Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions

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    Topic: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions Read 697 Times
  • Michael Kopel
    Michael Kopel
    Participant
    Posts: 4
    Capture One
    on: March 11, 2020 at 8:38 am

    Hello,

    I am in the process of migrating to Capture One from Lightroom. I am not going to migrate my libraries but I instead have decided to import my LR folders into CO.

    I have noticed a few things which will take some adjusting.

    1. Capture One does not have flags. I can get around that with a color tag.
    2. Capture One does not have Stacking.
    3. There is no edit history.
    4. Capture One cannot catalog or edit images saved with a LAB color profile which I use a lot. Problematic as I would rather not have to flatten image in Photoshop or what the equivalent might be in Affinity which I am going to look at next.

    I am going to continue trying Capture One because I like its approach to adjustments, particularly the color adjustment tools.

    I was hoping to get feedback on what others have experienced with the move from Lightroom, i.e. features you miss in Lightroom, features Capture One has that Lightroom does not.

    I would also be interested what others are who use LAB profiles are doing, i.e. do you miss it, keep these images outside of CO etc.

    Thanks you,
    Michael

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Participant
    Posts: 99
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #1 on: March 11, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Here are my notes:

    With regards to your Lab images, if they are PSD files, Affinity Photo should open them.

    C1 will manage (library) and edit DNG, TIFF, and JPEG, but it simply doesn’t recognize other files, like PSD, HDR-DNG and Affinity files.  That’s a nuisance because you have to have some other system to keep track of those files in your file system. – The C1 library tool doesn’t help.

    C1 has no “drill-down” in the library view.  Drill-down means viewing files in a selected folder and its subfolders.  (It is kind of hidden in Lr – on the Folders bar in the Library module, click on the itsy-bitsy triangle next to the + to see the options.)

    Lr Library has excellent face recognition – C1 does not.

    I’d say Lr is clearly the superior library module, although C1 does support all the usual search and folder management features.  If C1 would at least manage files in its library tool with a preview, even if C1 can’t actually process them, I’d be happy with that.

    C1 does not do HDR or pano merge.  Lr HDR merge is awesome.  It creates an HDR-DNG, which is a variant of DNG that stores data in a 16-bit floating-point format to achieve nearly 30 stops file dynamic range.  I really liked that feature of doing the HDR merge at the DNG level (essentially raw) – without all the over-the-top “local contrast” tone compression.  Great for landscapes.  Unfortunately, C1 does not even recognize HDR-DNG files.  So, you’ll have to either flatten your HDR-DNG files to TIFF or redo them with a different workflow.

    Here is my experience with HDR-pano merge workflow in Affinity Photo.  Like Lr, Affinity creates an HDR file that stores data in a 32-bit floating-point (although 16-bit floating-point is quite sufficient).  The Affinity-HDR merge tool opens the raw files directly (outside of C1).  I recommend that you un-check the “Tone map HDR image” box as that will open the Affinity “HDR Persona” which is “local contras –  tone mapping” hell.  Stay out of the HDR persona if you want to avoid that stuff.  Then you have to convert merged files back to TIFF if you want to do anything with it in C1, but nonetheless you’ve done an actual RAW data HDR merge in Affinity.  It gets worse for HDR-Pano merge.  Even though the Affinity Pano video clearly says the opposite, the pano merge won’t open HDR files.  So you have to convert to TIFF before pano merge.

    The Affinity Pano/HDR workflow is certainly more cumbersome than Lr, but it does work and I’ve been able to re-process HDR-panos and achieved quite similar results.

    All that said, I prefer C1 due to its superior RAW rendering and development capabilities, and I don’t trust the direction Adobe is going.  They are clearly pushing Lr CC as their main product, and it is likely that the days are numbered for Lr Classic.  The biggest problem I see with C1 is that it won’t do the library management of various other types of files – as noted above.  I can live with the Affinity HDR-pano workflow – but I only do a few of those per year.

    Oh, and the huge advantage of Affinity Photo is that it only costs $50!

    JSS

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Participant
    Posts: 99
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #2 on: March 11, 2020 at 11:36 am

    One other C1 nit-pick.  When you import a raw file, the first thing to check is the “Base Characteristics” tool (under the color tab by default).  That’s where you set a camera ICC profile and an initial contrast Curve.  That curve is by default set to auto, which is whatever C1 decides is appropriate for your camera.  I like to set Curve to “Linear Response,” because I’ll do my own curves thank you very much!  Unfortunately, you can’t change the default “auto” setting in preferences.

    JSS

    Tom Rockwell
    Tom Rockwell
    Participant
    Posts: 1
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #3 on: March 11, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    One other C1 nit-pick. When you import a raw file, the first thing to check is the “Base Characteristics” tool (under the color tab by default). That’s where you set a camera ICC profile and an initial contrast Curve. That curve is by default set to auto, which is whatever C1 decides is appropriate for your camera. I like to set Curve to “Linear Response,” because I’ll do my own curves thank you very much! Unfortunately, you can’t change the default “auto” setting in preferences.

    You can change the default curve used by C1. Start with an unchanged raw file for the camera you want to set, change the curve under Base Characteristic and then from the “three dots” menu to the right of Base Characteristics, choose “Set default for whatever camera you have”.

    Michael Kopel
    Michael Kopel
    Participant
    Posts: 4
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #4 on: March 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to go into such detail. I also like the color controls and can probably substitute those for using LAB in Photoshop. I am finding the catalog limitations are a little frustrating. I also do some real estate photography and I know not having HDR that can be stored easily in the CO catalog will be annoying. I have Aurora HDR but the CO plug for it is not usable.

    I’ll stick with it for a while longer and see how I adjust.

    Michael

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Participant
    Posts: 99
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #5 on: March 12, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    You can change the default curve used by C1. …

    Nice!  Apparently that changes the default for new variants, which I assume means new imports, but existing variants are unchanged.  That’s just what we would want.  Thanks for pointing that out!

    JSS

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 465
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #6 on: March 13, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Michael: I never drank the Adobe CC kool-aid, but I still have Lr 6.14 and was pretty happy with it until last year, when it started getting a little weird. No complaints to Adobe – it’s older software and operating systems change. I decided to switch to Capture One Pro 12, and now have 20.0.3. As John suggested, there are some things that Lr does better (especially with DAM), but there are some things C1 does much better. For some aspects of your workflow you’ll have to learn to do things differently. For example, I find the automask feature in Lr infinitely better than C1, but C1 has layers and much better colour control. You can also select a colour or colours and create a mask based on colour selection for example. C1 is quite customizable, both in terms of keyboard shortcuts and menu options which is also a good feature. And while Lr has modules, C1 does not. It’s important to know this because, for example, in the Lr Library module one can use QuickDevelop to make relative changes whereas the Develop module does absolute changes. In C1 there’s no such relative adjustment facility. C1 is also more finicky in some regards. For example, if you have multiple images selected, there’s an icon to turn ‘Edit Selected’ on and off. If it’s off, edits will only be made to the most selected item. C1 has a Survey view similar to Lr (but with zoom capability) but has no compare view. If you have multiple images showing and want to pan or zoom all of them, depress the Shift key while moving the mouse.

    Phase One has a Learning Centre and David Grover holds regular (free) webinars). I’ve learned a lot from his tutorials. Another site with great C1 tutorials is Scott Williams Photography: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCftH7VvOhAwdavzbkO13puA

    The biggest challenge I’m still encountering is remembering old shortcut keys from Lr. E in C1 defaults to the Eraser brush, not Lr’s single image view, for example, and G defaults to the graduated filter rather than the grid. I could remap them, but I’ll work around them.

    If you’re starting fresh with C1 the first decision you have to make is whether to work with sessions or catalogue as the organizational structure is different. Yes, you can import sessions into a catalogue.

    Mike.

    P.S. Further to John’s comment, in my experience C1 will import a Lr-pano.dng but not a Lr-HDR.dng file because of the floating point file (as I understand it). If you right-click on an image in C1 you have Open With and Edit With. Open with will use the raw file, and Edit with will create a .tif file and use that. I’m not sure about the newest DxO version, but the old Nik Silver HDR Efex Pro for example won’t work with raw files. If you use Affinity Photo for making HDRs, you might want to try both opening the raw files in Affinity and exporting .tif files and using them. For my Sony A7RIII I find I get better results using the tifs exported from C1.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Michael Kopel
    Michael Kopel
    Participant
    Posts: 4
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #7 on: March 14, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Thanks Mike. I am finding that C1 does lack in DAM and I suspect they know it. Not having flags was a surprise and I only now realize how much I relied on stacking. I am also trying to adjust to not having an edit history but I think my solution will be to customize and minimize my tool tabs so I can see all my editing tools at a glance. Not great but it will work. It would be nice if there were some indicator that a tool has been edited instead having to expand each tool and look for an edit.

    Scott Williams’ videos have been very helpful as have all the tutorials in the C1 site. What I find gratifying is that many of the tutorials are new, some weeks old which tells me that they are making the effort to improve their online support.

    The things that keeps me going with this migration is as you and others have pointed out, the power and ease of editing color. That alone saves me from having to go into Photoshop or Affinity when I purchase it.

    Michael

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 465
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #8 on: March 14, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    One more thing, which may or may not be of interest to you. You’ve probably figured out the difference between a preset (one slider) and a style (multiple sliders) in Capture One. C1 as you know won’t import Lr prcessing changes but there is 3rd-party software that will convert Lr presets for C1 use. I played with it a bit when I first heard about it but never really used it. If you’re interested: https://www.picture-instruments.com/products/index.php?id=17

    Mike.

    P. S. Another Lr feature I missed was holding down the Alt key to temporarily convert an image  to B&W for sharpening. Instead, what I’ve done is move the B&W tool tab immediately above the Sharpening tool tab. This way I can click the B&W box, sharpen and then uncheck the B&W box. I should map that to a key (V, probably) but I’ve yet to do so.

    Speaking of tool tabs, one handy idea I saw, probably from David Grover, was to create three colour balance tool tabs in sequence. You can show all three wheels (shadows/ midtones/ highlights) in one tab, but having dedicated tabs for each makes them each bigger. Depends on screen size, of course, but you can create multiple workspaces too.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Michael Kopel
    Michael Kopel
    Participant
    Posts: 4
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #9 on: March 16, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Thanks Mike, I do like being able to have the same tool available multiple times for that very reason. I have not found a way to set a short cut to switch from B&W. I suspect that because it is a checkbox and not a menu option it might not be possible. One nice feature I found is by clicking on the 3 lines at the top of each tool I get quick access to presets.

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 465
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #10 on: March 16, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    I have not found a way to set a short cut to switch from B&W. I suspect that because it is a checkbox and not a menu option it might not be possible.

    After suggesting it, I found the same thing. One more feature request.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Participant
    Posts: 99
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #11 on: March 16, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Just to toss in my last 2 cents – I’m dropping Adobe and converting my catalog to C1 + Affinity.  There are things that Adobe does better, but not enough.  This is about corporate hegemony.  Adobe doesn’t have a magic key to these algorithms.  If that were so, then we wouldn’t be free.

    JSS

    Stephane Bosman
    Stephane Bosman
    Participant
    Posts: 6
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Just to toss in my last 2 cents – I’m dropping Adobe and converting my catalog to C1 + Affinity. There are things that Adobe does better, but not enough. This is about corporate hegemony. Adobe doesn’t have a magic key to these algorithms. If that were so, then we wouldn’t be free.

    I did that too, about 18 months ago. Now I’m having second thoughts. C1 does some things better than Adobe, but maybe not enough to compensate the flaws of its library module.

    I’m starting to find it more and more irritating. The main flaw is that whenever I search whatever like keywords or ranking or text in the whole library C1 starts to scan the whole files themselves! The information is supposed to be in its database! LR does that properly and it is very fast.

    I do miss stacking as an organisation feature. I thought I’d get used to not having it, but I don’t.

    All in all, I find C1’s library module to be inadequate and if I consider the price of the software it is actually a disgrace.

    I took advantage of an Adobe promotion and took the subscription at a reduced price for a year to give me time to decide what I’ll do.

    My library is not even huge, it holds less than 40 thousands pictures. That is way beyond what C1’s library can efficiently manage.

    Affinity Photo is just great, very consistent between the PC and the iPad.

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Participant
    Posts: 99
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #13 on: July 23, 2020 at 9:24 am

    I did that too, about 18 months ago. Now I’m having second thoughts. C1 does some things better than Adobe, but maybe not enough to compensate the flaws of its library module.

    I entirely agree that the Lr Library module is superior to C1.  Searching speed does seem to be an issue – you are probably correct that they need to hire a database software expert.  My library is also about 40K pictures (just under one TB), but I’m finding it manageable in C1.  I may end up splitting it into multiple libraries (by years or groups of years) to deal with this.  I’m using a 2017 vintage iMac.  The raw files are stored on an external disk, but the C1 catalog file is on the internal SSD.  Are you using a similar arrangement?

     

     

    JSS

    Stephane Bosman
    Stephane Bosman
    Participant
    Posts: 6
    Re: Switching from Lightroom to Capture One Questions
    Reply #14 on: July 23, 2020 at 10:06 am

    I did that too, about 18 months ago. Now I’m having second thoughts. C1 does some things better than Adobe, but maybe not enough to compensate the flaws of its library module.

    I entirely agree that the Lr Library module is superior to C1. Searching speed does seem to be an issue – you are probably correct that they need to hire a database software expert. My library is also about 40K pictures (just under one TB), but I’m finding it manageable in C1. I may end up splitting it into multiple libraries (by years or groups of years) to deal with this. I’m using a 2017 vintage iMac. The raw files are stored on an external disk, but the C1 catalog file is on the internal SSD. Are you using a similar arrangement?

    I’m on Windows with the following hardware:

    • AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, 16 cores, 4Ghz
    • 32GB RAM
    • 1TB NVMe SSD for system, C1 and LR databases
    • Data drive is a 5TB logical volume made of 3 internal hard disks with Windows Storage Spaces (faster than RAID)

    So I don’t think it is the hardware. A C1 support engineer had the audacity to suggest to put the photos on an SSD volume to speed up the searches.

    It is a bug, pure and simple, but they won’t admit it and of course not correct it. Going with separate, small libraries defeats the purpose of the database. Might as well use sessions. By that time, the free Adobe Bridge + RawTherapee + Affinity Photo start to look appealing from a price/functionality ratio point of view…

    Besides search speed, the absence of stacking is proving to be a problem for me to adapt. I can’t say I’m falling in love with C1’s print module either. And no keywords assignment at the time of import. And a total market of four plugins. And the mapping system is LR is non existent, well, anywhere.

    There was one thing where C1 was better than LR, it was the rendering of X-Trans. CA is lovely there. I use Fuji, so that mattered to me and I was willing to lose the mapping module for that. Problem are, LR now has a enhanced resolution feature that more than closes the gap and I found out I lose much more than just the mapping module.

    C1 keeps two advantages:

    • Colour tools are just wonderful
    • The user interface is pretty good with a few tricks i really like. But that is not major.

     

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