Sunday, January 29, 2012

Comparison -Raw Processors Pt. 2

In part 1, we looked at the price of all 3 pieces of software, and looked a little deeper into Adobe Lightroom4 beta and looked at the features that will help out photographer's.  It was also noted that there was not a lot of changes from Lightroom 3.  So now let's have a look at Phase One's Capture One Express 6.

Capture One Express 6

A little background on this one, as it is probably the least known but from one of the best known digital Photography in Pro Medium Format camera's. The Phase One 645DF with Digital Back  (up to an 80 mp sensor).  Wow pretty impressive, unfortunately it also comes with an impressive price ($22,995.00 cdn with a 39 mp digital Back at Vistek ).  So we know they make great camera's and equipment that supports some of the most famous names Hasselblad and Mamiya, but can they make good software.
One other thing the pro version of Capture One 6 is the same software used by it's cameras.

Now let's have a look.

Physically it looks similar to the others so what differences are there?

SO if we look at the right hand side above we see the library system used pretty straight forward, based on the system you used when saving them because it is the same system.  But there are a few things that jump up at you Capture One uses symbols for all of their tabs. This is not a bad thing, but it takes a little getting used to, but you will also notice there are symbols right above the Image window these are static so are there all the time, makes it easier to do quick adjustments like red eye, spots and cropping. And by right clicking on them you get your options.

The Image on the right is the second tab starts with your histogram but you only see sliders. This is something that takes a little getting used to and if you are hard of seeing the magnifying glass may be required. But the settings adjustment copy and reset and as well as other settings are located in teh bar at teh top of each section.  The histogram follows the cursor through out the iamge and you get exact RGB colour listed at the top of the image.  There is one constant symbol in all ofthe categories here and that is the A it stands for Auto and is pretty accruate when we tried it.  You will see process button at the bottom but this isn't the only tab so we won't yet.

You will notice the histogram stays with you in each tab, this tab on the right 1-4  is the color tab allows you to adjust your image colour exactly. Set your white balance then adjust the colour by moving the dot in the color balance circle.
The Tab above 1 - 3 is the crop tool and again the histogram stays with us but it also allows for rotation here as well.

This is the exposure tab 1 - 5 is pretty much how you would expect it to be but everythign is not as it would seem, Like LightRoom you see the histogram, and the sliders, tehy are all there. then next we have the levels with a histogram which for PS/PSE users is not exactly as it would seem there are adjustments at the 255 level and 0 levels and the mid level but you will notice there is another adjustment diamond at the top of the levels histogram, this can be adjusted as well causing the midtone top to adjust as well. and the same at Zero there are adjustments at the top and teh bottom and actually do more than the curves adjustment which is next. we have all seen this and is no surprise here.

Now there are 2 more sections here Clarity and Vignetting, Vignetting has 2 purposes to remove or to add and 3 types of Vignette, circular, eliptical on crop or circular on crop.
For Clarity use the slider to adjust micro-contrast. A positive value on the slider - plus contrast and a negative value - negative contrast

So far some pretty good tools nothing astronimical but so far not bad

In Image 1-6, is the Meta Data tab could be the most important tab in each of these program. The one thing I like about this one is that everything is right there, don't ahve to open andy new windows. All changes can be made and save and then copied to the clipboard and then readded to all of your images.

But this tab is also more in depth and includes GPS settngs, Getty image settings, IPTC settings and status. You can also star rate your image here as well as colour coding. So definitely moving towards pro use.

Sharpening and noise reduction are done in the Navigator tab which looks like the magnifying glass. you can also do spot removal and check focus.
this is something I like being right in the tab with out having to control + to bring in the iamge to 100% , another good feature.  Nothing major but you start adding up the little things.

Now believe me when I say, we are only scraping the surface on any of these progams.  But I wanted to give you an idea of the differnces.

Now to let you know Capture One Express 6 does import HD video and process it as well.
The Express version does not watermark, the pro version does.  Also teh exposure tab does only RGB on the levels and curves it does not allow for separate colour adjustments. So a couple of downfalls here.

But the price is still keeping it in the running but those missing adjustments may put it behind but we will look at the comparison of all products side by side in Part IV, Next we will look at Corel AfterShot Pro so check back for Part III

PT1  PT2  PT3

Until Next Time.....

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”- ERNST HAAS

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