Capture One Pro 5 Review

November 24, 2009 | Jon Canfield | Software Reviews | |


It wasn't that long ago that I took a look at Phase One's workflow solution, Capture One Pro 4.5.  Just a few months later, the latest version, 5.0, is now out with some interesting new features and improvements to the workflow and performance.

Since I covered most of the functionality in Capture One Pro in my previous review, I'll focus on what's new and whether it's a worthwhile upgrade.

Capture One Pro has been around for a number of years, and while it's ideal for anyone shooting tethered with a medium format system, especially a Leaf digital back (Phase One now owns Leaf), there are some very interesting tools and features that will appeal to other photographers shooting with more modest equipment.

It's still an extremely strong option for shooting tethered and users of select Nikon and Canon cameras will find this to be the deciding factor for which program they choose.

Capture One Pro 5 Figure 1

In version 5.0, Phase One has enhanced the Live Preview capabilities while shooting tethered. In this mode, you can control your camera from the computer, making adjustments to exposure, white balance and other settings, and also use Capture One Pro to zoom in to check critical focus and lighting. Live Preview is now available on both Macintosh and Windows.Capture One Pro has also added new focus tools - Focus Mask and the Focus Tool. The Focus Mask feature highlights your images with a overlay to show areas that are in focus. By default, this is a bright green overlay (Figure 2), but the color can be changed if needed.

Capture One Pro 5 Figure 2

To check focus in real time, I found the Focus Tool to be extremely useful. Located on the Details panel, you can drag this off to be a free-floating window if you like, and adjust the zoom rate as needed. Clicking anywhere on your image will show the magnified view of that area of your image (Figure 3).

Capture One Pro 5 Figure 3

One of the most powerful new feature though is the RGB Levels and Curves, a tool that allows you to edit individual color channels to fine tune your image for exactly the look you're going for Capture One Pro has the strongest offering of any tool I've used in this area (Figure 4). Long time users of Capture One Pro might remember this functionality from back in version 3, but it's back again and better than before.

Capture One Pro 5 Figure 4

The Color Editor has been enhanced, letting you select color ranges in Basic (Figure 5) mode, or a more refined range in the Advanced (Figure 6) mode. The Skin Tone Enhancer (Figure 7) is a new addition to the Color Editor, making it easier to work with skin tones for a more natural and smoother look. Also available in the Color Editor is the ability to adjust ICC profiles

Capture One Pro 5 Figure 5

Capture One Pro 5 Figure 6

Capture One Pro 5 Figure 7

A Dust removal tool is added (Figure 8) is now available and works well, although there is much less control over sampling than you have with Aperture or Lightroom, setting the size and location only.

Capture One Pro 5 Figure 8

Entry Tags

RAW, software, processing, pro, phase one, version 5, capture one 5, Capture One Pro 5 Review

Tracker Pixel for Entry

Your Comments

13 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 heilpflanzen

I have read the article and seen the snaps which gives the good notion of the software and about the proper usage of the Capture one Pro 5.It is beautifully captured the real scene of the snaps.I want to know the proper application installation links and more information regarding such another software.

5:40 am - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#2 Mac

Thanks for posting…this product is great for enhancing pictures.  I found this site—-perfect for online portfolios =)

12:12 pm - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#3 Fotograf

Tethered zoom photo check is great option.
You haven`t mention elimination of chromatic aberation on the photos which is much better than in LR and photoshop

1:26 pm - Tuesday, December 22, 2009

#4 vanessa

hi can you please explain how to use the overlay tool in cap 5 pro?

4:36 am - Wednesday, January 13, 2010

#5 Clara C

Can you explain me how to activate the focus mask? At the moment the mask seems to be off and I dont know how to activate it.


1:44 pm - Thursday, July 22, 2010

#6 Anke Benen

Great article! I’m keen on testing it.
BUT can someone tell me the difference to the Adobe software and which one to use? Phase one vs. Adobe.
Thanks for your feedback.
I’m looking into buying new software and can’t decide. So far I’m using PS Elements 7.
Thanks, Anke

11:59 am - Sunday, July 25, 2010

#7 kezar

i want trail verson

6:19 pm - Friday, October 8, 2010

#8 Laadukas Hakukoneoptimointi

Great post, thanks for the tips! There’s always something new to learn, no matter how well you think you know…

7:14 am - Tuesday, November 9, 2010

#9 Sergio Martone

I am not one for reading manuals. I want a program to work the way I instinctively do. I don’t want to spend time reading manuals and addendum’s and revisions. I want to spend my time taking photographs.
Capture One does that for me.It is really that simple.
The application gives me what I want.

9:45 pm - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#10 Best SEO Company in India

It is quite great editing the pictures. I would be happy to make my own pics on portfolio. I hope some companies may hire me.

1:50 pm - Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#11 Fotograf Darko

Thanks for the nice article. This is great

2:40 pm - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

#12 Fotografisanje Beograd

Great post, thanks for the tips!

3:15 pm - Thursday, January 30, 2014

#13 Dan at Vigorotaku

Check out Capture One Pro 8

Killer features of Capture One Pro 8 for me:
- No need for Catalogs!
- Variants
- Multiple focus windows for image review or tethered shooting

You can take a look at
Capture One Pro 8 at

I hope that you find this helpful.

Dan at

4:34 pm - Thursday, September 18, 2014