Capture One not a LR replacement for me

Started Oct 25, 2017 | Discussions
Dale Garman Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Capture One not a LR replacement for me
5

I was searching for a LR replacement, and Capture One Pro seemed like a good choice. So I downloaded the trial and started playing with it. There is a lot to like as a RAW converter, and I began to get excited about the possibilities. Then I stumbled on the deal breaker - the DAM aspects are sorely lacking.

Essentially you can't have more than a few images in a catalog as they size balloons and the speed becomes unmanageable. I only had about 40k images in the catalog and it created over 50 gb of something in the catalog section. So if I wanted to import new folder, it took an hour for it to even start importing, and then took another 45 min to finish. This isn't exactly a useful workflow. It seems they have buried the previews in the catalog file, or at least that is all I can figure out. That seems like a very poor architecture choice.

Their solution is to use sessions which is essentially working in very small batches without the normal DAM features. Of course then any DAM tool like smart albums, filters, or search will not work across your entire set of images which is one of the main purposes of a DAM. Then their solution is to essentially start manually moving things into albums, which of course defeats the whole power of a smart album that relies on metadata and good keywords to help organize your albums and avoids all the manual effort.

It also doesn't have any publish services, but that may make sense because it isn't really a DAM and they two probably go together.

Since it is a non destructive RAW converter, then using some other piece of software as your DAM is also a non starter unless you export everything which defeats the whole point of non destructive editing.

So while I'm unhappy with Adobe's subscription model, Capture One is no solution for me at this point. I would probably convert in a heartbeat if they upgraded to a real DAM concept for the software. I know some people could care less about it, but as the number of images grow, being able to manage them and find things becomes more important.

So it is with sadness I'm giving up on Capture one at this point.

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CurtG
CurtG Contributing Member • Posts: 540
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
1

On import, were you moving/copying images into the catalog or using referenced images in an existing storage location out of catalog location.  The two test catalogs I've built  were reasonable sized  but they only reference to images in another location, not embed the actual files.  I can see where doing the latter, even on a session basis, would make things huge.

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Cariboo Contributing Member • Posts: 652
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
1

Dale Garman wrote:

.

Since it is a non destructive RAW converter, then using some other piece of software as your DAM is also a non starter unless you export everything which defeats the whole point of non destructive editing.

??? I've been happily using PhotoSupreme as my DAM software with C1 fore a few years. Started DAM with PSU, so had no need to change to C1 or their MediaPro.

Why would one need or want to export everything? How is that destructive? No need? Dam for raw & whatever images are processed & connected to the original.

Above post also has valid point, try a referenced catalog. Also SSD drives, RAM & decent CPU & GPU help. You don't mention your hardware which is not C1's fault.

OP Dale Garman Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me

I was not moving or copying.  I was merely pointing it at exiting directories in a internal hard drive

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OP Dale Garman Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
2

I have pretty decent hardware recent hardware on Win10, lots of RAM, and LR handles 150k catalog with no problem.  So it is increasingly looking like and architecture problem with the software.  I have also now searched further on the internet and it appears this is a common issue and complaint about C1.  It is designed for small capture sessions, and is not really a full fledged DAM product.  They have added a few features, but the way they do it is clunky.  When you create a 50 gb set of files to catalog 40k images, it is obviously not very scalable.   You can get by with that kind of design for much smaller datasets.  So it isn't designed with a large catalog in mind (and large is pretty small it seems to me)

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 20,722
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 20,722
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 20,722
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me

Zeee wrote:

https://www.phaseone.com/en/Products/Software/Capture-One-Pro/Tutorials.aspx

Actually here is the actual link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRuKQ7NbBU4

My next post shows Media Pro which I know nothing about. I just know it exists.

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IanYorke Veteran Member • Posts: 3,905
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me

Dale Garman wrote:

I have pretty decent hardware recent hardware on Win10, lots of RAM, and LR handles 150k catalog with no problem. So it is increasingly looking like and architecture problem with the software. I have also now searched further on the internet and it appears this is a common issue and complaint about C1. It is designed for small capture sessions, and is not really a full fledged DAM product. They have added a few features, but the way they do it is clunky. When you create a 50 gb set of files to catalog 40k images, it is obviously not very scalable. You can get by with that kind of design for much smaller datasets. So it isn't designed with a large catalog in mind (and large is pretty small it seems to me)

Are you storing your files inside the catalog or using the same option as LR which is "referenced" i.e. the original files are not moved or copied merely their location referenced.

Also, what size previews are you building?

Ian

OP Dale Garman Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
1

merely referencing existing locations, not copying or moving.  If you do google search this is common problem.  C1 is just not designed for large catalogs full stop.  I think a practical limit is 10-20k of images only.  When I uninstalled it and had to go back and clean up all the files it had created on my computer it was 100k files, taking 71gb of data to catalog about 40k images.

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Jos van Eekelen Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I'm also looking at a LR replacement; C1 is a bit lower on my list (together with MediaPro SE). LR lets me use several plugins: NIK collection, LR enfuse, Show focus points, Colorchecker Passport. I would like a LR substitute to do the same.

Currently I'm looking at iMatch. First impression is that it offers more options than the LR Library module but it seems to require more mouseclicks. In other words, it is not nearly as efficient as LR.

I started LR for looking up a few details and got the Adobe feedback form: how likely .. to recommend LR: answer: next to zero. What can they do....change my mind: perpetual license. Perhaps we can persuade Adobe to introduce LR7

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OP Dale Garman Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
7

Adobe is making too much money off of the subscription - but I guess we can always dream.  I have full license to LR6 so ok for a while I suspect with no plans for new camera or operating system in the near future.

For me one of the most powerful things about LR is not only the non destructive editing, but that you can carry that all the way through DAM and then publish to various external sites, all without ever having to export a jpg or tiff file.  This is very efficient especially with smart collections that change as you add or revise things within it's definition.

Something like iMatch can find the files, but can't really export them if the original file is really in a non destructive edited RAW image.  I find that an extremely efficient and powerful feature in LR.

I am frustrated with how slow LR can be when editing an image, so there are no perfect solutions.

I had hopes for On1 RAW but the jury is still out on that one.  But this experience does drive home one key concept - RAW editing engines are proprietary.  You are marrying the company that does the engine and it won't move to anything else without redoing all your work, or converting your non destructively edited images to jpg, tiff, psd, dng or something else which then duplicates a lot of files, creates more than one thing to track, has to be updated if you decide to edit and on and on.  So while I'm a big fan of non destructive editing, there is also a dark side.

I've always been happy to  pay for the software, just not happy to pay for something I don't actually own.  Especially a monthly fee after I have invested thousands over the years in the original software and upgrades and that investment is now worth zero at a stroke of a pen unless I pay a monthly ransom.

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JudyN Veteran Member • Posts: 4,520
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
1

Dale Garman wrote:

I was searching for a LR replacement, and Capture One Pro seemed like a good choice. So I downloaded the trial and started playing with it. There is a lot to like as a RAW converter, and I began to get excited about the possibilities. Then I stumbled on the deal breaker - the DAM aspects are sorely lacking.

Essentially you can't have more than a few images in a catalog as they size balloons and the speed becomes unmanageable. I only had about 40k images in the catalog and it created over 50 gb of something in the catalog section. So if I wanted to import new folder, it took an hour for it to even start importing, and then took another 45 min to finish. This isn't exactly a useful workflow. It seems they have buried the previews in the catalog file, or at least that is all I can figure out. That seems like a very poor architecture choice.

Thanks for the report.  I had read how large the catalogs are.  It is hard to understand what on earth they are putting in the catalog.  What kind of idiot would put even previews in the catalog file...

I understand you can search across C1 catalogs, but still...   I have almost 150,000 images in one LR catalog.  I do see if I work with it for a while the memory use goes up but it's still pretty snappy.  I have only one other catalog and it is of scans of old slides and negatives.  I had them together for a while but decided that was a sensible division.  I don't do events or anything like that, in which case I'm sure I would have a different workflow.

I've decided I'm staying with LR 6 standalone for now.  Getting out is going to be hard no matter when and there seem to be good movements on various fronts for alernative tools.  I just bought two new cameras, so maybe I can cool it on the camera front for a while...

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Judy

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OP Dale Garman Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
1

well I looked at searching multiple catalogs and found nothing that allowed it.  I also searched in their help system and didn't find it.  That doesn't mean you can't but I couldn't figure out how to do it.

Likewise the Smart Album feature doesn't even give an option to choose catalog so obviously selects the open one.

I agree that is seems a strange system architecture choice to have such large files that essentially become unstable.  But the clue is perhaps in the name.  It was designed for capturing a live session I think, so a limited set of images.  So their emphasis seems to be that everything related to that session is all contained within a container and can be transported etc.  So it's not really designed as a DAM system as far as I can tell.  That seems to have been layered on later, but the architecture essentially limits it's usefulness.

Its a shame because I liked a lot about it.

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myotisone Senior Member • Posts: 2,062
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
2

JudyN wrote:

What kind of idiot would put even previews in the catalog file...

It's to allow offline editing.

Most of us probably have photograph collections too big to fit onto our HD, and use external storage for the raw and processed files, but keep the catalogue on an internal SSD to maximise performance.

This lets you take your laptop offsite, you can still carry on editing using the previews without being connected to the original raws.  Once re-connected the sidecar files stored in the directory with the original raw files are updated.  It also adds to the speed of operation even when you are connected because the previews are also on the faster SSD, and not on an external drive.

This has been a major factor in why I ended up using C1 and not LR, because I couldn't stand waiting for LR to render previews, where as C1 would render them almost instantly. I now realise that you can ask LR to use "Smart Previews" which allow offline use and faster rendering, so I assume that this option will add previews into the catalogue, just as C1 does, with the same penalty in catalogue size.

As an aside, although I have split my C1 catalogues up into smaller catalogues (I use Media pro as a master catalogue). I don't find my largest catalogue (30,000 images) especially slow, except for the initial loading, which takes forever. This is on 2011 Mac Mini, with internal SSD and external NAS and external usb3 HDDs for file storage.

But yes, I agree they need to improve the catalogue, Media Pro is blazingly fast at everything it does, and Phase really need to add C1 into Media Pro, rather than copying the Media Pro features into C1.

Cheers,

Graham

myotisone Senior Member • Posts: 2,062
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
1

Dale Garman wrote:

well I looked at searching multiple catalogs and found nothing that allowed it.

You can't search multiple catalogues, but you can have multiple catalogues open at the same time, and all the open catalogues have a drop down list that allow you to instantly switch between open catalogues.

Although, painfully slow to open, once opened I find the catalogues work very quickly, and while it certainly isn't as convenient as a single master catalogue, it works OK.

edit: as an aside the reason its painfully slow to open is because it does some pre-rendering of images while opening, so its working at full speed once its finally opened. If you remember to make sure that you shut down in any folder that isn't the  "all images" it will re-open much faster as it will pre-render only the images in the folder that was active when you shut down.

I have a master catalogue of all images in Media Pro, if I really do need to search through all images at once, and it will search multiple catalogues, but so far I can get everything into a single catalogue.

Cheers,

Graham

yanisha Senior Member • Posts: 2,547
Non-destructive editing is a dual-edged sword
2

Dale Garman wrote:

For me one of the most powerful things about LR is not only the non destructive editing, but that you can carry that all the way through DAM and then publish to various external sites, all without ever having to export a jpg or tiff file. This is very efficient especially with smart collections that change as you add or revise things within it's definition.

Yes, see this:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60285573

Mario M. Westphal
Mario M. Westphal Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me

Jos van Eekelen wrote:

Currently I'm looking at iMatch. First impression is that it offers more options than the LR Library module but it seems to require more mouseclicks. In other words, it is not nearly as efficient as LR.

Jos,

IMatch has many time-saving features. If you have used IMatch for only a few hours you might not set know about them yet. You did not explain for what you need more clicks than in Lr so I cannot give you any helpful tips.

Is it tagging? Keywords? Categorization? Versioning?

Did you look at the Quick Start Guide (Help menu)? It lists all frequently used commands and their corresponding keyboard shortcuts.

Let me know (here or better in in the IMatch community ) and I'm sure we can speed up your workflow considerably.

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Mario M. Westphal
Mario M. Westphal Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Capture One not a LR replacement for me
1

Dale Garman wrote:

Something like iMatch can find the files, but can't really export them if the original file is really in a non destructive edited RAW image. I find that an extremely efficient and powerful feature in LR.

Your 'non-destructive' edits only exist inside the proprietary Lr database. As instructions for a specific version of the Lr processing engine. This information is not accessible or usable for other image editors or RAW processors. Or a DAM like IMatch.

This is a powerful feature of Lr but it also a locks you into the Lr product line. If you decide to switch to another RAW processor, all your virtual edits in Lr become useless - unless you persist them by exporting TIFF, PSD or JPEG files.

This is not an issue specific to Adobe Lightroom, mind. The same has to be said for most other RAW processors. Just how virtual edits work. As long as your images are not final and exported, it is hard to switch to another software or platform. You make yourself dependent on the software you choose.

For a DAM this is usually not a real problem because in many workflows only finalized images are added to the DAM. And even if you manage your in-process images in a DAM like IMatch you can open them with a single click or keystroke in the corresponding application to edit them.

A DNG-based workflow solves some of these problems by providing an 'as-intended' version of the image in form of the preview embedded in the DNG. This is usually sufficient for presentations or even upload/publish purposes and can be used by all applications which support the DNG file format.

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OP Dale Garman Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Non-destructive editing is a dual-edged sword

Yes I have.  I agree there is a dark side to all the good things about non destructive editing.  But the good side is very  powerful in the way LR has implemented it.

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