A glance back at my blog will reveal that I've been a fan of Adobe's Lightroom and use it almost exclusively for "post". I even fancy myself as pretty proficient in using it, although nowhere near Julieanne Kost proficient - but I can get things done in LR.
My problem is Adobe. I don't wish to follow their "CC" path and rent my software; I'd sooner own it outright. However, ever since Apple announced the demise of Aperture, Adobe has started treating those of us who prefer to buy LR as second-class users - and I suspect that sooner or later, we simply won't have that choice. So, I'm open to alternatives.
In terms of photo editing software, there's plenty of choice. Mac users have Affinity and Pixelmator, and everyone has offerings from Google's Nik, Topaz and DxO. These are all great products, but they don't do what LR (and Aperture) does: solid cataloguing and powerful photo editing in one package.
Enter Phase One. Google them and you'll find that like their friends across the Baltic in Sweden, this Danish company offers seriously expensive medium format cameras. However, they also produce a contender for LR: Capture One Pro.
Like LR, Capture One is both an editor and a cataloguing system. And they seem to be serious about its dual function because their latest version has enhanced keywording capacity. Is it as good as LR in this regard? Frankly, I don't know. I suspect not - but they seem to be trying to improve the this function, so I guess it's a matter of time before they catch up.
Capture One does seem to be a better editor. I've only played with a 30 day trial (for a few days), but even without knowing what I'm doing, the results are impressive. Compare these two samples from a Nikon D800 raw file. The top image is from Lightroom. The lower image was processed in Capture One:
Part of a Nikon D800 raw file processed in Lightroom 6.2
Part of a Nikon D800 raw file processed in Capture One Pro 9
Depending on the resolution of your screen, there may or may not be a huge difference in these files. Looking at the whole images on my iMac, the Capture One image is much more clear, and the colours closer to the actual scene. (I should add that this image was shot at the wrong time of day and had a huge contrast ratio. The cliffs were in deep shadow, so I was asking a lot of my Nikon and my software. (When you're driving across the Nullarbor Plain, unless it's a photo trip, you take what you can get!)
There are other features of Capture One which I like. The control over colour that it offers is industrial strength and its implementation of adjustment layers is impressive. (I don't know enough about it to do a review, but if you are interested, the web has many tutorials and reviews on Capture One.)
So, why aren't I using Capture One? In a word: cost.
Capture One costs €279 to buy or €12 per month to rent. For Aussies that translates to about AUD455 (or thereabouts) for Capture One, whereas LR (which I already own) costs AUD186 outright or AUD10 to rent (with PhotoShop). For someone without a revenue stream from their photography, that's a big gap.
To summarise: My impression is that Capture One is a better product than Lightroom, but at something like two and a half times the price (in Aussie dollars at least), it's just too expensive for an amateur. If Phase One were to drop the price to around the Lightroom price, I'd jump ship - and I think quite a few others would as well.