Capture One Plugins and the Nik Collection
Are you aware that Capture One now supports using Plugins? Phase One who develops Capture One introduced support for Plugins in version 12 of their software. Interestingly, it isn’t just the Pro version of Capture One that supports plugins. If you’re using the free Capture One Express edition to edit your Sony or Fuji RAW files, you also get plugin support.
If you browse the Phase One website, you can find details of the plugins that are available. The number of plugins is currently low but interestingly, Helicon Focus recently joined the list. Hopefully, other developers will add support in the future. Save & Exit
But don’t be disappointed by the limited number of plugins currently available. It’s also possible to use external photo editors with Capture One, including the Nik Collection.
Linking the Nik Collection in Capture One
Configuring Capture One to use the Nik Collection plugins is relatively easy.
Start by opening the Capture One Preferences dialog from the menu. On a Mac you can find this in the “Capture One” menu and on a Windows PC it’s in the “Edit” menu. You can see the Preferences dialog from my Mac computer below.
The default plugin is “Open With Menu” which produces a list of compatible image editors installed on the computer. To select an editor to use with Capture One, find it in the list and click. You then see a tick mark to the left of the editor indicating it’s available.
The Capture One Preferences dialog also shows two other buttons to be aware of at the bottom. The “Get more plugins” button to the bottom right opens the plugins page on the Phase One website. The other button is a ‘+’ to the bottom left of the dialog. Click this to open a browser or finder window where you can select plugins in the Capture One plugin format. Currently, I have the Helicon Focus plugin installed which you can see in the top left of the dialog.
Close the dialog once you’ve selected the applications you want to use with Capture One.
Launching the Nik Collection from Capture One
Having linked the Nik Collection and Capture One using the Preferences Plugin tab you can edit an image with any of the linked applications.
Start by right-clicking the image you want to edit in the Capture One portfolio.
In the menu, select the “Edit with” menu option. Here you will see all the linked applications that you added in the Preferences dialog. If the application, you want to use is missing there’s a handy “Other…” option in the menu. Click this to open a browser or finder window where you can select the executable for the application you want to use.
When you select the application to edit with, Capture One displays a dialog to enter the settings for the new image. You can see an example below.
The dialog allows you to set the characteristics of the new image such as Format and ICC Profile. This is important because these settings generate a new image file. Capture One then passes the new image to the editor you selected to use whilst adding it to its database.
Using Nik Without Creating a New File
If you’re editing a RAW file using Capture One, then you need to generate an image file that’s compatible with the Nik Collection. The Nik Collection can’t edit the RAW file directly. That’s why we used the “Edit With” option from the Capture One popup menu. But if you want to edit a compatible image file without creating a new copy, you can use the “Open With” menu.
The “Open With” menu option is very similar to using “Edit With” except Capture One doesn’t create a new image. Instead, it passes the selected image file directly to the application for editing. Any changes then save directly to the image file.
Using the Nik Collection with Capture One Video
To help you see the process of setting up the Plugins in the Preferences tab I’ve created the following video.
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You can also watch this video on my YouTube channel. I publish a new video every week, often based on subscribers’ requests and feedback. Subscribe to my YouTube channel now and be sure not to miss future videos.
Although there’s a limited number of plugins available for Capture One, this doesn’t prevent you from using external image editors with the software. As we’ve covered in this video, you can integrate third-party photo editors like the Nik Collection to Capture One.