Capture One Version 5

Phase One has an interesting interview with Phase One’s Vice President of Research and Development, Claus Mølgaard. It’s got more content than the usual product introduction interview. You can read it here.

I’m fascinated by the idea of the Focus Mask. It’s puts a mask (in Photoshop terms) over your picture where (I guess) the opacity is related to how much the picture is in focus.

Here’s a screen grab from the Phase One Web site which is the best I could find.


Focus Mask in Capture One 5

Focus Mask


I guess it works in a similar manner to the autofocus on the camera – a contrast detection algorithm. However, that is the limit of my knowledge.

When we examine a picture I think everyone would agree what parts of it are in focus. But I don’t know how you measure that at the pixel level.

I have not used Capture One. I wonder if they will release the Focus Mask technology as an addin for Photoshop or Lightroom. It’s a classic software company problem. They could reach a larger market and make more revenue in the short-term by enhancing the dominant tools in the business. But they would lose a competitive advantage for their software. It’s a hard call for a company.

It is also interesting to try and read between the lines as Claus discusses their handling of Raw files from different manufacturers. Phase One (the makers of Capture One) compete in some ways as they also make camera hardware and lenses. I bet they have some interesting stories to tell of their relationships with the major vendors. “Coopetition” is a complicated thing.


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