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New Feature Release 16.4 -> Money, money, money ...

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83 comments

  • EM

    Very funny answer. The LR/PS subscription including the mobile app costs me €8 a month. A lot of program for little money. How much does a CaptureOne subscription cost? 2 ... 3 times as much. Any questions?

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    EM - it's well known that the Capture One subscription is more expensive than the Lightroom one. And the Capture One perpetual licence is also more expensive over time than a Lightroom subscription would be, assuming you choose to buy a new perpetual licence every time there's a new version. 

    As @... says, this has been the known state of affairs for some time now. So if you decide that you prefer Capture One to Lightroom, then you have to decide what the most cost-effective way to do that is for you. Or you can use Lightroom, if the cost issue sways it for you. Lightroom obviously a great program, and many photographers like it, though for myself, I don't get on well with it and much prefer Capture One. 

    Ian

     

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I choose Capture One for its quality and I find it worth the increased price over Adobe. We each have to make our own decision.

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  • Nicolas Det

    CaptureOne is way better and faster than LR. No match in my opinion.

    However, paying 200€ (for an upgrade to 16.4 perpetual licence) for one new feature (Crop AI) and one updated feature (GPU accelerated AI Mask) is quite hard.

    First time ever, I will not update at that price.

    I am waiting for other stuffs like Pick All Fix, batch HDR, GPU accelerated HDR, general stability improvements. However, C1's customers look to be more in studio. So the company cares less about event/architecture stuff.

    Wait and see how it will go

     

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  • Nicolas Det

    Walter Rowe the price for perpetual licence upgrade just doubled for a very mild update.

    -1
  • Sansith Koraviyotin

    yes C1 pro more expensive but
    C1 pro is the best for studio and tethering 

    LR tethering is sucks 
    LR interface is sucks

    I have no choice .

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  • Nicolas Det

    Yes. But doubling the price is a bit hard...

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  • Frank Lindner

    I've actually been a big fan of Capture One for years, but now I think it's getting too much. I didn't mind the subscription model and I understand that the costs have to be covered. If you don't always need the latest features you can choose the alternative license. With the introduction it was also said that the functions will be continuously expanded and new functions will be added. Now I have an All in One Pro license and the new functions are packed into a new application called CO Studio. From my point of view, we have now financed the development of a new application without benefiting from the new features ourselves. It's a shame, but I'm getting closer and closer to saying goodbye.

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I choose the subscription for C1. With the loyalty program I can now off-ramp to a perpetual license for free if I choose.

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  • Nicolas Det

    Actually, I think it's ok/good they release new extended versions for specific needs.

    Studio is also more expensive.

    However, I dislike the fact to pay more for less.

    However, CaptureOne is still the best photo software around. The new pricing looks totally like they are doing an Adobe...

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  • Andrew Moore

    I'm a long time Capture One Pro user, the worrying thing about this update and the precedent it sets for future updates.

    I understand the requirements for a 'Studio' version but to not give the fuller functioning AI crop tool to both versions is a really strange decision.

    'Pro' no longer means 'Pro'. I understand about collaborative features but not a tool like this?

    I hope this is rectified and isn't the start of a two-tier system!

    3
  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    The previous Enterprise version contained a number of studio requirement related features at a premium price. 

    This latest product review seems to be following the same policy in principle but pitched to users with a package of other recent developments.

    I agree with Andrew Moore to some extent. 

    Although the initial release notes for testing clearly identified that the AI crop development to date had been aimed directly at Product and Portraiture - both Studio activities for most people - I found that it also worked well in other situations. That was quite a surprise because the images I used were action shots outdoors and definitely NOT studio constrained.

    I would like to think that at some point the AI Crop concept, in some form, might appear in Pro as well as Studio. It seems to me that has potential for much wider use in workflows that do not originate in any form of Studio process constraint. 

    A Studio may want significant precision as part of its rapid production process. I would be happy to see the concept, with a little less need for precision and matching crops, available as a controlled crop suggestion assistant for any image with a reasonable obvious subject or subject matter type.

    For example, AI Cropping suggestions in relation to an AI Subject selection might be an extremely useful productivity aid for many Pro users who do not require the more complete set of Studio features.

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  • Jerry C

    I misread the C1 promo about 16.4, and thought it claimed general GPU acceleration, but it only applies to AI masking, which on my Mac Studio is rather fast for my use. I was disappointed. Until a big improvement is released, 16.3 works for me and I see no reason to upgrade my perpetual license, yet. The improvements in 16.4 will not be of substantial use to me, and so I will upgrade when enough improvements tempt me more. I do not see this as a big deal. It is not as if a breakthrough in C1's capabilities is going to hugely impact what I do with C1 already.

    If you do high volume commercial photography, there are gradual improvements that could benefit your bottom line more than the cost of an upgrade. Wait until the cost:benefit ratio of an upgrade is favorable.

     

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  • Łukasz Gałecki

    I see some people are confused. Pro and Studio both have AI Crop. In Pro it is automated(mode selection), in studio you can use auto, subject, face modes and in general have more control with some more options. I tested it extensively and for 90% of users I doubt extra controls from Studio would be substantially useful. I even used some product shots to test if some effects can’t be replicated by auto crop in Pro and I can say that I never felt auto AI crop was insufficient. Mode detection and crop ratio replication and placement in the frame as in reference photo was to my eyes just perfect.

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  • FirstName LastName

    Oh boy, here we go again

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  • John Harper

    Yes here we go again.
    Adobe and the other software developers must rub their hands together each time Capture One brings out a new version.
    The same people winging about the same things on this forum each time and making things worse.
    This forum is so toxic compared with any other forum.
    Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom are just streets ahead of what they offer for the price and no bugs.

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    This Pro edition minor release feature set is a joke. And still they don't fix all regression defects even if reported by a customer.  Do they really think such a customer relationship attitude coupled with a bad value proposition for the upgrade is going to tease me upgrading? I am very dissappointed, but if I had a subscription, I would be p***ed.

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  • Nicolas Det

    There is a table with features for each version there:

    https://www.captureone.com/en/pricing/capture-one-pro

     

    Basically, Studio offers better AI Crop and more collaboration possibilities. If 

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  • Ekkehard Schwartz

    I am on a subscription to be renewed in a couple of days. What worries me most with the announcement of C1 Studio is the fact that limited engineering resources now have to support another variant of Capture One. As I would assume that C1 Studio has the highest margin amongst different C1 product the company naturally will direct it’s resources there leaving C1 Pro with even bigger issues in terms of catching up with (e.g.) Adobe. I am really not sure if I should renew my subscription even though I like C1 very much and dislike LR/PS even more. Maybe I can get used to Adobes tools if I try really hard …

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    From the pure economics point of view, whether or not there is a high margin I don't know, but a high margin doesn't do much for you without a high volume of sales. If only a very small number of customers go for the high-margin product, there is still more revenue to be earned from the lower margin but higher volume one.

    Ian

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Ekkehard,

    It's the same code base, just a different set of inclusion/exclusion parameters. 

    The latest additions are, more or less, available in all versions but with some restrictions in some.

    Supporting the extended specialist functionality just added is likely to be more resource consuming than simply controlling function availability using methods long established.

    Indeed one might consider that, absent the Express version and the Manufacturer specific versions, there is less to manage since the basis of the Studio product has been around for a while.

    I'm slightly puzzled about what you mean when you write "catching up with (e.g.)Adobe" and then go on to state that you prefer C1. I agree with you on your preference but I'm not sure what you are expecting as part of the catch-up.

    The idea of having the full Studio set of functionality would, for most non-studio based users, be nice to have but probably completely pointless.  Possibly even confusing and probably an opportunity for the support people to be overwhelmed with people who do not really understand the business case for some of the features trying to use them and creating confusion for themselves.

    Or, just as likely, complaining about having to "pay" for functionality they do not need or cannot use.

    As for stretching resources in other ways ...

    Serif created Affinity for Mac only with limited resources, added all of the other "Adobe like " products for their suite straight after while at the same time creating the WIndows version of Affinity Photo. And then the rest of the suite. My impression, based on their financial reporting, is that they had quite limited development resources although the balance probably changed as they moved the business from a software product box shifter (remember those days when software came in boxes, on disks with a manual? ;) ) to what they do now.

    Interestingly Serif sold itself to an Australian business earlier this year. A business whose current business model is based entirely on Subscriptions.

    Serif are saying that their Perpetual Licence model will continue under the new ownership.

    I think the headcount in the business is still quite similar to C1 but I may be wrong as I have not recently found any information about C1 headcount. 

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Ian Wilson

    "From the pure economics point of view, whether or not there is a high margin I don't know, but a high margin doesn't do much for you without a high volume of sales. If only a very small number of customers go for the high-margin product, there is still more revenue to be earned from the lower margin but higher volume one."

    Very true but it can also work the other way around.

    I have seen situations where the bulk of the revenue came from the larger customers, usually tempted by big discounts on boxes of expensively priced kit and similar discounts on maintenance contracts.

    The profits came from large customers who only replaced kit every 5 years. They usually paid full asking price and full service rates for the life of the installation. They rarely required technical help as they had their own people in-house and  once installed, tested and established, rarely needed service help.

    The high volume box buyers were always buying the latest kit and so always needed support that they tried not to pay for.

    A new country boss looked at the companies buy once every 5 years and saw they represented only 5% of the number of boxes sold in any year. He proposed that the business should drop them as customers.

    Then someone pointed out that the "once every 5 years" buyers still provided significant income for sales and for service parts. Moreover, they were the only source of service profit that supported the large technical support operation despite rarely calling on its resources.

    The business involved was nothing like C1 but the point is that numbers and sources are not always how we might imagine them to be.

     

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  • Jerry C

    Every time there is an upgrade, the same comments are made. Users continue to like C1 and use C1 and generally prefer it, but complain about its shortcomings and there are many, just like with other products. What proportion of users (and I am thinking mostly of perpetual licensees), really are going to bolt from something that has been working for them, with all its limitations, and go to another software with all of that products limitations, different workflow, etc? Before actually leaving C1 for something else, is the move really going to improve your workflow, processing power, profitability, or ease of use?

    I have a lot of frustrations with C1's laggardly approach to code efficiency, connectivity, database management, cost:benefit ratio of upgrades, but the central requirements for processing my photos is better than most and my need to upgrade is never urgent because I have adapted to C1's idiosyncrasies. If I were stuck with version 16.3 for years, I would not be hampered. 

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Pro version, Studio version... I am anticipating a "Studio Pro" version in the future, where most of the development effort is going to be spent, partly trickling down to the Studio and Pro versions. :-)

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  • HeKoVS

    This is how consistent marketing works! Serve a few goodies drop by drop to keep the crowd in a good mood. We've known this for a long time and yet we're always indignant when things don't go according to our expectations. What remains is the fact of switching from champagne to sparkling wine and the gentlemen in Denmark know that. Personally, I'm always on the verge of switching after a release because I'm annoyed by the fact that some new features are being adapted that the majority of users probably don't need.For example, where is AI-supported noise reduction? In general, it makes sense to divide the software according to key functions and should be tailored to user-specific requirements. From the programmer's point of view, it is easy to put modular software together so that the end product takes on a different appearance. So what's the matter?
    Strategy and marketing - this department has to make money at the expense of the users. But no one ask they what they really want.

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  • Ekkehard Schwartz

    Oh boy, I did not mean to create an avalanche of comments. Still, I stand by my point that - with limited engineering resources - there will be an ongoing discussion about whom to prioritize, Studio customers or Pro customers. Asking a significant premium for the Studio version needs development of functionality and features, without giving these away to Pro customers. Whichever way I turn it, with limited resources there will be a resource shift from Pro to Studio. Many C1 customers (me included) have asked for AI noise reduction, a feature which most likely will not be important for Studio users (I am not a studio photographer), and which is available in Lightroom for a fraction of the price. I love C1, for my needs it is more powerful and efficient than Lightroom, and I love the user interface. But then there is cost, the absence of some important functionality and now - potentially - an internal competition about engineering resources.I do not have any insight in C1 as an operation, I just see parallels with other businesses I do know very well.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Well, for the first time in a while when testing, I discovered a combination of new features, in part the AI Crop tool, to be something that could really make a difference to my workload after a shoot. And it works very well without any real need to try to understand it. In fact it works well even though what I was doing was not part of the primary development objective. 

    The list of new stuff provided is mostly of no immediate interest to me and, quite possibly, will not be of any practical use to me even though I am interested in it from a technical point of view. (Unless it is Apple only!)

    But much depends on what you shoot and what your priorities are.

    I shot about 700 images of action stuff, at night under floodlights with quite an old camera at the limit of its capabilities and got much better results than I expected, mainly using automated adjustments and relying upon C1 to find subjects, auto-create subject and background layers and masks and then AI Crop to eliminate excess clutter. 

    The whole process, through to sharing the results, took much less time than I expected despite many more of the images being usable than I had estimated as a likely viability rate.

    Now, I can think of many other types of photography where none of the things I have outlined would have been of interest to the photographer and perhaps other AI features would be preferred by them. But to me with 700 images to assess and process, just a couple of features made a very very big difference. 

    Did I mention that I was quite surprised by that and truly impressed.

     

    This is the first time in several years of releases where found something that was more useful, to me, than a freshly tweaked tool or interesting but not mainstream requirements (for me) such as Panorama stitching. 

    I have nothing against panorama stitching. I quite enjoy doing it once in a while. But even though it is a prominent "feature" of C1 I find much greater benefit from some of newest additions when used in combination.

    They may mostly appear to be Studio types of features but, in the right circumstances  - basically many people taking large numbers of shots in a short period of time and with a need to try to process them quickly - the productivity gains may well be more important than new tools.

    But we will all have different points of view about what is or is not important to us.

     

     

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Ekkehard,

    I think a sensible and considered discussion is just fine in a forum. It is what such things are for. IMO.

    So long as it does not turn into some sort of fight ....

    This one seems OK so far.

     

    I've been prodded to look into AI based NR tools.

    I checked a few in the various websites. SOme are quite impressive but not really shone.

    Topaz (I have a very old version somewhere with no AI stuff and probably no advanced Denoise) looked quite clean but in most of the samples it lost detail where one might want to keep it.

    It also seems to be bundled into a collection of AI based tools and priced as $199.

    OnOne asks what seems to be $75 for their AI NR product. (I also have an old version of OnOne somewhere, or whatever it was called before it became OnOne.)

    DxO also came with a price.

    Adobe seems to have bundled theirs, but a review pointed out, it seems slow and anyone using recently released cameras (and so presumably most active photographers in the near future) have results in the camera that probably very rarely need significant NR adjustments. In other words there was a suggestion that NR reduction will eventually become almost redundant.

    What else might be on our long-held wish lists for post-processing tools but that could possibly become redundant after our next camera upgrades?

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  • Robert Völker

    I have the bug, that C1 does not show the last selected image after launching the software. The support told me the devs are working on a patch. After release of the 16.4 I asked again if there will be a patch to 16.3.x. The answer was that they don't know yet. Hope they will bring a patch for the 16.3.x. I don't want to buy a new license (and also not subscribe) just for a patch.

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