Switching from Lightroom to Capture One.. And back again!

I had previously been a Lightroom user for around 8 years and it became an integral aspect of my workflow. Lightroom makes cataloguing and editing photos super easy.

I had heard a little bit on how much better Capture One renders RAW files over Adobe Lightroom and was curious to see if this is true. So, I downloaded a trial of the Capture One..

Lightroom and Capture One seem quite similar at first glance. The interfaces are both pretty simple to use if you know the other program. I won’t go into too many details of the differences, but I was blown away by how much better my RAW files looked in Capture One! Like, seriously better! They were instantly sharper and had better colour!

I found the skin colour box, and in short, this allows you to select a skin tone range and then edit the hue, saturation and lightness of the skin tone range. Then, the uniformity of the hue, saturation and lightness. For me, this was a huge deal. Skin tones aren’t the hardest thing to edit in Lightroom, but with Capture One, I was able to edit my skin tones to a point where I wanted them, in the RAW processor.

The sharpness, colours, and skin tones converted me to Capture One.

After a few months though, Capture One started to become a little bit of a hindrance. My workflow doesn’t flow as well as it did in Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is just so much easier to catalog your shots and quick edit them too. You still can in Capture One, but it is way slower! Or, at least that’s what I’ve found.

My personal shoot workflow goes a little like this;

  • Import

  • Cull

  • Exposure and contrast

  • Photoshop cleaning

  • Photoshop colour grade

  • Photoshop contrast again

  • Photoshop sharpening

Event workflow is pretty much do everything in the RAW editing program (Lightroom or Capture One).

That’s how my general workflow goes. Ideally, I’d be able to do my colour grading the the RAW editor where the most amount of colour data is stored. With Capture One, I find myself using it to only render a better quality RAW file and edit skin tones/colour though, and it’s a shame. Maybe I need to use Capture One more with my basic editing stuff and learn how to catalogue better in the program. If I can speed up my workflow into something I feel comfortable with, then maybe I’d be happier with the program?

So, while Capture One is easily the more superior program in my eyes, the fact that my work flow has been slowed down significantly by using it, I’ll be switching back to Lightroom.. I think..