Capture One Pro 5 Review

November 24, 2009 | Jon Canfield | Software Reviews | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


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 5Figure 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 5Figure 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 5Figure 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 5Figure 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 5Figure 5

Capture One Pro 5Figure 6

Capture One Pro 5Figure 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 5Figure 8

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