Capture One is ending support for Capture One Express. The company has sent emails to customers detailing the final days of Express and inviting users to upgrade to the complete version of Capture One.
Capture One says that Express will no longer be available starting January 30, 2024. Further, in a separate email, Capture One explains that users will no longer be able to access Express from the Capture One website or activate an existing Express key. The company also explains that user images and edits will “still be available until January 30,” suggesting that images will not be available following this cut-off date.
The company says that the decision to cease support for Express is due to its “need to focus” on its “main products.” This is the second time Capture One has ended product support in the past year. Last December, the company announced that it would no longer add new features to its perpetually licensed software, shifting its focus entirely to its subscription offerings. Mobile versions of Capture One have taken up much of the developer’s resources. Finally launching this summer, the lengthy wait for Capture One on iPhone was not worth it.
Another relatively recent discontinuation of Capture One occurred in early 2022, when the company stopped offering its brand-specific versions, including Capture One for Sony, Fujifilm, and Nikon.
It will be interesting to see how companies like Fujifilm react to the end of Capture One Express. Based on marketing emails Capture One sent customers, it is clear that it hopes that Express users pay to upgrade to the full version of the software: users who sign up can save 40% on Capture One using a coupon code. The fine print details that to receive the coupon code, users must agree to receive “inspirational, educational, and promotional content” from Capture One. However, someone could unsubscribe from that content after saving on their upgrade.
“Understandably, if you are an Express user this will come as disappointing news. However, we have done our best to ensure that there are options available to you, should you want to stay in the Capture One eco-system — check your inbox over the coming days for an offer that’s unique to you,” the company explains.
In a post about the news on Reddit, one user writes, “And I’ve just finished moving from Lightroom to Express for Fujifilm.”
Another Redditor adds, “This really is such a bad move for them, in my opinion. Express was a way to create a user base that otherwise wouldn’t exist and learn their software. Let’s be honest, Capture One isn’t that special for most people, especially the audience for Express. Most will just go to Lightroom or other free software.”
There are many similar sentiments in the comments section of Capture One’s official forum post, including one user writing, “I think they have just made lots of hobbyist photographers very unhappy especially those who cannot justify the cost of a yet another subscription software model.”
One commenter adds, “I find it strange that I buy a camera with software and then the software company just stops my license,” while another Capture One user asks, “Why [does] C1’s 2023 model seem to be ‘screw consumers, cheers to greed & money?'”
The decision to kill Express is just the latest in an ever-growing list of choices Capture One has made that have proven unpopular among customers.
Capture One published an “Express Depreciation FAQ” on its website, detailing how users can prepare for the end of Express. It is critical to note that when January 30, 2024 arrives, users will no longer be able to access Express. Not only can photographers not download Express anymore, but they will also need a license key for a current product to continue to use Capture One at all.
“All Capture One Express license keys will be disabled and will not be valid,” explains Capture One. Anyone with concerns about how it is possible to deactivate a user’s perpetual Capture One Express license is pointed toward Capture One’s legal team.
The company also shared a support document outlining how users can preserve their files and make any software migration easier before losing access to their Express images.