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Author Topic: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?  (Read 37055 times)

The View

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #60 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!
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dchew

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #61 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%:


100%:


Dave
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DougDolde

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2018, 07:52:32 pm »

I never thought they were low quality
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dchew

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #63 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%:

Capture One 25 percent

Photoshop at 25%:

Photoshop 25 percent
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 06:54:35 am by dchew »
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Dinarius

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #64 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.

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dchew

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #65 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
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TeeKay

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #66 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).
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 01:12:40 am by TeeKay »
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TeeKay

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #67 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.
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TeeKay

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #68 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.
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dchew

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #69 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 donít 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
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 05:41:15 am by dchew »
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David Good

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #70 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?
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denalilap

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #71 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?
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TeeKay

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #72 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). 

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.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 08:11:08 pm by TeeKay »
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The View

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #73 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.

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Dinarius

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #74 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.
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David Grover / Phase One

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #75 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?
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Beerfueled

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #76 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
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #77 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
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Dave Rosser

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #78 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.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Why are the previews of Capture One Pro of such low quality?
« Reply #79 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
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