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Capture One Express is coming to an end


261 Kommentare

  • M

    I am really glad that my "Lifetime" captureone Express license won't work anymore. Seems like a breach of contract from CaptureOne's side but im not a lawyer so what do I know? 

  • Christian Damhus

    I think it is okay to discontinue a software, But it is pissing me off that you also kill the activation of software that I got with my Sony Alpha. I won't buy a Pro-Licence even if you sell it with a 40% discount.

    The way you treat C1 users is a shame.

  • M

    Jack-W Unfortunately, we can't trust you when you say that. It might be true now but that can change in the future and because precedent has been set with the decision to disable free (LIFETIME PERPETUAL) licenses, us Pro users with a LIFETIME PERPETUAL license (which is the same as the express except we paid) can only assume that this could happen at any point going forward. The company has shown their hand and there is no going back on that choice. Besides, like you mentioned earlier, you aren't the one making these choices so why should anyone trust you when you tell us that perpetual licenses (the same kind of license that is currently being disabled but for a different version. I'll say it again, SAME KIND OF LICENSE) won't be disabled in the future? 

  • Jiri Valtr

    I would like to add my voice to those expressing great disappointment and anger in Capture One taking away the license I believe to have acquired with the purchase of my Fujifilm camera. I have been a happy user of the Express edition for about two years now, and was actually considering upgrading to a perpetual license of the Pro version, to get some of the more advanced features. I appreciated the option of a perpetual license, which is a much better fit for me as a hobbyist than a subscription.

    However, now I have absolutely no trust that the license actually would be perpetual in the true sense of the word. I would totally understand, if you just decided to not offer new activations of the Express version, but left the existing installations live out the rest of their usefulness. The fact that you feel entitled and plan to interfere with existing installations of the software you have licensed people to use on their own computers (without any reliance on some servers you would need to maintain or anything like that) makes me feel that you think can do whatever you like, completely disregarding any promises and commitments you made in the past.

    I'm sure you can get a lawyer to interpret your license agreements in a way that makes what you do seem totally legal. Nevertheless, I still feel disgusted and cheated and, unless the current plans are revised, I will not be purchasing any license from you in the future and I will be discouraging everyone in my community from doing so as well. 

  • Arash Saheli

    So to summarize and reiterate what others have said:

    1. No one expects a private company to give away free software, but we do expect it to honour the existing licenses, even the ones that were issued for the free version.
    2. A lot of us were under the impression that the software came as part of the package we bought from the camera manufacturer. I downloaded mine from Fujifilm website, not C1’s website (to be fair this one is on the camera manufacturer, not C1). 
    3. Based on the promise of perpetual free license, I spent a lot of time editing and cataloguing my work in C1. The way this has been done, for the lack of better word, seems like blackmailing: “Pay the highest fee in the industry for the features that you would never use, or lose all your work”. On principle, this makes me unwilling to pay what in essence feels like a ransom fee just to be able to keep my own work.
    4. Why kill the Express version? Why not sell it as an option for hobbyists? Some of us can’t justify paying the pro price for a software that we will only use occasionally. As an existing license holder, I’ll be annoyed, but I’ll still pay the equivalent of what some of your competitors, say Affinity Photo, are charging for their products, and I’m sure you’d attract a lot of new customers for your entry level product in the future.
    5. Finally, with all due respect, if a company has broken a legal agreement once (even if it’s a legal agreement for the free version), promising in the comment section that the paid perpetual license would work in perpetuity is not very reassuring. After all, my paid perpetual license from another company was rendered useless a few years ago and to be frank, right now you look as shortsighted and greedy as that other company. (BTW, that company got away with it, because they are the industry leader and own the lion’s share of the market, you are not).

    As a software engineer, I can appreciate all the talent and hard-work that goes into developing a great software like C1. It would be a shame to see that decisions made by management backfires and negatively impact your product in the long run. Even though I’m disgruntled, I genuinely wish you luck, but to be honest, I have the feeling that this decision would not benefit the company in the long run and you have lost a lot of goodwill and reputation that was built over the years.


  • FirstName LastName

    I think they have just made lots of hobbyist photographers very unhappy especially those who cannot justify the cost of a yet another subscription software model.

    I guess https://www.photopea.com/ might be a interim 'application'

  • John Zandbergen

    I find it strange that I buy a camera with software and then the software company just stops my license. I can imagine the download of updates is stopped because:

    We have made the decision to focus our efforts on our core products, such as Capture One Pro and mobile apps.

    But it absolutely bullocks to disallow the use of software that I bought. Capture One stops my license for commercial reasons, why can't they be honest about that? Legal issues?

  • M

    Denis Huk The only way Pro users will trust you when you say that our licenses are safe is by cancelling the choice to revoke exiting Express licenses. As many people have said, there is NO reason to deactivate existing licenses and existing software activations on someone's computer. NOBODY has a problem with the company not wanting to offer or support Express anymore. LEAVE THE LICENSE ALONE THOUGH! 

    What is the company not understanding here??? 

  • M

    Jack-W Why is C1's 2023 model seem to be "screw consumers, cheers to greed & money"? I will definitely be looking for...alternatives... to the subscription from now on. C1 clearly doesn't give two shits about the people who support your company. Somehow this has gone from a better value than Adobe to WORSE. Idk how you become worse than ADOBE. What a joke of a company and the people making these decisions should be embarrassed for themselves. 

  • Cody D

    Hi, genuine question: are we able to continue using this software as an offline app? I purchased a camera which included this software. I have a license to use this software based on my camera purchase.

    Can I not continue to use the software knowing that I won't get new features? Do I not own the software for which I have a purchase and a license?

  • Cody D

    Can I still access Capture One Express, and will my license still work?
    All Capture One Express license keys will be disabled after January 30, 2024. To continue using Capture One, you'll need a license key for a current product, such as Capture One Pro.

    So in Capture One, under Help > View License Agreement, you can view the license agreement effective as at 16/05/23 (at least, this is the license agreement in Capture One Express Fujifilm 23). Section 2.4 states that:

    If you have acquired a license to a version of Capture One which is of a perpetual nature your right to install and use the Software is – in addition to and without limiting any other terms and conditions set out in this Agreement – subject to the following additional restrictions and limitations with respect to installation and use of Capture One depending on the Software and version hereof licensed by you.

    It then enumerates the various conditions for each manufacturer of camera, most are mostly the same. For Fujifilm (section 2.4.8) it states that

    If the license acquired is for Capture One Express Fujifilm and provided that you are the legitimate owner of eligible Fujifilm hardware as designated by Capture One in its sole discretion you may install and use an unlimited number of Capture One Express Fujifilm for your own internal use.

    There are no stipulations here about revision of this agreement or termination of my right to use the software provided with my camera. So to me, this reads like I should still be able to access this software and that Capture One cannot arbitrarily stop it from working.

  • JJ

    I'm also one of the people who upgraded from C1 Express to Pro (Perpetual), after a few months.

    However, disabling C1 Express for people who already use it, makes me worried about my purchase.
    I don't think I trust Capture One enough, to upgrade to another version of C1 Pro.

  • Brian Walton

    Pro user here (and I've done a number of expensive upgrades over the last few years to have the latest and greatest - which the upgrades cost as much as buying the outright versions of other competitors).

    They killed off the original Camera specific pro versions a while back, that wasn't a good sign.

    Now I can understand no longer making future updates to the express version, but no longer allowing server authorizations of previous versions is pretty ridiculous and frankly insulting to the consumer.

    As a photography instructor I constantly encouraged people to ignore Lightroom and try Express first if they were Sony, Nikon, Fuji users and get them into the platform - and they can update once they get the hang of it.  (I also started out with an Express version many years ago with a Sony "a-mount" camera purchase and saw the value to upgrade - though the pricing was more reasonable back then).  

    The only reason to dcom the authorization server/system is a money grab.  I think C1 needs to work on the pricing model to make perpetual purchases more enticing and then make bigger updates so that they get consumers to bite on updates.  The sub model doesn't make any sense at all given the cost difference between C1 and LR + Photoshop given just how crazy powerful Adobe has gotten in the last 2 years.  And C1 perpetual is a large pill to swallow even though I really like the app, it becomes difficult to recommend it to anyone other than professionals.

    Nice product - it just needs better customer policies, practices and pricing.  

  • Marcio K


    Yeah, same here.  I'm fine with a business decision to stop revising and supporting the express version.  But shutting down existing users seems weird.  Why not just let them whither and eventually die on their own.  You can stop supporting them.  You can stop making new releases.  You can remove the download of the existing versions.  But why reach out to people already running it and using it and just make their installations stop working.  That is the mean part.

    Bingo. Exactly that.

    If they just stopped supporting the C1 Express, I could keep using it until some newer features that are relevant to me appears on future versions of C1. And I probably would not buy something from a competitor.

    But no - they are just taking away in 1.5 months my current only option, and forcing me to buy a license or subscription.

    I will. But from another company. And will lose a customer forever - and a lot more that I will convice to use another software.


  • Nico Kaiser

    Once again, it's about communication: I understand that Capture One wants to get rid of free Express licenses and drive potential customers into a subscription. 

    But, by completely disabling existing products with 2 months notice, the company gambles away a fair amount of what's left of customer's trust: they could have easily offered one last update to Capture One Express which enables it to run infinitely without requiring a license server and such, along with the note that of course new cameras and new operating systems will not be supported by that version (exactly like with the Capture One Pro perpetual versions).

    I'm pretty sure there are no legal or technical reasons not to do this, so this is a deliberate decision of the company, hoping that not all Express users are completely pissed of and some still buy a Pro license (read: "greed").

    So trust is what this thread is about: even if you say so, we cannot trust you will not do the same with old perpetual versions. What if you need to switch off the license servers in 5 years? Our "perpetual" versions cannot phone home then and will stop to work. With the current rate of communication fails, I feel that something like this will happen rather sooner than later...

  • Marcio K

    Denis Huk

    As a lot of people stated before. we do not like but could understand the decision of retiring the Express version. I think it is a mistake - is a very efficient gateway product to bring people to use C1, and getting the full version after getting used to it.

    The main problem is BLOCKING people to continue using the Express version - and clearly stating that if these people don't upgrade to a full version, all the edits and work done with Express will be lost in 1.5 months. It is almost blackmailing.

    Just don't give support or update anymore the Express version, but keep it working. The message that you are passing is that a "f*ck you" to the Express customers: pay or screw you.

    I have a full license of the C1 21. Was using Express for my new Fuji camera until some meaninful upgrades appear in future versions of C1 to upgrade to a newer full version.

    A lot of people (like me) came to C1 because don't like subscriptions. Then Capture One adopt subscriptions. Then kill Express, and blocking the current users to keep using it.

    The message is that I could pay the full price for a newer C1 full version, and maybe 2 weeks later you the company decides "meh, don't want to update anymore the perpetual version, only subscriptions now" and we have to get the subcription right after paying full price.

    You lost the trust. And now another company will get my money.

  • Fredgotts

    you can’t activate any Express license keys after January 30, even though you downloaded the license key before this date.


    Understandably, if you are an Express user this will come as disappointing news. However, we have done our best to ensure that there are options available to you.

    Anti-Consumer late-stage capitalism bs. 

  • Christian Damhus

    The free version had always been a good start for new users. And it was a good way for the company to win their attention and someday maybe their money. Sooner or later most of them would have updated to Pro.

    So many companies do offer free versions and in many cases they are not limited in their useability at all.

    C1 decided to go a different way. Kill the express version, piss off the users and probably loses them. I don't think that this a competitive advantage. And who knows what the future is going to bring. Image you are now buying the perpetual licence and in a few years they also kill it and disable any further activation.

    I mean: Can we put any trust into this company?

  • Grant Alpert

    So on January 30th all edits I’ve ever made, hundreds of hours spent, will be erased from my computer forever? Unless I spend money forever on a product that is way more than I need? Terribly anti-consumer decision.

    This is my second time going through this, after first buying a license for what I thought was forever, and then C1 decided to say it was only for the C1 2020 edition and then end support on that. I’ve already paid money to lose access to the full featured software, it’s messed up that it’s happening againz

  • Thomas Schneider

    Just one example of how to deal correctly with the expiry of software:

    In 2008 I bought one of my first photo software: Nikon Capture NX2

    I still use the program, even though it was discontinued by Nikon years ago.

    Even today I am still able to install and authorize it on a Windows 11 computer.

  • Christian Damhus

    Sad. Capture One Express was a good RAW converter and no doubt that the Pro-Version will be much better. Nevertheless I can't and don't want to buy the Pro-Version since I am not a professional photograph. So, I got to look for some alternatives.

    Was a great time and tool. Best wishes for the future.

  • M

    Christian Damhus Right! The worst part is them needlessly disabling the lisences that are already active. The only reason for them to do that is FORCE an upgrade out of users. They are betting that most express users will be too engrained in the C1 workflow that they feel like they have to pay money because switching software & moving all their images/work to a different platform will be too much effort.

  • Cody D

    Hi Jack-W the license I have reflects the make of my camera, whether the software is provided gratis is besides the point. I am the legitimate owner of a Fujifilm camera, the version I have is for Capture One 23 Express Fujifilm, so the license terms that apply to me are 2.4 and 2.4.8.

    To that end I retain the right to "install and use an unlimited number of Capture One Express Fujifilm for your own internal use".

    Even if I were to bite the bullet and purchase a perpetual license for Capture One Pro, how could I trust at this point that I will always own the software I pay for and that the corporation will not retroactively and arbitrarily revoke access?

  • Erik Seres

    I loved Capture One and had used it since version 11, upgraded yearly. Not anymore though as this company has proven to me that they can not be trusted for whatever they say, regardless of whether they are a moderator (since he is not in charge) or someone actually in charge.

    This is sad since the software is great.

    But I am not willing to support this company anymore and have already moved to DxO PhotoLab and migrated (well, redone) all my previous important edits, deactivated and deleted Capture One. Such a relief...

    This was my first and very likely last comment on this forum. I just could not stand anymore to remain silent.

  • M

    Keith R What are you talking about? When they removed manufacturer specific versions, they just consolidated that into one free version instead of 5 free versions. That is entirely different than what is happening now. The current version of Express is accessible to anyone with any camera so no one is getting in cheaper than anyone just because they have a specific brand of camera. 

    Also, the problem isn't them removing the free version of the software, it's them terminating the licenses of people who use it. There is no reason to terminate the licenses and revoke access to Capture One Express from users who already have it installed on their computers. They could easily just remove the free version from the website so it won't be available to people who don't already have it and they can make the Express version an offline compatible software that existing users with existing licenses can continue to use. It wouldn't get updates, they don't need to provide user support and they can pretend it no longer exists but there is not a single good reason to revoke existing users access.

    You say nothing can be done but that is simply not true. If they lose enough of the user paying base, I bet we will see a change of heart. Besides, even if nothing is done, I'd rather post 100 times complaining than just take it up the rear and do nothing. 

    As far as the law goes, sure the Danish government might not have a law that says perpetual licenses implies lifetime availability, however, their own user agreement does and that is a legally binding agreement between the user and company. 

  • M

    Walter Rowe Because it screws over people in the C1 community and the photography community as a whole. 

    C1, even in it's free form, is a great piece of software and tons of people who can't afford subscriptions or who only do photography for themselves use it. This decision is a huge middle finger to them and by extension to the people who pay. The company is giving BS reasons for the choice as well. If you guys need more developers on your Pro version and Mobile version than just stop offering updates & support on the Express version. Ya, that would still kind of suck but at least the people who get to enjoy photography still have a REALLY good photo editing software to use. Why cut off access entirely? The software is already on peoples computers, just make it available for offline use and take it off your website!! Are you worried about pirating? Gimp is not an alternative, RawTherapee is far too advanced for most people and I don't think it's had an update for like 2 years now so Express is really the only worthwhile free software.

    Another reason is value. Your subscription is already more expensive than Adobe's and we don't get a C1 version of photoshop included with the subscription. C1 is 100% not more powerful than what is available in Lightroom & Photoshop so purely on value it's not as good. Couple that with this new anti-consumer behavior and why would a paying user want to continue giving money to a company who actively works against them & their community? Is adobe a better company in this regard? No, not really. If you buy a physical photoshop/lightroom install disk of ebay good luck activating the license. Do you own a old version of LR/PS on an old PC and need to upgrade PC's, good luck re-activating your license on your new PC.This is why people choose to pirate adobe software so much. They also screw over their own users in pursuit of a larger profit number by Q4. The same will happen to C1, there will be an increase of pirated versions. I'd say it's better to have free users who might upgrade to pro and pirated users who can't upgrade at all. Why would I (or others like me) switch back to adobe? Their subscription is half the cost and you get twice the software! 


    Besides, let me ask you this. As someone who has C1 '21 in a perpetual license, how do I know my license & software access won't be revoked next year, two years, three years from now? Sure I paid money for it but so what, you think I can afford to take C1 to court over revoking my access? You guys have shown that you are willing to break the user agreement (if I am wrong about this,  please quote the part of the agreement that states Express licenses can be revoked under the sole discretion of C1. I know you have the right to terminate a license if a user breaks copyright or IP rights but I didn't read anything that applies to this situation in there) and you have shown that your goal is to force free users into paying for C1. Why should I trust that this company will continue to honor my user agreement and why should I trust that my access won't be revoked down the line in hope of pushing me to the subscription model?

    I'll also reiterate on the value part of this. C1 has doubled it's perpetual license cost while not adding any meaningful changes that are worth double the cost and again, the subscription does not have nearly as much value as what is offered by Adobe. The loyalty program you guys have offered is also a complete joke. I actually felt like someone was messing me when I read that announcement. 

    Why should I continue to support Capture One?

    My advise, if C1 execs are dead set on making this change happen, don't offer a 40% discount, give every current Express user a free perpetual license for the current version. You will retain more users and it's actually a decent offer as opposed to a god dam coupon. "Sorry we are screwing you over but if you pay us 60% the cost you can keep using the product!". Does that actually sound like a good solution to you guys?

    Edit: I had another idea. Stop working on mobile versions entirely and that will free up enough dev time to support Express! You should probably let mobile customer retain access to whatever has been released so far though. For some reason I think they might get upset is access was suddenly revoked for no good reason...

  • Nico Kaiser
    Over the last few months we have already learned that Capture One seems to have transformed from a company which creates a professional, innovative, stable and reliable solution for photographers to a greedy bunch of consultants who do not give any shit about customer satisfaction. New bugs were introduced in their products, which broke the workflows of many once happy customers. New features were promised, which turned out either completely useless or underwhelming at best. Products were discontinued, and the new subscription vs. perpetual license model was another big "fuck you" to loyal clients. It all looks like desperate attempts to chase the market, which is now far ahead.

    I feel most sorry for those who trusted Capture One one last time and bought the expensive "perpetual license" for Capture One Pro, in the belief that they would be able to use this product as long as they want. Recent experience suggests that Capture One can – and will – once again say "fuck you" to those customers and also switch off the perpetual license installations.

    This company has completely lost any trust, and I cannot risk using any of their services in my business ever again. Hopefully Serif Ltd. will jump on this bandwagon and bring out a DAM and RAW developing software. There is a market for it.
  • Barry Justice

    Walter Rowe  I think a lot of the noise here is from perpetual Pro license holders who wonder if they are going to be the next in line with a surprise announcement.  This company can't be trusted under the present management. I'm a C-1 user since V-7 and since 2020 the company has gone way downhill.  Updates are full of bugs and innovation lags behind competitors now.  C-1 used to lead the way.

  • M

    Denis Huk Here is how you (the company) can do better. I'll give you a simple step by step guide.

    1. Email all Express users letting them know that they will be able to continue using Express going forward but with no updates or customer support being provided. 

    2. Offer a 6 month FREE trial of C1 Pro to all Express users as an apology for the big middle finger you gave them

    3. Issue a statement directly from the people who have made this bad decision apologizing to users. Don't be corporate, be honest. 

    4. Make the loyalty program something worth participating in. Instead of a free perpetual, why not a free year of subscription? Isn't the subscription model for customers who always want the latest updates? Why would that customer feel like a non-upgradable perpetual license is something of actual value? If they did, they probably wouldn't subscribe and instead just buy the perpetual. 

    5. Hire more staff to help with C1's obvious development time issues. You have doubled the price of the perpetual & your sub is more than Adobes, make it worth it to users who pay. Where is the money going if you haven't expanded the team?

    6. MAKE A GOOD PRODUCT! That's the secret to making more money! You guys want to take more of Adobe's users than use your brains and think, what do photographers actually need from photoshop that C1 doesn't have yet? C1 is a better raw editor than Lightroom already so what is missing that keeps people on LR & PS instead of going to a superior editor? Here's one, dodging & burning. Here's another, color channel mixer. One more just because, better dehaze/clarity tools. 

    Hope that "helps us understand how we can do better <3"

    Normally I charge for my consult services but this one is on the house <3

  • Malte Paas

    seem like 2024 is the year for ADOBE.

    as good as C1 is, it can´t compete with photoshop.

    i came to C1 with the sony version i got with my camera... then capture one killed that.

    if i have to do a subscription it will sure be photoshop + lightroom ... 100% not C1.

    as to the perpetual license... i got used to the idea of subscription over the years.
    i would have never bought a 800 euro photoshop or other image editor.

    not when i am basically forced in the future to buy another version because my new cameras RAW format is not supported or the other tricks to force people to buy an upgrade.

    but less then 10 euro a month (90 euro for a year on special sales like BF)  .. for photoshop and lightroom....always having the latest version.
    looks in my eyes better then paying the C1 perpetual licence.

    a C1 subscription... not when i can get photoshop and lightroom for less money.

    as nice as C1 is a RAW editor... it can´t compete with photoshop when you are really into photo editing.

    so goodbye express versions of photoshop and C1..... welcome adobe photo subscription.
    a nice christmas present i make myself.

    bad bad move to kill this off and so quick.

    capture one has not the drive adobe has. sure some studio guys will swear by C1.
    but for the average joe photog the C1 express versions was an entry to C1.

    farewell and thanks for the fish.... i bet you will regret this decision in the long run.


    sorry if this sounds all like gibberish .. english is not my native language.



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