When you first looked at the seascape featuring Camel Rock on the opening page, did you notice it was two separate photos? Can you see any difference now?
The image you’re viewing is actually two photos, split down the vertical middle and you can see a slight difference in the sky, just above the rocks. What am I doing? You’ve obviously worked it out: this is the same raw file processed in both the latest Lightroom and the latest Capture One (as at March 2022). The point I want to make is that the processing of both raw converters can be extremely close.
In previous years when I’ve done this comparison, I usually found it difficult to match the two raw conversions. Generally, I found Capture One had a little more colour and contrast than Lightroom, making Capture One that much more suitable (in my opinion) for landscapes, while portrait friends preferred the softer look of Lightroom. Of course, you could tweak the files differently so both Capture One and Lightroom produced wonderful landscapes and portraits, but there was a built-in bias or difference.
This time when I did the comparison, I could match the two conversions very easily. I also did a similar test on a number of different files with the same result. Sure, I might have pushed the contrast by 10 units in one application and 25 units in the other, but that’s not the point. What interests me is not how far I need to push a slider, but what the result looks like.
There are still differences in the software and the tools on offer, but fundamentally, a raw processing engine’s job is to convert your raw files into something you can edit. It becomes the basis of every other adjustment you make, so a strong foundation is essential.
I have now updated my ‘world view' on C1 and Lr - read all about it in the current issue of Better Photography (Issue 107). Click on the link below to subscribe - plus you get immediate access to over 50 back issues full of super informative material and inspirational ideas! Use coupon code BP40 to get 40% off - just $29.88 for an annual subscription.