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Capture One 21 Now Supported on M1 Macs

The latest update to Capture One (version 14.2.0 of “Capture One 21”) means it now runs natively, and much faster, on M1-based Macs. If you have an M1-based Mac we’ll give you a free DT Class in exchange for running a benchmark for us so we can report how much faster.

Apple has switched processor families a few times in its history. In 2005 they switched from PowerPC to Intel, and they are currently in the middle of a transition from Intel to a line of processors Apple itself is designing that they have named the “M1” family of processors. These processor family changes are a really big deal because each family of processors “speaks” a different language. During the transition from one processor to another macOS automatically translates software written for the old processor.

We are in the middle of a major transition for Mac computers; though you may not have noticed because that transition is generally going smoothly. In 2020 Apple announced they were transitioning from Intel-made CPUs to Apple’s own line of M1 CPUs. Intel and M1 processors “speak” different languages, but MacOS can automatically translate software written for one processor so that it can run on the new processors – a feature Apple calls Rosetta 2. But that translation from Intel into M1 slows down the software; ideally, you want software (especially high-performance software like a raw processor) to be natively written for the M1 processor. This release of Capture One just that – natively written for M1. Technically it’s now natively written for both Intel and M1 processors.


Capture One Software Re-architecture

The team at Capture One did far more than the minimum – they undertook to rewrite the entire image processing pipeline to fully take advantage of the new M1 architecture. If you’ve ever met the team in Copenhagen they are performance freaks – they know their users are often shooting, editing, and processing thousands of 100+ megapixel images per day and time is money, so they started working on this rewrite in 2018, long before the transition to M1 processors was publicly announced. This rewrite means faster processing, more responsive adjustments, and all-around performance improvements.

So how much faster is Capture One on M1 Macs now that they are natively supported? Capture One cites vague metrics like “50% faster” in their Press Release but that begs questions like “50% faster than what?” and “in what situations?” which we want to answer!

Capture One M1 Benchmark Test

The Digital Transitions support team will be conducting a study to benchmark the speed of the new version of Capture One 21 on a variety of M1 and non-M1 Macs. Be the first to know the results of our benchmark test by subscribing to our newsletter here.


Interested in Capture One or have questions? Get in touch with us.