Capture One 21 Pro review

Capture One 21 Pro is a direct rival to Lightroom Classic but costs twice as much. Is it worth it? Our rating might just give that away...

5 Star Rating
Capture One 21 Pro review
(Image: © Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Capture One 21 Pro is not cheap, but it is fast, efficient and powerful. It offers a choice of workflows for studio photographers and regular photographers alike and has a brilliant layers-based approach to local adjustments. Most impressive of all, though, is the sheer quality of its raw processing. Quality costs money, of course, but while Capture One 21 is around twice the price of Lightroom, there are cheaper Sony, Fujifilm and Nikon editions with all the tools but restricted to cameras from those brands.


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    Powerful adjustment layers

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    Sheer raw processing quality

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    Cheaper ‘brand’ editions

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    Subscription and perpetual license pricing options


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    More expensive than Lightroom

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    No cloud/mobile version

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Capture One 21 Pro is a non-destructive image cataloguing and editing program that offers an almost identical set of features to Lightroom Classic. 

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at