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Are we on a sinking ship?

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67 comments

  • Jerry C

     In my analogy the ship is Capture One, the company. The cargo is Capture One the software. Analogies are tricky and inherently imperfect. Regardless, you make good points.

    1. Regarding OS changes. Absolutely, if you upgrade the OS to an incompatible version, you have to upgrade the version of Capture One, and I could have included that to be complete. My point was more related to what happens if Capture One is no longer in the market. Right now my Mac Studio runs the current version well and I would be faced with keeping the computer, not updating the OS, and running it off line or in a virtual machine with a compatible OS not attached to the internet if there was an OS incompatibility. This hard choice likely would not come for years, at which point, I would be looking for another piece of software if I did not want to freeze my system or run Capture One in a virtual machine. 

    2. By the time I chose to stay with version 16.3, I think I would have tested my workflow sufficiently to know if I had bugs I could not live with. Again, I am thinking about what I would do if Capture One was never upgraded, again.

    3. I agree with that risk. My catalog is large and at some point, the edited images might not be able to be exported to another application without converting to TIFF or some other exportable format. If another vendor offered software with something I would love to have, I would be stuck. 

    4. Yup. I am more comfortable with the limits of the current version of Capture One than not being able to upgrade my camera, RAW format, or lenses. 

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    My point was more related to what happens if Capture One is no longer in the market.

    If I am not mistaken, they (or someone else) need to keep the activation and license checking servers running (do you think they would do?), otherwise your C1 installation would not open anymore after a few weeks.

     

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  • Jerry C

    Perpetual licenses are not checked to maintain activation, only subscriptions.

    I wrote to Capture One support about this last year about this:

    Jan 10, 2023, 17:13 GMT+1

    In the community discussions, there is discussion about whether or not Capture One checks with the company every 30 days, or some other interval, to make sure a perpetual license is still valid, failing which the software will not work. If so, this would mean one must maintain an internet connection even if one is not updating the software under a perpetual license. The suggested articles do not address this concern.

    So, will a perpetual license work in perpetuity if one does not have an internet connection?
    If not, how often must one connect to the internet to maintain the license and how is this done?

    They replied:

    Gemma Moustafa (Capture One)

    Jan 11, 2023, 10:09 GMT+1

    Dear Jerry,
     
    Thank you for reaching out.
     
    To clarify, using the software doesn't prompt you to be constantly online. You can work offline as long as you wish with a perpetual licence. To use the software on a subscription basis, you must maintain the internet connection for Capture One to be able to validate and reconfirm your valid subscription license in terms of regular payments.
     
    Only perpetual Capture One Pro licenses can be activated offline. If you have a subscription, trial, or Express license - then you cannot activate your license offline.
     
    You should be able to use a perpetual license offline (without Internet access) for as long as you wish, only needing to use internet when upgrading.
     
    If at any point you have receive a message instructing you to re-authenticate your perpetual license please let me know.
     
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  • Kassur

    Thank you for clarifying this! 

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Jerry C - I've been forced by Capture One perpetual license to login at the Capture One website before so I have reason to believe that this is not always true.  For example, when I purchased 16.3, I also kept my copy of 15.x installed.  Anytime I switched from one version to the other, it required me to login again at the Capture One website.

    So, I also have a hard time believing that you can activate offline as I don't think I've ever experienced that, even when I had a copy of my license key ready to enter.

    So, if you can't activate offline, then anytime you had a disk failure or a system failure or needed to move to a new system, you would have issues with the license key. 

    This makes intuitive sense too because how else could they keep track of how many copies of your license were activated if they don't "phone home" to check when you activate and to record the newly activated system.  So, something is likely amiss in what you were told.

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  • Jerry C

    Good point and not part of my question to support last year. No reinstallation without validation. How this can be done offline was not explained in my correspondence. You might want to write to support to explain the off line validation process.

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    @Jerry C - Yeah, I'm pretty sure this part of their correspondence:

    Only perpetual Capture One Pro licenses can be activated offline.

    Is just wrong.  No activation system that limits the number of concurrent activations can work if you are offline when activating.  It has to "phone home" to verify there are unused activations associated with this license key and to record the fact that a new copy has been activated.  Otherwise, you could share your activation key with 10 friends, they could all activate offline and use it forever.  That just doesn't make sense.

    So, it may well be true (I honestly don't know if I believe them) that you can use a perpetual license offline without ever being online once it has been activated online.  I thought I read awhile ago that it will let you do that for as long as 30 days, but then needs to check with its activation servers again.  But, I don't remember what source that info came from.

    So, given that at least part of what they told you is wrong, it doesn't inspire confidence that the other things they told you are correct.

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  • Jerry C

    This article shows what Capture One means by off-line activation: https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002468637-How-to-activate-Capture-One#h_01GGSDNPE0FZPNVPKSGR9XEA2G After reading this article, I sent a question to Capture One support regarding the steps for off-line activation when you do not have internet access. 

    As you can see, the instructions in the article are oxymoronic. You have to be able to access the Capture One web site to activate "off-line." I especially liked the part where they tell you to go to the off-line activation web page. 

    The universal fear software vendors have about their software being copied without being paid probably means  the need for an internet connection to validate a license is also universal. It may be time to make a TIFF copy of your images so they can be imported into another image editor without losing the edits, just in case. 

     

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Jerry C - That's pretty funny.  So, what they mean is that the actual computer Capture One is on can be offline as long as you have some other computer that is online.  What support told you is very misleading.  So, clearly the activation servers have to be up and running and you have to be able to connect to their web site with some computer in order to activate.

    I note that those instructions you link to refer to Capture One 22 and older so it's also possible that v23 and newer work differently (which would likely have coincided with the introduction of the subscription when other changes to license activation and verification were being made to support subscriptions).

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  • OddS.

    > Jerry C: ...instructions in the article are oxymoronic.

    Yeah, it reminds me of the BIOS POST message "No Keyboard detected, press F1 to continue."

     

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  • Martin Tolley

    Irritatingly (worryingly?) I tried to open C1 today to be confronted with a screen that said my subscription was invalid. I have a perpetual C22 not a subscription. Closing the screen brought up a whole batch of "Let's get started" screens trying to sell me something. Logging in to my account, sort of, I got options to open a trial or input my license code - which I did. Again got a few - here's how to do things screens and eventually C1 opened, but re-set my workspace, and is now useable. This "invalid subscription" notion is not something I've had before and one I don't think I should be having if I have a perpetual licence.

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  • Jack W
    Admin

    Martin Tolley Have you recently uninstalled or updated Capture One 22? Or modified/deleted the preferences file? Because it sounds like Capture One is starting from scratch.

    You can reload your saved workspace by going to Window > Workspace – of course if you didn't save your workspace, you'll have to rearrange and then save the changes.

    If this continues to happen, or even for this instance (providing you are inline with the system requirements) please let our support team know.

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  • Martin Tolley

    Thanks Jack. I haven't recently installed or updated C1 22. I did recently (a couple of weeks back) get a screen telling my I could update my present app, - I am not running the final latest of v22) but I declined. Starting from scratch seemed to be what was happening today. I have my workspace saved and re-loaded it - no problems there. I will file a support report

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Martin Tolley

    Out of curiosity, which v22 build do you use, and why?

    Cheers,
    BeO (15.2)

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  • Martin Tolley

    15.2.2.5 - I went up one, and ran into a couple of regression bugs and went back to what, for me, was a stable working version. Nothing in the later upgrades have been of interest or much use to me, so I've stayed there.

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Thanks.

    15.2.1.9 Windows version. Same reason, a lot of regression bugs in later versions.

    I would have been interested in 16.3 AI masking but the added value does not outweigh the (still open) regression issues in that version, for me. Even more, one of it will not be fixed by C1. Couple this with the highest prices in the market makes me very reluctant to go forward with this company.

     

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  • Martin Tolley

    BeO
    My position as well. I don't think it's a sinking ship; for me it's a ship cruising to a destination that it's unsure of. Several of it's innovations HDR, panoramic stitching seem at best poor quality attempts compared to the opposition provided with mostly unfulfilled promises of improvements later. Or if it does have a coherent vision of where it wants to be, it's sadly not a place I need to be at the price they want me to pay. Most things come to an end eventually.

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  • Thomas Kyhn
    Top Commenter

    Several of it's innovations HDR, panoramic stitching seem at best poor quality attempts compared to the opposition provided with mostly unfulfilled promises of improvements later.

    The same goes for the keystone tool. It works now (took about ten years to fix), so at least that's something, but it's still very limited compared to similar tools in other applications.

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  • Jim Schaub

    Since Axcel took over, Capture One development amounts to throwing half-finished betas out the door ad nauseam. I have a full subscription and a perpetual license for 16.2 (which I received no loyalty bonus for) through what I call their deceptive marketing. Once the subscription is up, that's it. I'll use 16.2 if I want to poke around in Capture One. Meanwhile, I'm looking into Avalanche to convert my C1 catalog to LrC.

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  • Jerry C

    Avalanche looks good except for its limitations in converting, e.g., to LightRoom (see quote from Avalanche's web site, below):

    "Not all edits can be converted due to the complexity of the proprietary formats of the catalogs. Avalanche for Lightroom will not convert mask based edits, or local adjustments (spot removal, healing brushes, etc…). Advanced color grading is not handled either. All images that have adjustments that are not supported, will be placed in a dedicated album for easy review."

    Lack of mask based edits, local adjustments, and advanced color grading are big limitations. Converting images to TIFF may be the best way to preserve edits in format that can be edited as if RAW. Importing TIFFs with would preserve the edits, although the layers would be flattened.

    I am fortunate enough not to have problems using the latest version of Capture One 16.3 for my purposes and could use it for the foreseeable future, but I am concerned about how to use it if Capture One were to be sold to a company that did not want to continue selling it. If I had to reinstall it on another drive or computer, the revalidation process would no longer work. I have written to Capture One support about this. I doubt support wants to think about the answer.

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  • Jerry C

    Reviewing the limitations of Avalanche prompted me to ask support about plans for using Capture One in the event that the company was no longer in business. They reiterated the process for revalidating a license when moving to another computer or reinstalling on a new drive and also said,

    "This is a very unlikely event and if it was to happen we would give our customers plenty of notice so that they could move their images or provide instructions on how to transfer your images to another raw processing software."

    While Capture One sinking may be "unlikely", it is still something one with a large database would want to be prepared for. The need to move to a new platform is not trivial. It would be comforting if the company said it had a plan to let license holders use their licensed versions as long as needed. Apparently Capture One's plan is to give users what it believes as adequate notice that revalidation of  a license will no longer be possible. 

    This is probably a problem for all software vendors as they make license validation more secure for them, but it is not a very good marketing tool.  

     

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  • Jim Schaub

    Avalanche works a bit differently than porting settings between apps. It uses AI to produce a similar outcome. However, it does transfer metadata. Avalanche works with a number of digital asset apps in both directions.

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Jerry C - A worst case would be a sudden chapter 7 bankruptcy where the company is shut-down suddenly, driven by creditors who just want to get as much money as they can out of the company liquidation and don't care at all about customers.  I've seen this happen before and customers get screwed. 

    In this specific case, because they are running a subscription business which has ongoing (somewhat automatic) revenue, I think it would be less likely that you'd get an unannounced, immediate chapter 7 shutdown of the license verification servers because it would be at least worth it to the creditors to maintain a small skeleton crew for awhile to continue to collect subscription revenue and avoid lawsuits that might arise out of stopping service in the middle of a pre-paid subscription period.

    And, we have no reason to believe at this moment that the company is anywhere near such a precipitous event.  It seems that they are probably trying to "right-size" the company resources/expenses to the amount of revenue they are bringing in now and will probably focus development more tightly on specific segments of the market (like studio pros and digitechs) than on the broad photography market.

    But, nothing goes forever.  I'm definitely thinking about archiving 16-bit TIFF files of all RAW files I've actively edited In Capture One and wondering how that process would be done if/when I want to switch to a different editing tool.  I'm not much of a believer in a tool like Avalanche for RAW edits because I so regularly use masks in my landscape photos.

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  • Jerry C

    I agree. The TIFF route is the only way to preserve edits between platforms. 

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    A TIFF preserves the edits in that the image as edited is available to be used and further edited as required. But the edits are baked in, so it doesn't actually preserve it in a non-destructive way. You can't for instance go back and make a different choice about what white balance to set, or how much shadow recover to dial in.

    Ian

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Ian Wilson - Yes, of course know it doesn't save it in a non-destructive way.  We know that.

    There is NO way to save Capture One edits in a non-destructive way and use them in another RAW editor. Such a method does not exist and will probably never exist because every RAW editor uses proprietary adjustments, algorithms, settings, etc...

    So, the ONLY other option is to save the baked in edits as a reference.  If you really must change the edits significantly, then you can either start from the TIFF or start over with the RAW in a new editor, at least having the TIFF as a reference or starting point.

    Or, if you just want to make a print or create a JPEG for some other use, you can do that just fine directly from the TIFF.

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  • Jerry C

    Absolutely true, Ian. As with any export, the edits are flattened into an image without any of the layers or modifiable parameters. Until there is a standardized format used for edited images independent of platform, transferring edited images between platforms will be limited. Software companies have no incentive to do anything that would make it easier for you to jump ship.

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    But also, it is quite understandable that there is no way of transferring everything. We all use the software we do partly because it offers us something that other options don't. So I get it that there is no plausible way for, say, a luma range on a mask in a Capture One edit to be readable by another app. 

    I have about 50,000 images in my main catalog. I wouldn't want to double the already large storage requirement that entails by saving every one as a TIFF!

    Ian

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  • Jerry C

    TIFF is no panacea, just the least worse case solution. Fast 4TB NVME SSD's are below $400. Some 4TB SSDs are less than $200. Having a drive with TIFFs with a parallel file structure to your drive with referenced RAW files, isn't so expensive, but it would be a pain to set up for a large existing catalog.

    I just keep getting triggered when I recall the trauma of moving from Aperture to Capture One and reediting images, even though they looked a lot nicer. 

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    @Jerry C

    How many images did you eventually re-edit?

    If faced with the same prospect again, would you repeat the process just as before? Or would you choose to be more selective?

    As you point out, there is some potential for gaining satisfaction from re-edited images.

    Potentially, even if some software in question was still functional but standing in isolation from one's future work, would the situation be much different from it becoming unavailable to use (after a period of advanced notification, perhaps)?

    A question for Aperture refugees...

    How did Apple's decision, which seemed not to be based on any commercial survival concerns, affect your view of the Corporation?

    For example, did you stop buying their products and services? Or make suggestions in posts in the Apple related forums that people should consider such options?

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