Switching from Lightroom to Capture One

11 Killer Tips For Switching From Lightroom to Capture One

Getting used to new software is rarely easy – but it doesn’t have to be frustrating. If you are considering switching from Lightroom to Capture One, here are 11 tips for making the transition easy.

1. Interface

There are a few things to take notes of when switching from Lightroom to Capture One:

  • No modules! The interface in Capture One uses one main window, where all tools are organized in Tool Tabs.
  • The default layout has tools to the left and browser to the right of the viewer.
  • To choose a layout more similar to Lightroom, simply select ‘Window > Workspace > Migration’. This will provide a workspace that more closely resembles Lightroom’s layout.
  • Most tools in Capture One can be re-organized, moved freely around and even scaled, by simply clicking the Tool Title and dragging. Parts of the interface can also be hidden. For an easy overview, use the View menu.
Static Image
Different layouts in Capture One

 

2. Catalog or Session?

Capture One offers two ways of organizing your images. Catalogs and Sessions. What are they?

Catalog

Just like Lightroom, you can import your images to a Capture One Catalog. You can choose to keep your images in their current location, or copy them inside the Catalog. A Catalog is a database that contains information about metadata, keywords, ratings etc. for each image.

When importing, organizing or editing your images, Capture One updates the database with this information. This is a very useful way of working with larger image collections.

You can even import your Lightroom Catalog directly into Capture One!

Session

A Session provides a more simple, folder-based workflow with a default structure and the ability to browse any folder on your computer without having to import. Adjustments are placed in a subfolder next to the images. Sessions are suitable for tethered shooting, individual jobs etc.

You can use one or the other – or both. Watch this webinar (60 minutes) to get a full overview of the mechanics and benefits of both types.

3. Presets = Styles

What’s called presets in Lightroom is called Styles in Capture One. They work in a similar way and are easily adjusted after applying. Capture One also features Presets, which only includes one tool, making them accessible from within the tool they use. To summarize:

Style: Pre-defined adjustments including multiple tools.
Preset: Pre-defined adjustments including only one tool.

To learn more about Styles and Presets when switching from Lightroom to Capture One, watch this tutorial (5 minutes).

4. Layers

Layers in Capture One provide similar functionality as Brushes in Lightroom. However, they work more like Layers work in Photoshop, where each layer has a mask. If we stick to Adjustment Layers, you have two initial options:

  1. New Empty Layer – The default option when clicking the plus-icon in the tool. This will create a new layer without a mask on it. To apply the effect of any adjustments, you need to mask the desired area with the brush.
  2. New Filled Layer – By long-pressing the plus-icon, you can choose this option. This will create a new layer with a solid mask on it. Any adjustments will show on the entire image, but you have the option to erase parts of the mask or decrease the opacity of the whole layer.
Static Image
Adding a new Layer, masking and adjusting exposure

 

 

5. Color Editor (HSL)

The way to adjust Hue, Saturation and Lightness (HSL) in Capture One is a bit different from Lightroom. The Color Editor is split into Basic, Advanced and Skin Tone. The Basic part is split into six color ranges, but they don’t quite match Lightroom’s HSL tool.

For an easy transition from Lightroom to Capture One, download this Color Editor Preset, which provides the same eight color ranges as you know from HSL in Lightroom. They will show up in the Advanced part of the Color Editor.

HSL Color Editor Capture One

Unpack the zip file. Install from ‘Adjustments > Styles > Import Styles…’ and select it from the Preset menu within the Color Editor. Select any of the ranges from the list to easily adjust Hue, Saturation and Lightness.

Static Image
Installing and using the HSL Preset

 

6. Copy adjustments

To copy adjustments from one image to others, click the arrow-up icon in the top right corner. Capture One automatically detects changed adjustments and puts them in the clipboard. Control which adjustments you want copied from the clipboard, and click the arrow-down icon to apply these adjustments to the selected images. The process of copying adjustments makes your transition easier when switching from Lightroom to Capture One.

For example, crop settings and Layers might not always be useful on other images.

Static Image
Copy all adjustments except Crop

 

7. Color Balance

The Color Balance Tool will make color grading easy and fast. It’s like Split Toning, but with more options.

The Master channel works like an overall visual White Balance tweaker; the whole image will be affected. Shadow, Midtone and Highlight will tone each part of your image with the hue and saturation of your choosing.

The luminosity slider to the right provides additional control of the contrast of the image while color grading.

Static Image
The Color Balance Tool

 

 

8. Process Recipes

Process Recipes work a bit like Export Presets – but you can select multiple at a time! Each recipe will export a variant of the image to a size, format and location of your choice.

The real power of Process Recipes comes from Tokens. You can export images into multiple folders, give them specific sub names and much more based on dynamic information. Once Process Recipes are set up to your workflow, they will save you time!

 

9. Edit All Selected Variants

When exporting, deleting or adjusting multiple images at a time, make sure to enable ‘Edit > Edit All Selected Variants…’. Otherwise you will only export/delete/adjust the highlighted image in your selection. You can also toggle the feature on this icon:

Edit All Capture One

You might think “why would anyone need to disable this?!” – but there are surprisingly many instances where it’s useful.

 

10. Shortcuts

In any software, shortcuts make lives easier. This is no different in Capture One. In addition to an extensive default list of shortcuts, you have the option to add shortcuts for almost anything. Including changing all the default shortcuts.

Go to ‘Capture One Pro 11 > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts…‘ if you’re on a Mac, and ‘Edit > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts…‘ if you’re on a Windows computer. First step is to duplicate the default and create your own list. Then you can edit away!

 

11. Instant tethered capture

Capture One was initially designed 20 years ago as a tether software, meaning it would transfer an image from a connected camera to the computer, and show it on the screen.

For an industry-leading tethered workflow, simply create a new Session, connect a supported camera and start shooting.

 

If you don’t already own Capture One, you can download a 30-day trial and discover the power of it!
 
 

Want more content?

 

 
Fast-Track Guide from Lightroom to Capture One – part 1

Fast-Track Guide from Lightroom to Capture One – part 2

June 15 2018

By Alexander Flemming

Category: Capture One Tips & Tricks Tags:
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  • Alexander Flemming
    Alexander Flemming

    Alexander works as a Photographer and Marketing Specialist in Software Marketing of Phase One. Previous experience as a Test Engineer along with 10 years of photography have provided Alexander with a broad understanding of the many technical advantages of Capture One Pro.

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    Comments (14)

    Capture One is an amazing tool! 90% better than LR, but I´m missing the function of calibration in the Develop-Modul.

    Adam Christensen

    In LR I use the radial brush to make quick local adjustments. Is there something like that in C1? Also, is there a way to refine masks based on color and/or luminosity? Or are there recommendations on how to restructure that work flow for C1?

    Daniel Everts

    Hi I have been using. Capture one for some time now and really loves it I have a variety of cameras and brands used for different shoots I was wondering if you are going to add support for fujifilm gfx 50 in capture one

    Daniel

    Alexander Flemming

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks, that’s great to hear! Unfortunately, we cannot comment on future developments or features of our products.

    Alex

    What I am finding most missing is a spot removal tool with sophistication at least equal to LR now. It is like going back to LR 1! Not practical to edit portraits without going into Photoshop… and then you lose the C! engine and re interpret raw as per Adobe (unless I am missing a step in the roundtrip process?)

    Alexander Flemming

    Hi Vic,

    You can either use the Spot Removal Tool or a Healing Layer, which is both more powerful but also a bit more complicated to use for extensive skin retouch. You don’t lose the Capture One engine when doing skin retouch in Photoshop, as Photoshop requires a processed file (TIFF, JPG, PSD etc.). If you open a RAW file in Photoshop, it will automatically open in Camera RAW, and you don’t get the Capture One processing, correct. But the best way to do it would be to make all adjustments needed except skin retouch, process to a 16-bit TIFF or PSD with ‘right click > Edit With…’, do skin retouch in Photoshop, and then you have your final file back in Capture One. That way you get the RAW processing of Capture One and the retouch capabilities of Photoshop.

    You can read more about this process in this blogpost: https://blog.phaseone.com/achieving-perfect-skin-tones-using-capture-one/

    Alex

    Hi,

    I tried to import my LR catalogue to CO. That worked pretty good with the exception that it does not take the colours. That’s odd but manageable – just putting all marked pics in a collection… Perhaps because I am putting all information in an XMP file beside the image. Since when I am importing through the file system, the colour markings and such are there.
    What I find more annoying is the import of the hierarchical tags. I have imported the tags as the very first step from a text file. Now I imported the catalogue. But I have nearly all tags in flat mode ADDITIONAL to the ones in hierarchical mode…
    Maybe because LR is not checking all levels of tags…
    Motive | Persons | Family | Me
    In LR I have just marked “Me”, the rest LR would export automatically… CO is not working like that.

    For me, it is a big effort to get the change.
    Either I have to re-tag all pics and need to reorganise the colours and collections, or I have to re-do all tagging to get it back to my order…
    I am wondering, and this is honest if professional photographers are not using tags that much.
    The tag thing is better in LR – synonyms, hierarchy, and the “do not export” option.

    Best,
    david

    Nils Wille Christoffersen

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback. Regarding the import of hierarchical keywords from a LR catalogue to Capture One, it works like I would expect on my side. I just tried a quick test with keywords assigned in Lightroom both as separate and hierarchical keywords, and they all import correctly.

    Make sure that you check both the Keywords tool as well as the Keyword Library tool as only the last one will show you the hierarchical structure of the assigned keywords.

    You mention that you have imported the keywords (tags) as the very first step from a text file. These will be populated in the Keyword Library tool as a catalog wide list, which is probably what you wanted. If you want to import hierarchy keywords, you would need to hit tab once for each keyword that should go under a parent keyword, otherwise you lose the hierarchical structure.

    If you want to make sure that assigned keywords are not exported with an image, you need to go to the Process Recipe tool, select the Metadata tool tab, and select None from the Keywords drop-down menu.

    I hope this helps. If you need further help, remember that you can always get assistance from our excellent support staff at http://www.phaseone.com/support.

    All the best, Nils

    I bought your tool, but will switch back to LR. LR makes it so easy to just connect my D850 and transfer images from the camera directly into the application. I thought this is a basic functionality. But seems no.

    Alexander Flemming

    Hi Peter,

    That is most definitely possible. Which issues are you facing? Are the images not popping up? Have you been in contact with technical support about this?

    I always recommend using a card reader and leaving the camera out of the import process as it will be a bottle neck in speed and require battery power.

    – Alex

    Peter Haase

    Images are not popping up neither can I see the Camera as source in the “Import from” dialogue. The camera however is connected as I can see it in the menu and I can take pictures via tethering.

    -P

    Alexander Flemming

    Hi Peter,

    Your camera is probably set to ‘Camera Control’ instead of ‘FTP upload/Image Transfer’. In this mode, Capture One will “take over” the camera to use it for tethered capture. Try changing the connection mode and open Capture One again.

    – Alex

    I use the radial layer in Lightroom a lot. Mostly to create a vignette or to do selective exposure adjustments. Such layers can be moved around easily.
    I don’t find a similar tool in Capture One, except for the Masks which are by far not as easy to create and more difficult to change.
    I think in Capture One there should be a vector layer usable as a mask.

    Alexander Flemming

    Hi Julian,

    Thank you for the feedback. We appreciate users sharing their needs for future development!

    Alex

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