I read a few replies here referring to the improved results of using 'Linear Response' in the curve choice, rather than 'Film Standard'
Can someone outline the improvements of this - is it beneficial to all image types, or some more than others?
The Film Standard curve that is applied by usual default, produces an image with similar characteristics to what film does, it has (amongst others) a highlight roll-off somewhat like the shoulder of the film H&D curve does. To achieve that, the highlights get progressively more compressed (lower contrast) as one approaches the brightest highlights of an image.
While that may help to avoid sudden clipping of highlights, e.g. a sun disk in a bright sunset sky turning (hopefully white) with a sharp edge, it also will take the life out of e.g. very bright clouds near that sun. Assuming one has exposed correctly for the highlights, and there is some detail in bright image areas, it is IMHO usually better to not make those highlights which still do have detail, looking dull and having low contrast. To that end, one uses a Linear curve instead, and the images keep looking crisp.
An unfortunate by-product of the way that the Film tonecurve is implemented in Capture One, is that it shows correctly exposed (ETTR) images, without clipping, as being clipped and seemingly overexposed by about one stop for some camera Raws. Correcting that requires reducing the exposure control which darkens the entire image below what the scene is supposed to look like.
- and run through a brief workflow to set it up as a 'style' and apply it?
Once you have the Linear response selected for an image, and other settings you always end up making for a certain type of images (e.g. noise reduction only for High ISO shots), you can save (a selection of) those settings as a User defined Style which you can later recall with a few mouse clicks, or even set one as a default. Just make sure to only include those settings in a Style that you actually want to have changed by selecting that Style when you e.g. switch between Styles.
I understand you'd need to shoot a test show of the Xrite color checker (can do that) but then what do you do with that shot?
No, that's a requirement for Lightroom/ACR, not Capture One.