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Capture One Express is coming to an end

Comments

259 comments

  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Would it be fairly easy to push a small update to disable the need for authentication all together?

    Then they would give away their control over Express installations completely.

     

    "Your (Pro) subscription has not been verified in the last 30 days"

    https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013384657-Your-subscription-has-not-been-verified-in-the-last-30-days

     

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  • M

    BeO I don't see a problem with them giving up control of it. I highly doubt this software hasn't been pirated yet, especially now. If they don't want to deal with it than the community can. I look at it in a similar way to aftermarket car parts. You can buy stuff for a 1970's muscle car but it won't be something new from the manufacturers, it will be by a 3rd party who is supporting the muscle car platform. 

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    They could not deactivate it on your computer in the future, never. Who knows if they consider this a problem.

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  • Anbaric

    They could not deactivate it on your computer in the future, never. Who knows if they consider this a problem.

    Old, unsupported copies of Pro 'perpetual' either already work like that, in which case they don't mind relinquishing control, or these copies still have to phone home, in which case they don't mind the (probably trivial) overhead of periodic contacts with the licensing servers by copies that are generating no revenue.

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  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    M

    I don't see a problem with them giving up control of it. I highly doubt this software hasn't been pirated yet, especially now.

    You do realize that the raw converter at the core of Capture One - the way they manipulate the data that comes from the camera - is LITERALLY the secret sauce.  You're suggesting that Capture One just toss that out into open domain???????????????????????????????????????

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  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    Reuf

    Putting the cost of running that server and database aside (which should be really negligible), the only logical technical reason I can see for shutting down existing activations is that they don't have a way to prevent new Express activations without some extra development effort that they are not willing to spend.

    Another is the likely chance that Express and Pro share at least some common code.  If this is true (likely), Capture One knows they will either dance around that code forever or again be the bad guy that killed Express when they make changes without regard to how those changes will impact Express.   CO will push an update and Express will die.  Express users will be up-in-arms screaming that Capture One did it with intent or even malice.  That's a no-win situation.

    I still maintain that sometimes you have to make the hard decision and this is better for Express users.  Express WILL DIE.  It's no graceful bit of legacy code existing in a vacuum that can live on with no water.  It's not the poor pathos in my sunroom.  It's going to die.  We have already seen that happen.  It died a week ago and Capture One invested in resuscitating it.  Now we all know.  Here's the date.  Make arrangements.

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  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    M

    You haven't answered it multiple times at all. You have given false answers based on your personal assumptions but nothing based in reality. I'll ask again, why is it bad to let existing software run until it dies? If you have an answered based on fact and not assumptions I'd love to read it. 

    I'm going to remind you again that I don't work for Capture One.  I am a user spouting my thoughts and opinions based on what I know of software development in general, users in general, running IT departments (which I've done), and running a software company (which I've done -  pretty decent size, too).  All you and I have are outsiders' perspectives looking in.  Personally, I think Capture One did a poor job of communicating this and I think the timeline is too short.  Beyond that, I do firmly believe, based on my personal experience overlaid on this situation, that Capture One made the right call.  I'm giving this board benefit of my thoughts and opinions just as you have.  You don't like my thoughts and opinions, that's cool.

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  • Anbaric

    Brian Jordan writes:

    You do realize that the raw converter at the core of Capture One - the way they manipulate the data that comes from the camera - is LITERALLY the secret sauce.  You're suggesting that Capture One just toss that out into open domain???????????????????????????????????????

    You've misunderstood. Nobody is suggesting that C1 gives up its source code or anything. The suggestion is that they give up the ability to disable it remotely so that they no longer have the terrible burden of it exchanging a few bytes with a server once a month when it phones home (or whatever it actually does). In other words, that Express functions exactly the way everyone assumed it already functioned before we got the email, which revealed that Express must have a kill switch C1 hadn't bothered to mention previously (perhaps 'dead man's switch' would be more accurate, since it may well require an active response to keep working).

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  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    M, Reuf is not the CEO of Capture One.

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  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    Anbaric I think we've reached the point of diminishing returns here.  There are no answers on this board.  Only opinions.  The only official sources here have tags noting ADMIN or OFFICIAL and I believe there is only one such comment in this thread from such a source.

    I've stated why I think they made the right call.  No mental gymnastics involved, just an understanding of maintaining legacy code in an evolving environment.  You've stated why you think otherwise.  Cheers to you.  And, I hope, to me.

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  • Anbaric

    Brian Jordan writes:

    Another is the likely chance that Express and Pro share at least some common code.  If this is true (likely), Capture One knows they will either dance around that code forever or again be the bad guy that killed Express when they make changes without regard to how those changes will impact Express.   CO will push an update and Express will die.  Express users will be up-in-arms screaming that Capture One did it with intent or even malice.  That's a no-win situation.

    I'd be very surprised if they didn't share most of their code. The same installer installs both, but only a subset of features is active if you input an Express licence key. It may well be the case that Express will not be compatible with future versions of Pro, but that's equally true for old 'Perpetual' versions of Pro, which don't get updates. Nobody is asking for further updates to Express, they are simply asking that the existing version continues to work. Compatibility with future versions of Pro is another red herring.

    I still maintain that sometimes you have to make the hard decision and this is better for Express users.

    It's better for Express users if they can't use Express? I have to confess that I haven't yet mastered the level of doublethink required to grasp that concept.

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  • Brian Jordan
    Moderator

    @...

    Some of your posts are just not understandable and they make it appear you don't understand how software development and license verification works.

    I'm gonna bet I have a better handle on it than you do.  I just also understand that I can't speak with certainty about everything.

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  • Anbaric

    Anbaric I think we've reached the point of diminishing returns here.  There are no answers on this board.  Only opinions.  The only official sources here have tags noting ADMIN or OFFICIAL and I believe there is only one such comment in this thread from such a source.

    Well, you could always close the discussion. But another moderator requested above that we keep the feedback coming to help C1 do better, which several of us have attempted to do (from our own points of view).

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Everyone participating in this thread has zero inside knowledge of Capture One's path to this decision. It is understandable that people are upset and in response many are offering opinions on ways the decision could have been handled differently. Decision has been made and announced. It's a done deal. All the back and forth in this thread is not going to change a thing.

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  • M

    Brian Jordan Having been in software for so long, what do you think the chances are that a pirated version of C1 is already available for download somewhere on the internet? If someone wanted to find it, copy it and release their own C1 clone I am fairly certain they could already do that. Having the Express version floating around wouldn't matter much. A good example is Adobe software. If you use photoshop, you probably know at least 1 person who has a pirated version and yet, it has almost 0 affect on Adobes business. Why is that? I'd guess it's because Adobe continuously improves the software and makes actual improvements (especially over the last 2 years) which quickly make the older pirated versions obsolete for high end work. 

    High end clients are what C1 wants anyways right? You have championed that C1 is putting all their money into making the software better so do you really think an older, already stripped down version of C1 will have a huge impact on their business? I highly doubt it. You have more experience working in software though so what the hell do I know? 

     

    I didn't tag Reuf I tagged Rafael, the guy who has commented on another post introducing himself as CEO. Imposter I guess? 

     

    "Another is the likely chance that Express and Pro share at least some common code.  If this is true (likely), Capture One knows they will either dance around that code forever or again be the bad guy that killed Express when they make changes without regard to how those changes will impact Express.   CO will push an update and Express will die.  Express users will be up-in-arms screaming that Capture One did it with intent or even malice.  That's a no-win situation.

    Why would the code for Express change with an update to Pro when the company isn't going to push updates for Express anymore? They might share code but they are separate versions of software. I'd imagine that just because an update goes through to Pro doesn't mean that same update has to go to Express. 

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I have seen no indication Capture One desires to change their mind. They have expressed repeatedly over the last year that they are focusing on the professional market. Capture One is a professional tool tailored to satisfy the needs of the professional market. None of us knows what they have planned for 2024. Perhaps over the next year we will begin to see their full vision and the decision will become more palatable.

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  • M

    Walter Rowe If you don't think user pushback can change a companies decision you are very, very, very wrong. It has happened time and time again. Look into the recent situation with Unity as a good example. 

    The decision to screw people over will never become more palatable. They can still get to the places they want to go, it just might take longer should they also support Express. Because they are interested in a short but fast growth model instead of a long and slow model, they choose to screw people. It's what happens when you put money before people.  

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  • Anbaric

    @... :

    That assumes that Capture One the company is entirely deaf to any customer feedback on this topic.  Is that really true?  This decision is entirely reversible (probably until Jan 30th) if they wanted to reclaim some good will.

    Indeed, and Capture One staff member Denis Huk implies in this post that C1 are open to feedback:

    https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/15419149985309-Capture-One-Express-is-coming-to-an-end?page=3#community_comment_15452063851805

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    M .. I didn't say it never happens. Capture One themselves removed the Output tool tab and brought it back after great outcry from the user community. This outcry came from the professional user community. Capture One seems quite confident in this decision. They have stated their focus for the future is the professional user base. All of the arguments here are support users of a free product that provides no revenue. Branded editions were removed. It was a paid product. There was outcry. They have maintained that decision. Do you think they will reverse a decision to discontinue a free product that most certainly costs them money to provide? I am not confident they will.

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  • M

    Walter Rowe What did you mean when you said "Decision has been made and announced. It's a done deal. All the back and forth in this thread is not going to change a thing.

    There are also many pro users (including me) who are speaking out and saying this is a horrible choice. It's not just express users who are speaking against the decision. 

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I didn't say only express users were arguing against this decision. I meant only express users would benefit from any reversal of the decision. Capture One doesn't benefit. Paid users don't benefit. It actually costs paid users by taking support cycles away from paid users.

    -1
  • Anbaric

    Capture One seems quite confident in this decision. They have stated their focus for the future is the professional user base. All of the arguments here are support users of a free product that provides no revenue. Branded editions were removed. It was a paid product. There was outcry. They have maintained that decision.

    They are so confident in this decision that they are apparently releasing a new cut-down free version for amateurs (Fuji branded) in the next 3 months...

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    ... doesn't it have a 90-day trial with upgrade to pro? Not sure its a perpetual license.

    -1
  • M

    Walter Rowe Update cycles for pro users? Are you joking around or something? They push like 1 or 2 updates in the 3 month update cycle for pro users already WHILE SUPPORTING EXPRESS. They aren't going to be pushing more updates once Express is gone in that 3 month cycle. Subscription users aren't going to miss anything either since that's the entire point of a subscription model. 

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  • Anbaric

    ... doesn't it have a 90-day trial with upgrade to pro? Not sure its a perpetual license.

    This is in addition to the 3 month trial. From Capture One Legal:

    'We would like to inform you that while Capture One Express Fujifilm is being deprecated as described in our latest communication, we are intensively working on a new free alternative for Fujifilm users to substitute Capture One Express Fujifilm and provide for the users that cannot afford or do not want to use Capture One Pro. In the meantime, you are more than welcome to use the following three months trial for our All in One bundle available for Fujifilm users here: https://www.captureone.com/en/leaflet-fujifilm.'

    Note that this is only for Fuji (sorry Nikon and Sony users who 'cannot afford or do not want to use Capture One Pro') and there's nothing explicit about the licence, except that it's free. Given what's happened with Express, perhaps this time they'll make it a non-perpetual free subscription with a clause that allows them to terminate it at any time (which is clearly what they now want us to believe Express effectively was). Whether users will want to invest their time in something with an uncertain future like this remains to be seen. Fuji users do have another free option with Fuji's (Silkypix-based) Raw File Converter. It's a bit clunkier and slower than C1 Express, but it does give excellent results and can apply Fuji's film simulations.

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  • Mark Smith

    Walter Rowe

    I have seen no indication Capture One desires to change their mind. They have expressed repeatedly over the last year that they are focusing on the professional market. Capture One is a professional tool tailored to satisfy the needs of the professional market. None of us knows what they have planned for 2024. Perhaps over the next year we will begin to see their full vision and the decision will become more palatable.

     

    It's really disappointing to hear you say this.  I am a subscriber who will not renew.  If this is the company's position, then they don't need my money.

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  • Barry Justice

     

    I'm a Pro user and I'm disgusted as to how C-1 is treating their customers.  I have used C-1 since version 3.7 which came free with a SanDisk card.  I eventually bought v-7 in 2013 and have upgraded every year since save one year.  The last perpetual license I bought was for v-15 in late 2021 and swore that I would never give the company any more of my money after the changes introduced last Christmas that went into effect in February this year regarding perpetual license users.  As others have said,  it's impossible to buy and use a perpetual license with all the bugs introduced with each incarnation of the software.  Bugs that don't get fixed for months and months when you have only 1 to 3 months to get them fixed.  Rafael Orta  seems to forget that it was the loyal perpetual license holders buying licenses year after year that got the company where it is today.  He has systematically dismantled the company from where it was in 2020 and for the worse.  Capture One used to be a leader,  now they are playing catchup.  They introduce a bunch of tweaks that are only worthy of a point release and pass it off as a new version release.  Notice how they have gone away from the traditional naming of their releases.  16.3 is a new version over 16.2.  In past years the new version would have been v-17.  They pass if off as a point release to the subscription holders so they don't expect (or get!!) too much and then sell it as a new version to the perpetual license holder.   It's mind games they are playing.

    I'm transitioning to other software but after using C-1 all these years it's a slow process and in the big picture of things it's really good software (minus the bugs!).  While my license still works I'll use it but they will never see another dime of my money until they change there ways.

    If Orta thinks Pro's are going to keep his company afloat then he has another thing coming.  Lots of Pros don't like change as they have a set workflow that they stick too.  For example when C-1 changed the Export tab to a panel there was an uproar from users because it changed the workflow that they'd used for years. and C-1 had to reintroduce the old tab to work in tandem.  Lots have perpetual licenses too.  Amateurs spend a lot more money on software and gear than pros ever do. 

    My last post on this,  the don't and never will listen while Orta is in charge. 

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  • Reuf

    Just some thoughts on the previous comments: of course the latest Express build can be frozen and future work on Pro will not affect it in any way. However, there is a scenario where this doesn't work - and that's when the application requires certain server-side features, e.g. Generative Fill or any other AI-based functionality where the AI model is the actual "secret sauce" which is not only highly protected intellectual property but also too big in size to distribute as part of the application to end users.

    Once such features are introduced I don't see how the perpetual licenses can continue to work, as these features will require constant communication with the servers. Capture One Pro 17.4 will not be able to communicate with server-side AI version 18.1 and the cost of running those servers would be significantly high to allow unrestricted usage anyway. So the way I see this is that some of the more advanced AI features will only be available to subscription users.

    Apologies for going a bit off topic but I think these thoughts might be relevant to the discussion.

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  • Anbaric

    So the way I see this is that some of the more advanced AI features will only be available to subscription users.

    I think this is exactly what Skylum/Luminar have just done - they still offer 'lifetime' licences as an option but the generative AI stuff needs a subscription.

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  • John Zandbergen

    My post yesterday, about a press release announcing Fujifim/Phase One partnership is pending approval, but not approved? What can I do to publish it?

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