Capture One editions, licenses and subscriptions explained
Capture One is a professional image cataloguing, editing and processing tool. Its closest rival is Lightroom, but Capture One has a number of advantages for professional workflows (including tethered shooting), superior RAW processing and more sophisticated layer and mask based local adjustment tools.
Capture One is essentially a single program that comes in multiple editions. It’s available both for a one-off license payment or as a subscription. Bear in mind that if you do opt for a one-off payment, you will have to pay again to upgrade to new versions as they arrive, typically once a year.
Capture One Pro (all cameras)
This is the flagship edition and includes support for all camera brands. There are a couple of exceptions – it doesn’t open Hasselblad RAW files and a RAW files from a handful of older/cheaper camera brands, but generally its RAW support is very wide.
Get Capture One
Capture One is available in different versions and on subscription:
• For all cameras: $19/month or $299
• For Nikon: $14/month or $199
• For Sony: $14/month or $199
• For Fujifilm: $14/month or $199
65% discount for students
Capture One 21 is available as a full featured 30-day trial
Capture One for Fujifilm, Sony or Nikon
There are three cheaper editions for owners of these camera brands – note that each one will only work with RAW files from those brands. Otherwise, the tools and features are identical. These brand-specific editions are a good way to save some money but not if you use more than one brand of camera, or have RAW files from other camera brands in your catalog.
Capture One Express for Fujifilm or Sony
These are completely free cut-down Capture One editions for Fujifilm or Sony cameras. The editing tools are restricted but the cataloguing tools remain very powerful. Capture One doesn’t publicise these editions much (obviously, because they are free), but Fujifilm recommends Capture One Express (and Capture One) as its default image processing tool, and I’d recommend any Sony owners at least try out the Sony version.
Capture One Styles Packs
Capture One Styles are the equivalent of Lightroom presets, but where the Lightroom preset market is huge and packed with both commercial and free preset packs (of varying quality), Capture One Style Packs are typically designed and sold by Capture One itself. They are expensive, but professionally designed and typically deliver great results – though as ever, with any preset it’s also about having an image that matches the preset style and vice versa. These aren’t currently reviewed on Life after Photoshop, but it’s under consideration.
Style Packs are often sold with Capture One licenses and subscriptions as bundles. Currently there is no trial option, so you can only browse the Style samples on the Capture One website. Here are some sample prices:
- Nordic Editorial Styles: 2 Styles in 3 contrast variations: £29
- Beyond Film: 3 Styles in 3 contrast variations plus 8 grain presets: £29
- Black & White Styles: 18 Styles: £69