Since it’s the first week of December, the release of the latest version of Capture One, the 13th build of the program is of no surprise. What was somewhat surprising was the change of naming convention, now following suit with other annual update programs, we now have Capture One 20 (for the year 2020)


Capture One is no longer supporting tethered capture for Leaf Aptus from Capture One 12.1 and forward.

Capture One 20 is Officially Supported in Mac OS :

High Sierra (10.13.6) | Mojave (10.14.5) | Catalina (10.15.1)

New for Capture One 20 – Trial Activations require a License Key!

Head directly over to to download and if unlicensed, get an activation key for your trial software. Because of this new behavior, we will no longer be hosting Capture One software installers on our download archive.

As the Capture Integration Tech Support Manager, I highly recommend that you always read the release notes of any new software platform that you install. With increases in speed and stability comes eliminations of slower computers or operating systems. Please do your due diligence to make sure your computer specifications are compatible with this new version.  – Brad Kaye


Capture One 20 New features and improvements

• Scrolling Tools
• New Basic Color Editor
• Improved Noise Reduction
• High Dynamic Range
• New Crop Tool
• Improved copy/apply of Layers
• Improved DNG support
• Select Next When

General User Experience Improvements

• License keys for all variants
• Adjustment Clipboard improvements
• Toolbar text and icons
• Masking cursor tools arrangement
• Viewer background color
• Browser thumbnail resolution
• White Balance Picker
• Changes to default shortcuts


Thoughts from Brad:

Some of these changes are mild enhancements, some of these changes are, “oh, FINALLY’ and some of the changes you won’t notice until you start using the program for yourself.  These are the aspects of Capture One 20 that struck me immediately:


My initial experience was that even in the beta of the program, it ran exceedingly better on the same hardware.  Layer based workflow has been improved in the interface, but vastly so under the hood.  While playing with 150 megapixel IQ4 files, in Capture One 12 I could choke my ability to paint feathered masks without latency in only two layers.  In Capture One 20, I created an obscene 15 layers of complex feathered brushes, linear and radial gradients with ZERO lag from the brush when I proceeded to paint the next series of strokes on the next created layer.  Very, very impressive compared to the click-drag-4-second-beachball I was used to experiencing at each and every stroke before. 

Basic Color Editor:

The ease of use of this tool will convert some of you back from the Advanced Color Editor for small fixes as it works exceedingly well, while being utterly simple to operate. 

Default Shortcuts:

Always a frustration for me was the default keyboard shortcut layout and I’d have to immediately make some corrections to any new workstation I worked at (when I wasn’t carrying my full set of shortcuts with me).  I’ll be defaulting my shortcuts again and building off of the default set because the simple changes, combined with the new ‘Select Next When’ behavior makes quick editing a much easier prospect 

I always fall back to the precautionary principle when upgrading software, but from my experience so far, Capture One 20 jumped way ahead of the growing pains we experienced in the entire code rewrite of Capture One 12 and sits now in a build version 13.0 that feels fully formed and ready to please.  Of course, have a backup of any session / catalog stored elsewhere in your system before you upgrade your working sessions & catalogs to Capture One 20, but I’m giving early approval to start playing with this strong new offering from Phase One.   -bk 


Abbreviated feature notes from the manufacturer below, Full Feature Notes with pictures available at

Scrolling Tools:

Scrolling Tools Make sure to select the default workspace by going to Window > Workspace > Default. Every Tool Tab now has two sections; a pinned section and a scrollable section. The new default workspace for Capture One 20 will have tools divided into both sections. The purpose of the two sections is to allow pinning of tools to the top of the tool tab while scrolling below. You can move tools between the two sections, either by dragging them, or by opening the tool submenu (…) and selecting “Move Tool to Pinned/Scrollable Area”. If you prefer, you can, for example, put all tools in the scrollable area. If you prefer the old functionality, you can put all tools in the pinned area. For scrolling the sliders in Capture One 20, hold down the modifier key [ALT]. This behavior can be flipped from preferences if needed, where the modifier key will scroll the tools instead.

New Basic Color Editor:

The Basic part of the Color Editor has been re-designed to take up less space but provide more options than before. Two additional ranges have been added, splitting the spectrum into eight ranges instead of six. The ranges are available from color patches and are adjusted with sliders that are now showing gradient colors, indicating their effect. Additionally, the Basic Color Editor now works on Layers. The Direct Color Editor (shortcut: D) is the new Cursor Tool in the Basic Color Editor. It allows you to click and drag anywhere on your image and have the corresponding color change. The direction of your movement when dragging determines which slider you change, and the third option is available using the modifier key ALT. The sensitivity can be adjusted as well. If you need to change the ranges, the spectrum is available from the (…) button. Any changes made to the spectrum will reflect in the color patches and the gradients on the sliders.

Improved Noise Reduction:

The Noise Reduction Tool has been re-engineered for improved image quality. You will see better noise reduction, better retention of details, colors, and patterns, and bigger impact of the Amount slider. The tool is intelligent. The default setting will provide noise reduction results based on your ISO setting. Because of this, Capture One 20 will provide pleasing results – even without tweaking noise reduction.

High Dynamic Range:

The sliders in High Dynamic Range now start in the middle. This doubles the functionality of Highlight and Shadow recovery, where more contrast is needed instead of recovery. Additionally, the two sliders White and Black has been added to the tool, enabling control of the darkest shadows and brightest highlights. The High Dynamic Range tool is now more powerful than ever, and it enables fine-tuning of contrast in a fast and easy way. It’s meant for high-speed workflows and as a supplement to the more advanced control you can achieve with Levels and Curves.

New Crop Tool:

It has been made easier to see the edge of the crop with new handles. They appear in the corners and the sides of the crop, making it easier to grab and resize the crop. New modifier keys have been introduced, allowing cropping around center [ALT] and locking the current aspect ratio [Shift]. Additionally, freehand rotation can be accessed by either moving the cursor outside the corner of the crop, of by using the modifier key [CMD/CTRL]. Hitting return while using the Crop Tool will now switch to the Pan Cursor Tool and show the image in its cropped state.

Improved copy/apply of Layers:

Capture One 20 opens up for a more flexible, layer-centric workflow. You can now select which layers you would like to copy to other images, where you previously would have to copy everything or nothing. Additionally, the Layers that get applied to other images will now be added on top of any Layers that might already be present, instead of replacing them. It is now possible to copy and apply Layers between images of different dimensions as well, making it much easier to streamline a workflow where, for example. multiple cameras are used, and Styles are applied to Layers.

Improved DNG support:

DNG files come in all shapes and sizes. If Capture One has implemented support for a camera model, the DNG file it creates will have individually tweaked colors with our custom profile. With Capture One 20, DNG files from camera models that are not support will still look great. This opens up for great color profiling of all smartphones, drones and camera models that capture in DNG format.

Select Next When:

For high-volume sorting tasks like weddings or other events, culling has been made easier with Capture One 20. You can now enable automatic switching to the next image once you star rate or color tag an image. These can be toggled independently. Find the new feature within ‘Select > Select Next When’. This functionality works with Sets (a selection of multiple images). Select multiple images and disable ‘Edit All Selected Variants’. When star rating or color tagging, the selection will move through the Set and switch to the next Set of the same size once the last image is rated.

General User Experience Improvements:

Adjustment Clipboard Improvements When copying adjustments to the clipboard with ‘Auto-select adjusted’ enabled, groups without adjustments will be collapsed, providing a clearer overview of what will be included when pasting to other variants.

Toolbar text and icons The icons in the toolbar now has text under them as default, making the interface easier to understand. This can be toggled on and off by right-clicking the toolbar.

Masking cursor tools arrangement The cursor tools for masking (brush, eraser, linear and radial gradient) have been moved out of the drop-down menu and placed in the Layers tool for easy access.

Viewer background color Changing the background color of the viewer is now available directly by right-clicking the background itself. These options are also available in the View-menu, and they have new shortcuts assigned [Shift + 1, 2, 3… 6].

Browser thumbnail resolution The resolution of the thumbnails in the browser has been increased by 50%.

White Balance Picker The White Balance Picker has been re-engineered to provide a much higher consistency. Previously, results could deviate based on the noise on the image.

Process button moved The button for activating the selected Process Recipes has been moved to the Process Recipes tool instead of being located in the Process Summary Tool.


Changes to default shortcuts To improve the ease of use of Capture One 20, the default shortcut set has received the following changes and additions:

  • Proof Margin: X
  • Direct Color Editor: D
  • Hide Viewer: G
  • Linear Gradient: L
  • Zoom to 100%: . (period)
  • Zoom to fit: , (comma)
  • Toggle Focus Mask: Q
  • Full Screen: F (On Windows F11 works as a secondary shortcut)
  • Viewer background color can be toggled using [Shift + 1, 2, 3… 6]