Capture One – Comparing Perpetual License vs. Subscription

More software is going to a subscription model, which offers the benefits of a smaller up front cost and distributing the cost over multiple lower payments. The downsides are that there is a constant cost, and in most cases the cost of the subscription will overtake the cost of perpetual license and upgrades.

So, which is a better deal for Capture One users? Let’s look at the costs. These are current as of February 2017, and are taken from, and  are subject to change at any time.

Perpetual license: $300

Upgrades: $100, released approximately once a year.

Subscription: $15/Month ($180/year) with a one year commitment

So in 2 years, a license + 1 upgrade would cost $400, and a subscription would cost around $360,  so at about 2 years and 3 months the cost crosses over, and the subscription becomes more expensive. This may change a bit depending on when in the release cycle you buy the licenses, but it is safe to say that between two and three years in the cost of the subscription exceeds the cost of the perpetual license and upgrades.

You can also choose to skip upgrades if it does not look like the upgrade is worthwhile. I haven’t run into that yet. If you choose to do this, Phase One usually only allows for upgrades of the last 2 versions (you can upgrade to version 10 from versions 8 and 9), so you do not want to skip more than a single upgrade. Again, there is no guarantee that this will remain the case.

If you are able to get a promo code for a 10% discount (like mine, AMBPETERH), usable only on perpetual licenses, the cost changes to $360 for the same license + 1 upgrade in 2 years, so the crossover point is at 2 years even. After that, the cost is basically double every year ($90 for a discounted upgrade, $180 for the subscription)

If you think you are going to use  Capture One for two years or less, or you are not able to afford the initial license, you are probably better off with the subscription, after that the perpetual license becomes a much better deal.

There is a chance that Phase One will go to a subscription only model in the future, and if that happens before you pay off the initial cost, you could end up paying a little more. Once you hit the crossover, there would be no difference.

If you already own a license eligible for upgrade, the perpetual license upgrade is a the clear way to go, costing $100 (or $90)/year vs $180/year for the subscription.

Disclaimer: I am a Phase One Ambassador, and just like you can get a discount only on perpetual licenses, I get a commission on sales of the perpetual license. So although I have a motive to promote the perpetual license, I am providing all of the math here to help you make the best decision for your specific circumstances.

Four Edit Friday 6 – Motel

Episode 6 of Four Edit Friday, an abandoned motel.

Edit One, Standard color

Edit 2, Day to night

Edit 3, Black and White

Edit 4, split tone black and white

2-4 have too much clarity, but I didn’t feel like refilming the edits. The problem is more obvious when the images are viewed smaller, so I should probably preview the image at a smaller size.

Which do you prefer? What would you do differently?

Digital Scouting

Want to waste less money, time, and effort in your outdoor shooting? Going places that don’t have the right views, wrong light, or the wrong angle of the light and you can wind up with sub-par shots, or missing them entirely. With this post, I will show you how to use some websites and apps to better plan location shoots, so you can better use your time and resources. Let’s take a look at the tools I used to plan this shot weeks before I actually took it.

This is the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County, WI. I thought of trying to get this shot, and then started doing the research to see if it was possible.

Looking at Google Maps/Google Earth, (web, iOS) there was a road that followed the shoreline closely, and it looked like it would be a good vantage point.

Step one was to look at Google Street View, and see if I had a clear shot from anywhere on the shore, and if the lighthouse was still reasonably visible over the trees. Google Earth showed that both of these were good, so on to the next steps.

When planning sunrise, sunset, or moon pictures, The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) (Web, iOS, Android) is an invaluable tool. Placing the pin on your vantage point, the lines show the angle of the sun and moon rise and set. Sunrise is indicated by the yellow line, sunset by the orange line, moon rise and set by the light and dark blue lines, respectively. Times for astronomic, nautical, and civil dawn and dusk, and sunrise/sunset are also indicated.

TPE showed that on the week we would be in the area, the sun should be rising over the island, just as I was hoping.

For an additional quarterly charge, you can subscribe to SkyFire, which gives an estimate of the likelihood of good sky colors over the next few days. This is only an estimate, but it can be helpful.

PhotoPills also provides the sunrise/sunset time and angle planning, as well as guides for the Milky Way, both in map form and augmented reality.

A final check was done with one of my apps, Lens Planner (iOS), to verify that the lenses I had would get me a good angle of view on the island and lighthouse. The 300mm on the long end of my 70-300 would be fine for this shot, so I was good to go.

With all of these, and checks of drive time and the weather, I was able to get to the spot in good time, and take the photograph I was looking for.

Of course, you can never guarantee light and weather, but by carefully using the available tools you greatly increase your chances of success. It is also a good idea to plan multiple options, so that if you don’t have the weather on your side you can fall back to a plan B that works without it.

What tools do you use to plan and execute shots? Please leave recommendations for the community in the comments.

Four Edit Friday 5 – Boat Light

In this episode, we work on a picture I took at Cave Point County Park, in Door County, WI. As usual, the edits are done in Capture One Pro 10.

The initial edit is a standard edit

This is warmed up, but needed some work on the greens:

This is selectively darkened

And a Black and White edit.

Which do you prefer?

Which do you prefer, or what would you have done differently? Please leave a comment below.