Import your Catalogs from Other Applications in No Time


Want to try Capture One with your own catalog structure? Read on to learn how, and experience the best raw file converter at your own convinience – or be guided through the transition by our webinar at the end of this post.

We understand that many of you are keen to try the outstanding RAW conversion available in Capture One 7, and would like to do this with images that may already be associated with other applications. We have therefore added a new import function in Capture One 7.1.3 for Mac OS X that helps you migrate your images in no time

It’s now possible to import your Lightroom 4 and/or Lightroom 5 Catalogs into Capture One 7, so you can get started straight away while keeping your Catalog structure intact.

While we have succeeded in reading much of the database within the Lightroom Catalog, we unfortunately cannot transform all adjustments.  Some settings in Lightroom like color edits cannot be imported due to the sophisticated methods we use in Capture One’s color handling and RAW conversion. Currently we can move the following parameters from Lightroom to Capture One 7:

  • Collections
  • Crop, Rotation and Orientation
  • White Balance, Exposure, Saturation and Contrast
  • Metadata (IPTC, Rating, Color Label, Keywords)
Importing a Lightroom Catalog

Importing a Lightroom Catalog is easy and it only requires a couple of steps. First, you will need to create a new Catalog in Capture One 7 by choosing File>New Catalog, or you can use an existing Catalog if you would like to combine it with a Lightroom Catalog.

2013-07-02_15-50-23Next, choose File>Import Catalog>Another Catalog.

2013-07-02_16-09-08Next, browse to the location of the Lightroom .lrcat file…

The following dialog box will appear in Capture One 7, reminding you what parameters can be transferred.

2013-07-02_16-11-05Click Continue and Capture One 7 will read the contents of the Lightroom Catalog and duplicate the information in the database to Capture One. You will see the following Activity dialog boxes during the process. The first indicates how many items are to be imported and the second shows the progress of building preview images.


2013-07-02_16-15-25When the import has completed, you will see a summary of how many items have been imported and if there were any skipped items. Skipped items may include images that are “offline” in Lightroom.  Should a file be offline, Capture One 7 will prompt you to provide/locate the Volume that the images are on during the import process, or allow you to skip each particular item.

The speed of the migration process depends on how many images you are importing into Capture One 7.

Finally in the User Collections area of the Library Tool, you will see your Lightroom collections.  Click on these to view the contents.

2013-07-02_16-16-26The Folders area in the same tool shows you the actual path of the images – reflecting how they are organised on the system.


Points to Remember
  • Capture One 7 is a “read only” software and makes no changes whatsoever to the Lightroom .lrcat file. Capture One 7 simply reads the information contained in    your Lightroom catalog file and is therefore a very safe operation. If you are at all concerned however, please work with a copy of the .lrcat file.
  • Close Lightroom before trying the import otherwise the .lrcat file will be unreadable.
  • Adjustments to Saturation, White Balance, Contrast and Exposure are approximate and your image may look slightly different compared to Lightroom. Try the full complement of Capture One 7 Tools to get an ever better look.
  • Smart Collections in Lightroom cannot be imported. So if you want to see them in Capture One 7, save them as Collections first in Lightroom.

We hope you enjoy seeing your images with the quality of Capture One’s Raw conversion.

To help you with your transition into Capture One 7, we have prepared the following material:

Quick Start Guide to get you up and running with Capture One Pro 7 in no time

Webinar below:

All the best,


The Image Quality Professor

Niels V. Knudsen

Niels V. Knudsen is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor. He is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in its digital imaging software.

28 thoughts on “Import your Catalogs from Other Applications in No Time

  1. sandeep sajeev

    Hello Niels,

    Can I import my Aperture libraries into Capture Pro 7 as well?


  2. photodc

    question 1.

    I think having two raw applications may allow me to work in the best of both worlds… some times capture one may render the colro I am after with little effort and sometimes LR may offer something I can’t find in Capture One. Since both applications do not touch original files is there any down sides to having both? would a workflow with both LR and capture one be import files into LR catalog and the import catalog in Capture one – see which automated rendering is closer to what you need and use that to print or export images…

    question 2.

    I am not currently happy with the Sony A7r RAW automatic color rendition coming from the pre-release version of LR 5.3… does Capture One support the Sony A7r raw camera / ETA?


    1. David Grover

      Hi Photodc,

      Correct, Capture One does not make any changes to the RAW files at all. Please verify though that Lightroom follows the same ethos.

      If you want to go that route, I would say that it would be easier to import the same images into a Capture One Catalog and a Lightroom Catalog, rather than having to do a catalog import each time.

      Capture One does not currently support the A7r but we are working on it!


      1. photodc

        What made me interested in CaptureOne is the supposedly better out of Raw color renditions… Too many of my Sony A7r images require significant effort in lightroom to render a proper blue sky. I know how to do a fair amount of color correction but sometimes it is way too much work… hoping color rendering by CaptureOne of Sony A7r files is better than in LR

      1. Andreas


        I would like to move over from Aperture, too. An import would definitly make my life a lot easier.

        I understand that importing all work steps would be very difficult and time-consuming, but a simple import of the raw files with ratings and tags would be of great help, too.


    1. Frank

      Count me in for Aperture import, with similar approximations to Lightroom. It would be nice to have keywords added for pictures that had noise reduction (or whatever) applied by Aperture even if C1 doesn’t apply anything, to make it easy to find photos like this.
      It’d also be interesting to import JPEGs from those applications and stack them.

      1. Brad Saunders

        Now that Apple has announced Aperture’s demise most pros, and serious amateurs are going to be unlikely to just jump to Apple’s forthcoming “Photos” application which will require Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) after spending hundreds or thousands in Aperture plug-ins then getting cut off at the knees. Now is the time to add good Aperture library import and scoop up a good chunk of Adobe-resistant market share.

        1. Stephen Cotterell

          Please add me to the list for automated Aperture Library import because ALL my photographs are in Aperture and there’s no way I’m going backwards and working with LR.

  3. Sergey

    I use LR 5.3 and Capture One 7.2 (build 36). When I try to import catalogs from LR, I always get “Unable to read Lightroom catalog properties” (I get it for every catalog). How can I solve it? Thank you!

  4. Jeff Allen

    Phase One should modify Capture One to take Aperture Raw files now that Apple will not be supporting Aperture otherwise the only route will be LR6 and Phase One would have missed a golden opportunity not everyone wants an Adobe subscription model I for one are one of those people.

  5. Rod Wilson

    With Apple announcing the end of Aperture last week, I have renewed interest in a migration to Capture One pro. While I could re-build everything from the beginning, is there a way to streamline migration of 50,000 images to Capture One Pro. If not available today, is one planned for later in 2014?


    1. The Image Quality Professor Post author

      Hi all,

      Thanks for your questions regarding switching to Capture One from Aperture.
      For the professional Aperture users who are looking to switch to Capture One Pro 7, we are currently investigating how we can make the transition as smooth as possible.

      All the best,

  6. Garrett

    I’m also interested in migrating my Aperture (libraries with all meta, as well as image adjustments) to Capture One.

    1. David Grover

      Hi Garrett,

      This is currently only possible with Lightroom libraries, but thanks for your feedback!


  7. Ray

    Sign me up for an Aperture transition path as well. From a business pov, PhaseOne hopefully understands while Aperture’s installed base may be small, we’ve all used Adobe products and are using Aperture because we already decided we don’t want to be there.

    Not to mention C1 renders for my Nikon FF, DX and Fuji XTrans files are way better than Adobe’s. I used Lightroom for 2 years when Apple did not support XTrans. Enough time to know what I was doing yet no amount of work could coax an image out of Lightroom that could compare to C1’s out-of-the-box render.

  8. Mindy M

    Can I migrate a capture one express catalog into media pro (and if so, how)?

    Likewise, can I migrate a lightroom catalog into media pro?

    1. David Grover

      Hi Mindy,

      It possible to import a Media Pro Catalog into Capture One Pro but not the other way around as you say.

      You can migrate a Lightroom catalog to Capture One Pro, but not to Media Pro.


    2. Stephen Cotterell

      One of my photography contacts made me aware of this:

      I’ve made a contribution to the developer and now have a licensed copy of the software. I can confirm that it works as advertised. The thing that surprised me is the exporting process appears to be significantly faster than Aperture’s!

      My next step is to see how C1 handles the outputted RAW and sidecar files.

  9. Ralf Krieger

    Hi there! I am an Aperture guy since vers. 1.0. Lightroom isn´t really my way to work on photographs.

    It would be great to have an effective import possibility for switching my Aperture databases and please have a closer look to apertures brush tools. I would love to see those on C1.
    Thanx from Germany

    1. The Image Quality Professor Post author

      Hi Ralf,

      Thanks for your input. We are currently investigating how we can make the transition from Aperture as smooth as possible.

      All the best,


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