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Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Capture One Q&A => Topic started by: The View on June 27, 2017, 04:14:51 am

Title: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on June 27, 2017, 04:14:51 am
I always found the preview quality of Capture One Pro fuzzy and lacking in detail.

But Lightroom is no better.

Maybe they both use highly compressed JPEGs for previews (otherwise their databases would blow up)

I thought it was unavoidable for RAW converters, something bad you had to work with.


But I recently opened a few files with Canon's proprietary DPP - the images are much clearer and sharper in DPP's preview than in C1.

It's so dramatic that C1 looks, by comparison, like a low resolution preview.

What's more, C1's preview is so horribly bad that certain qualities of the image are not getting shown.

How am I supposed to do a good adjustment with such a horrible preview?

You can't trust what you see, because what you see is not the image but a highly compressed jpeg.

And because it's so fuzzy you are tempted to add too much constrast - invariably destroying the nuances of the image.


How do you deal with that?

a. Because you can't trust the preview don't adjust the RAW file. Modern cameras have such a great output that you don't really mess much with it any more and can get it right in camera. And do fine tuning in Photoshop.

b. Or you can adjust color and brightness - but leave contrast and sharpness alone.

Seen in this light that modern cameras don't need much fussing around in a RAW converter any more.

An alternative to the big RAW converters could be: a. a good database program b. the best interpretation of the file (which could be proprietary RAW processors by Canon and Nikon) I feel C1 oversharpens anyway. (I still think the skin tones are excellent and I'd have to see how DPP would be doing)

It looks to me that DPP previews are so sharp because they don't have to compress them so much for database needs.

But then: why not have a database with two previews: one for the catalog, and a second one, a large one, for the actual adjustment process? Yes, this would be a much bigger catalog, and it would have to be coded much better than the useless junk catalog C1 currently has.


PS: I have tweaked the preview quality, set it to my monitor's resolution. it's just built this way.


Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Dave Rosser on June 27, 2017, 06:55:56 am
If you want to look at detail simply view at 100% - this uses a full size rendition, you will see the image sharpening after you select this. It's the same in lightroom.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 27, 2017, 07:51:34 am
I always found the preview quality of Capture One Pro fuzzy and lacking in detail.

But Lightroom is no better.

Maybe they both use highly compressed JPEGs for previews (otherwise their databases would blow up)

I thought it was unavoidable for RAW converters, something bad you had to work with.


But I recently opened a few files with Canon's proprietary DPP - the images are much clearer and sharper in DPP's preview than in C1.

It's so dramatic that C1 looks, by comparison, like a low resolution preview.

What's more, C1's preview is so horribly bad that certain qualities of the image are not getting shown.

How am I supposed to do a good adjustment with such a horrible preview?

[...]

PS: I have tweaked the preview quality, set it to my monitor's resolution. it's just built this way.

Hi,

Mac or Windows?

Display type or resolution (pixels wide / width in inches = PPI)?

I assume you are talking about less than 100% zoom image scales?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: HCS on June 27, 2017, 09:35:55 am
If you'd want to look at the actual raw file and not at a pregenerated jpeg, or the included jpeg, try Fast Raw Viewer (FRV).

It's really, really fast in extracting the raw data from the file and showing it to you plain and honest. It does look different than we're used to in a raw converter, because it doesn't apply curves by default etc.

By the way, i'm on Mac and don't find the previews fuzzy.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Remko on June 27, 2017, 02:46:55 pm
Check you settings in the Preference of CO.

I am on a Mac. Go to Preference and select the Image tab. The very first item is "Preview Image size (px)" and see what is chosen there.

For my 27" iMac (non retina) I have set it to 2560 px. What you choose here is dependent on your screen. It is my experience that if you choose the right setting you will not have low quality previews at all. On the contrary.

cheers,
Remko
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on June 27, 2017, 04:21:47 pm
The image size is set to 2560 pixels - which is the resolution of my 27" monitor.

But compared do DPP, sharpness and detail is much reduced. I have experimented to set it to an even higher pixel size, but this did not bring any advantage.

Could it be that DPP has a very high contrast setting out of the box? The preview images is just so much crisper while the C1 preview is "soggy" and "softish", inviting the use of contrast and detail sliders.

The processed TIFF is much, much better than the preview and shows better contrast


PS: hardware acceleration (us open CL) is set to "never" for both display and processing. It was a recommended setting a while ago. Is this still the best setting? I'm on a 2012 retina MacBook Pro with 16GB ram.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on June 27, 2017, 04:24:18 pm
I have screenshots that illustrate the problem.

Just can't post them because all I get when I click the insert image button is a couple of HTML tags - no menu to import images.(http://)


update: by using structure and clarity I could increase the sharpness of the preview of the Capture One preview.

I understand those are micro-contrast settings - contrast from most general to finest detail: contrast - clarity - structure - sharpening 

It looks like the straight out of camera processing is very soft because of the havoc clarity and structure can do to skin - and skin is many our most important surface...


So the the low quality of the preview has likely to do with the intentionally low contrast. I was able to get the C1 Pro image  close to the sharpness as the DPP image.

I have always been very careful with the structure and clarity slider for what it can do to skin, but for objects they are indeed capable adjustments.

We have to be careful with those powerful sliders as we can rub out important nuances by going too far and end up with an overprocessed looking image.

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: David Grover / Phase One on June 28, 2017, 10:23:40 am
I have screenshots that illustrate the problem.

Just can't post them because all I get when I click the insert image button is a couple of HTML tags - no menu to import images.(http://)


update: by using structure and clarity I could increase the sharpness of the preview of the Capture One preview.

I understand those are micro-contrast settings - contrast from most general to finest detail: contrast - clarity - structure - sharpening 

It looks like the straight out of camera processing is very soft because of the havoc clarity and structure can do to skin - and skin is many our most important surface...


So the the low quality of the preview has likely to do with the intentionally low contrast. I was able to get the C1 Pro image  close to the sharpness as the DPP image.

I have always been very careful with the structure and clarity slider for what it can do to skin, but for objects they are indeed capable adjustments.

We have to be careful with those powerful sliders as we can rub out important nuances by going too far and end up with an overprocessed looking image.

The previews in Capture One are NOT heavily compressed jpegs with Low Quality.  If you have an issue, you should really send some screen shots to support or at least post them here. 

To post screen shots here, you need to click "Attachments and other options" just below the text pane.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Jeff on June 28, 2017, 11:22:31 am
The previews in Capture One are heavily compressed jpegs with Low Quality.  If you have an issue, you should really send some screen shots to support or at least post them here. 

To post screen shots here, you need to click "Attachments and other options" just below the text pane.


Have I misunderstood ?

Surely the C1 generated previews are far better than being just " Low Quality "  ?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: David Grover / Phase One on June 29, 2017, 04:17:10 am

Have I misunderstood ?

Surely the C1 generated previews are far better than being just " Low Quality "  ?

Haha. Typo.  Will edit.  ;)
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on July 05, 2017, 01:35:11 pm

Have I misunderstood ?

Surely the C1 generated previews are far better than being just " Low Quality "  ?

Here's the C1 preview - it is blurry, the text can't be read well, the whole image looks soft.

Below the DPP preview - it is sharp, in focus,

the third screenshot is the file processed by C1 without any adjustments and opened in Photoshop - it is sharp, in focus, not blurry, not mushy, and you see that the preview in C1 looks like a heavily compressed JPEG in comparison to it.

(click on the screenshots to see them larger)


Because of this issue I even had the graphics card replaced in my MacBook Pro retina 2010 16 GB - but it didn't help, as the issue was with C1, not with my computer. (And the DPP preview is perfectly sharp and not blurry)
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on July 05, 2017, 01:56:48 pm
Here's the C1 preview - it is blurry, the text can't be read well, the whole image looks soft.

Below the DPP preview - it is sharp, in focus,

the third screenshot is the file processed by C1 without any adjustments and opened in Photoshop - it is sharp, in focus, not blurry, not mushy, and you see that the preview in C1 looks like a heavily compressed JPEG in comparison to it.

(click on the screenshots to see them larger)


Because of this issue I even had the graphics card replaced in my MacBook Pro retina 2010 16 GB - but it didn't help, as the issue was with C1, not with my computer. (And the DPP preview is perfectly sharp and not blurry)

Hi,

When I compare the C1 version screenshot with the Photoshop viewed screenshot (both at 100% zoom), there is a difference in scale. That will affect apparent resolution (resampling by itself always does). The DPP version will be different anyway, because of a different Raw converter (assuming you used that instead of the output from C1).

So it might help to clarify the reason for the scale difference first.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on July 07, 2017, 03:32:28 am
The key problem is that the preview of C1 is so much different from what you get when you output it to TIFF and open the TIFF in Photoshop.

This means you cannot see what you are doing adjusting the files in C1 - you are flying blind.

You can get the blurriness out by using the three contrast sliders, but what you'll output to Photoshop is an overprocessed image - totally ruined.

The key of any image editing software is to show what you are doing.

The examples posted show the great difference in sharpness and contrast between the preview and the output TIFF.


This is like color editing without a color managed system.



Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Doug Peterson on July 07, 2017, 08:52:25 am
The key problem is that the preview of C1 is so much different from what you get when you output it to TIFF and open the TIFF in Photoshop.

This means you cannot see what you are doing adjusting the files in C1 - you are flying blind.

You can get the blurriness out by using the three contrast sliders, but what you'll output to Photoshop is an overprocessed image - totally ruined.

The key of any image editing software is to show what you are doing.

The examples posted show the great difference in sharpness and contrast between the preview and the output TIFF.


This is like color editing without a color managed system.

There isn't a "right" way to display an image that is being downsized. The only "truth" in a file is the file presented at 100%. At 100% C1 matches any other imaging program. At less than 100% every engine out there renders differently.

The Recipe Proofing tool/button in C1 can be a good tool for working around this fundamental issue with digital imaging.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on July 07, 2017, 12:17:41 pm
There isn't a "right" way to display an image that is being downsized. The only "truth" in a file is the file presented at 100%. At 100% C1 matches any other imaging program. At less than 100% every engine out there renders differently.

The Recipe Proofing tool/button in C1 can be a good tool for working around this fundamental issue with digital imaging.

Downsizing shouldn't alter an image so much that you can't judge it any more. I need to see the full image for accurate decisions on sharpness and contrast.

It works with DPP, and Photoshop does a great job displaying an image well at major percentages.

Why can't C1 do it after over 10 years of development?


What would the recipe proofing tool change in this aspect? What does it do?

So far, the only option I see it to export without any adjustments except color from C1 as any adjustment made would lead to overprocessing and destroying the image.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: David Grover / Phase One on July 08, 2017, 07:27:17 am
Downsizing shouldn't alter an image so much that you can't judge it any more. I need to see the full image for accurate decisions on sharpness and contrast.

It works with DPP, and Photoshop does a great job displaying an image well at major percentages.

Why can't C1 do it after over 10 years of development?


What would the recipe proofing tool change in this aspect? What does it do?

So far, the only option I see it to export without any adjustments except color from C1 as any adjustment made would lead to overprocessing and destroying the image.

Downsizing will exactly do that in terms of adjusting sharpeness

No Raw converter EXCEPT for Capture One will give you an accurate representation of how the output will look.

As Doug describes Recipe Proofing in Capture One will do exactly what you require.

https://youtu.be/dRs1lZCDpLU


Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: alfin on July 08, 2017, 09:32:08 am
Downsizing will exactly do that in terms of adjusting sharpeness

No Raw converter EXCEPT for Capture One will give you an accurate representation of how the output will look.
That is one of the great advantage of Capture One over competition.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on July 08, 2017, 04:17:46 pm
That is one of the great advantage of Capture One over competition.

But the output does look MUCH sharper and detailed than the preview.

That's the key problem!
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: David Grover / Phase One on July 08, 2017, 04:54:32 pm
But the output does look MUCH sharper and detailed than the preview.

That's the key problem!

At 100% in Capture One and 100% in Photoshop?

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on July 08, 2017, 09:29:41 pm
But the output does look MUCH sharper and detailed than the preview.

That's the key problem!

It's an interesting observation to get to the bottom of, but it may be an inaccurate observation!

On-the-fly downsampling (as in screen previews smaller than at 100% zoom) can be done in several ways. Broadly speaking, all downsampling risks producing aliasing artifacts that may be mistaken for resolution (while they are actually artifacts).

So assuming ACR previews (either in LR or PS) of a TIFF output file from Capture One, there is a good chance of visible differences below 100% zoom. DPP will also have its own demosaicing and offers two levels of on-screen display (a slower higher quality one, and a faster lower quality one), so I'll leave that out of the comparison since there are multiple variables at play.

The question then becomes, which application does a better job of mimicking the full-size 100% display, after resampling to output size and post-resampling output sharpening, when viewed at sub-100% zoom levels (or simulated actual output size)?

The only way to really/reliably predict how the final image will look is by viewing it at a 100% zoom level (because that avoids downsampling), and mentally adopting output resolution at a given viewing distance. But even then there remains a mismatch in the case of printed output, which is of much higher resolution than the display we preview on is capable of showing. That obviously makes it harder to judge the full image from only a scaled down preview, but such is the challenge of displaying/previewing downsampled images. Therefore, resampling artifacts and viewing distances/resolutions keep screwing with our visual acuity (which also varies by individual).

Capture One (version 10) is pretty unique at providing an Output Sharpened Preview (the tool is called 'Recipe Proofing'), which is only really possible at 100% zoom level AFTER profiling for output and sharpening AFTER resampling for output size (with the obvious caveat of having adequate display gamut and resolution, which is also often not sufficient for a 100% predictable preview).

So not an easy task to declare which is better, but interesting enough to explore.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Dinarius on July 24, 2017, 11:35:47 am
I've always had the same experience, but learned to live with it.

What I see in Photoshop is a tack sharp TIFF, with smooth tonal variation, and less contrast and saturation.

What I see in C1 is something softer, with more contrast and a little more saturation.

C1 is set to its Output Recipe (always Adobe RGB/16 bit TIFF) and Proofing is turned on.

There's been a lot of talk in this thread about what one sees at 100%. Yes, what I see at 100% is identical in both C1 and CS6.

But, when I'm editing, I want to view the overall image most of the time, to get a "feel" for what's happening as I edit. I don't want to be making global adjustments at 100%.

And, for whatever reason, I'm not seeing that in C1 when viewing the full image (as opposed to viewing at 100%)

This problem is quite evident when viewing my 5D Mark IV files, and extremely so when viewing my Sony RX100 files. The Sony files are transformed after saving and opening in CS6.

In C1, Edit/Preferences/Image is set to the default 2560. Colour is Perceptual. Open CL is set to Auto and being used by C1.

I would love someone to tell me that I have screwed up a setting, and my issue can be solved.  8)

Thanks.

D.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Jimmy D Uptain on July 27, 2017, 12:01:56 am
I've always had the same experience, but learned to live with it.

What I see in Photoshop is a tack sharp TIFF, with smooth tonal variation, and less contrast and saturation.

What I see in C1 is something softer, with more contrast and a little more saturation.

C1 is set to its Output Recipe (always Adobe RGB/16 bit TIFF) and Proofing is turned on.

There's been a lot of talk in this thread about what one sees at 100%. Yes, what I see at 100% is identical in both C1 and CS6.

But, when I'm editing, I want to view the overall image most of the time, to get a "feel" for what's happening as I edit. I don't want to be making global adjustments at 100%.

And, for whatever reason, I'm not seeing that in C1 when viewing the full image (as opposed to viewing at 100%)

This problem is quite evident when viewing my 5D Mark IV files, and extremely so when viewing my Sony RX100 files. The Sony files are transformed after saving and opening in CS6.

In C1, Edit/Preferences/Image is set to the default 2560. Colour is Perceptual. Open CL is set to Auto and being used by C1.

I would love someone to tell me that I have screwed up a setting, and my issue can be solved.  8)

Thanks.

D.

Yup, I came back from a road trip with a few pics. I was disgusted how soft the photos looked. I was shooting a D800E with a 24mm PC lens. I figured I screwed up somewhere.

However, when viewing them on anything but "fit to screen" they looked super sharp. Like you, I edit (at least globally) at less than 100%. This issue makes that all but impossible.

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on July 27, 2017, 09:24:28 am
I have difficulty understanding what some are saying that they observe.

An example of two screenshots, one from C1 and one from the TIFF conversion in PS, might be helpful for a meaningful discussion.

I've tried viewing an existing TIFF in both C1 and PS at a fit screen zoom-level, and they looked almost identical (except for minor resampling quality differences). In C1 I had to turn off all my default style changes, in Contrast, Saturation, Clarity, Sharpening, etc.

The general lack of differences that I observed, suggests that it is probably not the resampling that produces the effects (e.g. blur, contrast) mentioned by others. If true, then that would leave the generation of the preview image when viewed at a reduced (fit screen) size. If that's the case, then perhaps the generation of a larger (than fit screen) size previews might help? It would slow down imports and use more space to store previews.

It's all a bit hard to say something meaningful about it without actual comparison examples of (C1 preview versus PS display of the resulting TiFF, both at roughly 'fit screen' resolutions) screen shots which demonstrate the observations. It could also be something else, like Retina display settings, who knows?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: David Grover / Phase One on July 28, 2017, 06:29:07 am
I have difficulty understanding what some are saying that they observe.

An example of two screenshots, one from C1 and one from the TIFF conversion in PS, might be helpful for a meaningful discussion.

I've tried viewing an existing TIFF in both C1 and PS at a fit screen zoom-level, and they looked almost identical (except for minor resampling quality differences). In C1 I had to turn off all my default style changes, in Contrast, Saturation, Clarity, Sharpening, etc.

The general lack of differences that I observed, suggests that it is probably not the resampling that produces the effects (e.g. blur, contrast) mentioned by others. If true, then that would leave the generation of the preview image when viewed at a reduced (fit screen) size. If that's the case, then perhaps the generation of a larger (than fit screen) size previews might help? It would slow down imports and use more space to store previews.

It's all a bit hard to say something meaningful about it without actual comparison examples of (C1 preview versus PS display of the resulting TiFF, both at roughly 'fit screen' resolutions) screen shots which demonstrate the observations. It could also be something else, like Retina display settings, who knows?

Cheers,
Bart

Me too Bart.  It would be good to see a shot showing the issue.

There should be no reason why you couldn't adjust comfortably at fit screen.  But for any task that involves sharpening / structure, there is no way other that to view at 100%.  Capture One is not unique in this regard!  Or use the excellent proofing feature.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Dinarius on July 28, 2017, 07:31:18 am
With a file open to "fit in screen" in C1, save it as a TIFF and open it in Photoshop (in my case CS6).

Now toggle between the two.

Are you saying that you don't see a difference?

I'm Windows 10 Pro x64, and unless there's some setting in either program (C1 / CS6) that I should be changing, I do see a difference - as I outlined above.

Thanks.

D.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on July 28, 2017, 09:21:31 am
With a file open to "fit in screen" in C1, save it as a TIFF and open it in Photoshop (in my case CS6).

Now toggle between the two.

Are you saying that you don't see a difference?

I'm Windows 10 Pro x64, and unless there's some setting in either program (C1 / CS6) that I should be changing, I do see a difference - as I outlined above.

Hi,

What I see is a very slight difference, due to different resampling methods (and slightly different zoom ratios due to workspace layout) and a different CMS. What I do not see is blurry images, or very different contrast, or much changed colors, that would qualify as low quality. As said, they are not 100% identical (C1 is slightly darker, or PS slightly lighter) but very close, despite obviously different technologies being used. If I would not have labeled them, you would most likely not be able to tell which one is from what application.

That's why I asked for an example from those who do see issues, in order to ferret out whether it might be caused by certain settings (e.g. wrong settings in the export recipe or the display settings).

Anyway, I've spent some time and produced the attached side-by-side screenshot comparison, which looks quite similar (not optimal due to conversion from display profile to sRGB), and without output sharpening or the other refinements in Photoshop that I normally would do. But for sharpening itself, one must use 100% zoom (or larger) anyway, so this is just for getting an overview of the image.

So, slightly different yes, low quality no.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on July 29, 2017, 06:52:18 am
The image size is set to 2560 pixels - which is the resolution of my 27" monitor.

But compared do DPP, sharpness and detail is much reduced. I have experimented to set it to an even higher pixel size, but this did not bring any advantage.

DPP uses better/additional processing for downsampled / fit to screen previews. So it's not that C1 is particularly fuzzy, it's that DPP is particularly sharp. I assume that C1 just downsamples (like LR does), without compensation for the resampling. Resampling by definition softens the image (depending on the filter used), otherwise the images would be riddled by aliasing artifacts. Photoshop's downsampling is somewhat crude (quick and dirty). Adding additional sharpening for display, would add processing time.

In theory, C1 could add that as an option, just for downsampled display, or for previews.

I've experimented with such post-resampling sharpening in the Resampling script based on ImageMagick that I developed in cooperation with Nicolas Robidoux here (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=91754.msg746273#msg746273). My addition resulted in an adaptive deconvolution filter (a Difference of Gaussians filter) that would be used for a deconvolution which could easily be optimized to run faster if encoded in a lower level programming language.

Quote
Could it be that DPP has a very high contrast setting out of the box? The preview images is just so much crisper while the C1 preview is "soggy" and "softish", inviting the use of contrast and detail sliders.

As mentioned before, especially sharpening should only be done at 100% zoom (or larger for detail inspection). Capture One Professional nowadays has excellent sharpening Proofing for that purpose. Contrast is hard to nail at reduced sizes, because that involves eye adaptation that subtends a small angle of 1 degree, and a phenomenon which is also known as simultaneous contrast. A slightly sharper fit to screen preview only solves a very small portion of that issue.

Quote
PS: hardware acceleration (us open CL) is set to "never" for both display and processing. It was a recommended setting a while ago. Is this still the best setting? I'm on a 2012 retina MacBook Pro with 16GB ram.

That is only necessary if hardware acceleration causes errors. I have it on auto, without issues.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Paul2660 on July 29, 2017, 11:14:00 am
The only issue I have ever noticed with C1 previews, when view at normal size is that if you have pushed the shadows considerably, say 2.5 stops (which is possible with some Phase backs and other DSLRs), the preview does not show the correctly unless you zoom to 100%, it's almost as if a compression on dynamic range is taking place.  It's actually both on color and dynamic range.  Colors will appear more saturated at least that is what I see. 

I have opened several tickets with P1 myself and through my dealer in the US and P1 agreed it's an issue, and agreed the problem exists, but no idea if and when they will fix it. 

This is not the case unless you really push up the shadows.  The view at 100% is the way C1 will actually export the file.  And you can see this if you choose to "edit in" photoshop as C1 will export the image to CC and the view there agrees with the view at 100%. 

Using a NEC 30" monitor with spectraview, windows 10 and Mac, both OS show the same issue.

Once you are aware of it, it's easy enough to work with at least for me.

Paul Caldwell
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: IanSeward on July 30, 2017, 04:03:29 pm
Hi,

What I see is a very slight difference, due to different resampling methods (and slightly different zoom ratios due to workspace layout) and a different CMS. What I do not see is blurry images, or very different contrast, or much changed colors, that would qualify as low quality. As said, they are not 100% identical (C1 is slightly darker, or PS slightly lighter) but very close, despite obviously different technologies being used. If I would not have labeled them, you would most likely not be able to tell which one is from what application.

That's why I asked for an example from those who do see issues, in order to ferret out whether it might be caused by certain settings (e.g. wrong settings in the export recipe or the display settings).

Anyway, I've spent some time and produced the attached side-by-side screenshot comparison, which looks quite similar (not optimal due to conversion from display profile to sRGB), and without output sharpening or the other refinements in Photoshop that I normally would do. But for sharpening itself, one must use 100% zoom (or larger) anyway, so this is just for getting an overview of the image.

So, slightly different yes, low quality no.

Cheers,
Bart

I have done a quick test with C1 and CS6 and find the same as Bart.

The obvious, but the OP does have output sharpening off in C1 when he exports a photo?

Ian
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on August 22, 2017, 05:21:53 pm
DPP uses better/additional processing for downsampled / fit to screen previews. So it's not that C1 is particularly fuzzy, it's that DPP is particularly sharp. I assume that C1 just downsamples (like LR does), without compensation for the resampling. Resampling by definition softens the image (depending on the filter used), otherwise the images would be riddled by aliasing artifacts. Photoshop's downsampling is somewhat crude (quick and dirty). Adding additional sharpening for display, would add processing time.

In theory, C1 could add that as an option, just for downsampled display, or for previews.

I've experimented with such post-resampling sharpening in the Resampling script based on ImageMagick that I developed in cooperation with Nicolas Robidoux here (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=91754.msg746273#msg746273). My addition resulted in an adaptive deconvolution filter (a Difference of Gaussians filter) that would be used for a deconvolution which could easily be optimized to run faster if encoded in a lower level programming language.

As mentioned before, especially sharpening should only be done at 100% zoom (or larger for detail inspection). Capture One Professional nowadays has excellent sharpening Proofing for that purpose. Contrast is hard to nail at reduced sizes, because that involves eye adaptation that subtends a small angle of 1 degree, and a phenomenon which is also known as simultaneous contrast. A slightly sharper fit to screen preview only solves a very small portion of that issue.

That is only necessary if hardware acceleration causes errors. I have it on auto, without issues.

Cheers,
Bart

The comparison I am using is what I get when I output an image.

And the output I get from C1 - either to Tiff and to open in Photoshop, or directly to jpeg for first stage proofs - the output is very different from what I see in a preview. Contrast and general appearance are so obviously different that I am astonished that this hasn't been noticed more.

DPP is very sharp in the preview, but so is the output.

The foundation of all digital image editing is that what you see is what you get. And the output of C1 is several degrees better than the poor preview. The difference is so striking that I simply can't rely on the preview and I use only minimal adjustment in C1 because of this.

Sure, I could zoom in 100% - but edits need to be done seeing the whole image to really see what one is doing. Peeking at a crop won't do it.

There is an absolute need to work on this - all those extra features and editing features cannot be used with a specific outcome in mind because the full view is so off.

You remember, Photoshop had this problem, too in earlier versions like CS3. You could get a really blurry picture with percentages that were off the 25% 50% 100% sequence, and 50% used to be better than 25%. Now you can get a good representation of the image at almost any percentage. Photoshop's display/preview coding has gotten extremely good.

Wouldn't be achieving such a reliable preview a great goal for C1 11?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on August 23, 2017, 11:05:36 am
The comparison I am using is what I get when I output an image.

And the output I get from C1 - either to Tiff and to open in Photoshop, or directly to jpeg for first stage proofs - the output is very different from what I see in a preview. Contrast and general appearance are so obviously different that I am astonished that this hasn't been noticed more.

Maybe because others do not see such 'very different' results? Hard to say without an example from what you see. The differences that I experience are rather small.

Quote
DPP is very sharp in the preview, but so is the output.

Indeed, but they use additional processing. I remember that the earlier versions had an option that the user could turn on to get a higher quality display. I assume that the current version has that switched on by default, and it no longer offers such an option. They probably assumed that faster hardware made it less of an issue to do the extra processing with a reasonable time delay.

Quote
The foundation of all digital image editing is that what you see is what you get. And the output of C1 is several degrees better than the poor preview. The difference is so striking that I simply can't rely on the preview and I use only minimal adjustment in C1 because of this.

Sure, I could zoom in 100% - but edits need to be done seeing the whole image to really see what one is doing. Peeking at a crop won't do it.

There is an absolute need to work on this - all those extra features and editing features cannot be used with a specific outcome in mind because the full view is so off.

You remember, Photoshop had this problem, too in earlier versions like CS3. You could get a really blurry picture with percentages that were off the 25% 50% 100% sequence, and 50% used to be better than 25%. Now you can get a good representation of the image at almost any percentage. Photoshop's display/preview coding has gotten extremely good.

Wouldn't be achieving such a reliable preview a great goal for C1 11?

I wouldn't object if they offered an option for sharpened zoomed-out display. A very simple deconvolution on down-sampled images is not too complicated IMHO, but it is an additional step that would slow down image display as images and display resolutions grow larger and larger as technology progresses.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on August 23, 2017, 12:46:33 pm
Maybe because others do not see such 'very different' results? Hard to say without an example from what you see. The differences that I experience are rather small.

Indeed, but they use additional processing. I remember that the earlier versions had an option that the user could turn on to get a higher quality display. I assume that the current version has that switched on by default, and it no longer offers such an option. They probably assumed that faster hardware made it less of an issue to do the extra processing with a reasonable time delay.

I wouldn't object if they offered an option for sharpened zoomed-out display. A very simple deconvolution on down-sampled images is not too complicated IMHO, but it is an additional step that would slow down image display as images and display resolutions grow larger and larger as technology progresses.

Cheers,
Bart

So it it's not that hard to do... I don't think it will slow down the computer much. Sure, in Photoshop you have only one or few images open, and in C1 people want to go through images fast.

So, an option like in the old DPP to turn off that extra processing for browsing, and turn it on for image processing, where it is important.

I'd love to see a preview quality that matches the current Photoshop CC's - which is top of the line.

And, again, for me the differences of the preview of C1 and the output are dramatic for me, in both contrast and detail, and it changes the mood of an image considerably. (The more people work on very sharpened images and hard contrast like in commercial looks, the less you'll see it, but the more you go after mood and light characteristics, the more dramatic the difference is. It leads, in my opinion, to oversharpening and to applying way too much contrast, and, as a consequence, doing major damage to images)

This one extra processing that brings output and preview together, and that can be turned off for quick browsing (a la photomechanic) - THAT, Phase One, would be an important improvement!


Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on August 26, 2017, 10:44:19 am
There should be no reason why you couldn't adjust comfortably at fit screen.  ... Or use the excellent proofing feature.
There are a number of reasons why the standard "fit screen" rendering of C1 is suboptimal.

I realise that downscaling comes with its challenges and that of course noise looks different when downsampling a large image. I am familiar with the notion of noise levels being dependent on spatial resolution. I understand why a normalized 8MP image can have a higher dynamic range then a 24MP original (-> DxOMark).

However, it is also clear that the fuzziness of C1 previews are not owed to insurmountable downscaling problems. The proof that useful renderings at the "fit size" are possible are
It seems that C1 -- if a preview image of sufficient size is available (has been cached) -- uses that preview source to downsize it to the "fit size". This process yields a different result compared to when C1 renders the image at the "fit size" directly from the RAW data. In my view, that is the problem with C1's previews which clearly could (and should) be more useable, obviating the need to have the proofing option turned on with the distracting "Proofing" label in one's sight.

I believe the preview rendering got better in V10 (compared to V9) but it is still not as good as it should be, AFAIC. Activating the "proof" option is a workaround, but I don't like to see the distracting "proof" label all the time and it also should not be necessary to regenerate from the RAW data all the time. All it would take to show crisp previews very quickly is to store more cached versions (at various sizes) or a better downsizing from a larger preview. For the downsizing, the user could be asked which sharpness parameters to apply (or parameters adapted from those in the proofing options could be used).

It clearly it is not a solution to zoom in at 100%, or even just a couple of steps (the latter often being enough to force a proper generation which results in a crisper rendering).

I understand that the preview has to be a trade-off between accuracy and something that can be produced/shown quickly, and I can accept that as an explanation. Explanations alluding to downsampling challenges in principle are, in my view, not acceptable for the aforementioned reasons.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DanFreck on August 26, 2017, 07:21:30 pm
I've just joined LL just because I have this same issue. It's extremely frustrating, and
everything is exactly like what 'The View' is saying. Pictures in Capture One preview look like, well, crap.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so

The first one is a screenshot of me working in capture one; it also shows the preview size (and yes, I've regenerated the preview many times).

http://scenicdesktops.com/test/Capture1preview.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/Capture1preview.png)

The other picture is the output at 2160 x 1440.

http://scenicdesktops.com/test/Output.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/Output.png)

Look at the difference between them. It's obvious. I'm a stubborn man, but this is honestly ticking me off. Can anyone help with this?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on August 27, 2017, 12:49:22 am
A picture is worth a thousand words, so
Yep, your images show the difference between a typical mushy C1 preview at fit size (a couple of magnification steps in, this problem disappears) and a correctly rendered output.

Am I assuming correctly that your output is not the result of using a recipe that includes output sharpening? If extra output sharpening is applied then this obviously explains the crisper rendering. From my experience, however, even with no additional output sharpening added, exported files look better than the standard C1 Viewer previews.

I encourage you to create a support case with Phase One (https://www.phaseone.com/en/SupportMain/contact-technical-support.aspx). You should attach your evidence and/or point to this thread. I had created a support case a while ago and I think after a while my issues were appreciated, however, I have the feeling that the programmers are still struggling to find the right compromise between rendering quality and rendering speed.

Perhaps it is also a matter of only certain cameras / image sizes being affected?
I see others post about this issue here and there but there does not seem to be a real revolt of the masses going on.

Anyhow, the more people create a respective support case, the more Phase One will know that this is an issue that bothers more than a couple of users.

AFAIC, there is an easy (albeit potentially more storage-intensive) solution which just creates previews with the best possible quality at the fit size and caches them. Then these could be quickly displayed without requiring expensive re-renderings. I'd be fine with any delay when I start to zoom in (even if it is just a modest zoom step in). However, flicking through images at the fit size should be quick but without implying a rather mushy rendering.

If there is a price (in the form of rendering delay) to pay, it should be when I want to look really close. Currently, workarounds force me to pay a price when I'm just browsing or doing overall adjustments (that do not require 100% views and cannot be done at 100% views either).

Can anyone help with this?
Try setting the preview image size to the lowest size possible value (640). This may seem counterintuitive but it will force C1 to regenerate a quality rendering instead of showing you the mushy standard preview (which is probably downscaled from the higher-res, but not original preview data). I'm currently away from my C1 installation so I cannot double-check this approach but I'm pretty sure it helped me in the past (with V9). The downside to this approach is that you'll see the really low-res (640px wide) previews before they get replaced and that there is always a delay caused by the need to go back to the RAW (or already demosaiced?) data and compute the view on the fly.

N.B., you may have to force regeneration of previews and/or restart C1 to see a change to the preview image size have an effect. It is otherwise possible that you'll be served still existing renderings for a while.

The other solution is to simply pick a suitable proof profile and use the "Recipe Proofing" option (-> glasses symbol in the tool bar). The downsides of this approach are the distracting "Proofing" label in the Viewer area and, again, the delay caused by on-the-fly rendering of the proof view.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on August 27, 2017, 05:34:26 pm
There are a number of reasons why the standard "fit screen" rendering of C1 is suboptimal.

  • It is too soft. This makes it hard to ascertain whether a shot is usable or not without zooming in and out all the time. Not everyone likes to use the focus mask feature. The general softness of the image also makes it impossible to enjoy ones images while browsing through them. It does not make sense to be forced to either zoom in at least a couple of steps or use the proof feature in order to get a crisp rendering.
  • Noise can look vastly different.
  • Probably, due to the change in noise rendering characteristics, colour tints can be introduced in the previews that are neither visible when zooming in, nor in the exported images. Its been a while since I worked with images of this kind, so perhaps the latter issue has been addressed in the meantime.
I realise that downscaling comes with its challenges and that of course noise looks different when downsampling a large image. I am familiar with the notion of noise levels being dependent on spatial resolution. I understand why a normalized 8MP image can have a higher dynamic range then a 24MP original (-> DxOMark).

However, it is also clear that the fuzziness of C1 previews are not owed to insurmountable downscaling problems. The proof that useful renderings at the "fit size" are possible are
  • the exported images at such (low) resolutions.
  • the rendering when the "proof" option is turned on.
  • the rendering when one sets the preview size in the settings such that one forces C1 to always generate the preview afresh.
It seems that C1 -- if a preview image of sufficient size is available (has been cached) -- uses that preview source to downsize it to the "fit size". This process yields a different result compared to when C1 renders the image at the "fit size" directly from the RAW data. In my view, that is the problem with C1's previews which clearly could (and should) be more useable, obviating the need to have the proofing option turned on with the distracting "Proofing" label in one's sight.

I believe the preview rendering got better in V10 (compared to V9) but it is still not as good as it should be, AFAIC. Activating the "proof" option is a workaround, but I don't like to see the distracting "proof" label all the time and it also should not be necessary to regenerate from the RAW data all the time. All it would take to show crisp previews very quickly is to store more cached versions (at various sizes) or a better downsizing from a larger preview. For the downsizing, the user could be asked which sharpness parameters to apply (or parameters adapted from those in the proofing options could be used).

It clearly it is not a solution to zoom in at 100%, or even just a couple of steps (the latter often being enough to force a proper generation which results in a crisper rendering).

I understand that the preview has to be a trade-off between accuracy and something that can be produced/shown quickly, and I can accept that as an explanation. Explanations alluding to downsampling challenges in principle are, in my view, not acceptable for the aforementioned reasons.

Yes, this issue needs to be taken care of.

C1 is so many versions in and still has this core and crippling problem.

It is also true that you can't really look at your pictures, as C1 presents them in that horrible blurry and low-quality, hazy preview.

Speed is not everything. What advantage do I have from speed if the quality is terribly low?

And when editing, you are flying bling because C1 is NOT what you see is what you get. On the contrary. And going 100% in is not an option as sharpness and contrast have to be considered when looking at the whole image. Going in close is pixel-peeper habit, but it's not the way of the photographer.

C1 / Phase One have to stand up to their claim to bring highest quality. This has to included the preview.

C11 has to bring major improvements on this - give us a break with features-overload, Phase One, but fix this core issue!
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DanFreck on August 28, 2017, 06:52:40 pm
Thank you for the vindication guys. This really is a "core and crippling problem".

I've been discussing this over at the phase one user forums (https://forum.phaseone.com/En/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=26450&p=124628#p124628). I ended up refining my examples down to the bone, to remove any comparison issues, and make everything equal. Here's what I put there:

I made a preview without any adjustments. This way any edits I made play no role whatsoever. Took a screenshot, again from within Capture One:
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreview.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreview.png)

Then, I took that screenshot, of exactly what's on my screen, and cropped out just the preview part. It ends up being 1927 x 1286:
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreviewCropped.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreviewCropped.png)

Then, in capture one, I exported the image at this same resolution, 1927 x 1286. That way the output matches the exact dimensions of what I see, on screen, in capture one.
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CaptureOutput.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CaptureOutput.png)

Now compare those last 2 links. No difference in resolution, no adjustments, just pure comparable quality differences between two 1927 x 1286 pictures, generated by capture one in different situations.

There's an obvious difference between what you see in capture one, and the image itself being worked on, which could undeniable look better (as the output demonstrates quite clearly). Look at the trees, mountains, and logs at the bottom right. The same program produces a mushy, cruddy looking picture at 1927 x 1286 in-program, while at the same time producing a better, higher quality picture at the same resolution of 1927 x 1286 when exported.

I will try and create a support case with Phase One. I'm moving away from Aperture, since it's been unsupported for a while now, and my desktop PC is faster and easier to edit with anyway. I expected this program to be better, and gave it the benefit of the doubt at first. Now I'm turned off, because this non-destructive raw program can't seem to even make decent in-program images to work with. This is face-on obvious stuff, which I noticed right away the first time I used capture one.  How are people not up in arms about this? How old is this program?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on August 29, 2017, 04:02:21 pm
Thank you for the vindication guys. This really is a "core and crippling problem".

I've been discussing this over at the phase one user forums (https://forum.phaseone.com/En/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=26450&p=124628#p124628). I ended up refining my examples down to the bone, to remove any comparison issues, and make everything equal. Here's what I put there:

I made a preview without any adjustments. This way any edits I made play no role whatsoever. Took a screenshot, again from within Capture One:
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreview.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreview.png)

Then, I took that screenshot, of exactly what's on my screen, and cropped out just the preview part. It ends up being 1927 x 1286:
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreviewCropped.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreviewCropped.png)

Then, in capture one, I exported the image at this same resolution, 1927 x 1286. That way the output matches the exact dimensions of what I see, on screen, in capture one.
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CaptureOutput.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CaptureOutput.png)

Now compare those last 2 links. No difference in resolution, no adjustments, just pure comparable quality differences between two 1927 x 1286 pictures, generated by capture one in different situations.

There's an obvious difference between what you see in capture one, and the image itself being worked on, which could undeniable look better (as the output demonstrates quite clearly). Look at the trees, mountains, and logs at the bottom right. The same program produces a mushy, cruddy looking picture at 1927 x 1286 in-program, while at the same time producing a better, higher quality picture at the same resolution of 1927 x 1286 when exported.

I will try and create a support case with Phase One. I'm moving away from Aperture, since it's been unsupported for a while now, and my desktop PC is faster and easier to edit with anyway. I expected this program to be better, and gave it the benefit of the doubt at first. Now I'm turned off, because this non-destructive raw program can't seem to even make decent in-program images to work with. This is face-on obvious stuff, which I noticed right away the first time I used capture one.  How are people not up in arms about this? How old is this program?

I also have experimented with preview dimensions, and it has no effect to have a higher resolution.

The problem is that the preview window has old and outdated code and is not up to snuff with modern solutions like in Photoshop CC.

Phase One needs to address this - stop filling up the software with easy to code gadgets and features, but give us important core performance.

1. great image processing (this C1 does extremely well)

2. Great preview so you see what you are doing when you adjust images (here C1 truly fails - which is why I only give very basic and minimal adjustments to images in C1 - since I started to avoid adjustments in C1 it has helped my work a lot. The unusable preview destroys images.

3. Image organization - here is C1 behind Adobe as well. the catalog is close to unusable. Keywording is slow and unreliable and a hassle to do. Adobe Lightroom is ten times better here.

I can deal with a bad catalog - but the low quality and incorrect image preview must be fixed.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: myotis on September 07, 2017, 07:17:01 am
Tom Fitzgerald has just published a suggested workaround for this

http://blog.thomasfitzgeraldphotography.com/blog/2017/9/capture-ones-preview-problem-and-how-to-get-around-it

Don't have time to try it right now, and it may well be something already suggested, but just in case it helps anyone.

Graham
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on September 07, 2017, 01:25:20 pm
Tom Fitzgerald has just published a suggested workaround for this

http://blog.thomasfitzgeraldphotography.com/blog/2017/9/capture-ones-preview-problem-and-how-to-get-around-it

Yes, an export recipe with fixed width or height for Proofing will somewhat work, but it combines the Sharpening settings at full size with the Output Sharpening settings for display (if any are set). That's also not the same as proper downsampling + rescale-sharpening.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Dave Rosser on September 08, 2017, 01:40:53 pm
I've just joined LL just because I have this same issue. It's extremely frustrating, and
everything is exactly like what 'The View' is saying. Pictures in Capture One preview look like, well, crap.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so

The first one is a screenshot of me working in capture one; it also shows the preview size (and yes, I've regenerated the preview many times).

http://scenicdesktops.com/test/Capture1preview.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/Capture1preview.png)

The other picture is the output at 2160 x 1440.

http://scenicdesktops.com/test/Output.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/Output.png)

Look at the difference between them. It's obvious. I'm a stubborn man, but this is honestly ticking me off. Can anyone help with this?
You have -25 clarity set, is this your normal setting? What does the pre-view look like with the default 0 setting?

Dave

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on September 15, 2017, 03:35:59 am
Tom Fitzgerald has just published a suggested workaround for this

http://blog.thomasfitzgeraldphotography.com/blog/2017/9/capture-ones-preview-problem-and-how-to-get-around-it

Don't have time to try it right now, and it may well be something already suggested, but just in case it helps anyone.

Graham

This doesn't make the preview as good as the output, but the output as bad as the preview.

Also, the example in the blog is doesn't show the extent of the problem with the blurry preview. It doesn't show the loss of sharpness, the incorrect regional contrast, and that the Capture One Preview is just a bullshit preview that has nothing to do with the output.

Would the output be as bad as the preview, nobody would use C1.

You adjust according to the preview, you are flying blind.

My "fix" is that I only use minimal adjustments. Nothing that really makes a esthetic decision. I just create a neutral good start with a slight inclination towards where I want to go.

This way, of course, I cannot use most of the tools offered by C1.

But then, what use are tools, if you don't see how they work but get some fake preview instead.


I can't believe Phase One stacks feature upon feature - and they are all built on sand of a blatantly false preview that is useless to do proper adjustments.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: myotis on September 15, 2017, 02:56:57 pm
This doesn't make the preview as good as the output, but the output as bad as the preview.

Ah, well, thought it was worth passing on, sorry it didn't help.

Graham
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on September 22, 2017, 07:49:07 pm
Ah, well, thought it was worth passing on, sorry it didn't help.

Graham

You can't work around a key software weakness.

Fixing the low quality preview problem is a must for Capture One 11.

Just like bringing the catalog up to standards - to what the Lightroom catalog can do.

More features (which you usually get in upgrades) are not necessary. The basic functions need to be great.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on October 14, 2017, 02:47:32 am
Well, I did some additional research and could not find a single instance where I see a plan by Phase One to improve on this deadly failure of bad previews.

Basically, all the editing tools are worthless with a low quality, fuzzy preview.

I also checked colors versus Canon's DPP (unsophisticated interface, no database) and the detail was excellent there. In some cases, DPP created better colors our of the box.


Because of this problem - I can't even see my RAW collections decently, because the preview quality is so bad, I am considering letting C1 go. I am using Capture One Pro 9, and from what I heard from others, Capture One Pro 10 is just as bad. Capture One Pro 11 - I have little hope Phase One will do something about this deadly fault. They don't seem to care that you can't preview your images properly and can't see what you are doing when adjusting them.

I'm very frustrated with this disfuncational piece of software.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Walter Rowe on October 18, 2017, 07:08:19 am
How many have opened cases with Phase One about this issue? In my experience the squeaky wheel gets the grease with them. Some very significant performance and memory management issues were addressed in 10.1 that I had complained about since 8.3. I am a heavy catalog user (58,000 images and counting) and this was a very significant issue for me. With enough detailed evidence and complaints they addressed it. There seems to be enough evidence for preview quality issues. Maybe what they need are open cases from enough people to get their attention?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on October 18, 2017, 01:27:57 pm
How many have opened cases with Phase One about this issue? In my experience the squeaky wheel gets the grease with them. Some very significant performance and memory management issues were addressed in 10.1 that I had complained about since 8.3. I am a heavy catalog user (58,000 images and counting) and this was a very significant issue for me. With enough detailed evidence and complaints they addressed it. There seems to be enough evidence for preview quality issues. Maybe what they need are open cases from enough people to get their attention?

Yes, it's a good idea.

I am currently reviewing if I still like Capture One for other reasons, too (even though the bad preview issue is a total killer already): I feel that the basic adjustment looks overprocessed.

That was OK until now, but the trend in photography is going towards less and less post processing, almost towards a film-like image.

And the overly punchy processing of C1 isn't even good for fashion photography any more. I have played with reducing contrast, detail, microcontrast, sharpening... without getting where I wanted. I'll likely start another thread on that issue.

DPP, while a totally unsophisticated app, seems to have a very natural and neutral processing that doesn't push you into any direction.

But, anyway, I am totally fed up with the horrible preview and I'm equally fed up with the catalog that doesn't even match what Lightroom 1 showed up with almost ten years ago.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: IanSeward on October 19, 2017, 09:17:35 am
Yes, it's a good idea.

I am currently reviewing if I still like Capture One for other reasons, too (even though the bad preview issue is a total killer already): I feel that the basic adjustment looks overprocessed.

That was OK until now, but the trend in photography is going towards less and less post processing, almost towards a film-like image.

And the overly punchy processing of C1 isn't even good for fashion photography any more. I have played with reducing contrast, detail, microcontrast, sharpening... without getting where I wanted. I'll likely start another thread on that issue.

DPP, while a totally unsophisticated app, seems to have a very natural and neutral processing that doesn't push you into any direction.

But, anyway, I am totally fed up with the horrible preview and I'm equally fed up with the catalog that doesn't even match what Lightroom 1 showed up with almost ten years ago.

Have you tried using the linear response curve in place of auto?
This will give you the starting point you appear to want.

Ian
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on November 30, 2017, 11:02:48 am
Has this problem of the blurry, low resolution previews been fixed in Capture One 11?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Dr Tone on November 30, 2017, 11:22:20 am
Has this problem of the blurry, low resolution previews been fixed in Capture One 11?

Still looks a little soft to me.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on November 30, 2017, 11:56:16 am
Still looks al little soft to me.
If that is confirmed, I won't upgrade.

C1 11 has some neat new features (some of which I suggested), but I won't bother paying an increased upgrade price for a new version that still has this fundamental problem.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on December 03, 2017, 11:37:47 pm
Still looks a little soft to me.

It's a trend in software development to overload software with unnecessary features and neglect the basics.

The two things C1 must fix is the inaccurate, low quality preview and the datebase that is so bad it's unusable.

If the preview is still poor, then an upgrade is not worth it.

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: IanSeward on December 08, 2017, 02:04:18 pm
Thank you for the vindication guys. This really is a "core and crippling problem".

I've been discussing this over at the phase one user forums (https://forum.phaseone.com/En/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=26450&p=124628#p124628). I ended up refining my examples down to the bone, to remove any comparison issues, and make everything equal. Here's what I put there:

I made a preview without any adjustments. This way any edits I made play no role whatsoever. Took a screenshot, again from within Capture One:
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreview.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreview.png)

Then, I took that screenshot, of exactly what's on my screen, and cropped out just the preview part. It ends up being 1927 x 1286:
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreviewCropped.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CapturePreviewCropped.png)

Then, in capture one, I exported the image at this same resolution, 1927 x 1286. That way the output matches the exact dimensions of what I see, on screen, in capture one.
http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CaptureOutput.png (http://scenicdesktops.com/test/CaptureOutput.png)

Now compare those last 2 links. No difference in resolution, no adjustments, just pure comparable quality differences between two 1927 x 1286 pictures, generated by capture one in different situations.

There's an obvious difference between what you see in capture one, and the image itself being worked on, which could undeniable look better (as the output demonstrates quite clearly). Look at the trees, mountains, and logs at the bottom right. The same program produces a mushy, cruddy looking picture at 1927 x 1286 in-program, while at the same time producing a better, higher quality picture at the same resolution of 1927 x 1286 when exported.

I will try and create a support case with Phase One. I'm moving away from Aperture, since it's been unsupported for a while now, and my desktop PC is faster and easier to edit with anyway. I expected this program to be better, and gave it the benefit of the doubt at first. Now I'm turned off, because this non-destructive raw program can't seem to even make decent in-program images to work with. This is face-on obvious stuff, which I noticed right away the first time I used capture one.  How are people not up in arms about this? How old is this program?

Here is the last post in the forum thread you listed:



Re: Image being edited looks low-res

Postby gusferlizi » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:26 pm
I might have insight on what's happening. I wrote a brainfart reply moments ago (deleted) that enlightened me on the probable cause. Down-sampling.

C1 draws the screen fill preview out of the generated proxy files. Those files have already been down-sampled to the screen's maximum resolution. When drawing the preview in the window, it's down-sampled again to match the frame.

As far as I understand, pixels are averaged out when down-sampling, resulting in less information. Having less detail available to compute preview results in this discrepancy.

Maybe this was mitigated in version 10, because while I can see a difference in contrast and perceived sharpness, it is minor. Alluding to sampling the export from the original file versus the preview from the proxy file; giving a different result at the same output resolution.
Praise Kek.

Conclusion:  Minor difference?

Ian
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on December 11, 2017, 05:16:06 pm
Here is the last post in the forum thread you listed:



Re: Image being edited looks low-res

Postby gusferlizi » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:26 pm
I might have insight on what's happening. I wrote a brainfart reply moments ago (deleted) that enlightened me on the probable cause. Down-sampling.

C1 draws the screen fill preview out of the generated proxy files. Those files have already been down-sampled to the screen's maximum resolution. When drawing the preview in the window, it's down-sampled again to match the frame.

As far as I understand, pixels are averaged out when down-sampling, resulting in less information. Having less detail available to compute preview results in this discrepancy.

Maybe this was mitigated in version 10, because while I can see a difference in contrast and perceived sharpness, it is minor. Alluding to sampling the export from the original file versus the preview from the proxy file; giving a different result at the same output resolution.
Praise Kek.

Conclusion:  Minor difference?

Ian


Maybe this is really very hard to re-code because it sits at the source of the software and affects all tools.

But it should have been done. I still love the output but when I adjust an image to the preview, the output is different and not what I was going for. Adjusting to the preview I end up with overprocessed images: too much contrast in particular because the contrast is particularly weak in the preview.

Instead of adding a few features we can do without (to cash in on a minor upgrade) Phase One should have attacked this core problem.

And the weak - actually useless - database as well and make it as good as Lightroom.

With these two issues fixed Capture One Pro would have no competitor in the RAW software market.

Looks like marketing leads technical on a leash here. I'm sure the coders at Phase One would love to put out a class 1 product, especially as the high priced MF business is connected to it.

Those two issues must be fixed. I'm not paying for an upgrade that doesn't fix those core problems.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: the_luminous_french on January 24, 2018, 03:33:08 pm
Hourra... i'm not alone with that kind of problem ;-(
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: julianv on January 24, 2018, 08:39:03 pm
I just did a bit of testing in Capture One Pro 11, on a 27" Retina iMac. In Preferences, I have Preview Image Size set to maximum: 5120, which happens to be the horizontal pixel dimension of the display.  The images were raw files from a Nikon D850, which are 8256 x 5504 pixels.  Display in C1 was set to "Fit".  I used the "PSD ProPhoto for Photoshop" process recipe, with no output sharpening, to open the images in Photoshop CS6, and set that program to show the shots at the same size as C1.

Comparing the programs, I could see no significant differences in sharpness.  Both looked great, with gobs of crisp detail.  Similar to what Bart noted, there may have been tiny differences in contrast and color.  Vertical format images require more down-sampling, and for those images, there was a barely noticeably softness in the C1 version, but I had to really strain to see it on things like thin twigs in tree branches.

The fit-to-view previews in C1 are perfectly adequate for my editing needs.  Perhaps the softening that others are seeing is not nearly as obvious on a high-DPI display.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on January 25, 2018, 06:05:43 am
I just did a bit of testing in Capture One Pro 11, on a 27" Retina iMac. In Preferences, I have Preview Image Size set to maximum: 5120, which happens to be the horizontal pixel dimension of the display.  The images were raw files from a Nikon D850, which are 8256 x 5504 pixels.  Display in C1 was set to "Fit".  I used the "PSD ProPhoto for Photoshop" process recipe, with no output sharpening, to open the images in Photoshop CS6, and set that program to show the shots at the same size as C1.

Comparing the programs, I could see no significant differences in sharpness.  Both looked great, with gobs of crisp detail.  Similar to what Bart noted, there may have been tiny differences in contrast and color.  Vertical format images require more down-sampling, and for those images, there was a barely noticeably softness in the C1 version, but I had to really strain to see it on things like thin twigs in tree branches.

The fit-to-view previews in C1 are perfectly adequate for my editing needs.  Perhaps the softening that others are seeing is not nearly as obvious on a high-DPI display.

I also do not have issues with the previews, although there's always room for (optional) improvement if it doesn't slow down normal operations too much.

I still have a nagging feeling that those who do report issues with softness may be seeing the effects of mismatched scaling on high DPI displays, nothing to do with C1 but with system/interface settings. Hans Kruse mentioned that 4K versus 5K display "looks like" issue several times, e.g. here (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=115244.msg952637#msg952637).

Since the complainers are not clear enough in identifying the issue, or may be exaggerating it hoping for a quicker response, it's hard to diagnose. I've made screenprints from Adobe Photoshop and Capture One of the same TIFF scaled to fit screen, and looked at them side by side, and could hardly see any difference, so it's unlikely due to the scaling quality in isolation. It was possible for both display source grabs to improve their sharpness by adding sharpening as an additional step, but that's beside the point, one can always add sharpening.

Still puzzled ...

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: IanSeward on January 25, 2018, 12:28:20 pm
I also do not have issues with the previews, although there's always room for (optional) improvement if it doesn't slow down normal operations too much.

I still have a nagging feeling that those who do report issues with softness may be seeing the effects of mismatched scaling on high DPI displays, nothing to do with C1 but with system/interface settings. Hans Kruse mentioned that 4K versus 5K display "looks like" issue several times, e.g. here (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=115244.msg952637#msg952637).

Since the complainers are not clear enough in identifying the issue, or may be exaggerating it hoping for a quicker response, it's hard to diagnose. I've made screenprints from Adobe Photoshop and Capture One of the same TIFF scaled to fit screen, and looked at them side by side, and could hardly see any difference, so it's unlikely due to the scaling quality in isolation. It was possible for both display source grabs to improve their sharpness by adding sharpening as an additional step, but that's beside the point, one can always add sharpening.

Still puzzled ...

Cheers,
Bart

Logically, given the number of C1 users and the relatively few people noticing this issue, it suggests a "system" issue for certain computer configurations.  Such issues will be very difficult to pinpoint as for most the issues highlighted simply do not exist.

Perhaps if the users noticing the pre view issue could post detailed specs of their systems including preview size, monitor resolution, GPU etc, a trend could be identified?

Ian
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Henk Peter on January 27, 2018, 12:45:39 pm
I also have experimented with preview dimensions, and it has no effect to have a higher resolution.

The problem is that the preview window has old and outdated code and is not up to snuff with modern solutions like in Photoshop CC.

Phase One needs to address this - stop filling up the software with easy to code gadgets and features, but give us important core performance.

1. great image processing (this C1 does extremely well)

2. Great preview so you see what you are doing when you adjust images (here C1 truly fails - which is why I only give very basic and minimal adjustments to images in C1 - since I started to avoid adjustments in C1 it has helped my work a lot. The unusable preview destroys images.

3. Image organization - here is C1 behind Adobe as well. the catalog is close to unusable. Keywording is slow and unreliable and a hassle to do. Adobe Lightroom is ten times better here.

I can deal with a bad catalog - but the low quality and incorrect image preview must be fixed.

I do not see these problems in my workflow, I process several different types of raw files (no Canon) and the previews are always reflecting the quality of the processed files. My advise is file a support case at PhaseOne, else your issue will not be solved.

Henk
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on January 31, 2018, 08:50:04 am
I still have a nagging feeling that those who do report issues with softness may be seeing the effects of mismatched scaling on high DPI displays, nothing to do with C1 but with system/interface settings.
Rest assured that this problem also occurs on a regular HD displays and since the only software performing image scaling is C1, there is no point in looking at system/interface settings. We are not talking about font sizes, or similar, but about the rendering quality of the preview image that C1 produces and that the OS has no involvement with. Just realise that once one engages "Proofing" the softness of the rendering disappears. The cause is 100% the standard preview generation strategy employed by C1.

The issue indeed is worse with portrait-orientation images which require further downscaling than landscape-orientation images. I too suspect that there is an issue with a double downscaling process -- first from original size to preview size, then from preview size to actual display size. I wish C1 would keep cached versions of images that were optimally rendered for the standard preview sizes instead of (what is likely the case) computing the preview sizes from a single pre-rendered image (that has the size one provides in the preferences). There should at least be an option for users to request that image previews are cached for a "Fit" view with the size that results from just having the tool bar open.  If someone does not want to use the required storage or invest the rendering time for that, fine, but for those who suffer from the blurry previews, there should be a remedy.

The issue is real and Phase One acknowledges it. I've been told that this is an area they'll continue to work on. I hope they can fix that issue soon as it really is pretty much is the only major weakness in an otherwise fantastic software. I also have to say that support has been absolutely fabulous in my experience and I do understand that fixing such issues takes time and I don't expect wonders over night.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on February 19, 2018, 05:22:34 pm
Rest assured that this problem also occurs on a regular HD displays and since the only software performing image scaling is C1, there is no point in looking at system/interface settings. We are not talking about font sizes, or similar, but about the rendering quality of the preview image that C1 produces and that the OS has no involvement with. Just realise that once one engages "Proofing" the softness of the rendering disappears. The cause is 100% the standard preview generation strategy employed by C1.

The issue indeed is worse with portrait-orientation images which require further downscaling than landscape-orientation images. I too suspect that there is an issue with a double downscaling process -- first from original size to preview size, then from preview size to actual display size. I wish C1 would keep cached versions of images that were optimally rendered for the standard preview sizes instead of (what is likely the case) computing the preview sizes from a single pre-rendered image (that has the size one provides in the preferences). There should at least be an option for users to request that image previews are cached for a "Fit" view with the size that results from just having the tool bar open.  If someone does not want to use the required storage or invest the rendering time for that, fine, but for those who suffer from the blurry previews, there should be a remedy.

The issue is real and Phase One acknowledges it. I've been told that this is an area they'll continue to work on. I hope they can fix that issue soon as it really is pretty much is the only major weakness in an otherwise fantastic software. I also have to say that support has been absolutely fabulous in my experience and I do understand that fixing such issues takes time and I don't expect wonders over night.

So you opened a case with them on this?

The blurriness is so intense that I am always astonished that some people are not noticing it.

The issue is less of a problem with portraits, a bit more with fashion images, but crushing with any kind of richness in detail. Landscape backgrounds with trees or grass are getting smeared, and so do desert views with sharp rocks and much detail.

You really have to either zoom in 100% (but then you don't see the relationship of the zoomed in part to the whole of the picture) or leave contrast adjustments to a very moderate degree and do the rest in Photoshop.

Photoshop is a very good example how preview challenges can be improved. In CS3, for example, there was a very definitive difference looking at an image in 25% and 50%. Now the interpolation is great and you can even have percentages between the 25% steps and get a good preview.

Phase One should attack this for C1 12!
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: dchew on February 19, 2018, 07:12:35 pm
The blurriness is so intense that I am always astonished that some people are not noticing it.

I am not complaining because this looks "good enough" to me:

50%:
(http://www.davechewphotography.com//temp_images/c1blurry/50percent.jpg)

100%:
(http://www.davechewphotography.com//temp_images/c1blurry/100percent.jpg)

Dave
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DougDolde on February 19, 2018, 07:52:32 pm
I never thought they were low quality
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: dchew on February 20, 2018, 09:48:17 am
I never thought they were low quality

Me either. But as usual, my curiosity got the better of me. Here is a different part of the scene that includes a Zeiss test chart for calibrating their cine lenses. These star charts are particularly sensitive to poor renderings; there is the potential for all sorts of aliasing. Attached are two screenshots, one from C1 and one from PS, both at 25%. There are slightly different adjustments applied since Camera Raw does not apply the same curve. I see virtually no difference at 25% other than the slight white balance / curve variations. The star chart in both versions has exactly the same alias issues. And no I did not have "proof" enabled in Capture One.

Note that the forum software may apply some processing to the images. Direct links are right below each image.

I have no idea what this thread is about, but I don't see any difference nor anything to complain about on my computer, which is a lowly 2013 MBP / PA241W.

Dave

Capture One at 25%:
(http://www.davechewphotography.com//temp_images/c1blurry/c125percent.jpg)
Capture One 25 percent (http://www.davechewphotography.com//temp_images/c1blurry/c125percent.jpg)

Photoshop at 25%:
(http://www.davechewphotography.com//temp_images/c1blurry/ps25percent.jpg)
Photoshop 25 percent (http://www.davechewphotography.com//temp_images/c1blurry/ps25percent.jpg)
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Dinarius on February 23, 2018, 11:47:07 am
Might be worth mentioning camera and lens when posting to this thread.

My 1Ds Mark lll files are better than my 5D Mark IV files in preview.

I've just been playing with a Sony a7r iii RAW file that someone sent me. Superb in all respects within my C1 10.

As I've posted in another thread; C1 doesn't like the 5D Mark IV.

I wonder how many of the posts on this thread are regarding this Canon?

C1 definitely handles different cameras differently. I used to think it was a pixel issue - the more pixels, the more problems it had. But, the Sony has squashed that theory.

D.

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: dchew on February 23, 2018, 06:21:40 pm
Might be worth mentioning camera and lens when posting to this thread.

Camera: IQ3100 / Alpa STC
Lens: Rodenstock 90hr-sw

I also have a bunch of Sony a7rii images that do not show any issues. Never tried a Canon in C1. I have a 5Dii, but it was converted to IR long ago so that wouldn't be a relevant test.

Dave
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on February 24, 2018, 01:08:07 am
I am not complaining because this looks "good enough" to me:
At 50% magnification (or higher) there is no issue with the preview quality.

The mushiness may still be present at 33%, I'd have to check again. It is definitely a problem at the lowest "Fit" level and a couple of steps above it.

The original image size may play a role; there is definitely a significant issue for my 36MP images and I first noticed it with images in vertical orientation (which require more downscaling than horizontally oriented images).
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on February 24, 2018, 01:10:50 am
I never thought they were low quality
I'm glad for you that you don't take issue; perhaps you have a different experience due to using a different camera.

However, there is an objective problem with the preview quality at low magnification levels.
It is not a question.
Phase One know about it and are working on the problem.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on February 24, 2018, 01:21:41 am
So you opened a case with them on this?
Yes.

I hope you have as well.

The blurriness is so intense that I am always astonished that some people are not noticing it.
Same here.

I can only speculate that the effect isn't as pronounced for different cameras. I have trouble believing it is non-existent for different cameras, but I cannot speak to that.

The issue is less of a problem with portraits, a bit more with fashion images, but crushing with any kind of richness in detail. Landscape backgrounds with trees or grass are getting smeared, and so do desert views with sharp rocks and much detail.
At "Fit" level magnification many of my images look as if they were slightly out of focus. Only when zooming in, I can see that the focus is fine and that there is plenty of detail. If I only had the "Fit" view, I'd believe I had a major focusing issue.


You really have to either zoom in 100% (but then you don't see the relationship of the zoomed in part to the whole of the picture) or leave contrast adjustments to a very moderate degree and do the rest in Photoshop.
You don't have to zoom in to 100%, the blurring disappears quite a bit earlier than that (at least for me).
However, I agree that having to do any level of zooming in is unacceptable.

I don't understand why C1 does not generate at least two preview versions, one of them optimised for the standard "Fit" magnification (this could take your browser placement into account for vertically oriented images). Yes, this would require a lot more hard disk space, but people should be able to opt out of that, if they can live with mushy previews.

With an adequate downscaling approach, even just maintaining one pre-rendered preview should be sufficient, but as long as that is not implemented, there should be a workaround for affected users, even if it costs some hard disk space.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: dchew on February 24, 2018, 05:22:57 am
At 50% magnification (or higher) there is no issue with the preview quality.

The mushiness may still be present at 33%, I'd have to check again. It is definitely a problem at the lowest "Fit" level and a couple of steps above it.

The original image size may play a role; there is definitely a significant issue for my 36MP images and I first noticed it with images in vertical orientation (which require more downscaling than horizontally oriented images).

Did you see my post above at 25%? Nothing wrong there and that is a lot of downsampling for a 100MP image. Whatever you guys are reporting I don’t think it has anything to do with downsampling, at least at even pixel ratios. It might have something to do with different cameras or just different computer systems. I will run some tests with the a7rii.

Dave
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: David Good on February 24, 2018, 08:29:09 am
Sony A7II and C1-10 (Windows 7) and no preview problems such as those reported here. Camera specific?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: denalilap on March 06, 2018, 02:45:32 am
It's an interesting observation to get to the bottom of, but it may be an inaccurate observation!

On-the-fly downsampling (as in screen previews smaller than at 100% zoom) can be done in several ways. Broadly speaking, all downsampling risks producing aliasing artifacts that may be mistaken for resolution (while they are actually artifacts).

So assuming ACR previews (either in LR or PS) of a TIFF output file from Capture One, there is a good chance of visible differences below 100% zoom. DPP will also have its own demosaicing and offers two levels of on-screen display (a slower higher quality one, and a faster lower quality one), so I'll leave that out of the comparison since there are multiple variables at play.

The question then becomes, which application does a better job of mimicking the full-size 100% display, after resampling to output size and post-resampling output sharpening, when viewed at sub-100% zoom levels (or simulated actual output size)?

The only way to really/reliably predict how the final image will look is by viewing it at a 100% zoom level (because that avoids downsampling), and mentally adopting output resolution at a given viewing distance. But even then there remains a mismatch in the case of printed output, which is of much higher resolution than the display we preview on is capable of showing. That obviously makes it harder to judge the full image from only a scaled down preview, but such is the challenge of displaying/previewing downsampled images. Therefore, resampling artifacts and viewing distances/resolutions keep screwing with our visual acuity (which also varies by individual).

Capture One (version 10) is pretty unique at providing an Output Sharpened Preview (the tool is called 'Recipe Proofing'), which is only really possible at 100% zoom level AFTER profiling for output and sharpening AFTER resampling for output size (with the obvious caveat of having adequate display gamut and resolution, which is also often not sufficient for a 100% predictable preview).

So not an easy task to declare which is better, but interesting enough to explore.

Cheers,
Bart

This is interesting... I previously have not given much thought to how resizing effects an image. But now that I recently started to focus on printing my images, this bears additional consideration. Given that viewing at less than 100% is a compromise, is there a workflow you would recommend for getting the best sense of how your image will look when it prints? Is proofing sufficient? Or should one soft proof at 100% as well?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on March 06, 2018, 07:51:12 am
I just experimented with Capture One 11 (11.0.1) and am very pleased to say that the preview quality issue has been solved for me.

My previous observations and comments were regarding C1 10 (and C1 9). However, it appears Phase One has changed preview generation in C1 11. EDIT: That's what I thought initially as I seemed to have found a preview image size setting that ticked all boxes: (Relatively) sharp previews and no issues during image adjustments, even at high magnifications. It turns out, though, that often image adjustments become very bothersome if the preview image size is set too low (see my later post (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=118700.msg1035666#msg1035666)). 

It is still possible to recreate the same issue for vertically oriented images by toggling the image information bar on and off. Say, the image looks fine without the image information being shown, as soon as you display the image information, it will look slightly blurry. However, if you zoom in (say to 100%) and then zoom out again, the image will look crisp. If you now disable the image information bar again, the image will look slightly blurry. This is not a problem at all, though, as zooming in and out will fix that (as before).

So apparently, now C1 recognises your "Fit" size (the latter depending on whether additional elements, such as for the image information steal vertical space) and creates an optimal preview for it. Perhaps this is just a consequence of me having found a sweet spot for the image preview size, but whatever causes the new behaviour, I'm taking it!

For those who were suffering from bad preview quality in C1 10, I'd strongly recommend trying C1 11!
EDIT: Depending on whether you'll also get the bothersome experience during image adjustments at high magnifications (at least sometimes), you may not be satisfied just yet. I hope Phase One keeps working on this issue.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on March 14, 2018, 01:45:58 pm
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III, and the previews are unusable.

They look out of focus.

Sometimes it's so bad that I think a shot is unusable because out of focus, but it's just the Capture One Pro 11 software who can't handle it.

I'm upgrading to the 5D Mark IV - but I have little hope as a previous poster mentioned the preview quality is bad there as well.

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Dinarius on March 15, 2018, 09:54:12 am
I might be imagining things, but I think that previews are better when C1 has a bespoke lens profile for the image you're looking at.

For example, two lenses I use are Canon 17-40mm and Canon 45mm Tilt/Shift.

C1 has a lens profile for the 17-40mm, but not the 45mm T/S.

I think that C1 behaves better (not just looks sharper in preview) with 17-40mm files.

Anyone else considered this?

Thanks.

D.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: David Grover / Phase One on March 15, 2018, 10:50:13 am
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III, and the previews are unusable.

They look out of focus.

Sometimes it's so bad that I think a shot is unusable because out of focus, but it's just the Capture One Pro 11 software who can't handle it.

I'm upgrading to the 5D Mark IV - but I have little hope as a previous poster mentioned the preview quality is bad there as well.

Any examples?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Beerfueled on March 17, 2018, 10:51:10 am
I have been following this thread closely, as I have recently began using Capture One (Pro 11.0.1, Windows 10), and immediately noticed what appeared to be fuzzy previews in the Viewer at fit to screen size, compared to Lightroom's preview. My monitor is a NEC PA241W, and Windows settings are at "1920 x 1200 (Recommended)."

I have noticed this with both Fujifilm X-T2 and Nikon D750 raw files. Attached is a side-by-side comparison of cropped screenshots from both C1 (left) and Lr (right) previews at fit to screen size. These are files with no edits made after importing to the catalog.

In the Preferences settings, C1 Preview Image Size (px) is at the default, 2560. Interestingly, when I change this to a much lower number (800 or 640, for example) and then select File > Regenerate Previews, the fit-to-screen then looks much better.

By the way, I have also compared C1 vs Lr previews on my 13" Macbook Pro Retina (2016), and while I haven't spent a lot of time doing that, my first impression was that the C1 previews seemed fine at fit-to-screen size.

-larry
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on March 17, 2018, 11:51:35 am
I have been following this thread closely, as I have recently began using Capture One (Pro 11.0.1, Windows 10), and immediately noticed what appeared to be fuzzy previews in the Viewer at fit to screen size, compared to Lightroom's preview. My monitor is a NEC PA241W, and Windows settings are at "1920 x 1200 (Recommended)."

I have noticed this with both Fujifilm X-T2 and Nikon D750 raw files. Attached is a side-by-side comparison of cropped screenshots from both C1 (left) and Lr (right) previews at fit to screen size. These are files with no edits made after importing to the catalog.

Hi Larry,

Thanks for providing something useful to discuss. Indeed, there is a significant difference in sharpness in the provided crops. The C1 crop is unsharpened and shows little aliasing, the LR crop looks aliased (note the stair-stepped lines) when we zoom in on the screen shots. That confirms my suspicion that C1 doesn't use sharpening to compensate for the downsampling of the preview thumbnail, and LR lets aliasing do the work.

Quote
In the Preferences settings, C1 Preview Image Size (px) is at the default, 2560. Interestingly, when I change this to a much lower number (800 or 640, for example) and then select File > Regenerate Previews, the fit-to-screen then looks much better.

Yes, makes sense. Proper downsampling of the larger thumbnail will induce some loss of sharpness, unless compensated for by an additional sharpening pass. When rendering to a significant enough larger size than the what the thumbnail offers, a more accurate calculation is done for the size needed, based on the original Raw data.

So, reducing the thumbnail size to less than the fit area dimensions seem like a useful workaround. My suggestion to the C1 team, offer an option for automatically sharpened previews when resampling is involved.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Dave Rosser on March 17, 2018, 01:48:11 pm
Hi Larry,

Thanks for providing something useful to discuss. Indeed, there is a significant difference in sharpness in the provided crops. The C1 crop is unsharpened and shows little aliasing, the LR crop looks aliased (note the stair-stepped lines) when we zoom in on the screen shots. That confirms my suspicion that C1 doesn't use sharpening to compensate for the downsampling of the preview thumbnail, and LR lets aliasing do the work.

Yes, makes sense. Proper downsampling of the larger thumbnail will induce some loss of sharpness, unless compensated for by an additional sharpening pass. When rendering to a significant enough larger size than the what the thumbnail offers, a more accurate calculation is done for the size needed, based on the original Raw data.

So, reducing the thumbnail size to less than the fit area dimensions seem like a useful workaround. My suggestion to the C1 team, offer an option for automatically sharpened previews when resampling is involved.

Cheers,
Bart
All I do if I want a high quality pre-view in Capture one is select 100% wait one or two seconds for it to be rendered and then switch back to fit.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on March 17, 2018, 01:51:07 pm
All I do if I want a high quality pre-view in Capture one is select 100% wait one or two seconds for it to be rendered and then switch back to fit.

Would be interesting to learn if that works for Larry.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Beerfueled on March 17, 2018, 02:19:16 pm
Thank you very much Bart for taking a look, and for your thoughts on this. And no, when I go to 100% view in C1 (where the preview is sharp, as expected) and then back down to fit in the Viewer, the fit view is still blurry, no change.

I have been very impressed with C1, but this one thing has been bothering me for sure. Lr is no slouch, but I plan to get over the learning curve and try to get very proficient in C1. Thank you for your help here.

-larry
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on March 28, 2018, 08:03:38 pm
Proper downsampling of the larger thumbnail will induce some loss of sharpness, unless compensated for by an additional sharpening pass. When rendering to a significant enough larger size than the what the thumbnail offers, a more accurate calculation is done for the size needed, based on the original Raw data.
That's my view of the situation as well.


So, reducing the thumbnail size to less than the fit area dimensions seem like a useful workaround.
While that approach indeed addresses the blurriness, it comes with two downsides:
The second downside does not always occur. So far, I haven't noticed a pattern.

Overall, I have to revoke what I've said about C1 11 and its preview quality. I initially thought it consistently handled previews better than C1 10 as the blurriness during adjustments (when intentionally using nominally too small preview size settings) does not always occur. However, I encountered it frequently now and this means that the situation is still unsatisfactory.

My suggestion to the C1 team, offer an option for automatically sharpened previews when resampling is involved.
Have you submitted your suggestion via a support case?

I hope that everyone suffering from the unsatisfactory preview situation lets Phase One know by creating a support case (https://www.phaseone.com/en/SupportMain/contact-technical-support.aspx). Phase One relies on the frequency of requests to determine what priority they should assign to resolving issues.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on March 30, 2018, 02:15:58 am
Any examples?

Yes, at the beginning of this thread.

The problem persists and is likely a part of the outdated C1 catalog, which is also unusable through its poor interface and incredibly sluggish searching .

The whole catalog needs to be ditched and replaced with something of good quality. It feels like very old software with layers of fixes.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on April 23, 2018, 12:02:06 am
I just processed the first images with my new Canon 5D Mark IV, and the preview in Capture One Pro 11 is still of sub-par quality and blurry, like a highly compressed JPEG. Impossible to do any adjustments that have to do with contrast or sharpness in this software.

The first sample shows the preview in Canon DPP, the second in Capture One Pro (which also always misreads the white balance and shows images too warm)
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Jeffery Salter on April 24, 2018, 05:08:09 pm
My Canon 5D Mark IV files look great in Capture One Pro 11.  The previews are excellent quality and very sharp.  You might check your computer to make sure you have sufficient  RAM memory and enough space in the Hard drive.  I would start there. 
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on April 24, 2018, 05:27:43 pm
I have a solution for this problem.

Key is that the preview size setting has to match the size of the preview window (or be slightly larger) and NOT the size of the monitor.

My monitor has 2560 pixels in width, and so I had set the preview size to 2560 pixels.

While the real preview size window was smaller.

If the preview size set in preferences is much larger, C1 has to somehow downsample it and this leads to terrible blurs and smears.

The next two smaller settings are 1680 pixels and 1920 pixels.

For now I have shrunk my preview to 1680 and confirmed it with a screen ruler, and the preview is sharp now.

I will experiment and see if I get the same sharpness with 1920 pixels as well.


While preview image size is floating and you can adjust it as you like, it is paramount for quality preview to match preview size setting and preview window size as close as possible.


Update: when I set the preview size to 1920 pixels and match the viewer, the preview sharpness is not that great. It probably depends on the size of the preview stored in the catalog. Up to 1680 pixels you get great sharpness, anything larger will already reduce sharpness.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Jeffery Salter on April 24, 2018, 06:59:13 pm
Happy that you found a solution to your problem.  I use the preview or thumbnails like a contact sheet and the "Viewer" to look at a selected image or multiple selected images.  A quick to tip to look at the "thumbnails" at %100 percent, is to press the "P" key, which selects the "Loupe".  Then simply use your 'mouse" or "pen" to click on the thumbnail to view at %100 percent.  You can set the "loupe" tool for even higher % if you desire.

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on May 29, 2018, 03:24:07 am
The solution is only of limited quality.

I found that 1680 pixels wide is the largest preview size that Capture One Pro can do.

Any larger preview window gets blurry again - not as bad as I had it before, but still bad.

I'm currently at 1920 pixel preview window size, and it is blurry.

So I will reduce the preview window size again to 1680 pixels.

Phase One needs to fix this preview issue.

Another tip: match the size of the preview window you chose in preferences as good as possible and save the setting in the workspace. If you stray from that setting you'll lose sharpness.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on June 24, 2018, 05:11:49 pm
I want to add that this is still a problem that needs fixing.

While it is not as horribly blurry as before, I still and regularly think that an image is out of focus, and zooming in 100% shows it's tack sharp.

This happens a lot with faces.

So, sharpness and detail needs to improve in the preview. Take a look at Canon DPP, where there is good sharpness that realistically shows the state of the image you are working on.

Reducing the window size to 1680 pixel (the largest preview size Capture One Pro 11 can handle without getting too blurry) is not giving a good enough result.

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: mscherlacher on July 25, 2018, 07:37:23 pm
This is really strange to me. I use both C1 and DPP and both give me previews that are tack sharp. If anything C1's fit to screen previews are a tad sharper. I've used this setup for a number of years and with three OS's. Why does my setup work and other's don't? Maybe it's not playing nice with certain video cards?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: IanSeward on July 26, 2018, 04:21:02 am
That is my feeling as well.  C1pro is aimed at professional photographers who are critical as it is their livelihood.

I am sure there is a problem for some people but it must be a small minority of users or else PhaseOne would be out of the software business.

If the people who are effected could post detailed hardware logs then a pattern might be detected.  Unless the scope of the issue can be narrowed down I can't see how PhaseOne can fix the issue.

Basic questions like is this a Mac or Windows issue, Nvidia or AMD etc.

Ian
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: The View on September 03, 2018, 03:31:02 am
I don't see why a MacBook Pro shouldn't perform properly.

Because of this blurriness I had the MBP even checked by Apple.

DPP is way sharper and more detailed than C1 - no comparison.

Maybe some are working on poor displays and don't see the difference. For me as a professional the shortcomings of C1 make it impossible to do extended adjustments in C1. I adjust mildly as I know I have no control over the fine adjustments in C1 as C1 simply does not show enough detail in its previews.

And I can't adjust in 100% as I'm then flying blind, only seeing part of the image.

This is why Photoshop is still indispensable. There are also some problems, that certain images, when you flatten them, look slightly different in non-100% view. But it is relatively minor compared to the blur in C1.

As noted, by limiting my preview to a small 1680 pixel window (C1 cannot do any larger previews without passing out on quality) I have reduced the blurring, but I still cannot rely on the details in this software.

Things like this happen in software if a company just puts more and more floors of features on top of the software, without recoding the foundation. The result is loss of detail - a kind of mp3-ing of image quality.

The final output is great - otherwise I'd have already left. So I'm balancing the shortcomings of the preview by doing only minor adjustments in C1 and leaving all those extra features like layers unused.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 19, 2018, 02:59:53 am
I revive this topic to mention that this problem has not been solved in version 12 Pro (Mac).

Phase One support says that this is just the way Capture One works, to avoid recalculating the preview every time. They don't seem to acknowledge that this is not the issue: even recalculated every time, the preview is sub par. And they won't comment on the fact that other software does not have this problem.

So far the only "solution" I have found is to use a process recipe with some screen sharpening and "recipe proofing". Hardly a desirable way to work.

This is infurating!
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 06:00:48 am
I revive this topic to mention that this problem has not been solved in version 12 Pro (Mac).

Phase One support says that this is just the way Capture One works, to avoid recalculating the preview every time. They don't seem to acknowledge that this is not the issue: even recalculated every time, the preview is sub par. And they won't comment on the fact that other software does not have this problem.

So far the only "solution" I have found is to use a process recipe with some screen sharpening and "recipe proofing". Hardly a desirable way to work.

This is infurating!

what if you use previews @ 640px, isn't it solving the issue on a fast computer forcing C1 to recalculate in 99% use cases ?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 06:18:14 am
Yes, it does work to some extent, at the expense of some delay in displaying the preview.

But I find that even so, the preview as displayed by Capture One is usually not as detailed as that displayed by Lightroom or Luminar.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 06:22:44 am
Yes, it does work to some extent, at the expense of some delay in displaying the preview.

But I find that even so, the preview as displayed by Capture One is usually not as detailed as that displayed by Lightroom or Luminar.

I do not see any difference between ACR and C1 (I use 640px)...
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 06:29:30 am
Interesting… I will have to test some more !
What is the size (the width) of the images on your screen in C1 (do you use a margin?), and in ACR?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 07:20:59 am
Here is an example, with a photo from my Fuji X-T2 - screen copies in both cases. I hope the difference will be visible on screen.

In C1 v12 (top): previews 640px, image displayed in "Fit screen" mode, i.e. at a width of 1680px on my 27" monitor, increased sharpening in C1 (at the limit at what I would find acceptable when viewed at 100%)
In LR Classic CC 7.5 (bottom): image displayed in "Fit screen" mode, i.e. at a width of 1680px on my 27" monitor, default LR sharpening.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 07:22:34 am
The C1 photo was not uploaded, here it is again.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 08:06:53 am
And now C1, same settings, with "Recipe proofing" (long edge 1680px, no output sharpening).
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 08:23:30 am
first of all - we can't use sharpening... so I switched sharpening off in both ACR and C1 - even that does not make things eq as there are demosaicking involved... and I make both zoom @ the almost ~same ratio - 33% in this case (again that does not ensure pixel by pixel equality in case of different converters)... to my eye (excluding colors and contrast - different converters, etc) - both are the same in terms of preview quality...

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 09:05:29 am
I agree that in your example both previews are of similar quality.

To make things more comparable, I have also disabled sharpening completely. Both images are "as is" (default settings), except for the disabled sharpening. Even in this case I find a marked diféfrence in "crispness" of the preview.

I am at a loss to explain the difference between our findings…
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 09:58:48 am
I am at a loss to explain the difference between our findings…

stupid question - did you rebuild preview to use 640px ? may be it is still interpolating down from some bigger ones ? do you care to share the raw file (this one or something of no value) so that I for example can try on my notebook ?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 10:13:04 am
Yes, I did rebuild the previews after setting them to 640px in the Preferences. Although it makes little difference: the preview is rebuilt (I can briefly see it being rebuilt), but the result is no better (or only very slightly) than when my previews were set at 1920px.

Do you agree that in the screen copies I posted there is a difference? I would be very interested in your findings.

You can download the raw file here:
<link removed>

Of course all rights are reserved for any usage other than testing the raw processing...  ;D

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 10:35:17 am
You can download the raw file here:

I will try now to compare it on my notebook between ACR & C1
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 10:45:25 am
again - I do not see any noticeable acuity-type differences - both @ 33% - zeroed sharpening and NR in both programs and tried to equalize WB and contract

see 2 screenshots

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 11:18:05 am
Now that's interesting! I agree with your findings, there are no noticeable acuity-type differences.

But you do mention "@ 33%" - and this may be the important point. If I view my pic at 33% in C1, I get a good preview, with the same acuity as what you get. But if I go down to "to fit", then the preview is blurry again, even though the difference in size is minimal.

Do you find the same?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 12:45:52 pm
Now that's interesting! I agree with your findings, there are no noticeable acuity-type differences.

But you do mention "@ 33%" - and this may be the important point. If I view my pic at 33% in C1, I get a good preview, with the same acuity as what you get. But if I go down to "to fit", then the preview is blurry again, even though the difference in size is minimal.

Do you find the same?

fit is complicated because you also need to match the size of the visible image in 2 different applications with different screen UI layouts... I might try... I use 33% as the lowest where I can still "equalize" the zooming(out) between ACR and C1 on my LCD.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 12:52:48 pm
Don't try to compare C1 and LR for the "fit" setting. What I mean is that using C1, I see a visible loss of acuity when I switch from 33% down to "to fit". I guess the "to fit" preview is less optimized than a fixed magnification such as 33%

The problem for me is that I like the "to fit" setting, with 90px margins, because it allows me to have a better "overall" view of the image. If I go to 33%, then I have to scroll the image vertically some to see the top or bottom.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 12:57:52 pm
Here is what I did

1) made ACR window small enough so that "Fit" in ACR will be 25% exactly (at least as reported by ACR)

2) made C1 window small enough so that "Fit" there will be as close to 25% (but most probably not exactly 25%) - hence it is ~25% in C1 vs 25% in ACR

see both screenshots

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 12:59:48 pm
Don't try to compare C1 and LR for the "fit" setting. What I mean is that using C1, I see a visible loss of acuity when I switch from 33% down to "to fit". I guess the "to fit" preview is less optimized than a fixed magnification such as 33%

see my post above - there ACR 25% is vs "Fit" (not exactly 25%, just close to it) in C1
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 01:04:42 pm
Am I dreaming or is the preview in C1 now _better_ than the one in ACR?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 01:08:56 pm
This is what I mean : 2 screenshots from C1, one with the viewer set to "to fit", the other at 33%.
I find the view at 33% sharper than at "to fit", even though the size difference is minimal.

My screen is a 27" (2560*1440).

I must say I don't know what to conclude…
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 01:21:58 pm
Am I dreaming or is the preview in C1 now _better_ than the one in ACR?

I am not using "Fit" size in either program to evaluate the acuity-related details - only WB/brightness/contract/clipping of various kinds (overexposed/underexposed/gamut) in general over the frame ... so honestly for me (my LCD is PA242W still) even if C1 is worse it is irrelevant... details like demosaick/sharpening/noise/chromatic aberrations/clarity/etc I check @ 100% or use loupe
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 01:25:35 pm
I tried to downsize C1 window while keeping "Fit" to make sure that viewing at odd sizes less than 25% - like 20-something or high teens is not impaired... it is not... at least on my computer + lcd + whatever settings I have...

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 01:27:55 pm
when I drag with mouse pointer C1 window resizing it I can see momentarily the loss of acuity, but then when I stop and spinning ball/star showing that C1 does redraw (from cached raw I assume) finished & disappears the acuity is back to expected...

Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 01:34:22 pm
with C1 a wild guess might be

1) disable GPU - see what happens - enable GPU - see what happens

2) play with GPU drivers (upgrade/downgrade)

3) manually delete preview files from the disk - I am using sessions always, no issues to do this there - not sure how it is handled with catalogs (while keeping previews settings @ 640px) and see what happens next when they are genuinely rebuilt new

4) disable "enable recipe proofing" if you have it
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 02:10:35 pm
Thank you for this information. I'll try to digest all this and explore some more…
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: David Grover / Phase One on December 20, 2018, 02:42:20 pm
Thank you for this information. I'll try to digest all this and explore some more…

Also work through.

https://www.phaseone.com/en/Search/Article.aspx?articleid=1721&languageid=1

And if you didn't supply screenshots to support.  Please do so.  :)
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 04:44:09 pm
Thanks David.
I tried the various steps mentioned in the document :
- Disable the use of OpenCL by C1 (in the Preferences), restart C1: no change.
- Reenable the use of OpenCL, quit C1, delete relevant files to force revuilding of OpenCL kernels (I'm on a Mac), restart C1: no change.
- OpenCL is indeed used, as shown by the manoeuver described in the document (using the focus mask).

I would say OpenCL is not the culprit.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 04:46:48 pm
Thanks David.
I tried the various steps mentioned in the document :
- Disable the use of OpenCL by C1 (in the Preferences), restart C1: no change.
- Reenable the use of OpenCL, quit C1, delete relevant files to force revuilding of OpenCL kernels (I'm on a Mac), restart C1: no change.
- OpenCL is indeed used, as shown by the manoeuver described in the document (using the focus mask).

I would say OpenCL is not the culprit.

drivers (version) matter too (not that it is the reason, but don't discount that part)... what is your card ?
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 04:56:15 pm
I'm on a Mac Pro (2013) with 2 AMD FirePro D300 cards, the driver is part of Mac OS X (10.13.6).
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 04:59:17 pm
Thanks to the information mentioned by DP, I think the issue for me can be narrowed down to the lower quality of the preview at "fit" size.
Specifically, I tried the following:
- Image displayed at "to fit" size, with 90px margins: the preview (set to 640px in the preferences, and rebuilt) is not "blurry".
- When clicking on the zoom button with the alt key down, it is possible to specific finer steps than jumping directly from "To fit" (which corresponds in this case to 25%) to 33%; however the zoom is only maintained while the mouse button is down, after that it jumps to the closer step. If I do this (maintain the button pressed), and take a screen capture while doing it, I can get a screen capture of the preview at 29 or 30%, so as to remain as close as possible in size to the "to fit" preview.

See the previews below: I would say that the "30%" preview is OK, while the "to fit" preview is not.

Thus: It would seem that there is a problem in the generation of the "to fit" view (and this whatever the size of the preview).
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 05:01:15 pm
Forgot to mention: in both cases, no sharpening applied, and no recipe proofing.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 05:10:23 pm
Forgot to mention: in both cases, no sharpening applied, and no recipe proofing.

may be a platform (somehow the code differs) ? I am on Windows 10 x 64, you are on OSX ... also just in case my card is NVidia GTX870M, yours are AMD
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 05:15:11 pm
Forgot to mention: in both cases, no sharpening applied, and no recipe proofing.

try to switch off "proof margin" !
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 05:17:21 pm
Quite possible.

But I think you did not try exactly the same thing I did: you changed the size of C1's window, what I did was switch the zoom button from "to fit" to the next available size (the steps are smaller if you press alt while doing so, but you have to maintain the button down to keep at that size). Do you confirm that while doing so you don't see any difference in crispness?

I might also try to install C1 on a Windows 10 virtual machine (of course the graphic card will be the same, but C1's resizing algorithm on Windows may differ)…

PS: regarding the margin, I tried with and without, same problem.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: DP on December 20, 2018, 05:32:59 pm
But I think you did not try exactly the same thing I did: you changed the size of C1's window, what I did was switch the zoom button from "to fit" to the next available size (the steps are smaller if you press alt while doing so, but you have to maintain the button down to keep at that size). Do you confirm that while doing so you don't see any difference in crispness?

yes, I tried to change zoom smoothly from "fit" onwards using ALT+mouse too ... and acuity was in place once C1 finishes redrawing for each step... try to switch off the "proof margin" - it seems to me now that it is where the issue is @ "fit" size
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 06:15:37 pm
Yes, for me too acuity was there at each step - except the first one, i.e. "To fit".

I tried without proof margin, same behaviour.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 20, 2018, 06:19:48 pm
I installed C1 v12 as a demo on a Windows 10 64bits VM; and imported the same picture I used in the tests above.
I think I am getting the same result… but my eyes are getting tired, it is past midnight here…

Tomorrow is another day.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 21, 2018, 05:21:34 am
Well, I don't know if I see the same thing on Windows or not. Capture One is so slow in the virtual machine as to make any test extremely difficult (the graphic card is not used apparently) - I give up.

Anyway, I will open a case with Phase One with the following observations (and some screenshots):
(Mac OS X 10.13.6, Mac Pro Late 2013 with 2xAMD FirePro D300 2048 MB)

Previews at "fit" size not crisp
- The problem seems to be that previews at the "Fit" setting are not really crisp.
- To ensure that previews are rebuilt each time on my 27" monitor, I have set the preview size at 640px in the Preferences, and rebuilt the preview of my test picture.
- Then, if I view the picture at "Fit" size, the preview is sub par, somehow blurry.
- If I increase the magnification to 33%, I see the preview beeing redrawn and now it is crisp.
- If I return to "Fit" (corresponding to 25%), no redrawing seems to occur, the preview just gets blurry again.
- If I increase the magnification while keeping the alt key down, at a setting of 29% (the smallest I can get to, in order to be as close to possible to the size of the picture at the "Fit" setting) I see again the preview beeing redrawn and now it is crisp (to see this, I have to keep the mouse down, otherwise the magnification snaps to the next setting).
- These observations are verified whether there is a proof margin or not, i.e. at different display sizes for the "Fit" setting.

To check for a possible involvement of OpenCL, I tried the various steps mentioned in document KB 1721:
- Disable the use of OpenCL by Capture One (in the Preferences), restart Capture One: no change.
- Reenable the use of OpenCL, quit Capture One, delete relevant files to force revuilding of OpenCL kernels (I'm on a Mac), restart Capture One: no change.
- OpenCL is indeed used, as shown by the manoeuvre described in the document (using the focus mask).
I would say OpenCL is not the culprit.

Thus, my conclusion would be that there is an issue (on Mac at least) with the redrawing (or lack thereof) of the preview at "Fit" size.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on December 21, 2018, 06:46:47 am
Well, I don't know if I see the same thing on Windows or not. Capture One is so slow in the virtual machine as to make any test extremely difficult (the graphic card is not used apparently) - I give up.

Anyway, I will open a case with Phase One with the following observations (and some screenshots):
(Mac OS X 10.13.6, Mac Pro Late 2013 with 2xAMD FirePro D300 2048 MB)

[...]

Thus, my conclusion would be that there is an issue (on Mac at least) with the redrawing (or lack thereof) of the preview at "Fit" size.

Hi, seems like a useful analysis for the Support team at Phase One.
Opening a support case and sharing those findings will also help others that happen to be affected.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 21, 2018, 07:41:52 am
Thanks Bart. I have opened a support case, we'll see…  :)
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 21, 2018, 09:27:51 am
After some exchanges with Phase One support (I even sent them a screen recording), they say that I am doing everything right, they are creating a bug report / feature request to have this improved for a sharper preview from the raw.

Let's hope for an improvement in a future update.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on December 25, 2018, 11:19:51 pm
After some exchanges with Phase One support (I even sent them a screen recording), they say that I am doing everything right, they are creating a bug report / feature request to have this improved for a sharper preview from the raw.
First, thanks a lot for creating a detailed support case.

Second, don't get your hopes too high. This issue has existed at least since version 9.
I created a respective support case a long time ago with screenshots, exported images, etc.
I had some dialogue with the support team and appreciate the steps that have been taken (e.g., the Proofing option), but a proper solution is still missing.
I am rather certain that this "Fit" view deficiency is not regarded as a bug by Phase One. I believe they regard the solution as a compromise between accuracy and efficiency that is "good enough". Apparently it is good enough indeed for many because I'm not seeing mass protests. I doubt that the non-complainers see a different results, I believe they just don't have the same expectation towards a "Fit" preview.

The fact that this basic requirement (useful renderings at "Fit" size) has not been addressed for version 12 and efforts have instead been spent on changes/additions that almost seem obscure in comparison, does not instil confidence that we'll see a fix anytime soon, AFAIC.

I can only encourage everyone who notices how blurry "Fit" renderings can be at times (not due to bug, not to C1 needing a restart, just the regular lack of crispness which contrasts to the rendering at magnification levels 30% or higher) to create a support case. I believe Phase One should have ample detailed support cases that include evidence already that a quick note should be sufficient perhaps with a pointer to this thread.

Here's to hoping that the issue will be fixed some day. I realise that an optimal solution (which has to take efficiency in both preview generation times and preview storage into account) is not trivial, but the current situation could be easily improved by taking the user's standard preview size into account and optimise generation for that instead of one of the standard preview sizes made available by C1.

Personally, I don't see myself upgrading before the issue has been fixed. Yes, having radial masks, etc. would be nice, but I won't spend the substantial upgrade fee to be left with the same preview issues as before.

P.S.: I'm experiencing the issue on a Windows machine. The fact that you are seeing it on a Mac corroborates the notion that this is not a bug but rather a consequence of how "Fit" previews are handled by C1.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 26, 2018, 04:10:11 am
Thanks TeeKay.
Let's hope for an improvement, but as you say, let's not get our hopes too high.
I confirm that the phenomenon is also present on Windows (as tested on a Win 7 virtual machine on the Mac).

For my part, I find this issue so unpleasant in my use of Capture One that I am almost ready to abandon the software and have started looking for another workflow. That's saying a lot!
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on December 26, 2018, 05:27:26 am
Thanks TeeKay.
Let's hope for an improvement, but as you say, let's not get our hopes too high.
I confirm that the phenomenon is also present on Windows (as tested on a Win 7 virtual machine on the Mac).

Hi Bernard,

That still means it could be Mac related, for I do not have these blurry previews on my Windows machines (did not with W7, and do not with W10). The Mac uses a different graphics pipeline that is partly integrated into the OS. That may also explain why it apparently takes a long time to address the issue.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 26, 2018, 05:31:54 am
Hi Bart,
You are right, using a VM on the Mac is not proof that the problem affects Windows as well...
TeeKay seems to experience it though. We'll see.
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: TeeKay on December 27, 2018, 03:11:08 am
Hi Bart,

That still means it could be Mac related, for I do not have these blurry previews on my Windows machines (did not with W7, and do not with W10).
It is most certainly not confined to Mac as I experience the issue on two different Windows machines.

One, running Win7 and an AMD graphics card, the other, running Win10 and an Nvidia card.
I'm by far not the only one experiencing the problem under Windows, see member "Dinarius" in this thread for instance.

I don't think I'm being indiscreet by telling you that I got a strong sense from my conversation with Phase One support, that they are aware of the issue and just haven't found a good way of addressing it yet.

As to whether I'd see the same issue on your systems, I cannot say. As I stated before, I regard it as a possibility that some people don't have the same expectations towards previews. It is also possible that running a different monitor resolution (say 4K) results in a different outcome. All my problems occur on Full HD 1920x1200 displays (three different ones).

It is almost certain that the problems are not caused by certain system incompatibilities but are "as designed".

Let's hope that there will be progress at some point in time (trying to forget the fact that this thread started in June 2017).
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: Beerfueled on December 27, 2018, 09:00:23 am
I'm by far not the only one experiencing the problem under Windows, see member "Dinarius" in this thread for instance.

Also see my reply #76 in this thread, describing my own experiences (Win 10) and with side-by-side screenshots from Capture One and Lr.

-larry
Title: Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
Post by: bcf on December 27, 2018, 09:44:31 am
For now, I have made a macro using Keyboard Maestro (I'm on the Mac), which does the following when I type "Z" if the viewer window is frontmost:

- If the "To fit" view is showing, switch to 100% and uncheck Recipe Proofing in the View menu
- If the "100%" view is showing, switch to "To fit" and check "Recipe Proofing" in the View menu

(this is dependent on the default width of the picture in the viewer, 1680px in my case; and on the settings of the selected recipe, 1680px long edge with slight screen sharpening, ProPhoto profile).