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Capture One is “Unlikely” to Support The Fuji GFX | Is It the Right Decision Or Alienation?

By Justin Heyes on January 12th 2017

Capture One Pro offers powerful raw editing with excellent tethering support that many professional photographers would regard as superior to the Adobe counterpart; even the gimped version of Capture One is included with Sony’s A7 series cameras.

In recent years there has been a transition in tethering software, especially for studio work, from Lightroom to Capture One. While both software giants have extensive support for cameras of all types, brands, and sensors; recent Fuji shooters, in particular, love the demosaicing process of Capture One for X-Trans files, resulting in higher detail and better colors; but according to Phase One themselves, potential Fujifilm GFX 50S owners shouldn’t expect to be able to use Capture One software with their new mirrorless camera.

According to a member of Fujifilm GFX Facebook group who asked Phase One if they are going to support the Fujifilm GFX, Phase One’s response was:

It is unlikely that we will support the Fuji GFX 50s – we have a long-standing policy of not providing support to direct competitors of our core business.


Considering Capture One is developed by Phase One, it should come as no surprise that Fuji‘s new medium format would not be supported as it could potentially hurt sales, but in trying to strengthen hardware sales has Phase potentially weakened software sales?

Is It the Right Decision?

It is difficult to manage different product lines simultaneously. Yes, the GFX is arguably a competitor for Phase One (though, come on, not in the same league), but Adobe is the competitor of Capture One. We can case reference Sony, for example, that if they stopped selling sensors that may help their camera business, but in doing so may lower they sensor sales, thus impede development and destroy their sensor business. There is a reason why their sensors are regarded as the best, they have the money for R&D. Stopping sensor sales would hurt both business lines.

Phase One’s defensive strategy seems shortsighted and unrealistic. Prospective customers wanting to get into digital medium format photography will not spend up to four times the cost in gear just for access to the Capture One environment; nobody will reconsider their GFX purchase just because Capture One wouldn’t be supporting it but instead people will reconsider buying Capture One.

It bears considering too that the GFX 50s does not have an X-Trans sensor, so the disadvantages in Lightroom are largely diminished in this situation anyway. Given the new landscape of accessible medium format it doesn’t make sense for Phase One not to support such competitors within Capture One Pro software – they’ll lose more potential business from Fujifilm GFX and Hasselblad X1D owners (likely to be much higher in volume than Phase One cameras) than they will gain from buyers of their medium format cameras, like their Phase One XF 100 MP.

Since digital medium format photography is still relatively niche right now, this may be why Phase One is taking this route, however, the potential medium format owner user base seems set to vastly and rapidly expand, and instead of alienating a huge user base Phase One should use Capture One as a way to get customers into their ecosystem as what’s happened with Sony users. It’s a better ecosystem anyway.

[RELATED: Is It Time To Switch From Lightroom to Capture One Pro? Here’s Why It Might Be]

*Lightroom still has support for the vast majority of medium format cameras that Capture One does not (ie. Hasselblad and Pentax).

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Mircea Blanaru

    I understood that the Fuji MF camera will cost around 8,000 $ with a bundle lens which makes it very catching for the wealthy artists so I understand the position of Phase One. With the prices coming down I think that MF cameras are the future in high end photography. I also agree that the photographer takes the picture and not the camera so very great results can be achieved with not very expensive cameras…

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  2. David Shepherd

    As much as I would love to edit my (future) GFX raw files in Capture One, I can not disagree with PhaseOne’s position. This is a direct competitor and it would be a detriment if the GFX outsell any Phase system and affect sales. It’s a business move that must be considered for Phase One to remain solvent. It is up to third parties and users to find a workflow that allow images to be edited in Capture One. Capture One does support DNG and I plan to convert files to use in Capture One. It will not be optimal, but it is still a good option. The problem that is most concerning to me is tethering while shooting. I am not a fan of tethering with Lr, so hopefully there will be a solution for this.

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  3. Will Gavillan

    This would really suck, but isn’t unexpected. I think they are being shortsighted as I don’t think not being able to use Capture One will deter people from buying one, especially if it’s as good as it looks on paper. I have been toying with the idea of this camera in the future, and I love Capture One (color balance tool FTW), but not having Capture One probably wouldn’t make my decision that much harder. I’d adapt, as will others.

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  4. Josh Leavitt

    Fuji will likely release a 1st-party camera tethering software application for Windows and Mac machines when the GFX rolls out, or shortly thereafter. As long as it can output to the high end 4k, 5k, and new 8k displays, then Fuji will be in good shape for studio photographers looking for the full MF experience.

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    • Justin Heyes

      It is more likely they will updated their $80 Lightoom plug-in to be used for the GFX, instead of developing a specific application.

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  5. Jean-Francois Perreault

    Never been a big fan of protectionism. It literally gives that market to anyone else who wants it and forces others to improve.

    The GFX is coming no matter what. And I doubt it will prevent people from getting it.
    I knew Lr wasn’t good with X-Trans files, that didn’t stop me from getting a Fuji.

    And as you said, the GFX uses a bayer pattern which is usually properly handled by Lr.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they came back on their decision. It will depend on how popular the GFX is.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Protectionism is sort of par for the course in business though, and I don’t typically think poorly of a company for partaking. I think what Phase One is probably missing here is that there will likely be a helluva lot more people able to afford and willing to buy the smaller MF cameras (unless Phase One has one of their own in the works…) that market share may not be on their side. Personally, not being able to use COP would quite possibly prevent me from getting one of those cameras, or at least I’d be terribly disappointed if I couldn’t. I’m just so irritated with Adobe’s unwillingness or inability to bring LR into this current age of performance.

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