Professor Tips

Improved High ISO Performance with Capture One Pro 7

Capture One Pro 7 has introduced a new processing engine giving you quality improvements in a number of different areas – especially for high ISO noise reduction.

The new method for noise reduction brings:

  • Greatly improved noise reduction for high ISO images
  • Optimized noise settings for all supported cameras to create the best compromise between detail and noise reduction at all ISO levels
  • New noise reduction strategy which separates meaningful detail from the noise allowing more sharpening and less noise
  • New default values for noise reduction sliders

The image for this post was shot with a Canon 40D. The scene was only lit by candlelight and it was necessary to use ISO 3200 to achieve a good shutter speed even when using a 50mm lens at f 1.8.

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JPG out of the camera                          Capture One Pro 6                        Capture One Pro 7

The image to the left is the JPG straight out of the camera. You will notice plenty of color noise in the background and a general lack of sharpness. The center image was processed in Capture One Pro 6. Here, the color noise is well under control but the luminance noise still cause problems.  The image to the right has been processed with the default noise reduction settings in Capture One Pro 7. Now, we get a sharp image where both the color noise and luminance noise is well under control.
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JPG out of the camera                        Capture One Pro 6                    Capture One Pro 7

Here we see another zoom from the same image. Again, it is obvious to see the improvements from the JPG to the version processed in Capture One Pro 6 as well as the difference from Capture One Pro 6 to Capture One Pro 7. Notice how sharp and crisp the reflection in the Christmas bulb appears in the image processed in Capture One Pro 7.  Also notice how well the deep and dark color tones have been cleaned up while all the color tones have been preserved. You can click on the image to see it in full resolution.

New defaults for noise sliders in Capture One 7

As the noise reduction engine has been completely reengineered for Capture One Pro 7, we have also changed the behavior of the noise reduction sliders.

In the Noise Reduction Tool, the Luminance slider and the Color slider now have default values at 50.  In the Noise Reduction Advanced Tool, the slider previously known as the “Surface slider” has been replaced by the “Details slider” which also defaults at 50.

Even though the noise reduction sliders by default are set to 50, Capture One Pro 7 will, under the hood, make sure that these values give you a good compromise between preserving detail and removing noise at all ISO levels.

By default, the Single Pixel and Fine Grain sliders will show a value that depends on the camera model and the ISO level.


New default values for sliders in Capture One Pro 7

Creating your own default values for your camera

The Luminance slider and the Details slider now work together. The Luminance slider is used to adjust how much Luminance noise reduction you add to your image overall. With the Details slider, you can then change the balance for a selected level of Luminance noise reduction to retain more micro detail at the cost of showing more noise.

If you generally like a different compromise between noise and image detail than the default settings, you can save a new set of defaults for your camera. These new defaults will then be used at all ISO levels.


To create your own default noise settings, you need to save a default for both the Noise Reduction Tool and the Noise Reduction Advanced Tool.

Are you using the new processing engine for noise reduction?

Remember, if you are looking at images that have previously been processed in Capture One Pro 6, you will still be using the old processing engine by default and you will not experience all the new noise reduction improvements. To use the new noise settings for such an image you can create a new variant. The new variant will by default be using Capture One Pro 7’s new processing engine as well as the new noise reduction.

Happy Holidays to all of you!

All the best,


The Image Quality Professor
The Image Quality Professor

The digital pioneer, Niels V. Knudsen, is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor and founder of the IQP blog. Moreover, he is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in Capture One Pro.

Comments (9)

Grant Perkins

Very interesting to hear an explanation of how specific the settings have to be to deal with nooise form a particulat camera/setting combination.

BTW I think there is a typo in the caption under the first comparative image – the C1 V7 image on the Right is referred to as if it is on the Left.

A small point but may confuse a few people. (Unless it is me who is confuded!)

Many thanks for some great posts.

Grant Perkins

Hi Grant,

Nice catch! We have updated the post.

Happy Holidays!

All the best,


Nice to know. Unfortunately performance (even on very powerfull graphic stations) is very bad. Meybe in some later versions software will be optimized – now even simple exposition or WB sliders doesn’t work smooth. Somehow in version 6 or in LR image updates are smooth and ‘real time’. I hope, that in later versions of CP1 7, it will be the same…

Hi Maciej,

If you are experiencing problems with Capture One Pro 7, you should contact our technical support team here:

We are working on a new service release for Capture One Pro 7 and we will continue to improve the software.

Happy Holidays,

All the best,


John B Willcock

The current blog states that the Luminance and Colour sliders in the Noise Reduction tool have default values of 50 – however, the default values showing on my version (Mac with Mountain Lion, Capture One Version 7.0.1 Build 64201) are set at 0. The default value of the Advanced Tool Surface Slider is indeed set at 50 as stated in the blog. Will this affect things if I set a new set of defaults for my camera?

Barry Willcock

Hi Barry,

A reason could be that the image you are looking at is a JPG or TIFF file. By default, we do not apply any noise reduction on these files. You will still have the option of adding noise reduction to these files too.

Another reason could be that you have saved the settings as default for you camera. You can reset these defaults in the same dialog where you also can set the the default for the camea.

I hope this answers your question.

Happy Holidays.

All the best,


Sergey Grishaev

So if I understand correctly, even if the defaults set to 50, the real power of the noise reduction (with the same 50 value) will be different depending on ISO & camera model?

Hi Sergey,

Yes, you are correct.

The noise reduction tool has been completely reengineered for Capture One Pro 7 and all supported cameras has their own customized noise reduction which means that noise will be removed “under the hood” in a way that is optimized for the specific camera. Then you can use the sliders to fine-tune the noise reduction to achieve exactly the look you want.

Happy Holidays.

All the best,


It is very good in v7, I was shooting in low light last night, ISO 6400 and perfectly usable,