If you're not sure about Capture One 8 and if you're happy to leave the comfort of Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw behind for a short while, here's a suggestion. Download a free trial of Capture One 8. It lasts for 60 days. And with support for over 300 cameras, you're on a sure thing that it will work for whatever equipment you're using now.
For readers who already have Capture One, what's new? Why invest in this new version? Phase One has made many refinements. The overall functionality is the same, but expanded with many new features including an improved Repair Layers tool to remove unwanted objects or blemishes. The new clone and heal layers allow you to perform simple cloning or advanced healing, with full control over the size and shape of the affected areas.
Capture One Pro 8 now comes with a larger complement of Local Adjustments - the equivalent of layers. New adjustments include localised luminance noise reduction and white balance adjustment. And a new (but poorly named) High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature lets you bring out even more detail in highlights and shadows (but you don't get that unwanted HDR effect).
For photographers wanting a grainy effect, the Film Grain tool lets you add grain directly to your images to mimic film stock, hide noise or simply for creative effect. The advanced film grain algorithms are based on a physical model for how light interacts with silver halide to create authentic grain that is fully scalable and natural to the eye.
There's also a new Black & White Conversion algorithm with an array of controls to precisely adjust the colour channels and create split toning effects.
Other improvements include a better Catalog workflow, soft proofing your output, and a Smart Preview feature, enabling you to perform advanced image adjustments without having direct access to your raw files. Tasks such as keywording and metadata editing are also possible. The adjustments are stored in the Catalog, and do not alter the image file itself.
To read all about the new Capture One 8 or to download a free trial version, visit www.phaseone.com.