I‘ve been a Capture One user ever since I moved to a full digital workflow back in 2003. I always liked it’s workflow, it’s ability to process images in the background while not appearing to slow down my Mac at all and ease with which I was able to get the ‘look’ that I wanted from my RAW files.
Other applications have been tried out in recent years, in particular Apple’s lovely smooth Aperture interface and Adobe’s Lightroom. As always, main reason for trying out these products was their promise of a ‘one stop shop’ for image processing, including adding keywords, IPTC info and the ability to do essential tasks normally requiring additional work in Photoshop as well as outputting various versions for distribution. Their alluring appeal of saving huge amounts of disk space while also doubling as an asset management resource was very tempting.
I always deferred, remaining with Capture One and my Heath Robison method of image archiving using named folders and an array of hard drives, happy with my Capture One look, but unhappy at the lack of other adjustments and DAM facilities.
So when the launch of Version 6 happened this month, I was glued to the video tutorials on Phase One’s YouTube channel, poring over the details. There are too many new features to cover in just one blog post, so I’ll just cover my initial impressions of the new versions and save the detail for when I’ve had more time to dig deeper into it. Don’t take this as an exhaustive, technical assesment, just my thoughts after using the software for one job, plus a little playing around.
First off, a note on it’s memory requirements. There have been mutterings, in fact screamings, on some forums about it’s resource hogging and making machines hang with a spinning pizza wheel. While I’ve seen that on my standard MacBook Pro, there would appear to have been two reasons for it. The first time it happened, I had, well, rather a lot of apps running….. As in Mail, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Omni Focus, Safari, Firefox and iMovie with a project open. A lot to ask a standard 15″ MacBook Pro. Second time, I had a folder of more than 800 images open, which it seems is not a good thing. Divide the images into folders of around three hundred and the problem goes away.
So what are my first impressions?
Well the new stuff I love initially is really easy. First off, the most useful tool I’ve found is the ability to make local adjustments using layers and masks. This video on Phase One’s YouTube channel shows far better than myself, but it makes it incredibly easy to undertake localised adjustments and build up several layers, turning them on and off, just as you would in Photoshop.
Second thing I think is a great step forward is the Keystone tool for perspective correction. Using the default settings, correcting vertical and horizontal lines really is as simple as drag and drop. A particularly neat toucheis the ability to apply a percentage correction to corrections. It’s quite well known that correcting verticals to 100% technical correction in Photoshop will end up with a building that appears to be falling forwards out of the picture. Leaving the Keystone Correction set at it’s default settings resulted in an easy to achieve alignment that was pleasing to the eye. The embed link from Phase One’s YouTube channel wasn’t working, so here’s a URL to click for a full explanation.
So far, I’m loving Version 6. I’ll be writing more about the other features and how they fit my workflow later and also wether that all important assets management can be achieved in a way I’d really like.