Yes, certainly true. And I don’t think it is really worth the cost. However, in my view, there are pluses and minuses for all current photo editing workflow tools.
CaptureOne is very expensive and the upgrade price became so high that I swore off of it. $150 for a yearly upgrade is completely unreasonable, but so was last year’s upgrade price. I declined to upgrade last year until they had a sale with an upgrade price of $40+ and, at that price, I thought it was worth upgrading. If they have another one of those I would probably upgrade again.
The color editing tools in C1 are the best I have seen anywhere. Their color editor is simply amazing and their new luminosity masking functionality is not bad. It is not great, but it is not bad either. On the down side I find processing images a bit kludgy even when I add the tools I want to the processing folders, and the choice between sessions and catalogs makes no sense to me. But then it is really a tool for professionals, not ham-fisted amateurs like me.
PhotoLab is, and has been, my tool of choice for a long time. I don’t much care for catalogs because I have no use for them and discard them after processing if I have to create them (as I do in CaptureOne and Lightroom). They are just a waste of time for me. The PL tools are clean and concise, the raw editor is simply wonderful and I find the UI easy to use. Added to that it has perhaps the best noise-reduction tools around, at least as good as my Topaz stuff and perhaps better.
However it, too, has drawbacks. No color editor, no luminosity masking and a current inability to export an image to a pixel editor and edit the saved return images (although I have been told this will be fixed in the next update). It does not handle dng files, even its own, and it does not allow for non-destructive editing. Yes, you can “undo” to your heart’s content, but you can not pick a spot and return to it.
I don’t like Lightroom so I am not sure my comments would be fair or useful …
Perhaps a year or so ago I wondered through a neighborhood out on a walk with my camera and decided to take a photo of the sun rising behind one of the houses. I thought the camera was set to either aperture or shutter mode so I did not check but I guess it was left on manual because the photo came out way over-exposed. I would have thrown it away but decided to keep it to see just how good some raw converters were. I opened it in Lightroom, PhotoLab (well, I think Optics Pro), CaptureOne, ON1, AlienSkin and some other tools and the only tools that salvaged the photo were Lightroom, PhotoLab and CaptureOne. All of the other tools gave me blown out results and I now use it to decide if a tool is worth buying. Based on that test, and my personal experience, all 3 of those tools are first-class, Burt I still prefer PhotoLab and that is why I worry that if it does not keep up with the competition I will end up having to use either CaptureOne or Lightroom.