12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Discussions, questions, comments and suggestions regarding Capture One PRO, Capture One PRO For Sony / Fujifilm, Capture One DB and Capture One Express For Sony / For Fujifilm 12.x for Mac

12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby Francesco Mariani » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:19 pm

I started reading about this update in earnest, then I got confused so I skimmed through the rest. The one thing I got out of this article is that Phase One doesn't really care about the people that purchase their software. On this forum, there are many posts about poor performance, poor application of keyword searches, but this update does not address the problems.

They built Capture One Studio for a few dozen studios and did not improve Capture One Pro for the few thousand users.

Now, there won't be another update this year and next year we will have to shell out another $100-$200 for a new promising update that doesn't deliver.

I think I'd rather get this disappointed with a cheaper software, where the software is around $100 and the updates are $40.

These are only my opinions, other people may love this update.
Last edited by Francesco Mariani on Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade?

Postby DAndison » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:10 pm

I found it rather underwhelming to be honest. Still waiting on lens profiles for lenses released end of 2018 (Batis 40 & Sony FE 24 1.4 GM)

I took a look at the initial beta, deleted it and didn't bother again. If this is it, I'll not be updating next year.
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade?

Postby fatihayoglu » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:45 pm

If and only if PO continues the same cycle for new software release, we can predict that in a 6 months time, we will be getting CO13. So if your current software is good, you might choose to wait for that release.
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby Ronn » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:08 am

I have been using Capture One for 14 years, and 12 is the most unreliable version to date. It takes for ever for the thumbnails to render, and the spinning wheel of death is a constant issue. If PO could make what we have work, and then worry about new features, that would be amazing...
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby ShaneB » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:29 am

I'm generally with the other posters: 12.1 is pretty underwhelming unless you are a user of some of the gear addressed by the update. I'm not.

I've been a user since v9 (I think) which means I've paid quite a bit initially and in upgrades. I still don't understand Phase One's pricing policy since many, many photographers are looking for an alternative to Adobe and dropping the price of C1 would inevitably lead to increased sales that would increase profits.

My gut feeling is that things would improve if C1 was run independently from Phase One. C1's pricing reflects a market where cameras are the cost of a car (in Australia at least). I would bet that most C1 users aren't users of Phase One gear.

If C1 was cut loose from Phase One, we would have a better, cheaper product.

(Mind you, I could be wrong)
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby SFA » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:07 am

ShaneB wrote: I still don't understand Phase One's pricing policy since many, many photographers are looking for an alternative to Adobe and dropping the price of C1 would inevitably lead to increased sales that would increase profits.

My gut feeling is that things would improve if C1 was run independently from Phase One. C1's pricing reflects a market where cameras are the cost of a car (in Australia at least). I would bet that most C1 users aren't users of Phase One gear.



Interestingly many organisations in recent times have gone the other way and are keen to drop low value clients (Banks and other financial institutions are in the lead there and one assumes they have some competence in their business acumen.)

Profit margin, assuming there is any, will usually be quite a small part of the overall cost and any flexibility one might have with pricing must either come from the profit (which also has to fund future development - at least in theory) or cutting costs. Maybe dropping Technical Support unless paid for?

Sales volume increase does not automatically mean more money is available to spend on product development. Often it can lead to exactly the opposite.

One could indeed consider selling off C1 and attempting to compete in the market with all of the other applications. Whether that would result in a better product at lower cost (or even just lower cost) is a matter of opinion.

However if one simply wants wider functionality at a lower price there are already options in the marketplace.

In a business sense the favourite approach for cash flow currently seems to be the subscription model. This is especially good if one has a dominant or near dominant market position and a number of 'services' to offer since, for a 'price', one can bundle in a whole load of stuff that the subscriber will never use to make the deal look better than it is really is in terms of value.

You can see this model everywhere but the prime examples are probably mobile phone contracts and subscription TV services. There is one obvious example in the Graphics and Photo Editing market but everyone knows about them so there is no point in discussing them here.

If one looks at Photography as a business, for example, would one wish to reduce prices to attract more clients and therefore increase one's workload and the pressure to deliver products and deal with people (many likely to be random one-off users who may expect far more for the money that is reasonable) to earn much the same amount as before?

Or would one prefer to have a smaller group of regular clients who pay for the quality of ones output, provide the income one needs and, over all, allow one to manage a business in a generally stable and reliable way without too much stress of any sort?


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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby Ian3 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:31 pm

Francesco Mariani wrote:I started reading about this update in earnest, then I got confused so I skimmed through the rest. The one thing I got out of this article is that Phase One doesn't really care about the people that purchase their software. On this forum, there are many posts about poor performance, poor application of keyword searches, but this update does not address the problems.

They built Capture One Studio for a few dozen studios and did not improve Capture One Pro for the few thousand users.

Now, there won't be another update this year and next year we will have to shell out another $100-$200 for a new promising update that doesn't deliver.

I think I'd rather get this disappointed with a cheaper software, where the software is around $100 and the updates are $40.

These are only my opinions, other people may love this update.

If your are already on version 12, I see no reason not to take the free update to 12.1. As well as the modest addition of new features, there are a lot of bug fixes (36 bullet points in the list for the Mac version) - see the release notes.

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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby Eric Nepean » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:36 pm

I think it is a useful upgrade, I think it loads and searches faster, but I observe a few potential bugs. It also upgrades the catalog (difficult to go back) and resets the tool tabs to default.

I think you should wait, you're not ready for this yet.
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby Francesco Mariani » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:37 pm

Ian3 wrote:If your are already on version 12, I see no reason not to take the free update to 12.1. As well as the modest addition of new features, there are a lot of bug fixes (36 bullet points in the list for the Mac version)

Unfortunately there's nothing about overall performance improvements and keyword search performance improvements.

I expect better performance than ancient Apple Aperture, which I am not getting with Capture One "Pro".
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby Nature Isme » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:34 pm

I'd definitely recommend the 12.1 update. There IS new lens support, although the lens(es) you want may not be there. I think the addition of grids is useful, and I haven't found anything that 12.1 broke.

As for performance, I don't have a problem with any of the 3 2012 Macs I'm running it on (a MP and a MBP Sierra, and a MBP Mojave). Rendering isn't instantaneous on the MP, although it's faster on the MBPs, but even when it pauses, it's still responsive and processing delays are more than acceptable. I'm talking generally a second or less to render any adjustment, even when I have 6-10 layers. The more layers, the longer we should expect calculations to take. I've also found its search function to be extremely fast. Like Aperture, C1's using all of my cores very well (I have only 4 real + 4 virtual cores on each machine). Given benchmarks on newer machines (I'm considering a new MBP with an i9), I'd expect performance to be outstanding.

Regarding search: some people may not be aware that C1 finds search results as you type and refines those results as each successive letter is typed. For example, if I'm trying to find "heron" images in a collection with 8000 images, I can type the first 2-3 letters very quickly and then start having to wait for C1 to catch up with me with each successive letter. But I don't have to type "heron"! By the time I type the 'r', C1's found all the heron images. I wonder if people complaining about poor search performance are talking about delays like I described while typing criteria, or are actually referring to how long it takes for C1 to return results. Once I realized the typing aspect, suddenly C1 was returning results almost instantaneously, even when I search for images in a 50k image library.

As for responsiveness to user requests, I don't know where the design team comes from. I'm sure that we forum participants don't constitute a big proportion of C1 licensees, and I'm pretty sure that C1's main target is full-time pros, and possibly mostly those shooting Phase One cameras. The way to make feature requests, I believe, is through direct communication with Support—not on this or other forums. That's been pointed out many times on C1 Mac forums (for some reason I don't understand, each major version of C1 gets its own forum).

While I'm frustrated that virtually none of my suggestions or requests (made through the proper channel) have been incorporated into the product, so far I've been very pleased with what Phase One's small development team has accomplished. And unlike what Apple did to us with Aperture (and now QuickTime Pro and other really useful apps), Phase One seems committed to evolving C1 AND continuing with perpetual license options.
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby NN635680879799322049UL » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:55 pm

1. It's free. It's not like the next major version upgrade that will cost you and may or may not be "worth the upgrade" price.
2. It does require a very quick catalog upgrade, much faster than in the past for my 60k image catalog. No, you can't read the upgraded catalog with version 12.0.4, but you can run 12.0.4 if you keep a copy of the catalog before you upgrade it. Every version has bugs, so keeping a copy before you upgrade is essential so you can go back to the previous version.
3. No, the improvements are not overwhelming, but the numerous bug fixes make it worth trying it out. There are bug fixes not documented in the release notes. One very annoying one was the glitch in slide show transitions where a small version of images displayed before snapping to full screen. This has been fixed, but not noted.
4. Aperture always loaded faster and displayed all images very fast. More so if you run it on newer computers. It had a more efficient DAM. Aperture was fast, but had other frustrating limitations; you definitely could get frustrated much faster with it. Aperture is like an old love - you remember the fun times and forget the downside.
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby Ian3 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:29 pm

Francesco Mariani wrote:
Ian3 wrote:If your are already on version 12, I see no reason not to take the free update to 12.1. As well as the modest addition of new features, there are a lot of bug fixes (36 bullet points in the list for the Mac version)

Unfortunately there's nothing about overall performance improvements and keyword search performance improvements.

I expect better performance than ancient Apple Aperture, which I am not getting with Capture One "Pro".

Even if that is how you feel, there is no disadvantage in taking the 12.1 update, as far as I can see, despite the fact that you would like the enhancements to be more wide-reaching.

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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby ShaneB » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:17 am

SFA wrote:Or would one prefer to have a smaller group of regular clients who pay for the quality of ones output, provide the income one needs and, over all, allow one to manage a business in a generally stable and reliable way without too much stress of any sort?


Well, I think Phase One has already made that decision. The deals they have struck with Sony and more particularly, Fujifilm mean that C1 is for the enthusiast as well as professional market, and with the advent of Fuji's GFX range, C1 is no-longer tied to Phase One cameras.

Lowering prices would mean C1 is accessible to more photographers like me for whom quality is essential, but costs are not tax-deductible.
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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby SFA » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:53 pm

ShaneB wrote:
SFA wrote:
Lowering prices would mean C1 is accessible to more photographers like me for whom quality is essential, but costs are not tax-deductible.


Yes but does it follow that the product, and in particular its profit margin from which decisions about future development will be guided, is improved?

Camera sales (other than via mobile phones) have been declining for years. It seems to me that there are fewer and fewer 'enthusiasts' to pitch to and many of them are not really that keen on diving into image editing if they can avoid it. (Or they are but want an application that just does stuff for them with a handful of clicks based on someone else's concepts of what an image might be made to look like.

There are a number of quite similar products available to do that and many look much the same. Where it the unique selling point (other than a very low price?) that makes them both acceptable to users and also appeals to those who invest in the business?

If it was I was in the business, what would I do?

Perhaps cut some of the more complicated to understand features or move the them up the product chain for those who are prepared to pay worthwhile money. I would certainly seek to reduce the overheads of user support. Free technical support would probably be a target unless I could prove that providing it led to increased profitability (or at least some aspect of business revenues that would fit in with the financial requirements of the company and its shareholders (and customers in terms of business survival and development) at the time.

Bear in mind that humans are odd creatures and tend to believe that something only have real value if it's not 'free' and has especially value if very expensive.

Price cuts are great for shifting old stock (in traditional terms when things came in boxes) or attracting new customers in the hope that some of them will become long terms payers - which is part of the strategy for introducing an exclusively subscription model for software. (And other things but that broadens the potential discussion too far IMO).

Finally, if you are not running a business trying to satisfy the demands of clients - what makes quality so essential to you?

Desirable I fully understand - but 'essential'?

I ask because there are many people out in the world who probably feel the same way but have personal preferences for other products - for whatever reasons and whether their assessments are valid or not is not a point at issue. The facts seem to be that at any given moment they have some sort of essential tool that they feel would be impossible to do without. So one might conclude that the assessment of quality (and therefore value?) is in no way well defined and so it would be difficult to ensure continuity of customer loyalty (and therefore revenues with low cost of sales) purely on the basis of a perception of quality and an attractively low price for the consumer.

I really doubt that in the modern world the typical consumer has feeling of loyalty to a product or company based on perceived quality. They are as as likely to buy a different brand of "something" whenever they need some "something" as they are to seek out the latest version of the product they currently use. There will be some exception for low cost consumable products - like a choice of tea of coffee or wash powder - but that's rarely for the same reasons since such products may well change a lot whilst purporting to be the same.

So what makes some particular aspect of a photo editor become 'essential' in a way that not other product ever will and how does making the 'essential' aspect cheaper lead to sales to other people with different criteria?

I'm genuinely interested to understand this for a number of reasons but not the least is the potential for the concept of niche marketing.


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Re: 12.1 - Is it worth the upgrade? (Should I bother?)

Postby ShaneB » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:22 am

Hi Grant

I wasn't going to add anything else to this thread, but you raise some points worth responding to.

SFA wrote:Bear in mind that humans are odd creatures and tend to believe that something only have real value if it's not 'free' and has especially value if very expensive.


Agreed. Weird (and sad) but true.

SFA wrote:Finally, if you are not running a business trying to satisfy the demands of clients - what makes quality so essential to you?

Desirable I fully understand - but 'essential'?


Ultimately, C1 isn't "essential" to me, but it is highly desirable. It gets the most from my raw images and also provides features like keywording.

As to why I use it when income isn't involved: for the same reason I use a Nikon D850 instead of a D3xxx series - because I want equipment that will place the least limitations on the images I create. Since I don't gamble or drink very much, I can just afford the D850 and C1. That's my vice.

OTOH, I don't use Phase One (and similar) gear because I neither need it nor can afford it.

All that said, were C1 to go up in price, I would probably look further afield for a long term solution.

SFA wrote:I really doubt that in the modern world the typical consumer has feeling of loyalty to a product or company based on perceived quality. They are as as likely to buy a different brand of "something" whenever they need some "something" as they are to seek out the latest version of the product they currently use. There will be some exception for low cost consumable products - like a choice of tea of coffee or wash powder - but that's rarely for the same reasons since such products may well change a lot whilst purporting to be the same.

So what makes some particular aspect of a photo editor become 'essential' in a way that not other product ever will and how does making the 'essential' aspect cheaper lead to sales to other people with different criteria?

I'm genuinely interested to understand this for a number of reasons but not the least is the potential for the concept of niche marketing.


For me, within certain parameters, value is always more important than price. Cheapest is rarely good value (though it can be on occasions), and most expensive isn't necessarily the best either.

I am also fairly loyal to certain brands - so long they continue to deliver.

As another example: I've recently invested in a couple of Godox flash units because they perform, are in my price range and (again IMHO) are better value than say, Profoto.

I hope this clarifies my position.

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