Capture One has released a dedicated version of their software for Nikon cameras. You can learn more about it on the Capture One website.
Price is $129 for a license or $99 per year for a subscription.
They’ll also throw in 1-year of the Power Plan which is valued at $90 a year.
Capture One Pro is on sale right now for almost the same cost as the camera dedicated versions. Check that out here at B&H photo.
You could buy this now and have support for all the different brands, but keep in mind Capture One does make you pay for future updates. So you might have to spend a little money in the future to unlock new features if you don’t go with the subscription plan.
What does this mean?
It means Nikon will be making a tailor-made version of Capture One for Nikon cameras at a reduced cost. They will likely add in Nikon camera profiles so that you can custom load the different “Nikon Looks” to your RAW files and they may tune the default RAW profiles slightly for Nikon cameras for improved out of the box looks like you get with Fujifilm and Sony.
However, the Nikon version of Capture One will not work on other RAW profiles from other cameras, you will need to upgrade to the Pro version to unlock support for all cameras.
Is Capture One Worth It If You Already Use Lightroom?
There is a lot of talk online these days about Capture One being superior to Lightroom usually without significant evidence to back this up. So I will touch on the differences I’ve seen.
A few months back I did a comparison between the Capture One and Lightroom RAW processing engines and didn’t see a massive improvement that will provide you with game-changing results. But definitely check out that comparison to see for yourself.
I noticed the two different programs just handled the RAW files differently and any improvement was mostly only noticeable with Fujifilm files.
It looks like Capture One was just applying a slightly different default noise reduction mixed with some slightly different sharpness for a slightly better image in some situations. Some people say this is better, some say it’s worst.
I will say you can get pretty close to Capture One’s results with Lightroom on Fujifilm files if you adjust some of the noise reduction and sharpness settings manually. But Capture One does have more features and options than Lightroom for editing, so sometimes you can take this a bit further with Capture One.
I didn’t see any significant improvement on any other camera brand and sometimes I thought Lightroom was better. So we’ll have to see if this new Nikon update improves performance for Nikon cameras.
Should You Switch To Capture One?
If you’re already using Lightroom I wouldn’t switch if you’re looking for better out of the box RAW files. At least not yet.
The main reason you would want to switch is that Capture One and Lightroom offer completely different features tailored for different Photographer’s needs.
Lightroom is set up to compliment Photoshop, so it’s a little more straight forward and streamlined for basic RAW editing. It does offer some cool features like Pano stitching and HDR merging – Capture One does not.
Capture One offers more control. More curves, color wheels, grain profiles etc. Designers like to use Capture One for this very reason. Capture One gives you slightly more control over the color and tonal editing compared to Lightroom on the RAW file. Sure you can do all this in Photoshop but only after you convert your Adobe Camera RAW file into a PSD.
So the two different programs have their advantages and disadvantages.
For simple editing Lightroom is pretty easy and fun. For more advanced editing but don’t mind supplement the workflow with other applications for stitching and HDR, Capture One is very cool and powerful.
You can always try a 30-day demo of Capture One, so the best way to see if it’s right for you is to try it out for yourself. As a lover of post grain effects, I will say the Capture One option here can be a lot of fun.
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