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Capture One Trial: What You Need to Know

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Capture One Trial

Are you searching for a powerful photo editing software that offers a comprehensive suite of tools and features? Look no further! Capture One is an industry-leading software that provides everything you need to enhance your photography skills. In this guide, I will walk you through the process of getting started with Capture One’s free trial, also known as the Capture One trial, and explore the benefits of transitioning to a paid plan. So, why wait? Dive in and unleash your creativity!

I am RayCee the Artist, a professional portrait photographer and event photographer, and if you would like to schedule a photoshoot with me, please contact me at!

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!

Main Points

  • Get started with Capture One Trial in 2023 and explore the full range of features available.

  • Compare different plans to determine whether an annual subscription or perpetual license is best for your needs.

  • Alternatives such as Adobe Lightroom, Darktable, and RawTherapee are also available for photo editing solutions.

Capture One Trial: What to Expect

Capture One Trial

Capture One offers a 30-day free trial that provides a full version of the program, complete with all its features and capabilities. This trial is perfect for testing the software before purchasing it, allowing you to import some existing images and save money while enjoying the full range of tools and features.

Kickstart your journey by downloading the licensed trial version from the Capture One website.

Duration of the Free Trial

The free trial lasts for 30 days, giving you ample time to explore Capture One’s capabilities without any limitations. The best part? No credit card is required to start your trial, so you can dive into the world of professional photo editing without any financial commitment.

Features Available in the Trial

The Capture One trial includes all the features and tools available in the paid version, such as Advanced Color Editor, Skin Tone Editing, Tethered Capture, and Capture One Live.

Discover the power of rating and tagging images with ease through the Adjustments menu or using keyboard shortcuts. With access to these features, you can experiment and create stunning images during your trial period.

How to Download and Activate Your Capture One Trial

Capture One Trial

Start by heading to the official Capture One website and following the on-screen instructions to download and activate your trial. Prior to initiation, check that your hardware meets the software’s requirements to prevent any compatibility problems.

Once downloaded, you can activate the trial by following the instructions provided in the Activation dialog box.

System Requirements

To learn the specific system requirements for the Capture One trial, I highly recommended reviewing the Release Notes before installing the trial. The Release Notes provide information on:

  • Camera model raw file support

  • Lens compatibility

  • Tethered support

  • System requirements

Ensuring your system is compatible with the software will guarantee a smooth and enjoyable experience while using Capture One.

Downloading the Trial

Head to the Capture One website, locate the "Download Trial" page, fill out the necessary information, and initiate the download capture process by clicking on the download button.

Make sure to select the version compatible with your camera brand to ensure the best experience with the software.

Activating the Trial

During the activation process, first-time users will have two options: “Start Trial” or “Use License Key." If you’re a first-time user and don’t have a license key, simply select “Start Trial” to activate your Capture One trial without a license key.

In case you encounter difficulties while activating Capture One, try the following steps:

  1. Connect using a different network.

  2. Ensure that you are not utilizing a VPN, as this could lead to communication issues with the activation server.

  3. Logging into your account at during activation is essential to validate your account.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Capture One Trial

Capture One Trial

Maximize your Capture One trial experience by allocating sufficient time for exploring the software’s capabilities. Experiment with various tools and features to enhance your photo editing skills, and use the trial period to organize and edit past images, familiarizing yourself with Capture One’s workflow.

You can even import a Lightroom Catalog or Aperture Library into a Capture One Catalog during the trial period, allowing you to compare and contrast the software with your current photo editing tools.

Experimenting with Tools and Features

During your trial period, don’t be afraid to experiment with the various tools and features available in Capture One, such as:

  • Capture and import

  • Global adjustments

  • Local adjustment sliders

  • Basic color editor

  • Crop tool

  • Noise reduction

By familiarizing yourself with these tools, you’ll be better equipped to decide whether Capture One is the right photo editing software for your needs.

Organizing and Editing Past Images

The Capture One trial also allows you to:

  • Organize and edit past images

  • Assess the software’s workflow and features in a real-life scenario

  • Use the Filters tool on the Library tool tab to quickly locate and organize images based on ratings, tags, and other criteria.

Additionally, the Filters tool can be utilized to apply other adjustments to multiple images simultaneously, streamlining your editing process.

Capture One Trial vs. Paid Options

Capture One Trial

Using the Capture One trial serves as an excellent introduction to the software prior to committing to a paid plan. However, it’s essential to understand the distinctions between the trial and paid options in order to make an informed decision.

Paid plans consist of monthly or yearly subscriptions, a license, or an all-in-one package. In the following sections, I will explore the benefits of both subscription and perpetual license options, helping you decide which plan best suits your needs.

Subscription Benefits

Opting for a subscription plan provides access to the latest version of Capture One Pro, including all the latest features and incoming updates.

Capture One offers a variety of subscription benefits, including:

  • A 20% discount on a perpetual license for each year of subscription

  • A 30% savings on an entire year of subscription

  • Full access to Capture One Pro and all its features and tools

  • Regular updates and new features

  • The latest version of Capture One Pro at no extra cost

Perpetual License Benefits

A perpetual license grants ownership of a copy of Capture One Pro that can be used indefinitely, provided the hardware and operating system remain compatible. The benefit of owning a copy of the software means that you have the option to purchase new versions at a discounted rate, ensuring that you always have access to the latest features and tools.

By owning a perpetual license, you can be sure that you will always have access to the latest version of Capture One Pro, including all its features and updates, as long as your hardware and operating system remain compatible.

Transitioning from Trial to Paid Capture One

Capture One Trial

Switching from the Capture One trial to a paid version is an effortless transition. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Enter your Capture One license key.

  2. Enter your email address (the same email address used when purchasing the license).

  3. Click on ‘Get Profile’ to activate the paid version.

In the following sections, I will guide you through the process of choosing the right plan and upgrading from the trial to a paid plan.

Choosing the Right Plan

When selecting the right plan for you, consider your budget and usage. Capture One offers both subscription and perpetual license options.

If you prefer to have access to the latest version and updates, an annual subscription may be the most cost-efficient solution. Alternatively, a perpetual license allows you to own the software outright, giving you the option to purchase new versions at a discounted rate.

Upgrading from Trial to Paid

To transition from the trial to a paid plan, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Capture One website and choose the appropriate plan.

  2. Enter your license key.

  3. Start utilizing all the features included in the paid version and avail of the subscription benefits, such as access to the latest updates and support.

Capture One Trial for Different Camera Brands

In January 2022, Capture One discontinued its brand-specific camera support versions of Capture One Pro, such as Capture One Pro for Nikon and Capture One Pro for Sony. Instead, all users now have access to a single version of Capture One Pro that supports all supported camera brands.

This means that Capture One Pro is not specific to different camera brands in the sense that it does not offer different features or functionality depending on the camera brand you are using. However, Capture One Pro is still tailored to the specific needs of different camera brands in the sense that it provides optimized image processing and color rendering for each supported camera model.

Capture One Alternatives

Capture One Trial

Despite Capture One being an outstanding photo editing software, considering alternative options, such as other images editing tools, is a smart move for making an informed decision.

In this section, I will discuss three popular alternatives to Capture One: Lightroom, Darktable, and RawTherapee. Each of these software options offers unique features and tools, allowing you to choose the best solution for your photo editing needs.


Adobe Lightroom is a popular photo editing software that shares a similar workflow with Capture One. Lightroom provides a range of tools and features, including exposure and contrast adjustments, cropping, and library organization.

Its widespread popularity and integration with other Adobe products, such as Photoshop, make it a strong contender in the photo editing software market.


Darktable is a free, open-source photo editor that focuses primarily on image color correction and white balance. It supports a range of file formats and offers non-destructive editing capabilities.

Darktable’s free and open-source nature, combined with its powerful color correction tools, make it an attractive alternative for those seeking a comprehensive photo editor without the associated costs.


RawTherapee is a free photo editing software that specializes in RAW files. It offers:

  • Basic editing tools

  • A file manager

  • An advanced, multi-platform raw photo processing system

  • Optimization for processing raw files from a wide range of digital cameras.

RawTherapee’s focus on RAW files and its free availability make it an appealing choice for photographers seeking an alternative to Capture One.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Capture One have a free trial?

Yes, Capture One has a free trial of 7 days available to download on the App Store.

How long is Capture One free trial?

Capture One offers a 30-day free trial of the software which can be downloaded here. Instructions on how to activate it are provided. However, it is not possible to reset the trial once it has expired.

How do I activate Capture One trial?

To activate Capture One trial, create an account, log in, and select Start Trial to begin immediately. No license key is required.

How do I cancel my Capture One free trial?

Your Capture One free trial will automatically terminate after the 30-day period and no charges will be incurred. No need to manually cancel your free trial.

What features are included in the Capture One trial?

The Capture One trial includes all the features and tools available in the full version, giving you a chance to try out before you buy.


Capture One’s free trial offers a fantastic opportunity for photographers to explore the software’s features and tools, ultimately deciding whether it’s the right fit for their needs. With options tailored to different camera brands and an array of powerful features, Capture One stands as an industry-leading photo editing software. However, it’s essential to explore alternative options like Lightroom, Darktable, and RawTherapee before making a final decision. So, why not give Capture One’s free trial a shot and unlock your full potential as a photographer?

I am RayCee the Artist, a professional portrait photographer and event photographer, and if you would like to schedule a photoshoot with me, please contact me at!

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!


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