Capture One

What's New in Capture One 12

Capture One 12

Capture One 12

Phase One has released Capture One 12 with the following new features.

  1. New user interface and new menu system

  2. A new keyword shortcuts manager

  3. Luma range masking

  4. Enhanced linear gradient masking tool

  5. New radial gradient masking tool

  6. New plug-in platform

  7. Extended AppleScript support

  8. Fujifilm film simulations

Below is a video in which I walk through all the new features in Capture One 12.

Next I want to talk more about some features that I really enjoy in the new Capture One

Luma Range Masking


This is a new feature introduced in Capture One 12 that allows you to target a particular range of luminosity. With this new feature, you can now accurately select shadow, mid-tone or highlight area that you want to edit. The anchor points on the top specify the range of luminosity that you are targeting. The anchor points at the bottom controls the feathering. This new Luma Range Masking can work globally, it can also work with your local adjustments as well. For example, you can use this tool in conjunction with linear gradient mask or the new radial gradient mask tool. I think this new tool is great for landscape photography.

Enhanced Linear Gradient Masking Tool


In the older versions of Capture One, you can find a linear gradient tool, but it is not as intuitive to use as the linear gradient tool in Lightroom. After you draw a linear mask, if you want to make changes, you would have to redraw the mask. With the improvement in Capture One 12, now you can edit your linear gradient mask, which means you don’t have to redraw the mask. Now you can drag the mask and rotate the mask, Also the linear gradient masking tool can be used at the same time with the luma range masking tool mentioned above.

New Radial Gradient Masking Tool


Although this feature exists in Lightroom for a long time, it is new to Capture One 12. It allows you to easily make a radial masking tool in Capture One. You can drag the mask, control the size of the mask and the feathering of the mask. Like the linear gradient masking tool, this radial gradient tool can also work with the new luma range masking tool.

Fujifilm Film Simulations

If you are a Fujifilm user, you are going to be happy with the release of Capture One 12 thanks to the integration of Fujifilm film simulations. You can apply the film simulations to your RAW files by going to “Base Characteristics“ tool and click on the “Curve“ drop down menu. If your Fujifilm camera is supported, you will see the film simulations listed in the drop down menu. Unfortunately, not all Fujifilm cameras are supported with film simulations. Some older models such as Fujifilm X-T1 can’t use the film simulations in Capture one 12.

More Resources on Capture One 12

How to Add Contrast in Capture One

In this post, I am going to show you three tools that you can use to add contrast in Capture One. Check out the following video:

The first tool that you can use is the contrast slider in exposure tool tab. Basically it pushes the highlight to be brighter and pushes the shadow to be darker at the same time. Other than that, you don't have much control. It is easy to use, but not flexible. That is why I don't use it very often.

The second tool is levels. You can add contrast by setting the black point, mid point and the white point. If you want to stretch or compress the histogram, it is a great tool for that purpose.

The third tool is my favorite when it comes to adding contrast, and that is the curve tool in Capture One. It is flexible because it allows you to control which part of the photo you want to add contrast and how much contrast you want to add. I usually add contrast in Luma channel because that allows me to add contrast without adding saturation. That way, I can go back to the exposure tool tab and add saturation separately. That allows me to have separate control over saturation and contrast, which makes the photo editing more flexible. 

You can save 10% on Capture One by using coupon code AMBCAI. Check out how to use the coupon code here:

Capture One is Better for Fujifilm RAW Files Compared to Lightroom

If you are a Fujifilm X series shooter and you are getting some artifacts when sharpening your Fujifilm RAW files in Lightroom, you are not alone. It is actually a well-known issue in the Fujifilm world that Lightroom doesn't know how to handle the RAW files properly. There are a couple alternatives that can help you work around this issue. One of the most popular options is Iridient Developer (currently only available for MAC) and Iridient X-Transformer (available on Windows). But to me, the extra step to convert the RAW files to DNG is not very productive. So I chose to try another popular option which is Capture One. I have to say, compare to Lightroom, Capture One does a pretty good job at rendering Fujifilm RAW files. In this post you will see an example.

We will be looking at the following photos as an example. The same RAW files opened in both Lightroom and Capture One. Here is the original photo, then we will zoom into 200% so that we can see the noise pattern clearly.

We will zoom into 200% to check the noise in the shadow cast by the lens

We will zoom into 200% to check the noise in the shadow cast by the lens

Next we will zom in to 200% scale to take a look at the shadow cast by the lens to determine the noise pattern. The first image was taken at ISO 200 and opened in Lightroom, and applied sharpening amount 100 in Lightroom

Lightroom, ISO 200, sharpening amount 100

Lightroom, ISO 200, sharpening amount 100

Now, let's take a look at the same RAW file in Capture One. In Capture One, I applied sharpening amount 1000 which is the largest sharpening amount you can do in Capture One. Also I removed all noise reduction.

Capture One, ISO 200, sharpening amount 1000

Capture One, ISO 200, sharpening amount 1000

Now let's take a look at a RAW file captured at ISO 800. The first image is Lightroom and the second image is Capture One.

Lightroom, ISO 800, sharpening amount 100

Lightroom, ISO 800, sharpening amount 100

Capture One, ISO 800, sharpening amount 1000

Capture One, ISO 800, sharpening amount 1000

As you can see above, when sharpening in Lightroom, if you are not careful but just simply raise the sharpening amount, it is really easy to get the wormy artifact. but in Capture One, the noise pattern is much smoother and natural.


You can try out Capture One yourself. It gives you 30-day free trial. Download it from here:

If you want to purchase a software license at any point, you can save 10% by using coupon code "AMBCAI" on the check out page here:

Check out more information about how to use the coupon code, please click here.

How to Add/Reduce Fog in Capture One

How to Add/Reduce Fog in Capture One

If you are familiar with Lightroom, you know there is a "DeHaze" slider that allows you to reduce or add haze/fog/mist in your photos. There is no dedicated "DeHaze" slider in Capture One, but you can still produce similar effect in Capture One. Today in this video, I am going to show you how to use the levels tool, plus some contrast and saturation control, to add or reduce haze, fog, or mist in your photos. This is actually very simple to do.

Why I am switching from Lightroom to Capture One

Why I am switching from Lightroom to Capture One

I have been a Adobe Photoshop Lightroom user since the first day I started photography. When I was still shooting with the Nikon cameras, I never gave it a thought about trying out other RAW editors. However, things changed for me after I switched to Fujifilm X series camera, specifically Fujifilm X-T2. The biggest problem with Lightroom is it simply can't handle sharpening Fujifilm's RAW files very well. Every time I had to bring the RAW files into Photoshop as a tiff file then apply sharpening there. I found this process is not very enjoyable. Eventually I decided to give Capture One a try. I downloaded the free trial version and purchased a license after the 30-day free trial. Now I have been using Capture One for more than six months, and finally I made the decision to entirely switch from Lightroom to Capture One, not only because it handles Fujifilm's RAW files better, but also because it provides more powerful tools that meet my needs. In this post, I am going to talk about the features that won me over to Capture One. Remember Capture One provides a 30-day free trial and at any point if you are interested to purchase the license, you can save 10% by using the voucher code AMBCAI.