Lightroom or Capture ONE for Fujifilm system?

Recently I just bought a new Fujifilm X-T4 and inside the box, the first paper was an advice from Fujifilm to try the best editor for their RAW pictures: CAPTURE ONE PRO FUJIFILM (currently at version 20).

So lucky me, Capture One has trial version so I’ve put it on my computer.

While playing with the software that has so many tabs (meaning so much potential) that is easy to get lost in them and not focus on the picture. Also when you know let’s say 20 or 25 functions at max, you know while taking the pictures what you could fix in post, and focus on composition. But when each tab has dozens of sliders… well… I get scared so I take more photos and fill the HDD with dozens of GBs.

With so many options in Capture One, and many having the same name like in Adobe Lightroom -> it was hard for me to get the natural look of the pictures.

I am not supported, affiliated, sponsored, related, in work relationship, in contact or what ever alliance with either ADOBE, CAPTURE ONE or Fujifilm.

I made a video and a test with these constrains:

  1. Photo RAW (RAF) made by FUJIFILM X-T4 with 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
  2. Trial version of Capture One 20 PRO for Fujifilm X Systems for 12/07/2020
  3. CC Lightroom Classic license up to date (12/07/2020)
  4. I only change exposure, highlights, shadows, clarity and blacks (at first)
  5. I use a Microsoft Surface Book 2, 13,5 inch variant with NVidia GTX 1050, running in High Performance mode (coolers at 100%)

This is the video:

Impressions after making the demonstration:

  1. it is bad to have only one software/hardware solution for your workflow, as many times you will use maybe a second camera borrowed or another lens that has a different brand -> so CAPTURE ONE is not that cheap of an option (when compared to Adobe).
  2. too many options, too many tabs = to much to learn to make simple edits and too much to try and alter => the computer becomes slow
  3. for Fujifilm, best results were on Adobe Lightroom, with minimum operations (5) even if the camera, the lenses or anything from Fuji were not supported (they don’t show in the panel as can be seen in the video)
  4. for Fujifilm, the Capture One provided rich information about the camera and the lenses but I already know what I use and I don’t care. But is cool to use the distortion and vignetting.
  5. for Capture One, the thumbnails are a mess. I did several imports and all the same. Note: I use a Surface Book 2 13 inch with NVidia 1050, and in Lightroom I have no such problem. So many might say is hardware or plugins or drivers. The computer works great in Lightroom, Photoshop, Blender and games.
  6. effects apply faster on the CAPTURE ONE Pro 20 Fujifilm than on Lightroom. (but there are small limitations that I might have to learn like in Capture One Brightness is not the same as Brightness in Lightroom/ Office/ Photoshop/ Blender/ Corel/ Catia… any other software:))

7. Capture One is hard to get started if you don’t watch or ask around. Hiding panels or moving them around is not as easy as on Lightroom (for which I never watched a tutorial so far)

So if Capture One 20 Pro Fujifilm edition is so bad, how come most people say it is the best?

Well Capture One has more features, and in the end you can get pretty much what you want. On Lightroom you are limited, but then again if you want the impossible to be possible, then you open Photoshop (that comes with the licence) so then Adobe wins again…

Capture One, for me and other photographers that I follow on Youtube, you need asking around.

So this is what I got by making the same modifications in both Capture ONE and Lightroom Classic (L and R) before asking the community.

I used the same area for White Balance but as you can see (video), the results are very different.

On Reddit some said that they like the image to the left. But in my opinion the one in the left is neither accurate, nor sharp but looked more 3D around the corners.

So I did more digging and with some help from Reddit community I got the results in the image bellow:

I have manually changed the colors curve, added Structure Clarity, and tried basically to bring the gold color back into Capture ONE. So yeah 5 clicks became 30/40 minutes of try and error.

I wish to say Capture One is really better but when you factor speed and quality, for me there is one winner -> Lightroom. (even if Fuji says the best are Capture) But then you try to do the same result in Adobe and you get to the same base level with just 5 clicks. Yeah… 30 minutes of Capture One in 5 clicks of Lightroom. And look at the image above. There is not a a 30 minutes difference, and the difference that there is, it exists because I could not make the picture in Capture One look like in Adobe.

Let me know what you think and I will very much like to hear your point of view, because as a non-profit website/worker that has all for free for the comunity, 120 euros + the website fee + the domaine, it adds to money for a new lens every year… So I really would like to try to see why Capture One should be better.


1 Comment

  1. CaptureOne does is some circumstances definitely a better job and usually straight after importing. For Lightroom almost always adjustments to the sharpness settings are to be made and one generic setting is not sufficient. I created 4 presets. This brings me close to CaptureOne and often one would not be able to see a difference. I never use the Enhance Detail option. I do not like the 100 Mb file size. In some cases with detailed fabric in the picture, CaptureOne is the clear winner. I am nit able to create the same level of quality with Lr. My reasons to stay with Lightroom (not LrC but Lr) are the Cloud service and availability of the nice iOS app and ability to work an watch my photos everywhere; the much nicer clean interface and photo management options. I sometimes start in CaptureOne, export as TIFF and import that to L. I keep the RAF file as original in Lr as well.


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