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RAW, JPEG, LR and Capture One alternatives, etc.


Super Moderator
Sep 10, 2015
Real Name
I've been using Capture One for a number of years now. I still like the software, but starting tomorrow (1/11/2021) there are going to be significant increases for 'perpetual' non-subscription pricing. Overall pricing strategies especially around upgrades tells me their most recent owners are headed toward having only a subscription model, and maybe doing away with the cheaper camera-specific plans; just my guess. I am not a fan of subscriptions, but I may be fighting a losing battle for software in general other than open source. But it gives me pause if current ownership is capable of pricing their products to widen the user base and brings into question their future.

Anyway, this has been on my mind the last several days since getting the email notification, and maybe it is time for me to consider switching editors again. The last time I did this was before cloud-based LR even existed. There are a number of things I do not like about LR, and the subscription price is the same so I could just as well stay with C1 between the two. LR/PS do have some things C1 does not, blending, stitching and stacking come to mind. I can keep my C1 perpetual license going in the meantime with no cost, and if I decide to stay with it reluctantly go to subscription as the upgrade price will be silly. I may also give the open source editors a run, and maybe a few other retail products like Affinity, DxO, Luminar.

I have also considered abandoning post-processing in whole or in part, maybe even shoot JPEGs. There are some very good photographers out there who shoot JPEGs, and I know some here do. But even if I sometimes find PP a hassle, other times I would not have ended up with the same photo no matter how hard I worked to get it right in camera. I have to make up for my lack of skills somehow. :) So I do not see myself abandoning RAWs for now.

I thought about making a poll out of this but there are so many editors and RAW/JPEG combos I think it would probably not be all that useful in the end. So post your thoughts, if you wish to opine.


Super Moderator
Dec 12, 2012
Ashland, OR, USA
Real Name
As much as I hate the subscription model, like you I recognize that I'd be fighting a losing battle if I bailed and tried a different raw development option. And since I've been using Lightroom since v1.0, and have developed a skill set with it that I'd be loath to abandon, there's little incentive for me to try something new. And I'm not likely to switch to a jpeg-only process either. Maybe on my phone, what with all of the computational goodies available there. But on my "good" camera? No way. Most of the kinds of images I like to shoot are landscapes, and I'm not about to leave a photon of dynamic range on the table if I don't have to.

I occasionally use Affinity Photo or Luminar if I'm just messing around. But I almost always get better results with Lightroom, so...

My free advice (and worth every penny)? Stick with what you're comfortable with, as long as it gets you what you're after. As to paying for it monthly? Well, I figure software developers have to eat too.


TalkEmount Regular
Feb 20, 2014
Well, you can give a try to Rawtherapee (free) or Photoscape X ( has both a free and a paid version).
Also, I just downloaded the trial of Exposure X6, i really like its film simulations. If I were you, I won’t give up raw, it’s just a matter to find the right editor for you :)

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