The winner is... Phase One Capture One Pro 9 Around £250/$300
What’s good: Superb quality, powerful tools, precise localised adjustments What’s bad: No support for plug-ins, no pixel editing/layers, painfully expensive! Our verdict: The essence of professional image capture, quality and control
Capture One Pro is not for everyone. It doesn’t do special effects in the way that Alien Skin Exposure X2 does, and it can’t create composite images in one swoop like Adobe’s full Photoshop can. But if your primary interest lies in extracting the best possible quality from single photographic images, then it’s brilliant.
Most of us are on a constant quest for quality, either with a new camera or with new and more expensive lenses – but the software we use is a third factor that we often overlook. Adobe Camera Raw, the automatic ‘go-to’ RAW conversion software for photographers, is alright, but Capture One Pro is much better.
We’ve made it our winner here for its power, control and the sheer quality of its output. There is one important proviso, though – it’s not the complete package in the way that the Adobe Photography Plan suite is. You may still need a pixel-based photo editor, but then you could always pair it with the excellent Affinity Photo.