Goin' With the [Work]flow

I've been an Adobe Lightroom user since day one. I've been a Creative Cloud subscriber almost as long as the service has been available. But lately, Adobe has been getting sloppy and releasing software with inadequate testing. Or, they've implemented some poorly thought-out changes. Sure, there have been some nice new features like adding panoramic stitching and auto-HDR, neither of which I ever use, but they're not addressing problems that are important, like making improvements to the Fujifilm RAW processing.

With all this in mind, I started to look at alternatives to Lightroom for both image organization and RAW processing. The requirements were fairly simple. The Lightroom replacement had to be cross-platform and work in a network environment (I store a lot of my photographs on a Drobo 5N), and allow fairly rich image organization and editing. And, the RAW conversion had to be top-notch.

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I researched and tested a few products, and finally settled on Capture One Pro from Phase One. Capture One was originally developed for their medium-format digital backs, but over the years the product has been expanded to support most DSLR and mirrorless cameras' RAW files, and also features tethered operation with many cameras. Unfortunately, the tethering does not work with my Fujifilm cameras, but it will work with Donna's camera -- a Canon EOS Rebel T1i (yes, even a Canon Rebel is supported).

While we're talking about camera support, I should mention that if you're a Sony shooter, Capture One is almost a no-brainer: Capture One Express is free, and there's a nice discount on the upgrade to Capture One Pro.

The "kicker" for me to make the move was Derrick Story's recent podcast about his move from Aperture and Lightroom to Capture One Pro. I learned that not only will Capture One import my Lightroom library and ratings, many of my Lightroom adjustments will be recognized as well! There are limitations, of course, but you can learn about that by listening to the podcast, and by taking a look at Derrick's free e-book, available from Rocky Nook.

Phase One offer several license options for Capture One Pro, including purchase or subscription. While my Sony SLT-A35 is supported by the free software, I'll be opting for the basic PRO subscription, because the upgrade specials don't apply to subscription licenses. Once I get my image libraries transferred, I'll be cancelling my Creative Cloud subscription.