Cull faster and recover highlights with new tools inside Capture One 20

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Phase One

The latest version of Capture One is aiming to both give photo editors more tools and more time. Launched on Wednesday, December 4, Capture One 20 adds a handful of new tools along with workflow adjustments to create a more efficient editing process.

The RAW photo editor and Lightroom alternative, developed by the Denmark-based Phase One, adds a new High Dynamic Range tool that allows editors to more easily enhance highlights, deepen shadows or make other adjustments to the brightest or darkest areas of a photograph. Previously, the software’s tools could only be used to recover some of the highlights and shadows. But, with the latest release, those sliders can be moved in either direction — for when you want to intentionally blow out the highlights instead like when working with a silhouette, for example. Along with giving those sliders the ability to move left or right, the tool also now has white and black point sliders.

While the new HDR tools aim for more control, the new Basic Color tool aims for simplicity. While previous versions (and the new one) have advanced color tools, the new basic editor is compact and simpler. The tool allows photo editors to click on a color in the photo and drag to adjust hue, saturation, and lightness, or adjust using sliders. The existing advanced and skin tone color tools also see enhancements.

The update also brings improved noise reduction algorithms, a new design for the crop tool, and the ability to copy and paste layers and masks.

For shaving time off the editing process, a new “switch to next” option allows for faster culling by eliminating a keystroke and automatically moving to the next photo after rating or tagging the previous photo. New default keyboard shortcuts were also added, which can also be customized. The user interface also sees more labeled icons, easier access to masking tools, higher resolution thumbnails, and simplified adjustment toolbox.

Phase One says that the improvements made to version 20 were based largely on user feedback.

Phase One 20 is available as a perpetual license for $299 ($159 to update from a previous version) or in subscription plans starting at $20 a month. Capture One Pro 20 for Sony and Capture One Pro Fujifilm, designed specifically for photographers working with those brands, are available as a $129 perpetual license or $10 a month subscription.

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