I installed the release-version of v4 and went through the documentation carefully. I have again observed some of the problems users in the C1v4 user-to-user forum have been talking about. Despite the facile and not especially convincing dismissive remark about "bellyaching," elsewhere in this thread, there are still serious problems with this release.
Activation succeeded the first time. So I thought. Then the program somehow lost track of the activation and I was back in demo mode. It worked the second time (and is "holding" so far). It seems not everyone was so fortunate.
The unpleasant screen-display bug with the curves panel is still in the program; it is explained away in the release notes as a "known issue."
PhaseOne has now seen several messages about its failure to provide the option of using a ".\Converted" subdirectory as a default for output -- the kind of setting that can be made once and need never be changed. For people who prefer that kind of output-directory scheme, having to pick an output directory via a crude tree-control, every time, is a pain in the neck. It's flat-out inefficient. (If memory serves, Lightroom also lacks this feature; it's hardly some revolutionary thing and why it keeps being omitted is baffling; people DO use such features). The documentation has a rushed-together look about it. It contains some notable mistakes, such as documenting a major feature that doesn't seem to be in the program at all, documenting keystrokes that simply don't work, and not documenting certain keystrokes or mouse-wheel controls that do work.
In failing to respond to end-users both in the beta-test forum and in the newer v4 forum, the company is doing itself no favors -- their silence is having the predictable effect of fanning the flames. (There has to be some middle-ground between coddling customers to some ridiculous degree, and on the other hand simply ignoring them...)
Those problems aside for a moment, the conversions seem very good to me and as I think I said before in the thread, C1's rendering of fine image detail is the best I've seen. (Though I'll keep an eye out for the sharpening-related problems mentioned elsewhere in this thread.) The dynamic-range controls are great and so is the highlight recovery feature -- it seems better even than Lightroom's, and Lightroom's is good. So there's a lot of potential in this release. But they had better start taking care of business more effectively...
I've been using C1 for several years, both on the Mac and PC. The Mac version of 3.7 was very polished, the Windows version, while the quality of output was the same, had an ugly interface and many missing features.
There were a number of other differences too, the PC version cached all previews in a central folder while the Mac placed them under the folder the raw files were stored in. There are reasonable arguments for doing it either way, but I preferred the Mac way because there was no way to clear out the hundreds of megabytes of past job previews on a PC without wiping out all the previews of what jobs you were currently working on. Thus you had to have a lengthy preview rebuild if you cleared the cache.
There definitely is a few areas that I have identified PO needs to work on.
- The relative output directory is one.
- The noise reduction has a different look to it. You can remove more noise than you could in 3.7, but I find that at similar amounts of noise reduction, the grain is not as smoothed off as it was in 3.7... it's subjective but there.
- There is less highlight recovery in the initial load of a file, though you can use the highlight tool to get more data out than you could before.
- Inability to load 3.7 settings. They do have a logical reason for this - the control algorithms changed and so the same settings on 3.7 are not the same in 4.0, but it would be nice if they approximated it or at least loaded some things in like exposure, levels and white balance changes. Some of us have thousands of files and settings from 3.7 that can't be loaded in at the moment.
I've seen a couple bugs too where a thumbnail didn't have a profile applied to it, and some sorting problems in the browser. Pretty minor.
The amount of detail it pulls out is impressive. I now have to use very little sharpening at all. I wonder if this is why the noise reduction works differently, because it does seem like it has the look of the old + more inadvertent noise detail.
I like the interface. It's a little different but thus far I've found it works pretty well and is a step forward, especially on the PC.