing (for example, with DxO Optics Pro)?
    - Have internal geotagging support?
    - Have any mechanism to see the focal point used?

    Thanks! I'm currently running an export on my 1.3TB+ Aperture library. The fun to find a new solution will resume shortly...
     
  13. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #13
    Thanks Virtual. Good details there. Though it's not a plugin it seems to roundtrip with C1 in the same manner. I'm a bit surprised simply because "edit with" Aperture sends a tiff to the target but won't bring it back upon saving.

    I tried with Capture NXD since I have that on my computer and it has an open with function. It sent the tiff to Silver EFX just as you described and Silver attempted to save back to the Capture library. Unfortunately Capture NXD is way to buggy and it crashed every time but it seemed like it was trying to do exactly as you say C1 works. I went and opened some of the NIK software as stand alone and it worked fine too. I hadn't tried it because customer support said it had to be with a compatible editor. Strange. I sent them an email earlier and this is the reply I got: (Just a stock answer from someone who probably doesn't really know anyway)

    Dear Jeffrey,

    Thank you for contacting Nik by Google.

    Unfortunately we do not have any information as to whether our engineering team is looking to expand the compatibility list of Nik Collection to work with Capture One or Apple's new photo editing application. However you are always welcome to visit our website to check out the latest information regarding the software here: https://www.google.com/nikcollection/.

    If you have any further questions, please reply to this email or visit support.google.com/nikcollection to call our Customer Service Department Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm PST.

    Best Regards,
    Marcello
    ___________________
    Nik by Google, Inc. | Photography first®

    To learn more about our award winning Nik Collection, please visit www.google.com/nikcollection and click on the Support tab for online lessons, videos, and blog posts on Google+.
     
  14. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #14
    1. There's an "Edit with" which I've mentioned before that will create a TIFF for round trip, there's also an "Open with" that will open the RAW in another converter like DXO, but I don't know how to get it back... not my area... I'm guessing you'd have to export a TIFF to get it back to C1. The whole idea of doing round trips between RAW converters sounds a bit wacky since they do non-destructive edits and never actually modify your RAW file. ???
    2. There's no way to geotag images in C1 that I can see, but it does support the EXIF fields for it.
    3. Again, I don't see any option to display the camera's focus point, but there is a perhaps even more useful tool which is the focus mask that will shade any part of your image which appears to be in sharp focus. It can be very useful for culling shots done with a shallow DoF.

    ----------

    As far as I can see, there's really nothing for NIK to do. It couldn't work any better than it already does. :)
     
  15. rebby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #15
    Thanks for the answers on my questions. On point #1 I did find this -> http://www.jeffarnold.net/integrating-dxo-optics-pro-into-your-capture-one-workflow/ That actually looks like a pretty elegant/easy way to do "round-tripping with RAW files". Not a bad idea to solve that problem.

    I'm not sure if I want to go with a tool that doesn't have integrated Geotagging support. I use that feature extensively. I feel that this point may press me toward LR.

    #3 sounds like a really interesting concept. I'm going to have to download the trial and give it a test run. At this point, I'm looking for work around solutions to a few things in each of the DAMs (including Aperture) so I might as well give them all a fair shake. From what I've seen Capture One produces some stunning results with RAW files so I'm selling myself short if I don't give it a look.

    Thanks!
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    C1 doesn't really do this, since it round trips via a TIFF file as mentioned. Even Lightroom, needs to handle the DX0 processing differently since using the external editor also sends the image via TIFF.
     
  17. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #17
    I just want to share this link from another thread that shows how C1 and Aperture stack up (against a bunch of others as well)...

    Great review. Well worth reading for anyone considering a switch.
     
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #18
    Not now with LR.

    In the latest version of Optics Pro's plugin with LR you export a RAW to Optics Pro, edit, and then send a partially processed DNG back to LR.

    http://www.dxo.com/us/photography/c...-your-dxo-opticspro-10-and-lightroom-workflow

    Dunno if it would work with C1Pro, but I have the older Express and here's how it works.

    In C1Express select the photo you like; do a show in Finder to show the RAW. You'll get a Finder window; open the RAW with DxO Optics Pro. Do your thing in Optics Pro. Then choose "Export to Application... in OP, choose C1Express, and DNG. Bingo, DNG opens for import in C1Express. Pretty easy peasy.

    In answer to virtualrain, you're right: RAW is raw. But each application can do different things with that data; in the above example I like to start with DxO in part because of their Clarity and lens stuff. But I still have those adjustments, but with RAW left raw for other adjustments back in C1. Going the other direction with a TIFF isn't as effective in DxO. But C1 DOES export DNG; see http://help.phaseone.com/en/CO7/Output/File-formats/Capture-One-and-RAW.aspx. It chucks some of the processing (well, most).
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    Odd, I just downloaded the trial yesterday and it directed me to File->Plugin Extras->Transfer to DX0
     
  20. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #20
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #21
    OK, so we're saying the same thing, I was just using the wrong terminology.

    I'm liking what I see from DX0, the question though, is it worth the price and extra effort. Its one more step and now I have a RAW and DNG file, essentially doubling the storage requirements.
     
  22. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #22
    I find that odd with a nMP. I had some time on my hands on a recent multi-month trip and loaded Aperture, C1 and LR on a new 1.7 i7 MBA. Ran the same 900 shots through all 3.

    I found Aperture was the quickest in the GUI and close enough in everything else. I noticed LR was slow in a few areas, scrolling the catalog and some local adjustments. What I don't recall is C1 being slow, or quick, in any area.

    I have read OpenCal should be shut down but don't recall the reason.

    Very much agree with your points and thanks for an excellent summary. In the end I decided to remain with Aperture for another year. But the renders for Fuji XTrans I got with C1 were extremely compelling. Applies to my NEF files as well.
     
  23. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #23
    So I've spent a fair amount of time on this over the last few days, and it seems that C1, like most other RAW editors, simply doesn't perform smoothly updating previews on 4K and 5K displays. It works smoothly on something like 2560x1440 or lower.

    Interestingly, Aperture performs the best on a 4K or 5K display.
     
  24. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #24
    For those considering Capture One Pro who use Flickr for hosting, the Yahoo folks just released an Uploader for Mac App that will monitor a folder for photos and automatically upload them to your Flickr account.

    It's a great app and works perfectly with C1 which doesn't have a native sharing option. It's a menu bar app and supports notifications. Very nicely done.

    From Yahoo...

    I point the Flickr Uploader to a folder... ~/Pictures/Flickr and when I export from C1, I set a subfolder name. Flickr Uploader uses the subfolder name as the Album name. :cool:
     

    Attached Files:

  25. HUGE AL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    #25
    Metadata

    How does this program handle editing/manipulation of metadata? Similar to Aperture's?
     

Share This Page