Capture One Pro 8 Impressions

The new update of Capture One Pro 8 has arrived, bringing a fresh new interface, performance engine improvements and enhanced adjustment tools.

I have been using Capture One since version 6 and have been really happy with the results. You get great results straight out of the box with Capture One, it's powerful processing engine gives true colour reproduction and handles noise reduction really well. The adjustment tools are very flexible making the RAW workflow effortless and they have been made even better with this latest update.

I have been playing around with Capture One Pro 8 the last couple of weeks and have been very impressed. There's no real massive change from version 7 but the subtle differences add a lot. The user interface has been updated with a cleaner flatter finish and larger easier to grab slider icons, to speed up the workflow. 

Another tool C1 8 has added is "Film Grain". I was a bit skeptical about this new feature and worried how it would render natural film grain. The tool allows you to choose a few types of grain, including Fine, Silver Rich, Soft, Cubic, Tabular and Harsh Grain. All giving you slightly different grain looks and varying amounts of impact. On the photograph below I chose soft grain and ramped the impact slider up and found the results to be very pleasing. The tool works great for giving ultra clean digital images roughness and texture. 

The beauty of shooting RAW images, is the ability to enhance and correct your photographs after capture, white balance for example. This has been apart of RAW processing since the dawn of time, however it was always been a global adjustment made to the entire file. C1 8 brings white balance control to the local adjustments tool set. This might seem like a simple addition but it brings with it masses of creativity and more flexibility when making white balance adjustments.  One area I have been using this tool in my work is getting the correct white balance in my flower photography between subject and background. I recently photographed these Dahlia's on a dark grey cloudy day and the shots utilised this adjustment perfectly. 

  • Left Image - RAW Capture

  • Center Image - Cloudy WB Globally

  • Right Image - Cloudy WB affecting flower only

I found that a cloudy WB adjustment globally made the greens to warm for my liking. So with a local adjustments brush I was able to mask out he flower and only affect the flower, leaving the greens cooler and truer to the colour photographed. 

When processing my images I like the workflow to be as simple as possible, doing everything in C1 if I can and for the most part I achieve this. However there are times when C1 hasn't been the right tool for the job, especially in the cloning and healing of artefacts found in images. This is where photoshop would come into its own allowing me to work quickly and efficiently removing unwanted items. Although C1 8 has now added Clone & Heal layers, allowing more complicated cloning and healing tasks to be performed where usually this have only been possible in photoshop. I have been playing around with these new layer features and found them to be very useful, I still haven't had enough time to really explore them fully but I think there will be less trips into photoshop for cloning tasks in near future.  The below example is a shot from a recent trip to Paris, and I found the gap in the tress at the back of the frame distracting so I thought I would try Cloning it out with the new Cloning Layer Brush. I simply picked a target area and brushed over the area I  wanted to clone, simple. Like I said I have only been playing around with this tool but early results are promising. 

Phase One have worked really hard to boost performance speeds in C1 8 and it is noticeable, I have found importing & exporting quicker and they have managed to make scrolling through large collections of images alot smoother. This all helps to speed up workflow times and makes processing large sessions that little less frustrating. In conclusion Capture One Pro 8 is defiantly worth the update, it has been build on strong foundations from version 7 but Phase One have not taking that for granted. They have ramped up performance and giving photographers new tools to be more creative whilst speeding up their workflows. 

All Images © David Eaton Photography. All Rights Reserved