Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Capture One Q&A => Topic started by: reillynevada on September 03, 2021, 12:46:50 am

Title: Does Capture One process Fuji files better than Lightroom?
Post by: reillynevada on September 03, 2021, 12:46:50 am
I have been using Adobe Lightroom for years, since I starting shooting with Canon gear back in 2007.  Last year I converted my gear to the Fuji GFX system and, for some reason, do not seem to love the way Lightroom processes Fuji files.  I heard somewhere that Capture One processes Fuji files "better" than Lightroom but I don't know whether to believe it.  Also, to those who have converted to Capture One, how difficult was the conversion?

Thanks.  Your thoughts are much appreciated. 
Title: Re: Does Capture One process Fuji files better than Lightroom?
Post by: Ray Harrison on September 03, 2021, 08:23:53 am
I moved to C1 from LR in about 2015. Capture One has a 30-day trial so it may be worth taking a look on your own images. From a Fuji perspective, I have found that on X-Trans sensors, C1 is the clear winner - or maybe the better way to put it is that it is easier to get where I want with where C1 starts me out. For the GFX system, I know that the two companies have worked very closely together on creating the camera and lens profiles. So anyway, a trial is free and you can give it a look. My Phase back also has a variation of the Sony sensor used in the GFX 100/100s and the results are excellent, though there is a "special relationship" between Phase & Capture One, obviously. 

For moving over, it's important to remember that C1 and LR have different philosophies and DNA, though their feature set is slowly starting to converge. I find C1 runs rings around LR in things like color management and tethering and personally find the adjustment workflow (via masks and layers) to be more intuitive for how I think. I also find their camera profiles to be top-notch. Building camera profiles can be automated, similar to how Adobe does theirs - meaning built off of a series of raw images and algorithms. C1 does that but also does a lot of actual "manual" work with the cameras themselves in the lab. They'll generally take a little longer to get popular camera profiles out the door than Adobe. Whether you find them better will be up to your own eye, of course. The same with lens profiles - they tend to get the actual lenses in the lab to do the work rather than a mostly autogenerated process. They're excellent, to my eye.

C1 was literally one of the first raw conversion engines with DNA going back to the late 90s and the workflow in the tool was originally focused on studio work and tethering with medium format digital backs. They build their own camera control libraries rather than relying solely on manufacturer APIs which can change or break at any point in time with OS upgrades or other breakpoints.

All of this to say that LR and C1 have different philosophies behind them so don't expect C1 to be a 1-1 match. Moving from LR isn't hard, but you may have to think a little differently. LR is seen as generally superior in catalog management and DAM features, though C1 is continually improving this. Some users find catalogs larger than 30k images may be challenging from a performance perspective, others have much larger catalogs with no problems. C1 has a concept of "Session" which is worth learning about - it's just another way to help manage images. The session concept is from their own history of tethered workflows. Speaking of history, a lot of LR users freak out a bit when they find that C1 doesn't have a history panel. So if you're married to a history panel to do your work, you may find things disconcerting at first.

They're working to add features that migrating LR users have asked for like Pano and multi-shot HDR merging. I suspect that they'll succumb to a history panel of some sort in the future too, though they haven't actually talked about it.

They've done a lot recently with speed edits, masking improvements, image import and catalog performance and localized adjustments with masking brushes. They recently added a "de-haze" convenience function as an ask from LR users. A couple of years back they did a lot of work on their noise engine, though I'd rate it as average and could stand for a bit more work. Their perspective correction is good, though some people find it somewhat challenging to use in certain situations. 

Because the UI and workflow philosophies are different between the two applications, I'd recommend if you're considering a move to watch some of the videos on their YouTube channel or at David Grover has produced some truly excellent content. The UI is massively customizable so I really do recommend spending time learning about it.


Title: Re: Does Capture One process Fuji files better than Lightroom?
Post by: on September 03, 2021, 12:58:02 pm
For X-Trans sensors in most of the Fujifilm X series cameras, I think there is broad consensus that C1 does a better job demosaicing them than LR, though LR Enhance Details seems to have closed the gap somewhat.
GFX is a different story with their Bayer sensors.
I have an X-Pro2 and a GFX 50R, and I am very happy with how fast I get great results in C1. But I can’t compare with LR as I have only used it for a very short time at work - I found Adobe’s license checking madness unacceptable. Well, that was probably 6 years ago…
Title: Re: Does Capture One process Fuji files better than Lightroom?
Post by: Ferp on September 03, 2021, 08:28:57 pm
Re "All of this to say that LR and C1 have different philosophies behind them":  I saw a series of lockdown videos on Photopxl last year in which Kevin Raber and Jeff Shewe edited a selection of users images, with Jeff edited one set using LR, IIRC, and Kevin edited another using C1.  One of them made the observation that Adode and C1 had very different philosophies about what the default rending should be.  Adobe's tends to be flatter and less saturated, and in effect provides more of a starting point for editing, whereas C1 aims at a more finished look.  I'd have to watch the videos again to quote what was said accurately, but that's the gist of it.

Now of course both C1 & LR have profiles included that attempt to replicate the camera makers' own look profiles, particularly Fuji's, so you're not constrained to use the default starting point as your starting point, but it's something to be aware of nonetheless if you're looking to switch from one to the other.
Title: Re: Does Capture One process Fuji files better than Lightroom?
Post by: reillynevada on September 06, 2021, 01:16:11 pm
Thanks everyone for the help!
Title: Re: Does Capture One process Fuji files better than Lightroom?
Post by: digitaldog on September 06, 2021, 03:48:54 pm
The best raw converter is the one you know how to use, to render the image as you desire:
Defaults? Kind of meaningless.