Last weekend I happened to be at a photographer friend's house. I think he got a good bonus last year so he has purchased PS-CS2 (with ACR 3.3), Capture One Pro (3.7.3) as well as Raw shooter premium (the latest as of last week). I took a couple of my RAW's shot with the 300D and sigma 70-300 lens for a non scientific test.

The settings were : zero sharpening (all sliders to the left), zero colour and luminance noise reduction, colour temperature 5500K, no other processing.

Here are the results, unfortunately JPEG compressed, but still a good indication of the real stuff. Believe me, the TIFF's look far better. Ignore the colours, I didn't spend too much time with colour profiling and correction.

First, adobe camera raw:

Next, Raw shooter:

And finally capture one:

The results speak for themselves. According to Michael Tapes (Pixmantec), the algorithm for bayer interpolation and detail extraction done when processing a raw image is critical to ensure fine detail extraction. His explanation is that while most raw converters apply some form of 'smoothing' and perform some variant of anti aliasing, the algorithm used by Raw shooter is much better than Adobe's stuff, which is why you see more fine detail even though all sharpness and detail extraction settings are set to min (sliders to the left). Capture one truly shines here. It appears even better than RSP.

I ran about 10 images through these three converters (landscape, portraits, macro, etc) and C1 and RSP consistently delivered finer detail than Adobe camera raw. C1 really stood out. RSP colours could have been better. ACR colours were perfect but detail was lacking.

I've heard many comments and read on many forums about the wonders of Capture one and the flexibility and control of RSE/RSP. It's educative to see this first hand, and how they can deliver such great detail compared to adobe.