How Capture One 20’s Process Will Make You a Better Photo Editor

Got nothing to do right now? Consider teaching yourself Capture One 20.

The editing process in Capture One 20 is far different than Lightroom’s, and it results in many of the images that really make jaws drop. The science behind the editing engine in both Capture One 20 and Lightroom is far different. And while Lightroom is the more popular and more convenient option, Capture One 20 lets you do most of what both Photoshop and Lightroom can if you’re a photographer. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the editing process and the idea of focusing on one thing at a time.

Editor’s Note: We aren’t paid by Capture One. We aren’t their influencers, and in fact, we’ve turned down their affiliate program offers many times.

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The most significant thing you need to know about editing in Capture One 20 vs. Lightroom is the following:

Capture One Works with the Manufacturers

Adobe works with manufacturers on some things, but we’ve always known Capture One to work individually with camera makers to support their products. Manufacturers have to pay Capture One from what we’ve heard, but whenever that’s done, Capture One renders images far better than Lightroom. This is to the advantage of photographers because then it means you can get more from a RAW file than you can with Lightroom. It results in less work, with the RAW data working merely as they should.

Focusing on One Thing at a Time Is Much Better

Capture One 20 takes the approach of focusing on one thing at a time. Lightroom presents you with a ton of stuff in a single panel instead. You need to go back and forth and up and down to get what you want. But with Capture One 20, you go from left to right. This way, you can focus on editing the lens corrections, then the colors, then the overall edits, and then the details. It’s pretty smart and helps you get an image that simply looks better. Here’s the logic:

  • Correcting the lens issues helps give a flat canvas to work on. From there, you can work on more important things that will affect the images.
  • Moving to editing the colors helps you think about how you composed the scene. Think about the most critical colors in the scene and what you really want to make pop.
  • When that’s done, looking at the more overarching edits first. Then, focusing on the details.
  • Exporting

When you edit like this, your mind can move forward in a process instead of going back and forth. Alternatively, you’re creating an image that’s gone through a streamlined process.

The Overall Approach and Tools Are Superior

This approach to editing is better than Lightroom’s because it helps you think differently about the images you’re editing. Instead of messing around until something looks good the way that most people do in Lightroom, you’ll have a more clearly defined vision with your images. This will translate into how you shoot, and may even mean doing things like manually white balancing or changing the way you expose a photo.