posted on Mar 18, 2010 at 6:26PM
Head-2-Head RAW Processor Review: Adobe Camera RAW vs. Phase One Capture One Pro
ConclusionBy Ted Dillard
In general, you’d be hard-pressed to claim, or be able to support a claim that one package is “better” than another. Processing, as with film and almost every aspect of photography, is largely a matter of taste, and this extends to simple things like how the files appear, whether you favor one look over another, whether you prefer one workflow. Some observations, however, can be made.
Adobe Camera RAW is the big fish in a relatively small pond. With enormous resources to bring to bear on profiling cameras, testing output and setting standards, we’re seeing overall a more consistent, universal result. If you’re in a situation where you need to process files from different camera brands and models and are trying to get similar results from all of them, Adobe Camera RAW may be your best bet.
That said, Phase One C1Pro, for your particular camera, and your particular taste, may be the perfect solution. There’s no denying the software produces extremely high quality results, and, within the mainstream of camera makes and models, certainly stands with Adobe in setting the standard. Phase files do, however, have a characteristic “look”, and if that look is what you like, you’re going to be happy with Phase One C1Pro.
To take another approach, if you are already using, or intend to use Phase One C1Pro in a studio workflow for it’s tethering capabilities, you can be confident that you’re going to get a result that is well within the standards shared by Adobe Camera RAW.
Ultimately, our advice is always to try things out before diving in, where at all possible, and fortunately both companies allow a trial download. If you’re using Photoshop you already have Adobe Camera RAW, but if you’re interested in Lightroom, you can try that out here.
Lightroom 3 is available from Adobe Labs as a beta version, at this time, here.
Phase One offers a trial version of Capture One Pro here.