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

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83 comments

  • Last name First name

    EM

    For what it's worth, I personally don't know any working professional (in my circle) that ever uses a 'current' version of C1. New releases are notoriously buggy and when on set you cannot afford software failures. If you prefer to use C1, the way to go is buy a perpetual license and work one version behind. Save your money and update when there is a feature that significantly improves your workflow and a few .x.x (or whatever they call it now) bug updates have been released. 

    This whole enterprise (pun intended) of multiple feature releases a year is meant to be like holding a shiny object to a baby to entice you into a subscription. The problem is, they rush out the releases and more often than not, the resulting bugs are more problematic than the usefulness of the new feature. Stay on your perpetual license and until you need to update.

    3
  • Berthold Grünhagen

    I have been a C1 user for many years and I don't like LR at all. But for me, the new features in version 16.4 are completely unimportant. It would have been fair to the other users to offer all 16.x versions free of charge for active users and only charge an update price again from version 17 (with good, new features).
    Most other software providers do it this way.
    Do you need the money? Don't you sell any more cameras?
    Is the pressure from Fuji, Leica and Hasselblad too great?
    Take an example from Blackmagic Davinci Resolve. One perpetual purchase and all future versions included!
    Too much greed for money will lead to you having to close down sooner or later!

    1
  • Nicolas Det

    I agree.

     

    However CaptureOne does not make any hardware.

    0
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Capture One is not adhering to the major version numbering scheme of the past. You could imaging 16.3 as version 17, and 16.4 as version 18, but they aren't numbering versions the same way now. Rather than getting all version 16 updates for free, you are now getting all 16.3.x updates when you purchase 16.3, or all 16.4.x updates when you purchase 16.4.

    Black Magic Design is a completely model. They make cameras and hardware for production studios and make most of their revenue from that. This affords them the ability to offer their software at a very competitive price with lifetime upgrades.

    1
  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Berthold Grünhagen

    But if the new features in version 16.4 are unimportant to you, you are free not to take that particular update, and therefore pay nothing.

    Ian

    1
  • Nicolas Det

    Ian Wilson

    Indeed, the update is very "thin" for a big price. I would have expec a free upgrade or <100€ for that. 

    So I will be waiting for anything new. Actually, I am looking for more stability/speed and less feature.

    1
  • Emile Gregoire

    After 17 years in which I only skipped one version, I finally jumped ship and swam over to the dark side. This new ‘loyalty’ scheme with paid upgrades twice a year is finally too much for me, in addition to the unfixed bugs, the killing off instead of integration of MediaPro, the lack of decent DAM, etc. It’s a shame though, because I still prefer the product despite all this, but these days even Adobe seems more customer centric. And no, I won’t let the door hit me on the way out :-)

    3
  • Nicolas Det

    Emile Gregoire I feel the same. However CaptureOne 16.3 is far the best for my workflow. Especially wiht Live, Session and Colour tools.

    2
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Emile Gregoire .. nothing requires you to upgrade .. why give up the app vs waiting until you feel enough compelling features have been added to warrant upgrading?

    You said you still prefer Capture One. Moving elsewhere when you prefer Capture One and Capture One still works makes no sense to me.

    1
  • Frank Lindner

    @walter Rowe, I understand the move, I'm facing the same decision. I still have my subscription but will probably end it soon. The background is simply that I don't have to switch unprepared if there is a system update and the CO application is no longer running. In my case, this is a minor problem as I have a subscription and am supplied with updates, but for the others it looks more problematic. I think CO is building up a new target group and leaving the long-standing users behind.

    3
  • EM

    The new version 16.3 of Lightroom Classic was released today. Interesting new AI functions and more. For the subscription of LR Classic + LR Cloud +LR mobile + Photoshop I pay 6,50€ per month. 


    How much does the comparable CaptureOne subscription cost? Wow, 3 to 4 times as much.

    Any questions?

    2
  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    EM

    No questions.

    If the Adobe offer better suits all of your needs then you should, of course, take it.

    It's a question of economies of scale. Adobe, like many other businesses these days, Mobile Phone services being a great example, will have many customers paying for services that look attractive but which they do not use to the full capacity offered by the fees they pay. That's the commercial benefit of subscriptions.

    Once the concept has achieved the level of mass acceptance for an established product for a business the size of Adobe many users will simply keep paying  - especially if the price is reduced to fend off competition and keep the cash flowing. You can take advantage of that.

    On the other hand, if one has to learn a completely new (to you) product and workflow and perhaps make compromises on how you do things the deal may not be so advantageous. That's always a personal decision.

    0
  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Frank Lindner

    I think the latest update is clearly aimed at the Professional market where the pricing issues may be less emotive when payments are a tax deductable business cost.

    Realistically for C1 that most likely represents a sensible approach for perpetuating the core business revenues with features the Studios can benefit from.

    Some of those features MAY be useful to Pro's who do not regularly work on Studio shoots or Hobbyists who sometimes shoot large volumes and want to process them quickly. It's good to see them appear.

    To other photographers the initial set of features in 16.4 may seem very lacking in usefulness. But that could be said of any product.

    For me, the productivity gains I believe I can make using some of the new features are probably the biggest thing that has appeared for several releases. For others they may be as meaningless as all of the Apple based developments have been to me over the past several releases. As a wise person once observed, "you cannot keep all of the people happy all of the time".

    0
  • Frank Lindner

    @SFA I agree with you about Apple, although I am a big fan of Apple. But the difference here is clearly in the pricing. As long as my hardware is functional, I won't pay an extra cent for the software for many years. Bugs and security-relevant updates are still released for some previous versions if I don't want to upgrade. But that's a different line of business. At the moment, it seems to me that CO is or will be a Pro Express version.

    0
  • Berthold Grünhagen

    I want to reply again to all those who approve of the core of the company's policy and advise all users who want to switch to LR/PS to do so. I don't think any software manufacturer wants to lose customers. How long have most people here been working with C1? It's not just about LR, but also about other applications such as On1, DXO and other RAW converters. All of them have more functionalities than C1 (denoising, AI, better masks). However, C1 is the most expensive product. And not all photographers need studio features. C1 has risked losing regular customers over the last few years through a policy of inflated prices. Because once customers have left, they won't come back any time soon!
    I think all the criticism here goes towards the company! Please don't criticize those who don't like the version policy. They could have just called 16.4 17. Then we wouldn't all have such a bad feeling about it.
    @Nicolas: PhaseOne and CaptureOne are one and the same company!

    0
  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Berthold Grünhagen - in fact Phase One and Capture One have been separate companies for about 5 years. (Albeit both owned by the same private equity company.)

    Ian

    0
  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Berthold Grünhagen

    It would be interesting to know how income (and costs) are apportioned by user type in the C1 business model.

    It might enlighten our understanding of business decisions, not that that should be of importance to us humble users.

     

    Affinity, for example, obtains quite a small amount of its overall revenue from the Photo editing part of the software suite. Mostly, as with Adobe, it comes as income from the other parts of its suite of functionality.

    Making a product suite work as a business purely on the basis of photo editing may need to rely heavily on how large studios respond to what is offered rather than how individual (and possibly specialised) photographers see things. 

    Form time to time this is likely to creare a situation like the 16.4 release. A restructuring of what is offered to satisfy the needs of the high volume users and, perhaps, a change in interest on behalf of camera manufacturers as digital camera sales seem to be well below the level that they were a few year ago when amateur enthusiasts piled into processing RAW files seeking the best possible image quality they could find  - and avoiding subscription models for software.

    The next generation of photo image creators may have different preferences about what they feel they need.

    0
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Let's keep in mind that Capture One has made many updates to their mobile apps and desktop pro app over the last 6 months all the while they were working on the new Studio Edition features. We have auto cropping ("smart cropping" as I like to call it), improved GPU-based AI masking, speed improvements for macOS file operations, improved catalogs with smaller preview file sizes and sharper thumbnails (my catalog is 50% its prior size), Live View tethering in the mobile apps, lots of new camera support, and other updates.

    I don't feel you can argue you are getting less for more. I would argue you are getting more for more.

    0
  • Last name First name

    Walter Rowe 

    I agree. Capture One is not Lightroom et al., and that is fine by me because I find LR to be unintuitive, frustrating to use layers, does not have place-able color read outs, terrible with tethering and the interface is less customizable. It is by no means a professional software, however Capture One certainly is. I use Capture One because no other software can do what it does. And I use Photoshop to edit pixels because Capture One can not (nor any other raw converter). It's just that simple. I don't understand why folks that find LR to suit their needs better, don't simply use LR and go about their business. No one would purchase a commercial farming tractor to mow their lawns then complain about how expensive it is. 

    To that I will say, I do find Capture One's leadership to be troubling, lacking empathy and misguided. Their entire approach over the last two years has chipped away at my confidence in them as a company and I often question their future. The loyalty approach is verging on embarrassing and absolutely frustrating to keep up with. I fear them going out of business and my entire archive becoming locked out. I would imagine a large percentage of people's anger has less to do with what Capture One has been doing and more with how they've gone about doing it. I hope Capture One can get back (pre-pandemic) to a more stable standing, focus on being the best at what they do and once and for all find a way to become consistent and transparent.

    0
  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Yes and no, Walter, more no than yes.

    Let's keep in mind that Capture One has made many updates to their mobile apps and desktop pro app over the last 6 months all the while they were working on the new Studio Edition features.

    I neither use the mobile app nor the Studio edition.

    We have auto cropping ("smart cropping" as I like to call it),

    Agreed, this may be a thing for some. But only for those who need to edit lots of images fast. Instead of AI noise reduction they come with AI cropping. Each to their own...

    improved GPU-based AI masking,

    As it could be done in batch, it was reasonably fast on my medium spec'ed Windows PC without it.

    speed improvements for macOS file operations,

    I don't have a Mac.

    improved catalogs with smaller preview file sizes and sharper thumbnails (my catalog is 50% its prior size),

    Bigger thumbnails would have been a thing, the smaller previews files and sharper thumbnails I don't mind

    Live View tethering in the mobile apps,

    No app on my phone.

    lots of new camera support,

    I don't have a new camera.

    and other updates.

    Mobile app and Studio edition comes at an extra cost, so this is hardly an argument for high prices for the Pro desktop applications.

    Then, a good part of the new features is for the Studio version only, the introduction of Studio is ripping off us Pro users who have been and are financing the Capture One company for so many years, we are now in a competition for development resources too. They dropped the Express and brand-specific versions, kept only the Pro edition, made all pigs equal, but now they started to make some pigs more equal than others...

    Studio only features: 

    Client viewers, Advanced AI crop, multiple compare variants, new tokens

    At least the latter two two or three should be available in the Pro version, their use case is not limited to Studio photography!

    Bottom line: I don't seem to belong to their target customer base, that's ok, but nearly every change the company does reinforces my impression that the private equity owner of the company tries to squeeze every penny out of us.

    1
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    BeO .. these updates don't have as much benefit for you. fair enough. each user will do their own similar evaluation and determine whether the updates are beneficial enough to them to warrant upgrading.

    in this regard nothing has changed for the entire life of Capture One or any other software. many users skipped multiple annual release cycles in the prior release model. they didn't feel the additions benefited them enough to warrant upgrading. when a feature finally came that they couldn't live without, or enough features had accumulated to benefit them, then they would upgrade.

    the ability to evaluate the enhancements as they come and determine their benefit vs cost remains the same. the significant change is that features now come more quickly so their entire ecosystem matures faster. with the increased pace of change comes a corresponding increase in frequency of doing that assessment of cost vs benefit.

    0
  • Nicolas Det

    Walter Rowe Not only, the update offers mild improvements, but does not seen to fix the instability introduced in 16.3 (on my system).

    So I always have to "pray" 16.3 works with nice new features (Mask AI) or use 16.2.. Now praying that some updates 16.4.x or 16.5 would render back the software stable. And hoping that filtered "pick all" which has been removed with cull, comes back. Cull which I could not find any use for..

    This is not a way to work with pros. It reminds me OpenSource/GPL Software management.

    That said, even with this regression, C1 is still far the best RAW convertor when it comes to colours, speed and collaboration.

    0
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Nicolas Det .. do you have a support case open for your instability issues? some users who have these issues find that it is system specific. have you look at the requirements capture one suggests for running their software? are drivers up to date? is your OS compatible with the version of Capture One you are running? what other software do you have running? is your graphics card powerful enough? there are many factors that can influence your working system. a support case can help determine if any of these factors apply to your issues.

    0
  • Nicolas Det

    Walter Rowe. Yes, and yes. but they could not fix it yet.

    This is system specific, C1's team can not reproduces it. My system is fast and up-to-date (Latest drivers, latest Windows 10, 8 cores, 64 GB RAM, RTX 2080). However, C1 runs perfectly stable on my 12 years old Mac.

    The error 0xc00000005 only occurs when Live is working

    I understand this is not a priority as most of the user are (hopefully) not affected. But it has to be fixed somehow. For me, it means, when it's fixed, I will probably have to pay >150€ just to get stability back. It's a bit painful.

    Fact is, even with that instability, and issues, C1 is still far ahead and faster than concurrences

    0
  • Emile Gregoire

    Walter Rowe. I get your point, and in a way it's valid. Yet in my eyes it's just not the same company it was before and I don't like the feeling that they're using whatever way possible to extract more money out of their customers, all the while delivering a product that in many ways is great but in others is lackluster at best (DAM) and has issues that port over from version to version. It's just not worth the ever increasing price to me anymore so instead of sticking around and hoping for change, I decided to rip off the band-aid and move over. Why wait any longer. But that's just me and I don't want to be whining about it; I just wanted to answer your question all the same!

    Emile Gregoire .. nothing requires you to upgrade .. why give up the app vs waiting until you feel enough compelling features have been added to warrant upgrading?

    You said you still prefer Capture One. Moving elsewhere when you prefer Capture One and Capture One still works makes no sense to me.

    0
  • Nicolas Det

    Indeed, I tried a bunch of others software after 16.4 released. However, not get closed to C1 for my needs.

    The first rule of a company should be: do not make your customers angry.

    0
  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Nicolas Det

    I mainly agree - but which customers are the most important to keep happy and what is their happiness worth?

    For example, MAC vs Windows users?

    Canon vs Nikon vs Fuji vs Sony, etc.

    Large production Studios vs solo Pros vs wealthy amateurs vs poor enthusiasts?

    People who shoot events and create hundreds or thousand of images a day vs those who shoot rarely and produce a hundred images a year? (And, of course, all in between ....)

    People who have one or two active cameras (with lenses) and use them for many years vs those who regularly upgrade their cameras and lenses.

     

    And so many more potential extremes of interests that present so many opportunities to complain either about lack of support and functionality or paying for too many developments in which they are not interested. 

    As a wise person once observed about Politics (iirc) 

    "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."

    The same can be said about customers, but with a slightly different rationale.

    "You can keep some customers happy all for the time and all of the customers happy some of the time with very special offers. But you cannot keep all of the customers happy all of the time or, indeed, not even most of the time."

    Even more difficult would be obtaining well-analysed data that could begin to tell the vendor what might or might not make all users happy. Or unhappy.

     

     

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  • Łukasz Gałecki

    We need to accept that Capture One(Company) realized they can’t compete with Adobe with their product as general purpose photography software. They lack resources so they focused on features they have better or unique and market segment they dominate. I also find complaints about price a bit too harsh. 50€ per month for most expensive trier for professionals living from photography shouldn’t be considered as expensive. I’m user of Photo Mechanic, company behind it introduced subscription model and increased price. Perpetual license cost now 500$ with one year of free updates. It’s two times the price before increase. This is what I call unreasonable pricing for mainly metadata management and culling software. As owner of previous version I can’t even upgrade my license at discount I need to buy new license or new subscription for full price.

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  • Last name First name

    John Friend

    Capture One was developed as a companion software and tether capture platform for the Phase One camera system. Hardly an amateur or hobbyist software. My question is, why don’t hobbyists or amateurs use a software that caters to them?! Like LR or others? I’m guessing they want to use Capture One? If so what’s the problem?

    0
  • Nicolas Det

    The whole point is the subscription VS buy option.

    If one buy the software (aka perpetual licence), the software company needs to introduce new interesting features in the next version in order to get the user to upgrade or new user.

    If one subscribe mouthily to a software, the user is dependant of the company to work. In the case of a working pro photographer, you have no choice: Pay 24€ monthly or stop working.

    The best example is version 16.4, there is absolutely nothing worth 200€ (upgrade from 16.3) in this update for most. AI Crop is nice, accelerated mask AI is good. But, most will just not benefit of that. A friend of mine has a fast PC but without OpenCL capable card... This update does not bring much, but it's 200€ or 6'24=144€...

    Add to that some instability, and removing working feature (filtered pick all), the bill is spicy.

    As a working pro, I just can not make my work dependent of a monthly payment for unknown stuffs... It should work first, and always.

    Yet, running a company is not easy, and money has to come. However, frustrate old users, is not the way to go. For 2 years, I would recommend anyone to jump in CaptureOne, I would have never thing about leaving the boat myself, even if a completive software would come up.

    Today, I would jump anytime if possible. In the meanwhile, I feel it was a good decision to go for the perpetual licence.

     

    Anyway, C1 has just no concurrence as a pro photo software (for my needs) yet. It's a total joy to work with it. Lr, DXo, Darktable and so on are light years away.

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