May 10, 2023

Everyone is saying Ai these days. It’s the marketing gimmick. But Adobe is showing that when they say Ai, they mean tools that are actually smart. Like the Ai masks from last year made even better in 2023.

But what about Lightroom’s new Ai Noise reduction?

In today’s video I’ll show you how to use it and give it punishing comparison tests. Lightroom already beat Capture One in my Lightroom vs Capture one Noise and Worms testing. But for photos you need something extra on. This new button is more amazing than I expected. I’ll show you in the video below.

You can get the new Street’ist presets I mentioned in todays video. And you can also download the Free Filmist presets pack to see the grain technique in action. They work perfect to finish up after Ai noise reduction.

At this point we have to start asking how much noise even matters.

The early days if digital left us with lots of noise and artifacts that recent Noise tools and better sensors have mostly brought it up to the detail level that we had in film.

With the improvement this year from Ai noise tools like this, you have to ask how much ISO and noise even matters. You can clean it up so well it’s almost too clean, and adding in a little organic grain like I do in most of my edits is more important than ever.

Old RAw file with ultra high noise corrected by Lightroom Ai

Even on this old 5D MK2 file at ISO 25000, Lightrooms Ai noise using the settings I show in the video completely transformed it like no noise tool I’ve ever used.

ON this S21 Ultra RAW file there was not much noise but the Lightroom Ai Noise process still improved the detail in a way that amazing me. I’ll show you the side by side in the video.

This is the start of big changes in how we edit.

I predict that very soon these Ai editing tools will nor be long processing steps but just part of the system like any other slider. They will keep getting better and as photographer we need to focus on the value of using them but also keeping photos real.

In the end I think this tool is game changing and I hope we see more Ai tool’s make make our real images better rather than a focus on Ai tools making photos that are not real photos.\

Gavin Seim

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April 20, 2023

Fuji Worms are considered a bane of Fuji shooters. Eating files alive like massive Sandworms rising from the dusts of Dune! But they also can invade your other cameras. Not just Fuji.

But do you really need Capture One to save you from Fuji Worms?

Does Capture One eliminate their Fuji worms better than Lightroom? Because yes even your Sony or Nikon can get worms. So who can save you from the end of photography as we know it. I’ll show you how in the video.

Also try my Film presets to get your own same process testing in LR and C1/ PS, Remember that my Filmist and Silver black and white packs both have noise and grain presets to make killing Fuji Worms easy. Try them out.

“Fuji” Worms actually occur in most Cameras.

And even in this years Lightroom VS Capture One 23 full review video I did one or two tests, with Lighting even pulling ahead. So in today’s video we’ll do a definitive and fair test.

And yes worms show up on other files too. It depends on the ISO, sharpening, sensor and more. I’ll show you a Sony file that also has worms and they are solved in the same way.

But as you see in the video, worms are a rather small issue and while both apps work well. You have no real advantage in worms or noise by using Lightroom. In fact on some images Lightroom seems to remove the noise better than Capture one, leaving us with a natural grain like structure.

ISO 10000 from an X100V compared in Lightroom and Capture one with basic noise reduction and no grain.

De-Worming is Easy on Fuji and other cameras.

I did this test a few years back and even then there was not much difference from Lightroom VS Capture One, despite grand claims to the opposite all over Fuji forums. This year I’ll test files all edited the same and we’ll try noise and grain tools a a definitive comparison.

The truth is all this worm stuff goes away when you add a little grain. So except on the most extreme and over-sharpened photos, worms are unlikely to be a problem even on older Fuji camera that have the Xtrans1 sensor like the Xpro1.

In the past Lightroom did struggle in noise and artifacts, but that was years ago. Just remember to add some noise reduction in LR to get the same result as C1 because it’s not default. Or just use a preset like the ones I make for you.

ISO 2500 file from a Fuji XE-3 LR vs C1 basic noise reduction no Grain.

Then whats all the Fuji Worms Hype about?

Really that’s about it. It’s not a big deal anymore? It’s now mostly just fanboy marketing for Capture One. The idea that you need to pay more for an editing software to get good results. That’s not the case in this situation at least.

In the end choose the software that works best for your style and that inspired you to shoot and edit creatively. That’s what this is all about.

You can feel safe and happy being safe from Fuji worms. You win, worms lose. The End.

Gavin Seim

In this ISO 3200 image from an X100V I added a little grain and basic noise reduction in both for an organic feel.
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March 10, 2023

I made a comparison of Luminar Neo vs Lightroom vs Capture One with no affiliate links, sponsors or brand bias.

Lightroom and Capture One are the big dogs in 2023. Watch my annual review here. But what about Lightroom vs Luminar Neo, it Capture One vs Luminar Neo? Today we find out!

Luminar gets advertised as the easy editor. But most reviews are affiliate or even sponsored videos. We need smaller devs and competition, so I don’t want to ignore them. Today we’ll compare Lightroom Vs Luminar Neo and even bit of Capture One in a real world test.

My video (watch on my channel here) + a Free Luminar Preset below.

Download my Free Luminar Neo preset I made for the video. Also use my Filmist LUTS in Luminar Neo as LUTS work amazing in Neo. Download the Filmist free pack and the very least and give it try.

I admit, comparing Lightroom vs Luminar Neo surprised me!

Both in that Luminar Neo does a lot of things, but also I expected more. I feels like Skylum has been focusing on fun features that advertise, rather than refining the app and making it pro tuned. With things like UNDO not even working as of March 2023 (v1.7) this app is not ready to be a photographers daily driver.

In general Luminar Neo gives a broad suite of editing tools for RAW files. It actually has more tools than Lightroom, even if some are a bit gimmicky, many are quite useful.

Luminar is trying to bridge the gap between photoshop and Lightroom. And to a point, it does that with fun add on’s, AI tools and some basic layer control. But it’s still nothing close when it comes to the layer based editing to Photoshop or even Affinity Photos. This like LR and C1 is is a RAW style editor first.

How well does Luminar Neo vs Lightroom Process your files.

Overall it’s honestly good. Masks are clean, selections are nice if a bit slow. AI seems to work more of less Ai-like.

BUT as I showed in the video and below, Luminar falls apart in more difficult shadow and highlight situations. Instead of giving a smooth roll-off in clipping, it bands. Something Lightroom used to suffer from, but these days is maybe even a bit ahead of Capture One.

Raw processing quality of Luminar Neo vs Lightroom vs Capture One
Look at the sun. My tough test RAW file shows that Luminar Neo is far behind Lightroom and Capture One is detailed processing. In this case I( used just Shadow and Highlight on the RAW file. Click to open larger view.

Is it worth using Luminar Neo vs Capture One vs Lightroom?

Not exactly. Neo is a powerful tool but it’s just as expensive and Lightroom and Photoshop Combined. So while it might be easier to learn and get started (for sure it’s easier than Photoshop) it’s also far more limited, has lower quality Raw processing and it’s lacking a lot of basic pro grade features.

Skylum is treating Luminar more like a mobile app than a serious pro photography tool. It’s many tools are in disconnect with interface problems, lack on expandability and they try to sell extras and instead of fixing slow or buggy features.

While importing is fast, even basic tools like resetting a photo, cropping and exporting are slow and drag when compared to Lightroom and Capture One in general. But the results of the many tools do work well.

Lightroom vs Luminar Neo comparison. NEO Ai raw edit
Before and after with the Summer preset I made for Luminar Neo (download fee under the video). It makes more advanced edits like skin smoothing and portrait details a slightly more one stop shop. A little more than Lightroom but still less than Photoshop.

Is Luminar really the easy Photo Editor?

That’s how Luminar Neo vs Lightroom. is promoted. The easy, cheaper one click editor. In a sense it’s easy. The learning curve seems straight forward and it can do some things you would normally need Photoshop for.

On a learning scale of 1-10, I would rate Luminar a 4, Lightroom a 5, Capture one a 6 and Photoshop an 8 in it’s learning curve.

While this won’t replace Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop or Affinity for pros, you will get a lot of tools and if you’re looking for a new app to play with, Luminar Neo offers a lot in one package but it’s more expensive than both LR and PS, combined!.

That said the problems and inability to do simple things any pro app should do make things not so easy of you operate by those standards. Here’s looking at you UNDO, come on Skylum.

You can do a lot here from replacing skies (do very many of us do that) to great portrait edits. It’s just important to separate marketing from realty and then decide what you like best. Luminar Neo vs Lightroom.

A decent jack of all trades is Luminar Neo vs Lightroom

I hope with feedback like this, Skylum can raise the bar and make Luminar a real contender against Lightroom and Capture One. Because we need contenders.

I’m still rooting for it and will give the Skylum team a chance to listen and take action. I want to be clear in all of this. It’s a good app. But when comparing to top pro apps we can’t pull any punches and we have to compare apples to apples, dollars to dollars.

In the battle Lightroom vs Luminar Neo this year, Lightroom + Photoshop gives you more bang for less buck. But Neo has a lot of potential and I really hope that by 2024 the scales start tipping.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments. Will you use Luminar Neo, or stick with Lightroom / Capture One in 2023 — Gavin Seim

Lightroom VS Neo test 2023
In the Luminar Neo Vs Lightroom battle, you’ll find both to be powerful editors. But don’t expect the same level of RAW quality in tough scenes like this one or the same level of Ui refinement that you’ll find in Lightroom or even Capture One. As Neo grows it has a lot of potencial and it will be exciting to see what they can do if they listen to the pro market.

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January 30, 2023

It’s Gavin and with the new year brings us latest versions as we compare Lightroom V Capture One

Which is better for editing your photos in 2023, on the desktop or on mobile. Lightroom V Capture One. Today, we test both head-to-head and see who wins.

1. Lightroom V Capture One 2023: Which photo editing software is best?

In todays video for we compare Capture One and Lightroom for 2023. I use both all the time, and in making products like Silver 4, GoldChrome and Filmist film presets. So I’m always elbow-deep in the capabilities if these photo editors.

So who offers the most in 2023? Lightroom V Capture One? Watch the video to get right to it. I’ll add extra thoughts and tests below. In the video I’ll start with my conclusion to save you time. But stay for the rest and see what makes each one of these editors great.

Try these recipes out in Lightroom V Capture One by downloading my free Styles and Presets with Filmist, Natural HDR and Silver 5 sampler packs that I created.

Reminder. Both LR and C1 are still RAW editors.

Tools like Photoshop and Affinity Photo are layer-based pixel editors, they should not be directly compared. There are other RAW options like OneOne RAW and Lumimar Neo. reviews on those are coming soon. But today, we’ll focus on Lightroom vs Capture as they are the big dogs and what most photographer are using daily.

I’ll also include more images as examples below….

2. Lightroom vs Capture One: Is it better to choose a subscription or perpetual license in 2023?

Lightroom and all Adobe products have been subscription only for years. One of the big draws of Capture One has been the perpetual license. Capture One costs a lot more than Lightroom, but I’ve always felt owning software is better, and in general, subscription, models are not as good for us users.

This year, that’s no longer an advantage of Capture One vs Lightroom.

While you can still buy Capture One as a perpetual license, it does not include any feature updates, and Capture One has all but thrown perpetual users under the bus. In fact, it was a bit of a scandal how they handled it and we talked about that in this video here.

It’s likely that C1 will end all perpetual licenses soon. Even now, the value of their perpetual license is pretty low, so it’s not a deciding point in favor of Capture One Pro.

Lightroom vs Capture 23 One Film looks presets and styles color test
I used the Filmist Ektar like preset here. You can see whether you use styles or manual edits that in the end photos look equally good in LR or C1

3. Lightroom V Capture One: Which offers better RAW image quality?

I’ve been using both for many years. Capture One claim to fame has always been that it has more controls and settings. Things like being able to select and manipulate any color range rather than simply having the six basic color sliders in Lightroom.

This is not a small question. Process quality matters, and not all RAW processing is equal. I have tested others that are badly lacking in highlight control and detail management. However, Lightroom and Capture One are both excellent image processors.

Do extra sliders make Capture One edits better than LR?

Not really. Capture One seemed to have more nuance on highlight recovery and control than Lightroom in the past. But in recent years, Lightroom has caught up and maybe even passed Capture One.

There are more nuances to the controls. in Capture One. More color channels. levels, and curves instead of just curves in Lightroom. However, I use every ounce of these to create advanced color profiles such as my Porta presets and the Classic Negative in my Filmist pack. More controls do not make always editing easier. In fact, it’s usually harder in Capture One to get a recipe perfect.

Capture One vs Lightroom in 2023 Highlights control and dynamic range
Extreme hights in Lightroom 23 vs Ccapture One 23. I used a preset from Natural HDR on both. Click for a larger view.

4. Capture One vs Lightroom 23 Noise, Worms, and Fuji Cameras.

I shoot a lot of Fuji cameras and others as well. Capture One has always been promoted as better for Fuji users due to the way it handles the X-trans sensor data and produces a less wormy effect in noise. I’ll show you in the video above.

I also made this video about Fuji worms to compare and found little difference. Lightroom handles Fuji files just fine. In fact in in the Lightroom V Capture One battle, I would say Lightroom has better noise reduction than Capture One. Really!

When Capture one looks better out of the gate, we can see that C1 is applying more noise reduction by default, making it look better than Lightroom at times. But as soon as you apply an equal NR to both, the results are super close. Also most people are trying to remove noise when they should be using it. Watch my video on how to handle noise here.

lightroom vs capture one worms fuji files x100v
You may need to click and see this full screen. You can see that the noise and worms are equal or maybe even favor Lightroom in this Fuji test. Both files were given an HDR proves from Natural HDR and I refined noise settings in both for a clan look.

5. Lightroom vs Capture One 2023: Which software has the better feature stack?

Lightroom has more modules and features. This like the Lightroom print module actually is very useful for getting real-life photos made to its web module for galleries. You don’t get that in Capture One.

Capture One fans tout it’s improved tethering abilities and we don’t dig too much into that here since it’s not the feature most of the market needs. Both can tether well and if tethering is your key feature, you should try them both see what you like best.

In general in the Lightroom V Capture One battle, you get a more all-in-one package with Lightroom. But you may not need print or web modules and developing features are more or less the same except that in layers. Lightroom excels in it’s editing experience.

Lightroom V Capture One, which has better layers and smart tools

6. Using Layers in Lightroom V Capture One.

In the past Capture, One Pro had the big feature that was layers. Lightroom masks were limited, and C1 layers can use nearly all the sliders and features to develop a photo compared to a limited adjustment set in masks for Lightroom. Technically, that’s still true.

Realistically, Lightroom’s new Ai masking layer system changed everything. It’s far faster and more precise to refine almost any image type, improve a portrait, separate a background, or do anything else.

The 23 version of Lightroom will even separate eyes, faces, and other details with near spot-on accuracy. The best mask refinement you can get in Capture one 23 is a magic brush that feels like it’s from the last decade (because it is) and manual masking.

Don’t try to replace Photoshop/Affinity with Capture One or LR!

Those manual masks in Capture One are good and offer a few more tool options. Detailed pixel-level layer edits like I show you in my videos or that we create with action packs like Blackroom and Lumist will NOT be happening in C1 or in Lightroom.

Whether it’s Lightroom V Capture One, they are still Raw editors with “some” layer functions. For most, layers will be faster and more useful in Lightroom. But those who prefer an all-manual approach may still enjoy C1 layers.

layers in lightroom vs capture one 23

6. The best mobile Photo editing, Lightroom vs Capture One in 2023.

Lightroom has much better web integration in that it can sync with the cloud, you can even select individual collections in Lightroom Classic that will sync to LR Cloud and visa versa, and it is also available on mobile.

One advantage Lightroom has is that, while the sync features are not always perfect, nearly all of the developed software is available in all locations. Even on your phone, you can edit a photo using presets, masks, and every detail, develop sliders, and then move to the desktop and have everything in place.

Capture One on the other hand, has an iOS only mobile app for iPad. It does not sync, does not have anywhere near the full feature set or nuanced control that the desktop version has, and does not sync between the two.

If you want mobile and online editing integration, Capture One is not even in the running. If you are mostly desktop, this may not matter, but once you try Lightroom’s mobile features, you might be pleasantly surprised at how useful it can be. In the mobile Lightroom V Capture One battle, LR wins big.

Lightroom mobile vs capture one 23
Lightroom Mobile syncs with the cloud and has a full suite of tools. Capture One Mobile is only for iPad and very limited.

7. When to choose Capture One vs Lightroom?

Capture One will not make your photos better and has less features. The only reason to go Capture One is if you love how it renders or work in a space that everyone uses Capture One. If you need C1 don’t worry, it gives great results just like Lightroom.

For most it’s no contest this year. I’ve always been a tough critic of Adobe. It’s hard to deny that Lightroom in 2023 offers more bang for the buck. Capture One will edit your photo beautifully, and I still intend to keep supporting it and making style videos.

Lightroom V Capture One 23 Conclusion – No Real Contest!

Lightroom offers more for the money by far than Capture One. It has gone from falling behind to jumping a generation ahead with refined masking and AI tools for 2023, while Capture One’s new feature set includes no real AI.

Capture Ones big feature in 2023 was smart adjustments and they are not very smart. You may find them useful as they try to match the exposure and White balance between images and this could be great for batches since Lightroom’s AUTO develop develop settings are still pretty bad.

In practice however the new Capture One Smart Adjustments are not that impressive and offer very few options or tools versus Lightroom. Capture One 2023 has a few other new features and improvements, but it lacks anything truly unique or cutting-edge.

Lightroom V Capture One value? C1 should cost half of what it does!

Considering you can get Lightroom + Photoshop for far less than the cost of Capture One alone, and if you get Capture One, you will still need Photoshop for something similar for more advanced edits, and even basics like printing which Lightroom has built in and it works well.

If you’re on the fence about Lightroom V Capture One, then Lightroom is probably what you want, this year. Let’s hope Capture One starts listening instead of trying to squeeze their customers in 2024 and maybe they can bounce back and win the Lightroom V Capture One battle.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and we will see what the next year brings. Lightroom V Capture One is still a tight race despite the gains of LR in the past year but in this competitive market, it’s really no contest in bank for the buck.

I hope you found this review useful. Subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more of my videos.

Gavin Seim

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December 14, 2022

Last month I launched the Silver 5 Black and White Styles for Capture One, and in today’s video, I’m going to show you how to use Silver 5. But, along the way, I’ll reveal the secrets of what makes a great black-and-white in Lightroom, so you can use them no matter how you edit.

Today I’ll show you how I use Styles for Capture One and the advantages C1 has for black-and-white conversions.

This video will be all about creating better black and white in Capture One and some tips for you regardless of what Styles you use for Black and White. The little details inside how Capture One will help you convert RAW photos to black and white better.

You can get Silver 5 Styles here. Note: If Lightroom for black and white see the Lightroom version of this video here.

I could type for hours, but instead I’ll show you in the video how easy it is to get great black and white and refine it in Capture One.

Do you really need Styles for Black and White?

I often see presets and styles getting dumped on. This makes no sense since any serious photography should always have them available. Well organized and the best they can get. If that means you invest the time to make your own that is fine. But avoid huge packs of crappy Capture One styles that only make you work harder.

I’ll explain in the video why it’s so important to use styles to get your black and white really dialed in, even if you don’t use my styles. Without using Styles in capture on to do your initial conversions you will not only use a lot more time, but you will also get lesser results. Yes, I mean that!

Should you use Capture One or Lightroom for Black and white?

The results of Lightroom VS Capture One on black and white, in general, are equal. Both have advantages. While Lightroom has more power in layers because of its Ai masking tools, Capture One does have some extra options in how we can use color channels and nuances that I’ll show in this video.

In the end, it’s more of a personal choice. With Capture One costing more than Lightroom and Photoshop combined for most Lightroom make more sense. In the end, you also need a pixel editor like Affinity Photo. or Photoshop where you can also use my BlackRoom black and white actions.

The point is that even if 98% of your black-and-white edits are in a RAW editor like LR or C1, your very best images will still be improved in the pixel editor and you want to have both. Just keep that in mind when planning what to use.

If you already use Capture One and are happy, rest assured that with the methods I showed you in the video you will get world-class black-and-white conversion and you’ll be a happy camper.

Let me know what you think in the comments because I’m here to help.

Gavin Seim

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