Phase One Cap­ture One Pro 9 £250/$300 (cur­rency con­ver­sions – €279)

Stun­ning but ex­pen­sive Light­room-beater

NPhoto - - Gear Zone | The Big Test -

Dan­ish com­pany Phase One also makes high-end medium for­mat cam­eras – and this at­ten­tion to pro­fes­sional im­age qual­ity runs through its soft­ware. Cap­ture One Pro has tra­di­tion­ally been used as a teth­ered shoot­ing tool for stu­dio pho­tog­ra­phers for con­trol­ling cam­eras re­motely and mak­ing im­age ad­just­ments and se­lec­tions dur­ing the shoot.

The soft­ware sup­ports RAW files from Nikons and works as a reg­u­lar RAW con­ver­sion and im­age edit­ing tool for JPEGs, too. Its im­age cat­a­logu­ing data­base and some pow­er­ful lo­calised ad­just­ment tools makes it a very close ri­val to Adobe Light­room.

Ver­sion 9.3 brings a new pro­cess­ing en­gine, ad­just­ment tools, im­proved im­age rescal­ing and an air­brush lo­calised ad­just­ment mode. These join the pow­er­ful global ad­just­ment tools that in­clude au­to­matic lens corrections via lens pro­files, in-built per­spec­tive cor­rec­tion tools and pow­er­ful tone and colour con­trols.

Per­for­mance

Cap­ture One’s RAW con­ver­sion qual­ity is a step above Adobe Cam­era Raw’s, with a bet­ter com­bi­na­tion of sharp­ness and low noise. It de­liv­ers pic­tures with a vivid in­ten­sity that you of­ten have to work for in other pro­grams, and its abil­ity to ren­der fine de­tail is ex­cep­tional. Its tab-based ad­just­ment work­flow, though it seems com­pli­cated ini­tially, is ef­fi­cient, log­i­cal and eas­ily cus­tomised, so that if you find your­self us­ing just a hand­ful of tools you can add these to a sin­gle tab and hide the rest.

The lay­ers-based lo­calised ad­just­ments are as pow­er­ful as Light­room’s and eas­ier to man­age. Cap­ture One doesn’t have pixel-based edit­ing tools, but it can use Pho­to­shop or any other ap­pli­ca­tion as an ex­ter­nal photo ed­i­tor. It doesn’t sup­port plug-ins, how­ever.

Specs

Plat­form: PC and Mac Re­quire­ments: Win­dows 7 or later, Mac OS X 10.10.5 or later, 8GB RAM, 10GB hard disk space Brows­ing: Yes Cat­a­logu­ing: Yes RA W pro­cess­ing: Yes Lens corrections: Yes Lo­calised ad­just­ments: Yes Lay­ers and masks: No Pre­set ef­fects: Yes Plug-ins: No

Ver­dict

Fea­tures Ease of use: Per­for­mance Value for money

Over­all

Very ex­pen­sive, but stun­ning – we’d give it more than 5 stars for qual­ity if we could.

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