Importing Catalogs and Sessions

In addition to importing entire Capture One Catalogs and Sessions and their associated images, you can also import Media Pro Catalogs, as well as Lightroom catalogs and Aperture Libraries.

An overview of importing and exporting Catalogs Pro

Capture One Pro offers users the option to import and export Capture One Catalogs. Rather than switching between multiple Catalogs, importing small working Catalogs and creating one main or master Catalog may simplify workflow and improve search queries. 

Also, this new functionality is useful when, for example, you want to send a small Catalog with images off to the retoucher, and then later import the Catalog with the adjustments back into the original master Catalog.

The flexibility of importing and exporting of Catalogs will also be popular with location photographers. For example, Catalogs complete with the images and adjustments created on a laptop may easily be transferred to a desktop computer back in the studio, or at home.

Upgrading imported Catalogs, Sessions and variants Pro

Catalogs or Sessions created in earlier versions of Capture One that have been merged and opened from within a Catalog using the latest version of Capture One Pro must be upgraded to ensure compatibility with the database. A warning dialog will be displayed with the option to Upgrade and Open, or Cancel. While the upgrade is irreversible, settings and adjustments are preserved. Individual variants may still be processed using the earlier version’s tools and processing engine.
So that you can benefit from the new tools and image quality enhancements, older variants will also require upgrading for compatibility with the latest processing engine. Before committing, you can test the effect of the new processing engine on images by cloning the variant first (select image, right-click > Clone Variant). You can then upgrade the settings on the clone and compare and the two side-by-side before committing further variants to the upgrade.

Importing a Capture One Catalog Pro

Imported Capture One Catalogs are duplicated and merged with the current open main or master Catalog. Note, however, when there are source images located within the imported catalog as managed files, these are not imported and remain inside the original Catalog. Any duplicated variants in the imported Catalog will be referenced to the original source files. The Catalog is imported in the background, so that you may continue to work uninterrupted.

  1. Open Capture One Pro and from the main menu choose File > Import Catalog > Capture One Catalog…
  2. Navigate to the Catalog (<name>.cocatalog), select and click Import, or, optionally, double-click on the catalog file to imported.
  3. If the ‘master’ Catalog already contains one or more of the variants in the Catalog to be imported, a dialog box will ask you to choose which variants you would like to keep. Choose between Stop, All, Existing and Imported. Check mark the box to apply the choice to all the variants.

Importing a Capture One Session Pro

In addition to importing or merging smaller Capture One Catalogs, you can also import Sessions into a Catalog. As Sessions are typically stored on the computer with the source images and adjustments, you can use this option to free space on your hard disk. This is a useful solution when using a laptop on location.

The Catalog references the source image files in the Session folder and imports all the necessary settings from the Session. Collections will be imported as Projects with Session Folders, Albums and Projects preserved as individual Albums.

You can manage multiple Session folders from one master Catalog and continue to make new image adjustments using the Catalog. Note the original Session remains unaltered.

  1. Copy the parent Session folder (complete with all the source images and adjustments) to an external drive for storage or archiving.
  2. Open a Catalog, for example on your desktop computer that's connected to the external drive.
  3. From the main menu, choose File > Import Session…
  4. Navigate to the enclosing Session Folder, open it and select the database file (<name>.cosessiondb).
  5. Select Import, or, optionally, double-click on the file to initiate the import of the variants, adjustments and metadata. No source images contained within the Session sub-folders are copied or moved from their new location.
  6. Warning! Only delete the Session folder from your computer after verifying the images are securely backed-up.

Importing catalogs from Media Pro, Lightroom or Aperture

In addition to the typical workflow of importing image files from various sources, you can use a Capture One Catalog to import previously made catalogs of images from third-party applications. A Capture One Catalog can import Lightroom Catalogs and Aperture Libraries, albeit with some restrictions. Images are not moved or duplicated but referenced in their original location, including any images stored physically inside the Aperture Library. You can also import Phase One Media Pro and Media Pro SE catalogs.

The importer is not used in this instance, however the underlying process is practically identical. Capture One creates variants for each of the original image files, which are referenced in their original location (i.e., the original images are not moved, or duplicated). You can then continue with your typical workflow using a Capture One Catalog instead.

  1. Open a existing Capture One Catalog or create a new one.
  2. From the main menu, go to File > Import Catalog, and then select the relevant type from the list:
    • Lightroom Catalog…
    • Aperture Library…
    • Media Pro Catalog…
  3. A Finder/Explorer system window opens. Navigate to the relevant file type (only the type of database chosen above in step 2 can be selected):
    • Lightroom catalog - [name].lrcat
    • Aperture Library - [name].aplibrary
    • Media Pro - [name].mpcatalog
  4. A small Activities dialog window opens showing a progress bar of the import.
  5. If any original source images are offline (e.g., when referenced to an disconnected external drive), a warning dialog opens prompting you to Skip All, Skip (specific files), Retry or Stop and dismiss the action.