The new Capture One 22 is out now

The new Capture One 22 is out now and you can download your 30-day free trial here. If you are an existing Capture One 21 user you can upgrade here.

Why I have changed from Lightroom to capture one

This article is not meant to compare Adobe Lightroom with Capture One but rather show the reasoning behind my switch from Lightroom to Capture One as you may find yourself in a similar situation. 

Lightroom 6 and Macs new M1

I have been a long-time Adobe Lightroom user and always have been very satisfied with the tool. I am a bit old-fashioned and don’t like software subscriptions but rather prefer to own the application. I have been using Lightroom 6 for very many years as a licensed application without any monthly payments. However, Lightroom 6 is officially no longer supported by Adobe nore are lifetime licenses but only subscription-based models. Sadly, some months back my old Macbook Pro dropped out and I knew that LR6 no longer can’t be installed on M1. I almost turned nuts doing researches on finding ways to patch the system or using the translation layer Rosetta 2. Reality hit me hard when understanding that it won’t fly. So I had to decide between switching back on a Windows-based laptop or biting into the sour apple. 

The headache started

I ended up buying a Macbook Air M1 and the headache started.

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Lightroom for me is much more than just a photo editing tool.

  • I shoot raw and to open raw files one needs to have software (like Lightroom) that is capable to open the files.
  • My entire photographic life is kept and archived in Lightroom catalogs, organized by species and year hence.
  • I am using plugins like „show focus point“ and „Nik collection (the old Google version)“ 

Being a photographer without a proper photo editing tool is like being a race car driver riding on a donkey.

Lightroom subscriptions

At some point, I was so desperate that I already had filled in the monthly subscription applications and was about to surrender. When adding the payment details, the application didn’t let me change the country from Switzerland to Poland. I opened my Adobe account back in Switzerland using a Swiss credit card but since living in Poland I am having a Polish card. The application didn’t let me change from CH to PL and made it impossible to purchase the subscription.

I started to google a bit and found out that this can only be done by either getting in contact with Adobe support or by deleting the account and opening a new one (wtf). I have a large selection of stock photos on Adobe stock and deleting my account wasn’t an option. It took me forever to explain my situation to the support guy and I started to realize that the Universe is talking to me and wanted to prevent me from buying into this deal. So I listened and dropped out of the chat without having a solution in place.

Free Lightroom alternatives

I started to look into Lightroom alternatives and two free products caught my eye, Darktable, and RawTherapee. I downloaded both tools and used them for a couple of days. Those are free and open-source products and I am a big supporter of that. Having said that, I use Gimp (free Adobe Photoshop alternative) and Inkscape (free Adobe Illustrator alternative) for many years and I love them. Both RawTherapee and Darktable for sure are great products but they just aren’t made for me. I would recommend checking out both tools as only because they are my thing doesn’t mean you don’t get along with them. In case you fall in love with RawTherapee you should check Andy Astbury’s youtube channel as he has many good tutorials.

This is where Capture One comes into the game

Many years back I met a photographer that was raving about Capture One but I never really paid attention to the tool since I was happy with Adobe Lightroom. I, therefore, headed to the Capture One site and figured that they are offering a lifetime license similar to what I had with Lightroom 6. So I thought to give it a go and downloaded the free 21 trial version. Unlike with RawTherapee and Darktable, I immediately found myself very comfortable using Capture One. The tool is very intuitive, fast, and simply great. It took me zero time to adapt and I was and still am a happy camper. The coin is always two-sided and I do miss some functionality but on the other hand, there is some awesome stuff in Capture One that I wished to have in Lightroom back in the day.

I didn’t purchase version 21 as the new Capture One 22 was already announced and as mentioned in the beginning finally released today. 

NIK collection

I love the free NIK silver efex pro Lightroom plugin. It was initially developed by NIK software and later taken over by Google. At some point, the search engine Kraken stopped the development and sold it to DXO. Luckily, I found while doing some research a fully legal version of the Google standalone NIK collection. You should have seen my face when having downloaded it realizing that it’s not running on M1 either. After doing quite some research I found this guy that actually made it work. Watch the video but in a. nutshell open a terminal and fire the following command line:

SYSTEM_VERSION_COMPAT=1 open „Nik Collection.app“

Show focus point

I didn’t look for a show focus point plugin or standalone software as this is a kind of low priority at the very moment. In case you would know a good tool let me know.

Final word

I don’t regret switching from Adobe’s Lightroom to Capture One and I am very happy with the tool. Honestly, I would be super cool with both software but the fact that Capture One offers a lifetime license was the main game-changer for me. At the end of the day, I am a photographer and less a photo editor guy but I guess I flipped back the donkey with the race car.  

Let me know your thoughts

I hope this article was helpful for you. If there is anything you are looking for, please let me know and I try to find examples to discuss.

Love an protect wildlife

Animals are awesome and need our protection. Please don’t hurt, kill or eat animals.

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