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Author Topic: Capture One 6 or Lightroom 3  (Read 36766 times)
robgo2
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2011, 04:31:06 PM »
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I use the DxO > DNG > Lightroom workflow and also wondered about that. From what I can find, there are two forms of DNG: RAW and linear. My understanding is that “linear” is a converted RAW image in TIFF-based format. DXO outputs DNG linear, so the RAW conversion has been completed in DXO. As a result, Lightroom does not do any RAW conversion of the DXO output, only additional editing of the converted image.

Prior to discovering Capture One, that was my exact workflow.  The linear DNG that DxO produces is a processed file.  What you then import into LR is not a true raw image.  I have since come to see this as a needless step, and now that C1-6 has local adjustments, it is needed even less.  I much prefer the way the C1 renders images over both DxO and LR, and I export the best of them to CS5 for serious editing.  If you need heavy-duty file management, you can use Expressions Media, which Phase One gives you for free, if you own C1--at least they used to.  I don't know if that offer is still available.

Rob
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 07:31:41 PM by robgo2 » Logged
J. Paul
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2011, 06:59:10 AM »
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I have reading this with great interest.  I have used Lightroom since the early beta versions and I must say it has revolutionized my photography and my workflow (except for the bookmaking provision). I always find myself curious about Capture One, especially with version 6 out now and if could offer a better solution.  I am not likely to change from Lightroom as my primary software but for those special images I wonder.  I am primarily shooting landscapes and architectural subjects and I am always looking for the best quality I can get from my RAW files.  I am using a Canon 1Ds Mark III and make quite a few images with the new 24mm TSE II lens (which is stellar).  Would capture one be better for this type of photography, or does it just boil down to taste?  I know the most logical solution is to download the trial but I don't really want to go there unless the RAW processing is better and that I can expect results than Lightroom 3.
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ZagatoV12
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« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2011, 05:36:21 PM »
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I have reading this with great interest.  I have used Lightroom since the early beta versions and I must say it has revolutionized my photography and my workflow (except for the bookmaking provision). I always find myself curious about Capture One, especially with version 6 out now and if could offer a better solution.  I am not likely to change from Lightroom as my primary software but for those special images I wonder.  I am primarily shooting landscapes and architectural subjects and I am always looking for the best quality I can get from my RAW files.  I am using a Canon 1Ds Mark III and make quite a few images with the new 24mm TSE II lens (which is stellar).  Would capture one be better for this type of photography, or does it just boil down to taste?  I know the most logical solution is to download the trial but I don't really want to go there unless the RAW processing is better and that I can expect results than Lightroom 3.

Well, at the risk of sticking my nose into other chaps questions, you might like to look at the final part of a head-to-head comparison between Lightroom 3, Capture One Pro 6 and ACR6/CS5/Silver Efex Pro which I have just posted. Granted, it's focused on black and white conversions, but you might anyway find it helpful.  Smiley

You can find the series on my site and the final part is at http://www.theintuitivelens.com/software/review-of-capture-one-pro-6-vs-lightroom-3-for-black-and-white-photos/

Cheers

Mike
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2011, 01:05:49 AM »
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I'm not sure you prove much, if anything, other than if one tries to do so one can produce similar results in different products! Leaving settings at default is a little odd, and you've not really attempted to use the b&w conversion process to separate nearby colours into distinct tones - eg those in the left woman's blouse or between the brown briefcase in the foreground and the middle person's red sweater. Why didn't you use the targeted adjustment tool, for example? I'd argue that it alone produces better b&w images. But interesting exercise.

John
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 03:04:57 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

ZagatoV12
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« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2011, 09:25:04 AM »
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Hello John,

Thanks for taking part. Good Point. By leaving some settings at default, I was attempting to use just 'basics' in each conversion to see what result I could expect, without pursuing the 'ultimate' conversion in each case. The idea was to get a fundamental understanding of each environment and the overall 'character' of each's result. I think attempting to make the absolute 'best' result in each case would bring into the exercise many more personal preferences, which of course would please some and irritate others, but you make a valid point. I did, of course, use the global tonal adjustment sliders in each application to vary tonal mix for each image, as the article shows. For local adjustments, I used the adjustment brush or equivalent in each application - just my preference.

I'm not sure I was deliberately trying to 'prove' anything, as I suggest in the conclusion. To do that I would have gone 'all out' in each application, but I think I would have chosen a different, less mundane image for that particular exercise. I may take up that challenge when Silver Efex Pro's new version ships. Anyway, I was keen to share the 'overview' exercise and get feedback, so thank you for taking the time.  Smiley

Mike
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Schewe
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« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2011, 01:00:08 PM »
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By leaving some settings at default, I was attempting to use just 'basics' in each conversion to see what result I could expect, without pursuing the 'ultimate' conversion in each case. The idea was to get a fundamental understanding of each environment and the overall 'character' of each's result.

Well, your final judgement was influenced by leaving some of those settings at default. The overall contrast of the Lightroom rendering was, to my eye, flat. I think you prolly should have optimized the tone curve either before the Color>B&W or at least after.
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ZagatoV12
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« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2011, 03:05:53 PM »
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Well, your final judgement was influenced by leaving some of those settings at default. The overall contrast of the Lightroom rendering was, to my eye, flat. I think you prolly should have optimized the tone curve either before the Color>B&W or at least after.

Hi Jeff,

My word, you do meet some wonderfully talented people on this forum! Incidentally, I just got back from Barnes and Noble in Jacksonville where I actually found (and purchased) a copy of John's 2007 book 'Advanced Digital Black and White Photography' which I could not get in the UK. I'm also plodding my way through your excellent 'Real World Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw etc' on Kindle on the iPad.

Actually, per your comment above, that is exactly how I felt about it too, but I did not alter contrast on the other two exercises either. I felt I wanted to see what each application would produce without additionally enhancing contrast or adding differing amounts of sharpening in each case, although I realise that by using the colour sliders to alter the tonal balance I am to some degree altering the balance of contrasting tones anyway. I agree, the Lightroom example IS 'flatter' by comparison. I also have no doubt whatever that more could be made of the image in every one of the environments, particularly by artists more talented than I.

That is also why I invited anyone to repeat the exercise, with the same file, in their chosen application and see what they could make of it - 'going all out' as it were. I'm sure many of us would like to see what the experts could make of it. They, of course already know the answers to these questions. I do hope people take me up on the offer.  Smiley

In any event, and it's easier for me to say this because I did the work, step by step, with the actual image in each environment; the result I managed to achieve did surprise me. I gained a greater respect for Lightroom Version 3 and, to my surprise, felt that Silver Efex Pro was not the default winner as I expected it would be. Capture One was entirely new to me, so I had to work hard to understand a new set of tools and workflow. But, I was very impressed with my final version from that software. Maybe that isn't entirely supported by relatively small Jpegs in a blog post but, it seems to me that C1 Pro 6 has a great deal going for it - even if it does have further to go in catching up with competitive 'features'.

Cheers

Mike
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 03:10:19 PM by ZagatoV12 » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2011, 03:59:50 PM »
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Actually, per your comment above, that is exactly how I felt about it too, but I did not alter contrast on the other two exercises either.

Well, if the "defaults" for tone curves in various apps are different, aren't you duty bound to take steps to match the base tone curve? I mean, it's a very quick tweak and arguably easier to document than doing local corrections which impacted the image considerably.
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ZagatoV12
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« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2011, 05:24:42 PM »
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Well, if the "defaults" for tone curves in various apps are different, aren't you duty bound to take steps to match the base tone curve? I mean, it's a very quick tweak and arguably easier to document than doing local corrections which impacted the image considerably.

Jeff,

Now that's an interesting idea. Since I thought that leaving each application's contrast curve set at 'linear' i.e. no change or 'flat', I reasoned that what 'came through' would have comparable linear contrast. Are you suggesting that each applications 'linear' is no such thing? That, in fact, each application is applying some measure of contrast adjustment even when the curve is set 'flat' in the UI in all of them?

If that's true, I hadn't thought of it. Please elaborate.

Mike
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Schewe
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2011, 05:53:26 PM »
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Are you suggesting that each applications 'linear' is no such thing?

Of course not. Why would you possible think that different processing applications could possibly have defaults anywhere near each other? Sorry, that's pretty silly on the face of it. No way C1 and LR could possibly be anything near similar. Just not in the realm of possibility, really.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2011, 06:03:49 PM »
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I think the highly technical paradigm that software engineers use to determine the "defaults" in their software is this: "I kinda sorta think most people want their photos to look sorta like this, kinda."

Same principle is why default jpegs from Canon look exactly like the ones from Nikon or Phase 1 or ... What? They look different?  Huh

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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ZagatoV12
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2011, 06:57:21 PM »
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Of course not. Why would you possible think that different processing applications could possibly have defaults anywhere near each other? Sorry, that's pretty silly on the face of it. No way C1 and LR could possibly be anything near similar. Just not in the realm of possibility, really.

OK, I give up. I was thinking, obviously incorrectly, that 'no contrast curve' or 'linear' implied no contrast adjustment in interpreting the RAW file.

Now you raise it, I should have worked out that the 'default' (No curve but a setting of Contrast = 25, for example, in ACR or even 0 for that matter or its equivalent 'default' no curve in each application) meant that each developers interpretation of the RAW data with 'default' and no curve, or whatever, would potentially be very significantly different - although how we are expected to set a level playing field here, other than by eye, is interesting. I was thinking that there might be some kind of standard interpretation of RAW involved in this regard. Haa!

Thank you gentlemen. I guess to you experts, that was obvious. There you go. Maybe it should have been equally obvious to me. Well, I, and perhaps a few other people reading this, have realised something new.  Smiley

Mike
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Schewe
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« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2011, 07:10:05 PM »
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I was thinking that there might be some kind of standard interpretation of RAW involved in this regard. Haa!

Surely you jest...

A "standard interpretation of RAW", are you kidding?

Ain't no such thing...the basic tone curve is an app by app decision and there are no settings in one app that have any relationship to other apps. Every app will make basic assumptions that have zero impact on other app's assumptions.
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ZagatoV12
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« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2011, 08:33:13 PM »
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As you say, Sir. As you say. Aye, and that's an end to it.

I'll go back and repeat the work, but this time 'all out'. Individual preference or no. The result will still be of interest at least to me and if Silver Efex Pro 2 ships I'll take the opportunity to compare that too while I'm at it.

I would be very interested to know if anyone else has attempted this kind of comparison of the current crop - and how they fared with it. It doesn't look like anyone else is willing to toss their hat into the ring, try the file and share their efforts. Pity - we all might have learned something special from those more experienced.

I don't think I was the only individual interested in identifying if and which application might just have the 'edge' in this kind of work.

Mike
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 08:51:49 PM by ZagatoV12 » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2011, 09:31:45 PM »
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I don't think I was the only individual interested in identifying if and which application might just have the 'edge' in this kind of work.

The problem is, you can't in good faith, merely do comparisons of "Default" vs. "Default" since the defaults are simply that a default starting point. I've seen lots of these sort of reviews between different raw processing apps and it's useless and a waste of time.

What is more interesting is to compare the "best" that each app can produce...the only problem with that is it requires a degree of excellence in multiple applications which doesn't happen all that often. I'm pretty decent in C1 but by no means an "expert". I am a bit of an expert in Camera Raw (I write a book about it) and pretty darn good in Lightroom–because it's very close to ACR processing (same rendering, different usability) and I've also been involved in the development in both.

But, ultimately, getting the best out of your images really means knowing exactly what you want your images to look like. Trying to preconceive the end result in multiple applications sounds like a recipe for insanity...

The bottom line is, you made a capture, you have a look you are trying to achieve, THEN is not the time to try various processors to try to achieve what you want. Pick an app and become competent with it to the point you can get what you want. If you can't get what you want, move on and try another app. Trying to compare, superficially, various applications is, I think, a fool's errand.
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ZagatoV12
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« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2011, 10:55:20 PM »
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I've seen lots of these sort of reviews between different raw processing apps and it's useless and a waste of time.....

...... Trying to compare, superficially, various applications is, I think, a fool's errand.

OK. Well, I guess I asked for it.

However, with all due respect, I got quite a bit out of the effort, so I would hardly describe it as a fool's errand. It certainly wasn't a waste of my time and I didn't think it to be useless. Neither did I think experimenting with film, development times, dilutions, temperatures, agitation etc was a waste of my time when I was working in the wet darkroom - before I was able to decide on which combination and workflow was best for my black and white work in those days. I see this exercise as somewhat similar. If one was expert in all of them one wouldn't need to experiment, would one?

As you say, the difficulty lies in acquiring the expertise to facilitate the perfect 'experiment' to answer the apparently simple question.  Smiley

And there, I think, after a robust and challenging exchange, is the place to leave my question and return to the original point of this thread - please excuse me for butting in.

Mike
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 11:16:41 PM by ZagatoV12 » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2011, 11:09:00 PM »
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If I was expert in all of them I wouldn't need to experiment, would I?

No, but welcome to the internet where a few well place "reviews" can sway a variety of users who AREN'T so inclined to do the work to make their own discoveries...

Make no mistake, I have no issue with you making an effort and reporting your results. The only issue I have is with how definitive you may state your results to be (and the limitations your results show).

I think C1 is a very good raw processing application. But C1 V6 is the FIRST version where you can actually make your own Color>B&W conversions that are not based on some sort of profile. For C1, it's baby steps...and C1 is coming along quite nicely (which I personally support in ways I can not discuss).

I'm not diss'ing C1 V6's Color to B&W conversion...it's a much needed improvement. But some apps have been at it for while...it's just useful to compare apples to apples and not oranges, ya know?
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2011, 05:14:17 AM »
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Mike

- Trying to pull together this and your b&w thread

There's a lot of what Jeff has said here that there's no point my repeating. I'd just emphasise my initial point about treating the default with caution (is Kodachrome more right than Velvia, HP5Plus than TMax?) and I'd very much agree with Jeff's point about how a fair "all out" comparison is incredibly difficult, if not impossible. As the saying goes, "Jack of all trades...". In the end, and thinking particularly of b&w, skilled hands can squeeze the same "objective quality" out of each app so my emphasis is less on pixel-peeping and more on the process of getting to the best expression of the picture. That's why I put a lot of emphasis on the benefits of using the targeted adjustment tool (the little nipple in the top left corner of LR's B&W panel or in Photoshop's B&W adjustment layer) as I find that it your keeps your eyes completely on the picture and its changing appearance, rather than the more mechanical process of dragging sliders or picking some preset and believing its author has accurately calibrated the spectral response of film X (and factored in lens filters and developer agitation...).

John
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2011, 05:33:39 AM »
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By the way, Mike, I think you may also want to include grain in your b&w comparison. Plenty of people think b&w = grain. While it's not always true - they obviously haven't developed Pan F or APX25 in Ilford Perceptol 1+9 - I'd still say grain can be part of the b&w palette.

John
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ZagatoV12
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« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2011, 03:58:23 PM »
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Well Gentlemen,

At the risk of being banned from this Forum for heresy (daring to contradict the mighty), having read this series of threads again in the cold light of day, I think I can say, without any malice whatsoever, that there are as many holes in your argument as there are failings in my methodology. I have no issue with your basic criticism regarding 'defaults' but your supporting arguments don't seem to me to be sufficient or even self consistent.

Be that as it may, I'm not persuaded, as you seem to be, that such an attempt at a fair and objective review is impossible. Granted it will need to be very carefully planned , taking account of each step in the process and meticulous in execution. I do not subscribe to your contention that every application can produce the same objective quality of result. I think that is a delusion and unsupported by any evidence. That's the whole point.

So, and I promise this is my last response in this thread, I will quietly continue the work. Thank you for the guidance. I shall make a much better job of it next time.

Mike
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