Capture One Pro 8, my software of choice for tethered shooting and for the first layer of editing just got updated to 8.2. There are two new major features that were added, the new Color Balance tool and what they call “Dynamic Locations”. How do these new algorithms function and what are my quick thoughts on them?
The New Color Balance Tool
Phase One, the company that writes Capture One is a professional's organization. They produce expert tools. And professionals what the most control they can have. With the new Color Balance feature, an immense layer of easy control has been added to the software. It now gives you 3 colour wheels, one for the shadows, the midtones and the highlights, Along with each wheel, you can find a saturation “intensity” slider and a lightness slider. The sliders are simple; as you move the handle north, you increase its effect. The circles are a bit more complex; as you change the middle control point’s position along the edge of the circle, you change the hue of the particular group of pixels the ring is for (shadows, midtones or highlights). Also, the closer you get to the circle’s edge, the more saturation of that particular color you add (same effect as the left “saturation” slider).
The tool gives an unprecedented level of precise control to let you tweak the colours of your image. It is very easy to work out and helps you achieve the feel and vision you have for your image. I feel like it is more to creatively enhance the image rather than to colour correct the shot. To do so, you’d need to put to use either the White Balance correction tool, the Color Editor, the Curves or the Levels. In the few weeks I had with the new version of Capture One, I found myself using the Color Editor more than the fresh new Color Balance tool, however, I think it’s the next best “colour modification mechanism”.
This second feature was implemented in order to help you export, or output, your work in a particular folder hierarchy, depending on different tokens (characteristics or attributes) that your files may have. For example, you could have all your shots taken the same day grouped together and, in that folder, have all the 5 stars images. Phase One describes it best:
“Dynamic Locations enable you to filter output files automatically into relevant folders, based on the token you have chosen, e.g. color tag or rating. This enables you to organize your images faster and with consistency, reduce user input and increase efficiency.”
In my particular workflow for photographing commercial products, I usually give the “keepers” (images used for focus stacking of other form of compositing) a five-stars rating. When I export everything before jumping to Photoshop, the outputted photos get lost in the Output folder of the Session folder, along with each other non five-stars images. The new tool allows me to have a smaller folder within that directory where all the good shots live. It enables a faster search of a single file and helps to keep things more organized. I find it to be a nice addition.
All in all, I’m fond of Capture One for it’s level of professionalism and the quite incredible speed at which new elements are added (8.1.1 was out on February 5th, 8.2 on March 24th). If you’re a studio photographer, I highly recommend checking out the software.
Do you use C1P? If so, do you like it? Or are you in the Lightroom camp or perhaps with Photo Mechanic? Why? Tell me below.