Capture One v7.1 catalogs, a finale

I hate to keep complaining about Capture One catalogs; but I am compelled to do so one more time. Then I’ll actually have something nice to say about them.

Brickbats to Phase One

First, to complain… I think I have finally figured out what the problem is with importing my existing Media Pro catalog. I got this from an email from Phase One about a week ago. It touted the use of catalogs in Capture One and importing existing Media Pro catalogs. It added this proviso though: if a Media Pro catalog uses hierarchical keywords or includes files that Capture One cannot handle, then one should stick with Media Pro. Naturally, my Media Pro catalog of NEFs includes both hierarchical keywords, which are great by the way, and some RAW files from cameras that Media Pro does not support. I assume that these are at least sufficient conditions to mess up the import process.

Import session

Import session

Having found this potential explanation for my continuing inability to get Capture One to import my existing Media Pro catalog, I have one immediate question for the folks at Phase One. Would it be too much trouble to get a check for these conditions into the import process? For example, the hapless user, unaware that he is wasting his time, begins the import of a Media Pro catalog in Capture One. The importer does a quick test of the catalog to see if hierarchical keywords or file types that Capture One cannot handle are involved. If these show up, the user is presented with a dialog asking what to do. Logical options might be to abort the import before it starts, to flatten the keyword hierarchy, to import only the top level of the hierarchy, to import only those files that Capture One can handle, and so on. Why let the import process thrash along for hours and hours until the host machine crashes or the user finally gives up? If it’s not feasible to check for this immediately, then at least the process could recognize when an abnormal condition like this had been encountered, and then pause and present the user with information about the problem and request input on options.

Likewise, a blanket statement about potential import problems right off the bat would be a very easy thing to do as well. Hapless user begins import and right off he is presented with a window that mentions potential problems. He has to click an OK button to get the import started. It seems to me that this is just sound programming practice, n’est-ce pas?

Congrats to Phase One

Now for something nice to say about Capture One catalogs. I have a lot of Capture One sessions. These turn out to be very easy to import into a Capture One catalog, complete with all their keywords, rankings, edits, and et cetera. So, I have established a work flow of bringing new images into a session, as usual, and afterwards importing that session into a catalog. With some spare time, it’s very easy to go back to existing sessions and add them into a master catalog as well. In this way, I only bring in files that Capture One can handle, and there are no keyword structures that Capture One can’t deal with because the session was already consistent with the software’s capabilities.

I guess this is my way to proceed. It does raise questions about my on-going use of Media Pro though; I mean, why have two big catalogs of NEFs? I am already quite happy with Media Pro for storing, say, textures (usually PNGs), graphics (Illustrator or Photoshop files), and so on; but I have this sort of material in separate catalogs anyway. So, instead of keeping NEFs in a Media Pro catalog, I could leave those for Capture One and just import Capture One’s output TIFFs into Media Pro. That way, I could use Media Pro as a central clearing house for finding textures, graphics, adornments, and processed TIFFs to package for Photoshop.

Ah well, more experiments in store for yours truly.

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