Capture One vs Lightroom: Complete Comparison 2024

capture one vs lightroom cover

If you want to find an advanced editor, then this Capture One vs Lightroom comparison will be useful to you. Both products are excellent software for color correction, cropping, dust removal, sharpening, basic work with skin defects, etc. The retouchers working for WeEdit.Photos use these programs when editing photos, especially wedding ones.

Both products enable you to apply adjustments to multiple images with a single click. This saves you a lot of time, allowing you to edit multiple photos at once in the same style. If you don’t know what program to choose, Capture One or Lightroom, it is important to understand that although both are similar in many ways, they were created for different purposes.

About Lightroom

lightroom interface
What we like
  • Bulk image editing
  • Cataloging functions
  • Integrates with Photoshop
  • Intuitive editing features
What we don’t like
  • Slow updates
  • Not for deep face retouching

Lightroom is a complete editing software for images from Adobe. It supports RAW, cataloging, allows you to use your own presets, and so on. It has rich functionality, supports layers and is compatible with most plugins. All these features make it a universal product, perfect for solving basic photo editing and color grading tasks.

Lightroom will be a great find for beginners. It is quite user-friendly, has a set of easy-to-use features, and automatic settings. In the Capture One vs Lightroom battle, the latter clearly wins since it has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to master it. What’s more, Adobe provides you with many simple tutorials.

About Capture One

capture one interface
What we like
  • Plenty of pro-grade editing tools
  • Drawing on images
  • Annotation tools
  • Layer support
What we don’t like
  • Steep learning curve
  • Quite expensive

Capture One is a multi-functional picture editing software. It comes with convenient management and export options that will suit both novice retouchers and specialists. This photo editing software allows working with layers. So, you can edit images in a non-destructive way.

The program stands out from competitors since it has a special version for Canon cameras (Capture Pro), as well as versions for Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm cameras. It supports advanced processing, tailored to the specific features of each camera.

If you don’t know how to edit your images professionally or don’t have time to master all the features and tools of Capture One, you can contact specialists.

Users can order deep color correction, blemish and red-eye removal, WB adjustments. Besides, the experts can adjust contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc.

Interface Possibilities

Lightroom comes with a modular user interface. Thanks to this, a user can find tools to perform a specific task in a separate module.

In the Develop module, you can scroll through the parameter settings without switching between tabs. Your project will be in the center of the window, with various settings on the right side. On the left, you will see the editing history and presets.

Capture One, in its turn, is more expert-oriented, which makes its interface somewhat difficult for beginners. The main components of the UI are the Tool Tab bar, Cursor, a Viewer, and an Image Browser. Each element can be fully customized: you can move any tool or tab to arrange the interface elements the way you want.

By default, you will see your project in the center of the window. Capture One displays the photos you have imported on the right and various settings on the left. They are arranged under tabs. However, some users would prefer to see all the settings options under one tab.

Both programs allow you to adjust settings using convenient sliders. If you compare Capture One vs Lightroom in terms of sliders functionality, you will see that the latter allows you to achieve a more noticeable effect. Capture One supports subtle changes.

Who is better: Adobe Lightroom

RAW Editing Features

lightroom raw editing

Lightroom allows you to work with files in RAW format, but your photos might look less saturated. For most photographers, this is not a problem, because the program contains all the necessary functions to improve saturation, contrast, image clarity, and color brightness.

Lightroom offers professional color correction tools. With the help of convenient sliders, you can adjust the temperature, hue, brilliance, color saturation. What’s more, the program allows you to separately tweak each color in the photo.

The local adjustment settings allow you to improve the light, apply effects, and enhance specific areas. The program itself does not support layers, but you can use Photoshop’s layer system. If you don’t know what option to choose, Capture One or Lightroom, you should know that the latter makes it easier to work with layers if you use it with Photoshop.

capture one raw editing

Capture One also has a variety of RAW editing tools. Advanced color correction settings make it possible to fine-tune hues using the advanced color wheel.

It also allows you to apply certain effects to certain parts of the photo. For example, you can darken one area of a photo without affecting another.

The layering system allows you to use even more editing options. Thanks to this, you can select the parameters of each new layer and edit them without impacting the overall image.

If you need to quickly and efficiently edit plenty of pictures, but you don’t have time for this or you don’t know how to do it, entrust this task to experts and order photo retouching services provided by the WeEdit.Photos professionals.

Who is better: both

Cataloging and Organizing Options

Lightroom has advanced cataloging and organizing functions. Users can import as many photos as they want, and Lightroom will arrange them properly. There are also keywords and metadata editing features facilitating the search for specific images.

Users can arrange photos in folders or subfolders, assign tags, and set other options to make it easier to find required images. What’s more, the program has a face recognition feature.

The developers did not create an algorithm for managing images in Capture One. However, you can still quickly find the desired photo. Previously imported pictures are on the right, so just scroll through the list and choose what you need.

Who is better: Adobe Lightroom

Presets & Filters

lightroom presets

Lightroom allows creating presets and using the ones developed by third parties. Lr presets are ready-made color styles using which you can make basic adjustments and add effects to a photo.

Thanks to ready-to-use bundles, you can process a huge number of photos in the same style with just a few clicks. The program supports batch editing, so you can apply the same presets to the whole photoshoot at once.

capture one presets

Capture One also enables you to use presets, but they are not as useful as in Lightroom. The program allows you to create both presets and styles.

A preset in Capture One allows you to save the settings of a specific tool, while a style is a set of preset options. Each preset can be found under the tab of the corresponding tool, which is not so convenient if you need to quickly edit photos using presets.

Who is better: Adobe Lightroom

Annotation Tools

Lightroom doesn’t have any advanced text and annotation features, but you can always use them in Photoshop. It has everything you need to create unique and original postcards, flyers, banners, and other designs with text. To switch to Ps, find the Edit in Photoshop option in Lightroom.

In Capture One, you will find many features for creating annotations. This software is perfect for teamwork since you can exchange ideas without using email and chat. Just highlight the parts of a picture using the Annotations tool and then send those pictures to your team members. To further simplify collaboration, you can also draw on photos.

Who is better: Capture One


Lightroom is compatible not only with Creative Cloud software but also with several third-party programs, including Luminar, Nik Collection by DxO, Aurora HDR, Topaz Labs Studio, and so on.

Capture One works a big number of plugins, which improves its image editing capabilities. Among others, it’s compatible with HeliconSoft, JPEGmini, Prodibi.

Who is better: both


Like all Adobe products, Lightroom offers you a subscription that costs $9.99 per month. It allows you to enjoy all the features and tools. Besides, you will have 1 TB of cloud storage for your projects. For this fee, you can choose Lr as a standalone product, or a plan with Photoshop, but the storage will be reduced to 20 GB.

You can also purchase a Photography plan. It allows you to use both Lr and Ps, as well as get 1TB storage for $19.99 per month. If you just want to test out some features of Lightroom, then you can do it for free for 7 days.

To use Capture One, you can pay for a subscription (for a month or a year) as well as purchase a lifetime license by making a one-time payment.

A monthly subscription costs $24.00 and includes all subsequent releases. You can cancel it at any time.

An annual subscription costs $179.00. By choosing it, you will save $9 per month.

If you don’t want to bother paying for a subscription, take a look at the single lifetime license which costs $299.00. You can also download Capture One for free and use it for 30 days.

Who is better: Adobe Lightroom

Final Verdict – Lightroom

If you are wondering what software, Capture One or Lightroom, suits you best, I can say that the latter is easier to use and has more tools. At the same time, Lr has powerful editing and organizing functions, which are perfect for professional image enhancement. What’s more, Lightroom is more affordable than Capture One, making it a perfect choice for Instagram users, photographers of all levels, and photo amateurs alike.

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