Capture One 20 from Phase One launched today. Contrary to popular belief this is the latest update to Capture One. Many are asking what happened to updates 13-19, since the last version of Capture One was 12? Phase One has stated that with a new decade launching in January, they have decided to mark the occasion with the name Capture One 20. I am wondering if next December, everyone at Capture One will be able to drink? If Capture One 21 does in fact release? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

I have been testing the beta versions of Capture One 20 over the last month or so. While you may be inclined to think this latest release of Capture One is a new and ground breaking experience, it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, really good, just not some crazy new update of version 12 that automatically edits, processes and sends all the selected images to every available sale point out there. Nope that ain’t happening. That is still your job as a photographer. So why should you upgrade to Capture One 20 if you are running Capture One 12? That is the hundred or so dollar question.

Capture One 20 Side Note

I will be honest with you, I haven’t used Capture One in a while. Other than my beta testing using a small catalog of images exported from Lightroom Classic CC. For fux sake I hate that Lightroom designation now—stupid pot smoking Adobe hippies. ALL software companies have every photographer by the balls (or ovaries—this is an all-inclusive journal) and they just keep shoveling opposing shit down our throats. Why can’t one of them just make a platform that works, really fast, and does what photographers need it to do? Maybe the apocalypse will happen and we can all just go out and take photos of it. Sorry. Sorry. I digress…

I haven’t used Capture One in a while because I just can’t move my entire Lr Catalog over to it. YES, I know that you just have to go into the File menu in Capture One and import my Lightroom Catalog. Capture One won’t do it though. 290,000 photos is just too much for it to handle. So sorry for you Jay. I will tell you that this makes me very angry because Capture One is a better product than smoking weed with the Lightroom Classic CC hipster doofuses. So with all this Jersey in mind, what is actually new in Capture One 20?

Capture One 20 - Noise Reduction Tool

In Capture One 20, the Noise Reduction tool has been re-engineered for improved performance and it actually works. Much better than Lightroom. In side by side comparisons, I could bring the noise under control with Lightroom, but Capture One 20 did it automatically for the specific ISO and camera body. 

If you read my first article about Capture One, you will already know that your photos look better in Capture One. They are sharper. They have more contrast. The color is not as flat. The new Noise Reduction Tool in Capture One is completely in keeping with that better mantra.

High Dynamic Range Tool

Older versions of Capture One had the High Dynamic Range tool, but the sliders began at 0 and then progressed higher to capture back highlights or expand shadows. In Capture One 20 the sliders still begin at 0, but now sit in the center and have negative values attached to them too. In addition, Capture One now has Black point and White point sliders. Hmmm… this is beginning to look a lot like Lightroom Classic CC, but it’s still better. Wait, there’s even more coming.

Basic Color Editor Tool

The new Basic Color Editor tool adds yet another similarly functioning tool to Lightroom. It definitely functions in a bit more sophisticated fashion though. The newly modified tool, now has 8 color ranges instead of 6, which matches Lightroom’s HSL Slider palette.

The Direct Color Editor is the new Cursor Tool in the Basic Color Editor. It allows you to click and drag anywhere on your image and have the corresponding color change. Move your cursor up and down while using this tool and saturation is adjusted. Move your cursor left and right from your selection and the Hue is adjusted. Finally, holding down the [Option] key on a Mac adjusts the selected Color Lightness.

Crop Tool

The Crop tool now offers better defined crop edges and new modifier keys, allowing cropping from center [ALT] and locking the current aspect ratio [Shift]. Additionally, freehand rotation can be accessed by either moving the cursor outside the corner of the crop, or by using the modifier key [CMD/CTRL], and upon request, Hitting return/enter while using the Crop Tool will now switch to the Pan Cursor Tool and show the image in its cropped state.

Dare I say similar to Photoshop?

The Rest of the Crap

Phase One didn’t stop at these 4 major additions though. You can now pin your favorite tools and allow the others to scroll, similar to an Excel Spreadsheet. They have also added more labels to everything. So if you cannot remember what an icon does, just hover your cursor over it to get a tool tip. 

Capture One 20 provides photographers better copy/apply functionality within layers and if the corresponding image already has layers, Capture One will add those new layers on top of the existing ones—it used to replace the existing layers.

Phase One is also touting much better support for DNG files. They are even going to the extent to say, “DNG files will now have the most accurate colors and sharpest details.” I haven’t personally tested this feature, but with thousands of drone DNGs and two years of Leica DNGs, you can be sure I will have some future input here.

One last feature I feel compelled to mention—Select Next When. You can now enable automatic switching to the next image once you star rate or color tag an image. This feature is similar to the Auto Advance in Lightroom, but, again, with more adjustability available.

Capture One 20 Again

These are not all of the features that have been added within Capture One 20, but the ones that I feel are pretty significant. It is very clear to me that Phase One is setting the hook in its Lightroom fishies. Now, more than ever, Lightroom users will have an easier transition, should you decide to switch. 

I would switch from Lightroom to Capture One for the new Noise Reduction Tool alone. It will make your ISO 6400 images publishable without you even touching a slider.

Since I already own Capture One, I just have to figure out how to get my entire Lightroom catalog of images into Capture One so I can personally tell Adobe to go fuck themselves. Well not really, but a little. I know, the words… It’s Jersey, I can’t stop.

If you haven’t settled in on an editing platform for your photos, you should download the free Capture One 20 trial and get started. I would. 

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