I am considering going to Capture One (C1) as I feel that I can get better results quicker than with Lightroom (LR). I should note that I am going to keep the Photographer bundle from Adobe regardless as I need Photoshop (PS) for some stuff (and projects for work), but I am looking to replace my RAW processing software. It appears that C1 can play nicely with PS and most of my edits when being sent to PS are one-way, as I do not usually go back and edit an image that has been edited in PS again in the RAW processor.

However, the one thing that I am concerned about is detail retention between the two programs. From what I can see, LR is perhaps a tad sharper than C1 with similar settings. Obviously I had to be at 200%+ zoom to notice this difference, and from normal viewing distance or 100% or less, it was not really noticeable.

I am just a big stickler for details as I do a lot of landscapes so I would like to maintain as much detail as possible.

Is there any real difference between Capture One and Lightroom, and can I compensate for it somehow?

  • Are you looking at the differences by comparing exported images, or by comparing screen renderings while working with the files within the respective applications? With many raw processing applications there can be significant differences, particularly if 'speed' over 'quality' settings are selected for the in app renderings.
    – Michael C
    Sep 6 '18 at 15:28
  • I'm comparing them in the Develop window in LR and the appropriate ("develop") window in C1 so before they are event exported (ie. during the editing process). I'm starting to think each just handles things differently and that differences in algorithms is probably why there might be a slight different (I'm also comparing on the same computer, just flipping back and forth between both apps).
    – cbassett
    Sep 6 '18 at 21:28
  • 1
    What you are looking at in the "develop" window of many raw conversion applications is often a 'close estimate' preview and not how it will actually look when exported. To get a true idea of the differences, you need to export images from both and compare those in the same viewer.
    – Michael C
    Sep 6 '18 at 21:31

While there are different raw-processing algorithms that do produce different results, such minute differences, which can be seen at only extreme magnification, are unlikely to be significant.

The differences you see may be caused by differences in magnification algorithms that are used for the sole purpose of displaying the image on screen. To control for different display algorithms, export the images and view them together in the same image viewer. You may be able to see the differences by layering them with difference blending, if the images are aligned with each other.

If you are still concerned that one is sharper than the other, you can photograph some test charts to see if the apparent difference in sharpness is significant.

  • I might try that. I was working on a landscape shot with some DR so that might make it harder to judge small details. I'll probably use a shot of a test target and perhaps a color picker to check details.
    – cbassett
    Sep 6 '18 at 21:29
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    @cbassett When you do, would be great if you can let us know what you find.
    – xiota
    Sep 6 '18 at 21:33

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