hdr merge, capture one 22 review

Capture One 22 Review

In this Capture One 22 review you read about all the new features: panorama stitching, HDR merging, auto rotate and Canon wireless tethering. And of course the new camera raw files and lenses that this release supports.

hdr merge, capture one 22 review

Capture One 22 Review

Capture One 22 is known as build 15, and this first release is 15.0. I plan to update this review with updates 15.1 and later if and when they arrive.

In this review, we take a closer look at the new features:

  • Panorama stitching
  • HDR merging
  • Auto Rotate
  • Canon wireless tethering
  • additional camera and lens correction support

A few new cameras were introduced recently, and you will find raw and tethering support for them in this release. There are also several new lenses added to the Lens Correction tool.

Panorama Stitching

If your wide-angle lens is not wide enough, or you like to create a high-resolution image, you shoot a series of RAW images and merge them later in Capture One. The new Panorama Stitch tool outputs a linear DNG file, and you can further edit this file as a raw file in Capture One.

panorama stitch, capture one 22 review

A successful panorama stitch starts with how you capture it. I switch to manual mode most of the time to lock focusing and exposure. A tripod helps, as does a 20-40% overlap.

Next, you give your images the same adjustments. Use the Lens Correction tool to adjust any light falloff. Note that layer adjustments are ignored in the stitch.

Please refer to this online video from Capture One for best practices.

You best use a lens with a 35mm focal length (full-frame equivalent) or longer. Capture One can stitch multiple rows of images.

stitch to panorama, capture one 22

Panorama stitching in Capture One 22 is easy. Select your images, right-click on a thumbnail, and select Stitch to Panorama. The Stitch to Panorama screen opens.

stitch to panorama screen, capture one 22

On the Stitch to Panorama screen, you can select one of the Projections:

  • Spherical
    for multi-row stitching, with stitching both horizontally and vertically
  • Cylindrical
    for single-row stitching, a standard projection when shooting from left to right or vice versa
  • Perspective
    for images that cover less than 100 degrees field of view, and for images captured with tilt & shift lenses
  • Panini
    for architectural images where the vanishing point is at the center of the frame.

Below the Projections tool, you can adjust the size of the panorama, and the Stitch Size tool reports the current size of the panorama. You usually would stick to 100%, but above 600-megapixel editing, in Capture One becomes slow, and 715-megapixel or 65,000 pixels long edge is the maximum size.

When the preview is ready, click on the Stitch button, and Capture One creates the panorama DNG file. It stores the file next to the original files, with the file name of the last image plus the suffix ‘_Panorama’.

HDR Merging

It is no coincidence that Capture One introduces Panorama stitching and HDR merging in the same release. Both features combine multiple raw files into one new linear DNG file that you can edit in Capture One.

merge to HDR, capture one 22

HDR merging in Capture One 22 is easy. Select your images, right-click on a thumbnail, and select Merge to HDR. The Merge to HDR dialog appears.

In the Merge to HDR screen, you have two options:

  • Auto Adjust
  • Auto Align

merge to HDR, capture one 22

The Auto Adjust option automatically adjusts the Exposure, High Dynamic Range, and Levels for an instant pleasing result. You can alter the image or disable Auto Adjust and do it all by yourself after the merge. See my comment below on what Auto Adjust does more below the surface and why I always enable it.

The Auto Align option is great for handheld shots or when you are unsure whether the images align perfectly. Images shot with a tripod, and a remotely controlled camera may not need this option. Disabling Auto Align speeds up the merge process.

When you are ready, click on the Merge button. Once the merge is ready, Capture One saves a new image file next to the original files with the name of the last image file in the series with an ‘_HDR’ suffix.

You can also refer to an online video from Capture One about HDR merging.

Notes from the field

I share the following tips from my initial experience during beta testing with you.

  1. You do not have to adjust your images before the HDR merge. The merge works with the raw data, neglecting adjustments and adapting after the merge.
  2. As mentioned above, the Auto Adjust checkbox automatically applies some adjustments after the HDR merge. Testing revealed that when I reset these adjustments after the merge and compare the result with an HDR merge without Auto Adjust enabled, the results are sometimes very different. To summarize, the Auto Adjust may also affect tone-mapping during the merge, and I prefer the tone-mapping applied with Auto Adjust enabled. As a result, I advise you to have this always enabled. Please do your testing.
  3. Unfortunately, the HDR image contains no lens correction, and you have to do that manually. Hopefully, a later release will fix this.

Auto Rotate

The Rotation & Flip tool now has a wizard that stands for auto-correction. The Auto Rotate feature gets its magic from artificial intelligence, according to the release notes. You can also access it via the Adjustments menu > Auto Adjust if you enabled Rotation in the Adjustments menu > Configure Auto Adjustments.

auto rotate, capture one 22

As with other auto-correction types, like the Exposure, Levels, or White Balance tool, you can perform it on multiple selected images, giving each image its automatic correction.

Unfortunately, Auto Rotate needs some further tweaking and learning. With the 15.0.0 release, I did not get satisfactory results, and the Auto Rotate feature did not correctly level the horizon in the image above.

Canon Wireless Tethering

Capture One 22 lets Canon shooters tether wirelessly for a selection of camera models. The tether process itself works identical to that with a USB connection.

Supported models are the Canon R3, R5, 1Dx III, and 1Dx II. Capture One recommends an additional WFT-grip or adapter for optimal performance. Preliminary support is available for the Canon R6, R, 5D IV, and 90D.

canon r5 wireless tethering, capture one 22

For instructions on how to set this up, please refer to the online tutorial that Capture One published.

Will there be wireless tethering support for other brands like Nikon or Sony? Maybe. I guess that this is the first step into a new area.

New Camera And Lens Support

Capture One 22 supports the following new cameras and lenses.

New camera support

Compared with Capture One 21 (build 14.4.1), the Capture One 22 (up to build 15.0.0) release supports the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS R3
  • Nikon Z9
  • Sony A7 IV

New lens correction support

Compared with Capture One 21 (build 14.4.1), the Capture One 22 (up to build 15.0.0) release supports the following lenses for lens correction:

  • Canon RF
    • 50mm F1.8 STM
    • 85mm F1.2 USM DS
    • 85mm F2 Macro IS STM
  • Canon EF
    • 70-200mm F4L IS II USM

Thank you

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment. Please like us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed about new blogs.

Best Regards,

Image Alchemist

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