Film Styles for Capture One / by nicole struppert

A week ago Alexander Svet, a Phase One Certified Professional, asked me to review their new Film Styles presets for Capture One. They contacted me through an older post of my blog, where I compared the x-file rendering in Aperture, Lightroom & Capture One. 

The film style presets is a set of 100 styles that can be applied to automatically processed images in Capture One photo editor. The set includes 58 color and 42 black and white styles and is available for download for 49,95$.

Each style is designed to make the most of Capture One's capabilities and to replicate the popular film effects including Kodak Portra, Ilford Delta, Kodak T-MAX, Agfa Scala, Polaroid and many more. 

Capture One.

In an earlier blog post I wrote that Capture One is in my opinion the best RAW converter on the market. They get most out of the images - highlights and details are not comparable with Lightroom or Aperture. It is an awesome software - but I have to admit - I use it just from time to time... Why? Well, I don't like the workflow - the GUI is too complex with all different editing areas & tools, the library system is a bit confusing etc and at the end it doesn't fit into my workflow. I like everything more minimal, easy and clearly structured. That is why 85% of the time I use Lightroom - for more detailed work I use Capture One and use the pro's of it. 

What about the film presets?

The installation and set up was easy.  I love that you can put the different styles in a B&W and color folder - that keeps everything simple and organized. 

What about the different styles?

I wanted to compare the C1 presets with the VSCO presets which I am using for a while now. But after installing and starting to compare both presets I have to admit, that I can't do a detailed comparison. Both softwares are too different in the look and usage. I attached some RAW images from my Fuji x-Pro1 with the same film preset styles of C1 and VSCO. I did no editing - I just removed the grain effect from the VSCO presets in Lightroom (Film Style presets for C1 can't show any grain rendering).

Capture One / Film styles

Lightroom / VSCO

My final thoughts on the Film styles for Capture One.

Well, first of all I have to say that it is nearly impossible to show the same result of a digital image to a film image. Film still has a unique texture and character - and it always will be. But, VSCO and Film Styles for Capture One did a really good job - both have their own character. 

For me a preset is always a starting point of my own vision. Presets help to start and go deeper into the editing process. But at the end of the day the photographer needs to feel that his images have the right look and feel.

Pros
+ clearly arranged
+ better details, highlights & shadows (...of Capture One)
+ fantastic B&W presets with more contrast than VSCO
+ good prize 

ConS 
- no grain simulation - which should always be in film simulation
- no extra toolkit for Auto WB, Fade, Grain, Contrast etc..

Would I buy the Film Styles?

Yes! There are still a few things missing but the price is fantastic and for Capture One users it's a fantastic opportunity to save some time on the workflow. VSCO & NIK Software is still not available for Capture One - so the Film Styles are an alternative for C1 users.

I really hope that the upcoming version of Capture One will be more improved. After the death of Aperture, Capture One has a huge possibility to get more customers if they improve their GUI & library by just making it more simple. C1 is the best RAW converter and helps to get out most of the pictures but if it is still too complicated and pricy - people wouldn't jump on the Capture One train. Then it will just be the Pro-Photographer tool, like it is now. 

I hope I could help a bit with my review - but the best is always to try things out. There is a free Capture One Test Version and 5 free Film Styles for C1. Enjoy your own test!