Today, Capture One has released their latest update to the professional-level photo editor. Other than the new dehaze tool, the main improvements in Capture One 21 will take a little more explaining to make sense so let’s dive in.
ProStandard Color Profiles
The way Capture One is marketing this feature is by stating that it will help to protect hues and color shifts when making adjustments to the image. For any color critical work such as product photography, this is great news. But what I find when using it over the Standard profile is that just about every photo starts out looking much better, meaning less editing down the line to get things where I want them. It’s most noticeable in any area that has a color gradient to it, such as a blue sky that grows lighter near the horizon. In that instance, the blue sky remains more blue near the horizon while increasing lightness, whereas the normal Standard version loses much of that color as it shifts to white.
ProStandard needs to be manually selected from the “ICC Profile” dropdown under the “Base Characteristics” panel as to not mess with any previous photo edits that have been performed in the application. It’s only available for the most popular camera models at this time, however this compatibility list will continue to grow as Capture One profiles more and more cameras. For upcoming camera releases, Capture One plans to have ProStandard become the default color profile for them.
Speed Edit Shortcuts
If you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a Loupedeck-like editing console, Speed Edit may be the next best thing. This feature lets you hold a keyboard key and use either the scroll wheel, click and drag, or use the arrow keys to make adjustments. For example, hold “Q” and scroll up with the mouse to increase the exposure without touching the slider in the tool panel, or hold “W” and use the arrow keys to adjust the contrast. As the name suggests, this has the potential to speed up the editing process and can even be done while multiple photos are selected to batch correct a set of images.
The keyboard hotkeys can be displayed and modified in the Edit > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts... menu option.
This is obviously nothing new in the photo editing world, however Capture One seems to do it in a very Capture One type way. In addition to a simple Dehaze slider, there’s also a Shadow Tone selector (the image below has a pre-release label of "Haze Color") that can pick out the color of the shadow areas within the haze to better compensate in the dehazing process. It comes set as Auto which works well, but can be refined with the eyedropper.
The effect can also be dialed into the negative numbers to add a haze effect. When used in conjunction with Capture One’s Layers panel, the Dehaze tool can be used in select areas of an image.
- Faster asset management - Overall speed improvements working through Catalogs and Sessions.
- Improved importer - Faster selections, high-resolution thumbnails, and quicker importing.
- HEIC file support
- Brush adjustment shortcut - Now you can use Control + Option then click and drag vertically or horizontally to change brush size and hardness. To change flow and opacity, use Control + Option + Shift then click and drag. This is an optional addition that makes it more in line with Adobe Photoshop functionality, but doesn’t replace the traditional right click menu for brush settings.
- Enhanced tooltips - Helpful for newcomers to photo editing and Capture One to learn what exactly all the tools do. Some of these tooltips will have a "Learn" button that opens up a video tutorial right in the app to see the tool in practice. They can be disabled in the Preferences if not needed.
- Support for latest cameras and lenses.
Capture One 21 is available now and priced at $299 for new licenses or as a $159 upgrade for owners of select previous versions. If that’s asking too much up front, Capture One also offers a 30-day free trial and subscriptions starting at $20 per month. For a complete list of pricing including the Sony, Nikon, and Fujifilm specific versions, check out the Capture One website.