Portrait photography

Which is better for studio portrait photography, Lightroom Classic, or Capture One 20?

Lightroom has dominated its field for over a decade and has been the raw processor and go-to catalog tool for many photographers. However, the competition has gradually improved, with Capture One 20 now considered by many to be better in some ways.

I’ve always considered raw processors and editing software like Photoshop to have a similar effect to choosing a bank as a kid or teen: that is, once you have one in. instead, as long as she does what you need her to do, you can’t really be bothered to change. I’ve been using Photoshop for almost two decades, which means when I was using a raw processor, Lightroom was the natural buy. These two were just must-haves, I could do whatever I wanted to do and more, and I hadn’t considered changing.

Then, for the last 5 years or so, I dabbled elsewhere. Sometimes it was curiosity, sometimes it was sponsored, sometimes it was at someone’s suggestion. Anyway, I’ve tried quite a few now. The first thing to say is that Lightroom isn’t the default winner and hasn’t been in a while. There are a number of great alternatives and a number of newcomers, and I liked things from programs like Affinity Photo, ACDSee, and ON1. However, the two alternatives to Lightroom that have stuck around for me are Capture One 20 and Luminar 4.

In this video, studio portrait photographer John Gress compares Capture One 20 with Lightroom from his perspective. There is certainly no absolute dominant in the industry – even for something as specific as a studio portrait photographer – but it is beyond it.

Which editing suite do you use?

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