Which is Better for Studio Portrait Photography, Lightroom Classic or Capture One 20?

Lightroom has enjoyed dominance in its area for over a decade and has been the go-to raw processor and catalog tool for many photographers. However, rivals have been creeping up and improving gradually, with Capture One 20 now being considered by many to be better in some regards.

I’ve always considered raw processors and editing software like Photoshop to have a similar effect to choosing a bank as child or teenager: that is, once you’ve got one in place, as long as it does what you need it to do, you can’t really be bothered to change. I’ve been using Photoshop for approaching two decades which meant that when I had use for a raw processor, Lightroom was the natural purchase. Those two were just staple, I could do everything I ever wanted to do and more, and I didn’t consider switching.

Then, over the last 5 years or so, I have been dabbling elsewhere. Sometimes that was curiosity, sometimes that was sponsored, sometimes that was at the suggestion of somebody. Whatever the case, I’ve tried a fair few now. The first thing to say is that Lightroom isn’t the default winner and hasn’t been for a while. There are a number of great alternatives and a number of up-and-comers, and I’ve liked elements of programs like Affinity Photo, ACDSee, and ON1. However, the two alternatives to Lightroom that have remained installed 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’s certainly no outright dominator of the sector — even for something as specific as a studio portrait photographer — but one does edge it.

Which editing suite do you use?


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