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Boost your photos with auto adjustments and instant looks – on us. Capture One Express is a free photo editing software for Nikon, Fujifilm or Sony cameras. You can make a one-time purchase to own a Capture One Pro license for $ Lightroom 6 vs Capture One 12 Express Fuji vs On1 Photo Raw It has been. Capture One Express for Fujifilm is a free photo editing software for Fujifilm cameras. Boost your photos with auto adjustments and instant looks.


Free photo editing software from Capture One.


Over the past few months, I’ve been comparing the editing tools provided for free with your digital camera purchase with the pound, subscription-ware gorilla in the room, Adobe Camera Raw, to see if it’s really necessary to pay for software when you’re on a tight budget.

Fujifilm’s customers have several different choices of software available with the purchase of their camera. Note that there’s also a similarly named and also Fuji-specific version called Capture One for Fujifilm, but since that’s payware it’s beyond the scope of this piece.

Let’s roll up our sleeves and find out. This article is based upon the most recent versions of each application at the time of writing. For Adobe, that’s Camera Raw I’ve chosen to use images from the Fujifilm X-T3. It’s been available long enough for processing to be optimized, and its launch price and resolution are broadly similar to those of the cameras used in my previous manufacturer software comparisons.

To ensure neither Adobe nor Fujifilm had any advantage out of the gate, I’ve aimed to reproduce, as closely as possible, the look of already-processed images from our gallery , without any prior knowledge as to the recipes behind them. Sharpness and noise reduction were left at their default settings to avoid overcomplicating things, while lens corrections were enabled for both applications. For Capture One, I used quality level 96 which yielded approximately the same file sizes.

The most significant difference between Capture One and Adobe’s offerings are in their pricing and camera support. Capture One Express Fujifilm is completely free of charge, but it only supports Fuji-branded cameras. Although it can import photos from other cameras, it won’t let you edit or export them.

While it’s offered free, you do need to supply an email address and can only get a single-install license for each email address you give. So if, say, you want to edit both on a desktop and laptop, you’ll need to supply multiple email addresses. It also has a pared-down feature set , lacking many more pro-oriented editing, capture, organization and export tools that are available in the full version of Capture One. But it still includes the basic tools most photographers are likely to need.

But Adobe’s apps will support Raw files from close to different cameras, smartphones, drones and more, and you’ll also get the combined feature-set of Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, which together can do far more than even the full version of Capture One.

Another advantage typical of manufacturer software is quicker and more in-depth support for new camera models, as well as a closer match for the look of images processed in-camera. But with Capture One actually being developed by a third party, that’s not necessarily as true as it is for most manufacturer software.

It’s worth noting, for example, that Fujifilm has a long relationship with the developer of Silkypix. Support for those cameras in Capture One arrived on the same day both models shipped, however. So perhaps the link with Capture One is closer, or the Capture One team is just quicker bearing in mind that neither the X-E4 nor GFX S uses a new sensor, which theoretically makes adding support a relatively trivial matter.

As for the look of images, Fujifilm promises it will deliver ” unmatched straight-from-camera color accuracy “.

But as we’ll see in a bit, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Capture One Express Fujifilm has a clean, modern-looking non-modal interface with a fixed toolbar at the top of the screen, as well as panels for both thumbnail browsing and all other tools. The tool panel can be place on the left or the right, and the thumbnail panel either at the bottom of the screen or on whichever side remains unoccupied by the tool panel.

Atop the tool panel are buttons to access tabs grouping controls related to library control, filtering, metadata and keywording, and various groups of editing controls. There’s also a “Q” button that groups together duplicates of the controls you’re likely to need most often.

While you can’t add or remove tabs or individual controls in the Express version, you can still pin your favorites to the top of their particular tab for quicker access.

You can also add more tools to the topmost toolbar, or rearrange its order. I found the various controls on offer to be quite logically grouped and named, and easy to use. Windows UI paradigms are followed well, and you can either adjust sliders or type in values directly. One very slight bug, though, is that the sliders seem to be stored internally with a higher level of precision than numeric entry, with the result that two images with the same numeric value can nevertheless show slightly different positions for the same slider.

Your editing data is stored in an overall catalog file encompassing all of your imported images, and can also be written to XMP sidecar files in the same directories as the images themselves.

This lets you choose which approach you prefer, while avoiding the riskier method of writing edits into the metadata of your original Raw files.

One slight oddity if you also use Photoshop in your workflow is that Capture One also embeds editing metadata into its exported JPEG files, with the result that by default Photoshop opens them in Camera Raw, not directly into the main Photoshop workspace. Multiple monitors aren’t supported in the Express version of Capture One, but high DPI screens are supported, as are both pen and touch-screen inputs.

Setups with mixed-resolution displays can cause scaling issues, however. Compared to most free, bundled software, Capture One Express turns in a very creditable result when it comes to performance. It still doesn’t manage to match Adobe Camera Raw in this respect — and Adobe has made another step forward in the time I’ve been writing this review — but it comes closer than has any other app I’ve yet tested. In terms of its user interface, I found Capture One to be faster at browsing full images, while Adobe Camera Raw is a bit quicker when it came to viewing and previewing of edits.

But the advantage for Adobe was only very slight here, and Capture One’s edit previews remain very close to real-time. The first time it’s started — and again when updated — it pops up a dialog stating that it’s “setting up hardware acceleration”.

Your computer remains responsive during this process, but until completed, it more than doubles rendering times. And even leaving the computer entirely idle doesn’t persuade Capture One to speed up. It’s a minor issue, and one you thankfully don’t see too often, but it’s nevertheless a bit annoying if you’re in a rush when you do.

I suggest disallowing upgrades if you’re on a deadline, for that reason. When it comes to final processing, Adobe has a bit more of an edge. On my machine, Capture One Express Fujifilm requires roughly 20 seconds to process the six images used in this review, as compared to around 15 seconds to process the same images in Adobe Camera Raw.

That doesn’t quite tell the whole story, though, as Adobe’s performance improved noticeably between version By way of contrast, most manufacturer software I’ve tested takes at least twice as long as Adobe, and sometimes much longer.

In terms of their color rendering, both Capture One Express Fujifilm and Adobe Camera Raw are basically indistinguishable from each other or out-of-camera JPEGs, prior to making any adjustments to your image.

At least, for the Astia, Provia and Velvia film simulations. With that said, results differ quite a bit if you let either application automatically adjust your images. Adobe gives you a single-button auto control, and tends to make bigger adjustments to exposure.

It holds onto shadows and highlights significantly better, but also tends to oversaturate for a more consumer-friendly look.

Its auto white balance tends to do a better job, and its other auto algorithms also tended to yield more realistic colors in general than did Adobe. I found that last point especially true for skin tones, foliage and blue skies.

As you can see in my examples, Adobe’s skin tones has tended to make subjects look just slightly sickly, whereas Capture One’s skin tones are more lifelike. And there was a similar advantage in foliage and skies, which also look more natural with Capture One. Adobe’s algorithms also apply more sharpening by default, but can introduce slight but noticeable haloing.

Capture One doesn’t halo by default, but its results appear less crisp. Capture One’s default noise reduction levels are also a good bit higher than those of Adobe Camera Raw, particularly as ISO levels increase. The good news, though, is that I couldn’t see any noticeable loss of detail as a result.

With absolutely no fuss beyond letting the automatic algorithms do their thing, Capture One consistently gave me significantly cleaner images. Given the smaller APS-C sensors still used by Fuji’s X-mount cameras in an increasingly full-frame world, that’s definitely great news! Of course, both applications also allow noise reduction to be dialed back significantly from their defaults. As for lens corrections, neither application’s results was quite identical to those of in-camera JPEGs, but Adobe seems significantly closer than Capture One.

Results from the latter were mostly still fairly close, but occasionally differed quite noticeably. That was also true of vignetting correction, where Capture One sometimes made rather larger exposure corrections near the corners than did either Adobe or in-camera JPEGs.

Capture One also has an occasional tendency to crop images if distortion correction was enabled, even when its “hide distorted areas” setting was unchecked. With all of that said, both Adobe Camera Raw and Capture One offer a lot of scope for correction, and provide a good set of controls. I’ve found Capture One to be a pretty good match for its Adobe rival, and it’s far more pleasing to use than any other free, manufacturer-provided software to date, making it quite easy to get the look I wanted with relatively little work.

I have to admit, the results of my testing were a bit of a surprise. Given the relationship between Capture One and Fujifilm, and the fact that the latter actually offers the software for its own users, I expected its results to more closely mirror those of in-camera processing.

But in truth, it was generally Adobe that got closer to the in-camera results. Capture One suppresses noise much more so than Adobe does by default, but without losing any apparent detail. Colors from Adobe were generally good and matched the out-of-camera JPEGs better, but occasionally inn my testing I found that skin tones could make people look a bit ill.

When it comes to the selection of controls on offer and their ease of use, both ACR and Capture One are pretty close. Some other differences are in their distortion correction and auto adjustments. For distortion I think Adobe has a slight edge, but for auto adjustments I definitely ended up preferring Capture One over ACR’s more punchy, consumer-friendly look.

I was also impressed with Capture One’s performance. Sure, Adobe still rules the roost in this respect — and its most recent update looks to have taken another step forward — but it’s also payware software being pitted against a completely free alternative.

And Capture One gets far, far closer in terms of raw speed than any other bundled software I’ve yet tried. If cost is a primary concern for you and you don’t need to work with multiple camera brands, then I think it’s a no-brainer.

Using Capture One Express Fujifilm could save you enough over the lifetime of your camera to buy a lens or accessory while still providing good speed, good image quality and a healthy selection of controls. If you want the maximum possible performance, support for multiple camera brands or the extended features offered by Lightroom or Photoshop, though, then I think an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription remains your best bet.

Images for this article were originally posted in this gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images without prior permission see our copyright page. C1 had excellent customer survive in my experience, I think that is worth talking about in a review like this. C1 seems to make lighter images which should not matter as it will be adjusted manually anyway , but geometric lens correction seem bad in C1 – images BULGE compared to LR. Maybe lens profiles function was not set correctly?

Performance comparison was not very clearly presented; which one was more responsive? Final render speed does not matter much compared to UI performance. I’m fed up with Adobe’s bloated offering and hogging of my PC’s resources. It took close to an hour to uninstall the Adobe crap on my pc and to be sure I was rid of it I used a registry cleaner to take care of the rest.

I mostly agree with the reviewer.