Capture One for events and sports?


Canonet QL17 GIII
Sep 22, 2012
St. Paul, MN
Is the grass greener with Capture One (so to speak)?

I shoot a lot of kids sports and various events where I process 100-200 photos at a time. My current workflow involves Photo Mechanic for culling, then drag-n-dropping the selected images into Lightroom 6 for post work. But, I'm reading more about Capture One's "superior" RAW image processing and wondering if it might help me improve my post work.

In Lightroom, I fix the color, tweak the exposure, and add some noise reduction for higher ISO shots. I like that I can select a bunch of shots by exposure setting then apply a few adjustments to all of them at once. For example, I can grab all the shots at ISO 6400-8000 and set noise reduction on all of them without affecting other settings. Lightroom's automated lens correction applied at import is an added plus.

For events shot in reliably consistent light, such as figure skating with full arena lights (non-flicker, that is), I can process an entire shoot fairly quickly. A few shots may need to be bumped up or down in exposure, but that's it. With events in older gyms or arenas, where flicker is an issue, the process slows because many shots need more individual attention.

My biggest issue with Lightroom is "loading...". With Windows, Intel I7 Core and 16GB Ram, it can take several seconds to apply individual adjustments to a photo and move on to the next. This can take a while if I'm doing a 100 photos.

I also shoot some portraits while tethered. Capture One intrigues me for portrait shoots for it's allegedly superior tethering, RAW processing engine, and photo editing tools.

I have the trial software loaded, but there's a learning curve that I'm trying to conquer. In the meantime, what are your experiences With Capture One for events where one may need to process 100-200 shots at a time? Is there an easy way to grab photos "tagged" in Photo Mechanic? (Do you need Photo Mechanic for culling?) Can you apply a given adjustment(s) to a bunch of photos at once as you adjust the photo in front of you? Is there support for lens corrections? Does Capture One share the "loading..." (ahem) feature?

My first impression is that Lightroom is best for events where the end product will be a gallery of photos and Capture On works better for sessions where the output is a handful of images. But, given my learning curve with the software, I don't know if this is accurate.


Feb 25, 2016
C1’s developers have a unique take on their interface. I hated having to click all the finicky arrows/menus that are on the tool palette title bar. But it did seem more responsive than LR.

When I last used it, it wasn’t able to do like LR and import the dragged photos from PM. The workaround is to create your C1 session for the event. Then ingest into the session Capture folder (the one created by default, it might have a different name). If you’ve done your initial star/color rating in PM, then have a smart folder that selects those. Now you can work on your selects.

If you want to skip PM, then culling in C1 is about as pleasant as doing it LR.

I remember it having a copy/paste for settings, but not sure if it does something like multi-sync. Being able to have several output recipes selected made outputting various sizes easy.


Sep 14, 2011
I wouldn't say it's better, I would say it's different. C1 does a better job with getting more and cleaner data out of raw files, especially when in a high iso. The big thing is that you can do a free demo for 30 days, without any financial risk, but make sure you also try it tethered (where it really shines).


Oct 3, 2014
I find that C1 is faster than LR. I like C1's raw processing results and color control tools better than LR. I like LR's library management (digital asset management) features better, or at least more usable for my personal style. Thus I use them both in my process.

I do culling in LR, and with the help of XMP sidecar files I can use the ratings and tags as filters also in C1. I use C1 only for raw processing, and for that I find it easier to use C1 in "session" (not catalog") mode. I actually have only one session for all C1 work, it works since C1 can store folder/directory specific data under that directory. Best images I export back to LR as tiffs, and the whole bunch I export as jpgs to a separate directory (I like C1's recipies!).

Regarding your questions:

I'm not aware that it would possible to edit multiple images at once in C1 (for example increase saturation in 10 images at once, while looking one of the images and using controls through it), but then again I prefer to do one image ready first and then copy paste settings to other similar images, and it works very nicely in C1 (not any worse than LR).

Lens correction support, not sure now but I recall that the most popular etc lenses are supported, but not all. For example I recall that 24-70mm f2.8 L2 would be supported, but 35mm IS/f2 not.

I find C1 faster both in culling and in raw processing and "editing". I have only 8 gb ram with an intel i7 as well.


Oct 18, 2011
FTb-n you may also wish to check out Dx0 Pro it allows you to edit multiple files the way you describe.
The only thing I would say is that C1 processes raws much faster (for me anyways) and of course the non destructive layers and skin tone control and colour range selection masks in C1 are fantastic. I also felt NR to be better than Dx0 (and that's really good) too.

With regard to the interface it's what I would call 'user friendly' not 'learner friendly' and that's a good thing! It's designed for users that know what they are doing
I spent a LOT of time over the Christmas holiday period learning it and it did take some time to 'get it' (quite frustrating at the start) I much prefer it now to Dx0.

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
I don't find Lightroom to be slow, its not in the same league as slow for DXO. I just finished editing 2500 images.

I am not a fan of sidecar files used by DXO and Capture one. They seem to get separated over the years. I much prefer the LR database.

I think that everyone has their preferred method of operation, so its good to have competition.