Using Phocus Software

Phocus 3.0 is a powerful image editor for RAW files. It’s made by Hasselblad for their camera but it also works with other camera’s file format. In this video Karl takes you through the software, it’s benefits and just what you can do with it.


  1. Hi Karl!

    I have purchased the X2D system after watching your YT videos and review on the camera. I need to be up and running quickly and this overview of the software is a great help! One thing I was wondering, is there an overlay function like you get in CaptureOne, where you can drop in a jpg of a layout when shooting in the studio?

    Keep up the great work!

    Zac Grimaldo

    1. Hi Zac, great choice on the camera I’m sure you’re going to love it. You’re also going to like some new firmware upgrades coming soon but unfortunately I can’t saying anything more about those at this stage. Yes there is an overlay function to drop an image in and scale it and change its position and opacity to suit to use it as a reference image while shooting.

      1. Thanks for your quick response! That is good news and I hope that the new update has things in it that we don’t talk about…lol. I have also been a commercial photog for three decades, but still look to your classes to see if there is a better way to do things. The day I stop wanting to learn will be the day I retire…cheers!

          1. Is it possible to tell Phocus where to store the captured images when tethering? Phocus always wants to put them in the Pictures folder on my computer. I want to be able to capture images in their job folders kind of like session in C1. I looked in the manual and couldn’t find an answer. How do you file manage images tethered in Phocus?

          2. Hi, yes you can tell Phocus which folder and where. If you look at the interface on the right (in the capture tab panel) one of the boxes is ‘job info’ and then one of the menus is ‘destination’ select that tab and change it to your preferred destination and folder name, this can also be to an external drive if you have one plugged in.

  2. Hello, Karl,

    I am Roman! Many thanks to you and your entire team for a great job! This is truly a titanic work! I watch your videos almost daily and try to apply this as practice.
    A couple of months ago I watched your review on a Hasselblad X2D camera. I have not used any Hasselblad cameras before, although I know about the Hasselblad brand.
    A few days ago I hired the X2D camera. It is excellent! This is an entirely new world for me!
    Karl, could you please share a method of preparing images for a website or social media in the Phocus software? What parameters do you use for this in order to convey the magic of the medium format as much as possible? Also, how do you transfer an image from the Phocus to Photoshop for further processing, if necessary?

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Roman, my workflow is quite simple in Phocus. First I deal with all things like, exposure, contrast, saturation, highlights/shadows etc and then I export the image as a full resolution 16 bit PSD file in Adobe RGB colour profile. That is then my masterfile and if I have any further work to undertake in Photoshop I will do this on several layers, always keeping a layer of the original PSD, Then when I am finished I will export another flattened PSD as the final full resolution image and I keep both copies on file in that particular job folder. For images for the web and social media I reduce the size of the image to 2500 pixels on the longest edge using photoshop and if I feel it needs it I might add 0.3 to 0.5 pixel sharpening (but not very often). I save a jpeg at quality 8 with an Srgb colour profile and then use that image for social and web. You will find much of this covered in my post production classes.

  3. Hello Karl,
    Is there any chance you are going to create a tutorial on Capture One Pro at some point? Because of its ability to allow tethering different camera brands, I think it would be perhaps of great aid to a multitude of users and KTE subscribers.

    Thank you for considering this.

  4. Can you please upload a video about Live Tethering technique to Lightroom & CaptureOne pro . It would be very useful to all the amateur photographers. Also please list the steps and features you could do in lightroom to ease our workflow.

    Specifically speaking when I tether my Sony Mirrorless Alpha camera to Lightroom, whenever the picture comes in , auto import dialog pops up getting the recent picture in it . But when I say Karl doing it , the picture comes in as a new add up in the screen without the pop-up window. Please suggest me any ideas to avoid the pop-up.

  5. Hello Karl,

    I have both a X1D and a PhaseOne XF iq3 trichromatic. I love the portability of the Hasselblad system but I can’t get the same “quality” of image from the X1D… let me explain:
    The PhaseOne as well as my Leica full frame system SL2 produce images that are very flattering on the skin textures and tones , producing an effect where the skin is smooth but sharp as well. The Hasselblad produces an image that is extremely sharp, harsh and contrasty, less so on the XCD 80 and the XCD 90. On the flip side I find that architecture and landscape images benefit from the Hasselblad’s snappier look. I am using ACR for processing all files. I have tried Phocus but get the same look. At this stage I am comparing and talking about raw image output with no post processing.
    I am interested in a more “cinematic” look from my images, and I know from photos by Hasselblad Master Tina Hult that the soft cinematic look (while retaining sharpness) can be achieved with the Hasselblad system; does it take a filter? Or tilting the plane of focus like Peter Coulson does? Or a post process? Would you consider making a tutorial on how to achieve such a look? Thanks

    1. Hi, I find this interesting and I will need to look further at the Phase you are talking about because my experience is the opposite I’ve always found Phase to be to sharp/contrasty looking compared to my H6. Can you provide me some links to the looks that you are talking about?

  6. I know it’s made specifically to work with Hasselblad but can you tether via USB and or WiFi with Canon 5D camera too?

    1. Hi Paul, no at this time Phocus software only works tethered with Hasselblad cameras. I’d recommend you look at Capture One as a good alternative for tethering other types of cameras.

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