Monday, June 14, 2010

Capture One Pro 5 and Lightroom 3

First, I must say I have been a big fan of Lightroom 2. I think it is the best software around for photographers. It is definitely much more useful than Photoshop, unless one is more inclined to do post processing work than actual shooting.

In the last couple of days I had the chance to download the trial versions of a couple of other programs. One is Capture One Pro 5, from Phase One. The other is Lightroom 3 from Adobe. I tried out Capture One Pro first. I immediately liked the ability to shoot tethered. That is to say, I can connect my D90 to the computer via USB cable and shoot straight into the PC. As for other post processing work, Capture One does a beautiful job. The noise reduction feature, especially, works a miracle. Neat Image software used to be the standard-bearer in this area, but now it looks like Capture One can do the job with just a few control sliders. I was utterly convinced that Capture One is THE answer to a photographer's dream.

Next, I tried out Lightroom 3. What do you know - it has more or less the same features as Capture One Pro 5. In fact, since Capture One Pro 5 was released earlier than Lightroom 3, it looks like Lightroom 3 has imitated the feature set of the former. It can do tethered shooting with the same ease as Capture One, and it boasts the same noise reduction capability as Capture One. I find that Lightroom 3 has a much simpler work flow and is less steep on the learning curve. On the other hand I am not about to write off Capture One. I think the tossup between these two wonderful software is in the quality of the RAW conversion. My simple guess is that Phase One knows more about producing the best image quality, while Adobe knows how to make the software easier for people to use. Goodbye, Photoshop.

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