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

NPhoto - - Gear Zone | The Big Test -

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.

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