First some praise:
The keystone correction tool. It seems to have problems with extreme keystoning (worm's-eye view with a 14mm) but within reasonable margins it works wonderfully. A real treat!
Also the local corrections are most welcome. Just a gradient tool needs to be added. I know I can achieve similar effects with large soft brush settings but a gradient is simpler and faster in use.
Being able to adjust the size of the local adjustment brush and the spot removal tool with a left mouse click is very nice but when doing so the scale for the brush size hides the image at the very point where I want to use the tool. LR's approach with the scroll wheel is simpler and faster in use.
This leads me to another ease of use I would like to have:
Typically I want images with no distortion, no chromatic aberration and no vignetting. Only for the very few occasions when I deliberately would like some of these lens imperfections to show up in my image I would apply manual adjustments. Right now with C1 it's the other way around, at least if you are working with DSLRs (which I do). LR, Capture NX2 and even the in-camera-jpgs automatically recognize lens, focal length and aperture and correct the above mentioned lens faults (of course with the option not to have them corrected fully or partially). I'd like this in C1 as well because if you are shooting outside a studio or similar situation, lens values change with almost every shot making the manual synchronisation of settings very time consuming. It would not even be necessary to profile a lot of lenses. The data of PTLens are already there (not perfect maybe, but good enough for most cases as a start). But practically it would be sufficient to have correction profiles for Canon's L lenses and the Nikon pro glass to start with - ok, maybe for my S95 it would be nice to have it as well.
The notorious n-word: noise
In my perception the main reason for the issue of "dirty" noise is the sharpening algorithm. The attached image shows a completely untextured area with only smooth out-of-focus bokeh (f2.8 at 170mm). Without sharpening it remains smooth and amorphous. Once sharpening is applied, very dark or very bright pixels appear, often as a string with a length of up to six or seven pixels, frequently two strings connected to an angle and always exactly horizontal or vertical. They are clearly identifiable as artifacts even to the untrained eye and contaminate otherwise clean areas because of their regular shape, position and hard contrast. Apparently this effect happens to be even more articulate with Nikon's NEFs than with Canon's CR2 files. In LR the sharpening artifacts are amorphous and have a lot less contrast in areas with no texture. It appears to me that C1's sharpening algorithm needs to be worked over because if I take an unsharpened C1 image to LR and sharpen it there, these artifacts do not appear.
The second issue is color noise or high ISO color noise to be precise. Up to a color noise reduction value of about 20 to 30 everything is pretty much under control. Above 30 colors start to blur more strongly causing a visible desaturation of small areas. This loss of saturation can be seen in the patterns on the woman's jacket and the purple rectangles surrounded by blue as well as members of the audience with red clothes losing their contours. But at these values of color noise reduction the blue blotches often have not disappeared (and color noise is mostly about these blue speckles especially since most high ISO images are taken at tungsten lighting). At values above 40 the luminance structure in the shadows starts to disappear resulting in very blurry areas. The automatic values for color noise reduction are often ridiculously high causing areas with low contrast to become untextured even in the luminance channel (watch the double bass turn into a piece of chocolate and the grey suit of the cellist look like water color). One could disguise this by adding fine grain" but now things lose their simplicity which is not C1's way of doing it as far as I understand. I want to reduce noise instead of adding even more. So my wishes for color noise reduction are: an algorithm that recognizes high ISO noise and therefore does not need to blur the contours of colored areas and a way of correcting it that does not affect luminance texture when only color noise is to be corrected.
Other opinions, similiar evaluations?