Need Help Making The Switch From Lightroom to Capture One? Learn More About How To Successfully Transition Into A New Editing Program


With the launch of Capture One 20 fresh in your mind, you might be thinking it’s as good a time as any to try your hand at Capture One technology. If you’re an avid Lightroom user like Andy Day, author of Fstoppers article “Are You Thinking of Moving From Lightroom to Capture One? Read This First,” then you’ve probably been hesitant to try the transition from one editing program to another.

There are many reasons to enjoy each program, but many fans of Capture One love how much control it allows you during editing and how much faster the program runs compared to Lightroom. In this article, Day breaks down his personal journey with a 30-day free trial of Capture One 20 and compares to his ongoing experience as a Lightroom user.

The first issue that Day experienced is the price of Capture One. Part of the reason he opted for the free trial is because a Capture One subscription for all cameras—as opposed to Fujifilm and Sony—is $20 per month. If Day had purchased a subscription, he would’ve been eligible for the discounted Sony plan for just $9.99 a month. Still, the price of $20 a month may or may not be worth it for users who don’t have Fujifilm and Sony cameras.

The speed of Capture One compared to Lightroom is one of the biggest draws of the product, even for a devoted Lightroom user like Day. Even if the learning curve can be a little steep, the quickness in the program’s recognition of your task should be appealing to most any professional photographer: “In Lightroom, if I’m browsing through a freshly imported batch of photos, hitting R to switch to the crop tool can take a moment. With Capture One, it’s instantaneous.”

Another challenge that Day faced while getting to know Capture One is how much control is available over image manipulation. Many photographers, especially those who specialize in more commercial photography than Day, will enjoy the color wheels, highlights, and uniformity that Capture One emphasizes. Day found these features intimidating compared to Lightroom, primarily because there’s so much detail available that it’s a lot to take in for the short time he’s had to get to know the program.

However, Day loved the difference between Capture One’s varieties of layers where Lightroom appears lacking. The function of layers in Capture One is so similar to Photoshop, but more cohesive than Lightroom. As Day notes, “Just being able to label your adjustments makes a huge difference, allowing you to keep track of multiple changes without having to click around trying to remember which pin brings up which changes.” Capture One provides a better layering experience that enables more efficient editing over Lightroom.

Day may still prefer Lightroom, if for no other reason than his familiarity with the program. However, feel free to take advantage of the free trial like Day did to see for yourself how your journey with Capture One will differ from Lightroom. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Lightroom, make sure to attend Chris Orwig’s Imaging USA speaker session “Get Started With the Lightroom Essentials”  on January 20th from 8:00am-9:30am. You can also check out this webinar from Yaneck Wasiek “Introduction to Capture One-Part 1: Customization, Set up, and RAW Processing” that walks you through the basics of Capture One for any newcomers or those who want a refresher.

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