Migrating from Capture One

I was a PL3 & PL4 user for a while, then made the move to Capture One. I have to say that it suits me from a workflow and output results perspective, but I have been having problems that CO have been unable to resolve so I am trying to make the transition to PL6.

My problem with PL6 is that I am struggling to achieve the same style of output as with CO. I’m not saying that output is the the best and only version, nor that it is the only way a particular image can be processed, but comparing with a CO processed image is a start point.

I find PL6’s Highlights difficult as it seems to affect the whole image very quickly, making it very muddy. So it seems to me that it can only really be used with a mask of some sort. I am also finding that PL6 adjustments (of many types) seem to get more aggressive, more quickly. As a silly example, CO’s Clarity on full setting produces unsatisfactory results on most images - but PL’s seems to totally destroy it. Now, you may say, if you use 10 on CO then use 5 on PL6 - but that does not seem to work as well. By comparison, my PL6 images seem more colourful (not overall saturated, but, say, the yellow of the hillside scrub vegetation is more of a green colour, without me having made that type of adjustment) and is generally more ‘crunchy’.

Now, please, this is not a CO vs PL debate (though it looks like it could have been) - but it is the only way I can explain in words the problems I am having. I’m not criticising PL6 at all, but I, personally, am having problems making the transition.

Can anyone offer any general guidance and also, can you direct me to any tutorials on how to tackle an image (and not those on youtube that spend more time telling us about what they have, how good they are and then finish off by saying casually that they prefer X over Y).

Thank you.


Dear Clive,

I don’t use Version 6 and still on 5 but that doesn’t matter :grinning:

A good starting point with a lot’s of information is Tutorials - TuTo DxO

And you have also the possibility to share your original image with the DOP file (containing your settings you’ve made to the picture) so the crowd here can give you more informations.

best regards


@roadcone (sorry Clive) The first thing to say is that I am a DxPL user and may not be the best to help but currently we are working in a “vacuum”, i.e. I can only guess at the differences you are explaining. In this case a “picture” is worth way more than 1,000 words!

If you have a decent internet connection (sadly I do not) then upload an image and the associated DOP so we can see what you can see in DxPL.

In addition can you provide snapshots of the same image in the edit screen of both packages and similar with the export from both packages (the latter could be a reduced JPG image of the exports so that we can compare them as you have compared them)!

Then the DxPL users can comment, as can those that also use Capture One.



Good idea @Guenterm

Is there a possibility to compare DPO files side by side (I mean like a parameter comparison)? Otherwise I could look at your DOP file, but what you did in comparison to mine is hard to figure out. So I only could judge “like yours more” like mine more", but for learning reasons an overview over different settings could help.

Else I would create a virtual copy and apply your settings on it - but virtual copies are in the very same DOP, so a direct comparison needs a physical copy and renaming both the copy and the DOP?

Hello Joju,

I only knew apps like file comparison or file diff tools. I’ve used such tools a long time ago, but have to look which one for which operating systems are actual and good.

Take a look at Portable Apps free and without installation Files - Comparison - The Portable Freeware Collection

best regards

Might be a few more C1 users looking at DXO after the change in licence conditions announced by C1, so I will attempt to start you off. :slight_smile:

Try creating a Zero preset which you can set in preferences to be applied to every new image by default.
Vignetting on Auto
Working Colour Space - DXO Wide Gamut / DXO Camera profile. (Neutral rendering can be a good starting point but might be best to stick to the DXO camera profile to start with).
Raw White Balance - As shot
Colour rendering: Generic and Protect Saturated Colour - Auto
Noise Reduction DeepPrime - Luma 15 / Dead Pixels 0 / Noise Model Zero
Lens Sharpness - Global - 0 / Details - 50 / Bokeh - 50
Chromatic Aberration - Auto
Crop - Auto based on key-stoning
Distortion - Auto / Intensity 85%

These settings will give you a good starting point.

You need to be careful when trying new software as although sliders can have the same name they don’t necessarily do the same job :slight_smile:

The selective tone sliders are not like the ones in C1. In C1 they provide very targetted adjustments Highlights - top 25% of the histogram, Whites - top 5% of the histogram etc. In PL they are broad tonal ranges where the slider has significant impact on the adjacent sliders. So it can be more of a “dance” with PL but you can still achieve good results.

You need to explore the Smart Lighting slider. This tries to give you a 1 slider adjustment for both shadows and highlights. With dark images it works very well as a “Fill Light” tool and on some images it can also recover highlights. On some images it appears to do nothing. I find it useful but frustrating because I can’t predict what it will do to the image. :slight_smile:

You mention clarity? I am not sure which slider you are referring to? There is a micro-contrast slider in the contrast palette and also DXO Clear View which is like clarity and dehaze in C1. Neither should be pushed for general images.

Local adjustments, although not as good as C1, they are very good and have some advantages from the NIK U-Point selection technology. You can get the equivalent of “Fill Mask” by pushing a control line outside of the image boundary and then move the selection pipette to the area of interest. A kludge but it works. Not sue if they will ever add a simple fill mask option :frowning:

Control points are excellent for localised tone and colour adjustments, acting a bit like the magic brush, just don’t be shy of adding negative control points if needed.

I hope that helps. Just come back here with any more queries and an actual image always helps. I am primarily a C1 user but there are far more experienced DXO users on this forum who will be only too pleased to help.

Yes, this has been discussed extensively in this forum. You have some options to reduce the scope of highlight adjustment: use local adjustment masks (very effective), adjust midtones in the opposite direction as highlights, use the tone curve instead, or supplement your adjustments with smart lighting or exposure compensation. The tonal adjustment sliders in PL work differently than they do in Capture One or Lightroom - that has always been the case.

ClearView Plus works better with the DxO Wide Gamut working color space, but yes - with some images, even a small amount of CVP is too much, while with other images a lot of CVP is required. Again, using local adjustment masks gives far greater control over what CVP does. You can also undo some of the effects of CVP while retaining others: try raising the midtones, lowering fine contrast (if you have a FilmPack license activated) or microcontrast, turning off smart lighting (it often doesn’t produce good results when CVP is applied), or changing the Color Rendering settings.

Get to know the Color Rendering settings better and you will be happier with PL6. Try lowering the intensity slider or contrast sliders to deal with that crunchy look, or try different renderings altogether (other camera bodies, generic modes, or film emulations). Your other option is more complex: using the HSL tool to adjust the color channels to your liking.

Clarity, structure etc. are easier to adjust when FilmPack is licensed too. FP adds three “fine contrast” sliders, one each for high, mid and low tones. In comparison to the fine contrast sliders, all other similar tools appear crude and therefore need to be handled with care.

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That’s really the trick with the PhotoLab tone curve sliders, not to hesitate to use its neighbour. In defence of DxO, I find the PhotoLab sliders give much more natural results than narrow band sliders which quickly create an artificial effect (when in lighting does changing the whitest or blackest tones change in an image not have some effect on neighbouring tones? almost never).

Setting exposure compensation right to begin (or in the middle) helps. I expose quite accurately but even then I’m often using up to .5 Exposure Compensation for artistic effect in combination with the Tone sliders.

For the other suggestions (good ones), curves are a great change specific tone ranges, although I prefer to either use the Tone sliders or Curves as both active at the same time creates a whack-a-mole adjustment loop.

Smart Lighting (whose effect I generally dislike, as it’s usually like indiscriminately adding salt to a meal to make it more “flavourful”) can be very useful with images where there are very bright images with some subject in dark shadows which must be made visible. Studio photographers won’t run into this much, but event photographers will (the photo must be made in spite of the lighting compromises).

To my eye, ClearView should generally be avoided. ClearView almost always looks gritty and unnatural. A combination of Lens Sharpness (on supported lenses, which includes almost all modern lenses) and Fine Contrast (requires Film Pack Elite) offers far more control and much more natural results.

My defaults for very sharp sport images is Lens Sharpness 0.65 and Fine Contrast 20%. To target thick haze, it can be cut with the Tone sliders most of the time or Contrast.

What are the license changes which Capture One users dislike so hardily?

C1 are changing their perpetual licences model so that whenever you buy C1, say V28.2.6. Then that’s it for any feature update, you get bug fixes but no feature updates.

When you want to upgrade to a new version then you buy a complete new version rather than receiving an upgrade price, although there will be a loyalty bonus. Bizarrely, in a bit of marketing madness, they won’t tell you the cost of these upgrades until Feb 1St. :slight_smile:

If you buy V23 before February then you get feature upgrades until Sept 23. After that V23 buyers only get bug fixes. Can’t see anyone buying V23 after Feb.

As I said strange marketing policy and a communication nightmare, as without genuine information the internet will fill the vacuum with speculation. I can’t help but feel some marketing guy is going to be spending more time with his family in the new year.

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@Guenterm I apologise for appearing “rude” by repeating what you had written! I looked at the first part and last part of your post and was “blind” to the above which I then repeated - sorry.

@JoJu yes (and no) to the DOP comparison!

This is a comparison of the copy of one image with the same preset applied and surprisingly I found them almost identical this time when in the past I have found a lot of differences between DOPs where I have applied the same preset to different but similar (to my eye) images!

But making “sense” of it is difficult. With DxPL(Win) it is possible to just change a DOP’s name and apply it to any image!! The better strategy is to obtain the original image + DOP and add that to a directory with some of your “favourites”, create VCs for the favourites and cut and past the corrections from the test image - sorry I discovered that I had committed the same thing with your post as I had with @Guenterm, selective ingestion!!?

2022-12-08_163953_PL610 DOP comparison.pdf (1.2 MB)

This is the PL601 DOP versus the PL610 DOP

2022-12-08_164341_PL601 to PL610 DOP comparison.pdf (1.3 MB)

Dear Bryan,

No problem may the force be with you

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@IanS While looking at your settings, starting at the bottom of the list, as you do, I noticed the adjustment to the ‘Distortion’ to 85% but my image in PL610 was showing the following

and clicking on the “Wand” does nothing!? In PL 601 it shows as 100% and the “Wand” shows as selected (Blue rectangle).

In fact what is actually happening is that applying a preset to a new image gives the 100% ‘Auto’ setting but then navigating results in the value vanishing


  1. Apply a preset to a newly added image

  1. Why have I got two applications of the same preset?

  1. One only contains the distortion setting AGAIN?

  1. I simply navigated to the next new image and back and lose the setting!?

What am I doing wrong @Guenterm, @uncoy, @platypus anyone !?

PS:- If anyone wants to try their more subtle approach to the editing of this image then I can try uploading (upload speed is almost 0!)

Gosh, so much information so soon - I’ve read it quickly but need to go through it again quickly.

The tutorial link from Guenterm is useful - looks very thorough - thank you.

It was reassuring to hear from several that what I am experiencing is to be expected, rather than ‘operator error’ - so thank you for those.

Here are three images: CO - Original - PL6. Settings as follows:

Olympus E-M10MarkII with Lumix G V\ario 12-32/ F3.5-5.3 - 200ISO, f/6.3, 1/200s, -0.3Exp

Capture One v21

Exp 0.3
Contrast 11
Brightness 8
Shadow 31
Black -10
Levels 12=0, 195=255
Curve, Dehaze, Clarity No adjustment
White Balance As shot
Colour Balance & Editor No adjustment

Foreground Shadow 100, Highlights 100
Contrast Fore & Mid 50
Sky (part) Highlights -100, White -40
Detail on Foreground (more so) and Sky (less so) with low flow brush
Sky Brightness -50
Foreground Warmth towards red/orange

*Most of these appear to be high, but CO has Style Brushes (which I really get on with) and their flow is set to 3/4% so a setting of (say) 100 may only use a few multiples of 4% - and when you come back to the adjustment it is impossible to know whether you have brushed on once, ten times or all the way up to 100%.


Preset DxO Standard
Exp 0.6
Smart Slight
Midtones 23
Shadows 14
ClearView 50
Contrast, Curve No adjustment
DxO Wide Gamut
White Balance As Shot
Redering Generic & DxO profile for the camera
No other changes to colour

Local Adjustments:
Control Line over sky and diminishing over mid-ground - 18 Microcontrast, 71 Midtones
Brush over mist - 19 Microcontrast
Brush over foreground - Microcontrast 22, Highlights 57, Shadows -13
Smaller area foreground - Highlights 17, Midtones -7
Another smaller area of foreground - Highlights 17, Vibrancy 20

Blimey, if this works I will be chuffed!!


IanS - CO have ‘responded to feedback’ - they will release details of their loyalty scheme two weeks before the 1st February deadline.

Their multi-screen web-page takes one sentence to say that those on a subscription will see no change. They spend the rest of the text and FAQs explaining that those on the perpetual licence are not losing anything. Stuff and nonsense, of course. People like me (perpetual licence) will lose the ability to have an upgrade price (notwithstanding a secret loyalty scheme) and will not get any new features during the year to the next major upgrade. Ignoring Adobe and their subscription-only scheme, this is totally different to all other software in this market. DxO does their users nicely between major releases (I had a small update with bug-fixes and new features today) - and just look how many years of new features Affinity has given me for my forty-quid - amazing. CO say that 80% of their customers are on a subscription so their changes are aimed at us 20%. They must want to persuade me to move on to a subscription else why would they do it. They ‘justify’ the changes saying they can then release new features along the way rather than waiting for the next update. Rubbish, of course, they determine the programme and can release any bug-fix or new feature when they like, irrespective of the time of year and totally independently of the finance model. Affinity has been doing that for around five years with Photo v1. So, don’t believe everything you read.


P9220617.zip (12.9 MB)

If this is not too big to arrive, attached are the dop and raw files.

History looke weird on Mac too…

  1. See where the master switch is?
    last position in Contrast
    first position in Color Accentuation
    second pos. in Color Rendering
  2. Contrast, contrast, contrast (can be understood, but looks weird anyway)
  3. Tool title has no switch like in the Win-history
    → why keep it separate? (to enable persistent history :crazy_face:)

Ah well, I’ve stopped looking at history entries a while ago :man_shrugging:

How about some drama?

P9220617.ORF.dop (35.1 KB)


Clearly they want users to move away from perpetual licenses and subscribe instead. I don’t know, of course, but I would not be surprised if their longer term plan is to eliminate perpetual licenses altogether. That will likely depend on the percentage of their users that purchase them


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@platypus I’m curious to know, did you apply the limited general edits you show before or after the specific local adjustments? This is a creative workflow question, I understand very well that it doesn’t make a jot of difference technically in what order edits are applied, but I’m interested in how you got there - did you apply general edits to get the mood of where you wanted to be, then tune with local adjustments, or did you apply local adjustments to accentuate features of the image then apply general edits to get the mood of where you wanted to be.

I do struggle with visualising where I want to be with my images and often end up there by happy accident. That’s fine, it’s fun and I learn that way but I’ll take all the advice from experience I can get :grinning: