Phase One's Media Pro SE is another shot across Adobe's bow

phase one mediapro se phaseone mediaprose
Photographers who are fed up with the lackluster performance they are getting out of Adobe’s Lightroom have had several notable alternatives announced in the last several months, and now they can add another to that list: Phase One’s Media Pro SE.

Capture One, Phase One’s photo-editing software, has long been viewed by many in the photography industry as a great option, some going so far as to say it’s superior to Adobe’s Lightroom offering. But one area where Capture One fell short of Lightroom was in its media management system, and this is where Media Pro SE comes in. Phase One is hoping that the combination of Media Pro SE and Capture One will give photographers what they need to make the full jump from Lightroom to the Phase One system.

Much like Corel did with its AfterShot Pro 3 announcement, Phase One has highlighted the speed of Media Pro SE as a primary reason to consider it over Lightroom. Simply put, Media Pro SE is designed to excel in media library/asset management of large high-resolution images. It is designed to make that easy, simple, and fast. This conveniently points out Media Pro SE’s strength against Lightroom’s current weakness: speed and performance.

It should be pointed out, though, that part of what makes Adobe Lightroom so popular is that it is both library/asset management and raw/batch processing in one. Phase One’s solution here, although tempting from a performance standpoint, is still two separate programs — meaning photographers have to pay for both separately, and move between the two while working on a project.


Beyond speed, Phase One’s Media Pro SE offers all of the features a photographer wants in their management software including:

  • Drag-and-drop importing
  • Fast import
  • Support for image and videos from over 100 cameras
  • Find files anywhere
  • Hierarchical keywords
  • Offline workflow
  • Screen-size previews
  • Visual catalogs

It remains to be seen if any of these new alternatives has what it takes to challenge Lightroom’s dominance in this space, but Phase One’s offering here with Media Pro SE appears to have an incredible feature set for those already in the Phase One Ecosystem, regardless. Media Pro SE is now available for purchase or download from Phase One’s website for $189. Alternatively if you prefer to try before you buy, you can download a 30-day trial to give the software a thorough test before deciding on it one way or the other.

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