Capture One Pro 10 was just released and I can't describe how happy I was to see the new improvements.
I am a Capture One user for a few years now, but I never made the full transition from Lightroom to C1. The reason is that Capture One is very complex and has such a different workflow than LR. The workflow in LR is more intuitive, well-structured and easy to learn. Capture One is full of different tools and in the beginning you can feel totally lost with all the possibilities you have. It takes a while and an investment of time to get used to it and finally find the right workflow which fits to you a 100%.
Why changing from LR to Capture One?
There were a few friends of mine who asked me, why do you want to change to Capture One, when you prefer the workflow of LR? Well, the most important thing for me is get the best outcome of my pictures. The RAW Converter of Capture One is amazing - I don't know what they do with the files, but the pictures look outstanding compared to the ones in LR - the pictures don't look flat and there are more details and more sharpness in the images.
After testing the new version of Capture One Pro for a few days, I decided to upgrade my version. I finally felt that I feel good with this version, which has a lot to do with the new High Performance Engine. Compared to Version 9 it is a huge improvement to the performance for faster browsing, zooming, panning, adjusting and faster switching between images.
Exciting new start or disaster?
My current Lightroom library has an amount of 80.000 pictures. C1 allows to import 3rd party application catalogs to make migration easier. But they don't transfer all adjustments and so I decided to have a clean start and set up a new catalog with a new structure.
All my files are stored on external hard drives and reference from there to the Capture One Library. It took me a whole day to build up the new catalog with around 50.000 shots.
When I opened the Catalog to import the rest of my files I got an error message "requested document type is not recognized"! I retried to open the Catalog but I got the same message! I tried to repair the catalog but it was impossible - I finally had to delete the catalog and start all over again! You can imagine, that this was such a frustrating situation. I tried to find out what went wrong - not to make the same mistake again.
While finding a solution I also wondered why the catalog size of C1 was around 38 GB! I double-checked the import tool - but my files just referenced from the external HD to the Catalog. Just to let you know - my current Lightroom catalog with all my files is 771 kb!
After some research I figured out, that C1 always had some issues with large catalogs...It seems that after all Capture One is a great editing software but not so good to manage a huge amount of files. From other users I figured out that it is better to work with different catalogs... the workflow there seems to be fast and stable.
Well, after all the excitement with the Update I am a bit disappointed... I finally decided to stick with LR and edit just my keepers and my commercial work in Capture One. After all I thought that Version 10 would be ready to manage all my files. But it seems it isn't the time now.
But I am very confident that Capture One is already working on improvements. They have an incredible customer service/forum and you always feel in good hands and very well supported.
After all, I still can recommend Capture One as an editing tool. It is amazing and I will use it. You definantly should give Capture One a try. For those who want to get a license or upgrade - there is currently a 10 percent discount on the Capture One Blog. I also recommend the Capture One Film Styles, which work perfectly in Capture One 10.
I hope I could help a bit for those who are also thinking about making a full transfer from LR to Capture One. If you have further questions don't hesitate to contact me.
I got a request from a photographer friend if I could include in my review to compare the Fuji X-files in C1 and LR. After the crash of my first Capture One Version 10 catalog I started a new catalog a few days ago with just a 1000 images - but my Capture One Catalog crashed again. I have to say, that I never had a situation like this with Version 9. It seems that there are some current issues with Version 10 and I hope there will be an update soon.