July 04, 2012

Leica M8 image import comparison with Aperture, Capture One and Lightroom

This is a simple comparison of images imported from a Leica M8 into Aperture, Capture One and Lightroom. These sample images are quick test shots taken on the Leica M8 “A” setting with a UV/IR filter fitted on a Summicron 50mm f2.0 lens. Each image was, as best that I recall:

  • Shot and imported as a RAW file;
  • Processed and exported at 50% size using trial versions of the respective applications with default settings;
  • Imported, edited and saved in sRGB;

Here are the images reduced to 520px width in Photoshop and saved with sRGB profile embedded.

Aperture

Leica m8 image import in Aperture #1

Leica m8 image import in Aperture #1

Leica m8 image import in Aperture #2

Leica m8 image import in Aperture #2

Leica m8 image import in Aperture #3

Leica m8 image import in Aperture #3

Leica m8 image import in Aperture #4

Leica m8 image import in Aperture #4

Capture One

Leica m8 image import in Capture One #1

Leica m8 image import in Capture One #1

Leica m8 image import in Capture One #2

Leica m8 image import in Capture One #2

Leica m8 image import in Capture One #3

Leica m8 image import in Capture One #3

Leica m8 image import in Capture One

Leica m8 image import in Capture One

Lightroom

Leica m8 image import in Lightroom #1

Leica m8 image import in Lightroom #1

Leica m8 image import in Lightroom #2

Leica m8 image import in Lightroom #2

Leica m8 image import in Lightroom #3

Leica m8 image import in Lightroom #3

Leica m8 image import in Lightroom #4

Leica m8 image import in Lightroom #4

And here are some cropped images for comparison.

Aperture

Leica m8 Aperture image crop #1

Leica m8 Aperture image crop #1

Capture One

Leica m8 Capture One image crop #1

Leica m8 Capture One image crop #1

Lightroom

Leica m8 Lightroom image crop #1

Leica m8 Lightroom image crop #1

Aperture

Leica m8 Aperture image crop #2

Leica m8 Aperture image crop #2

Capture One

Leica m8 Capture One image crop #2

Leica m8 Capture One image crop #2

Lightroom

Leica m8 Lightroom image crop #2

Leica m8 Lightroom image crop #2

Aperture

Leica m8 Aperture image crop #3

Leica m8 Aperture image crop #3

Capture One

Leica m8 Capture One image crop #3

Leica m8 Capture One image crop #3

Lightroom

Leica m8 Lightroom image crop #3

Leica m8 Lightroom image crop #3

Aperture

Leica m8 Aperture image crop #4

Leica m8 Aperture image crop #4

Capture One

Leica m8 Capture One image crop #4

Leica m8 Capture One image crop #4

Lightroom

Leica m8 Lightroom image crop #4

Leica m8 Lightroom image crop #4

My take on the results

I was surprised by the variation in the results, especially in the “Leaves” shot and in the close-up detail of the “Ball” image.

I would rank my preference as:

  1. Capture One
  2. Lightroom
  3. Aperture

I felt that Capture One gave the most consistent rendering of the subject matter. To my eye Lightroom and Aperture both brought in extra tones or pulled back some colours to give a more proprietary rendering. This, of course, could be more to someone else’s taste. I thought that the images from Aperture were poor in comparison to Capture One and Lightroom. I also thought that the results from Lightroom were ‘punchier’, but that I would rather go with Capture One’s fidelity and add punch if and where I wanted to.