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Capture One Pro 21 review

Capture One Pro 21 is professional image editing software that made a name for itself in the past as one of the best image editing platforms for studio photography thanks to its reliable connectivity.

What’s new in 2021?

New features include:

A magic brush for quick selections and edits on images

Quick edits by using keyboard shortcuts to switch between tools

Style brushes provide non-destructive local adjustments

Other new features in Capture One Pro 21 come in the form of Dehaze ProStandard Profiles, HEIC support, and an import viewer.

That said, it also serves as a standard image editor and comes equipped with a treasure trove of editing tools to control: hue, color, lighting, correcting lens distortion, adding preset styles and filters, and more. It is more easily compared to Adobe’s Lightroom Classic because there is no cloud storage, comprehensively organizes image stacks, and batch edits are easy to process.

Desktop-based with only local storage options, Capture One Pro 21 might not be the editing software for you if you need to be able to access your library and editing features on mobile devices. However, to help fix that problem, Capture One 22, due for release in December 2021, is coming to Apple’s iPad.

It’s easy to keep things organized in Capture One Pro 21 with the use of keywords and smart albums that can work autonomously to differentiate between photo content and filter results based on user input. This image editor is a tough workhorse to beat, with graphics acceleration (OpenCL) for fast rendering, it takes advantage of your device’s graphics card (GPU) for efficient workflow. If you need to take notes on images on the go, you can also annotate images directly in a non-destructive way for other team members to work on the go.

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Capture One Pro 21 review: features

  • Extensive color editing tools
  • Simulate the grain of analog film
  • Retouch images to eliminate and heal distractions.

Capture One Pro 21 Review: Image shows image editing software being used.

(Image credit: future)

There are very few things that Capture One Pro 21 doesn’t do well. Focused on fine-tuning color, there are two color editors to cover basic and advanced tool sets that control hue, saturation, lightness, and refinement of specific color bandwidths.

The 3-way color balance tool facilitates accurate color grading by balancing hue and saturation in shadows, midtones, and highlights using color wheels. There is even a dedicated skin tone editing tool, extremely useful for portrait photographers and those who retouch / edit images of people.

Capture One Pro 21 Review: Image shows photo editing software in use.

(Image credit: future)

Accuracy and minimal distortion in photographs are of the utmost importance to obtain clear and accurate images. That’s why detail and lens corrections can eliminate chromatic aberration, vignetting, barrel, or cushion distortion, and help refine sharpness and reduce noise. You can even correct the effect of keystone distortion in architectural images to avoid the appearance of tilting backwards when photographing buildings up close with a wide-angle lens.

Other features include expansive high dynamic range (HDR) editing for stunning shots, film curves based on camera profiles to give images cinematic and film quality, and a range of styles and presets that overlap for unique results. There are also a host of touch-up tools available to eliminate distractions, heal blemishes, and fix optical issues such as sensor spots.

Capture One Pro 21 Review: Image shows photo editing software in use.

(Image credit: future)

Capture One Pro 21 review: compatibility and add-ons

Capture One Pro 21 can import Adobe Lightroom catalogs for users who switch software but want to keep the integrity of their existing projects intact. It also opens layered Photoshop document files and enables back and forth transfer between programs. All images are easily organized with keywords, filters, and smart albums.

Different product options give access to use the software with specific camera brands; choose Capture One Pro 21 for Fujifilm, Sony, Nikon or go for the Every Camera option that supports all of those options, plus Canon and more. Capture One Pro 21 runs on both Windows (8.1 and 10 64-bit) and macOS (10.13 and higher).

One of the most impressive features of Capture One Pro 21 is the ability to customize the layout. From scrolling, you can change the location of the filmstrip and the editing tool. Once you’re working on images, almost every part of the user interface can be repositioned and resized, something Adobe Lightroom Classic just can’t compete with.

Capture One Pro 21 review: price and subscription options

Capture One Pro 21 offers subscriptions and one-time payment options to use the software. Subscriptions, which are billed monthly or annually, cost $ 14 a month and a one-time payment to keep your license forever is $ 299.

Capture One Pro 21 Review: Image shows Features page on Capture One website.

(Image credit: Capture One)

Capture One Pro 21 Review: Should You Buy?

While Capture One Pro 21 is not ideal for the absolute beginner, anyone with previous use of any image editing software will quickly feel at home with this editor. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive than Adobe Lightroom Classic, but armed with all the tools you might need plus job-specific high-end features like skin tone color balancing, it really does offer everything you need and more.

Thanks to the ultra-customizable design, it can be transformed into any shape for photographers and editors who prefer to do things on their own. A brilliant hardware-accelerated engine can process images quickly and produce astonishingly clean and sharp results from raw files. Considering that it has two subscription packages and a one-time payment option, it caters to almost anyone who wants it; We’d be hesitant to discourage anyone from buying it, but it’s slightly more expensive than other comparable editing software.

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