Coming from Lightroom - features and tips


Capture One is a streamlined DAM and editor, which is why it’s rapidly become the popular alternative to Lightroom. Starting with portraiture and fashion, many copies are now being sold as an alternative to what’s seen as a bloated Lightroom (Lightroom Classic CC now). To top it all off, Lightroom is especially slow when moving to X-Trans.

Capture One has excellent editing capabilities, but includes one specific feature:

  • Makes use of GPU, and is generally faster.

Unlike LR, C1 lags behind in that it:

  • Doesn’t detect duplicates (now does, new in v11.x)
  • Doesn’t merge sidecar JPGs
  • Doesn’t stack
  • Doesn’t publish
  • Doesn’t create panos or HDRs

Below, I’ll explain what I’ve done to work around these issues in making C1 my DAM and editor.

  1. Doesn’t detect duplicates

Capture One will happily import dupe files. This can happen if you don’t select “delete files” when importing. To fix this, the easiest way is to simply use the command line to delete files ending in _1. For example, “del _1.” will do this from a Windows command prompt. You can also make use of free tools such as fdupes to detect these files, if you want to find duplicates across your folders (this is helpful if you rename your files on import).

  1. Doesn’t merge sidecar JPGs

Like the other LR alternatives I’ve tried (ON1 RAW 2018, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018) Capture One doesn’t hide related JPGs. This means you’ll need to hide JPGs when editing, and unhide them when it comes time to import, because the option is a global one. To change this global option, select View > Global Filters > Always Hide JPG.

  1. Doesn’t create panos or HDRs

Speaking of JPGs, often for travel I’m shooting a scene indoors or out. While we wait for the 8-16mm XF lens, you may find yourself in a scene requiring multiple shots, and even bracketing. In order to create a pano or HDR shot, I found that both can be achieved well with Kolor’s Autopano software which I’ve found to be better than PTGui. Unfortunately, the XPro2’s RAW files are not supported like my X-T1’s files are, so you’ll want to convert those on the fly (which end up saved in your library folders). In order to use the “Edit In” for multiple files, you’ll need to enable Edit > Edit All Selected Variants. Now, like Lightroom, Capture One will not open multiple files at once. For APG the workaround is to Shift-drag the photos between groups, and optionally use the “Create stacks from N photos” context menu option. Your mileage may vary depending on the app.

File naming note: I delete the generated TIF files once I’m done with a Library folder. Why TIF? Because I already have JPGs in many cases with the same name! The panos are also .TIF, but I add a small description like “pano” or “hdr” to the end. That way, I can easily delete the auto-generated ones either manually or programmatically.

  1. Doesn’t stack

I simply don’t use stacks anymore. Stacks were useful for hiding panoramas, but now I simply scroll past them, and keep track of the exact files used by saving a .pano file (it’s like a project file for APG, doesn’t contain photo data).

  1. Doesn’t publish

C1 has something called editing profiles. You can set a folder for each, and I’ve got mine set to various maximums for social media. For Facebook, I’ve set Long Edge to 2048px. Google Photos, 6000px, and Flickr 100% original. To save for Instagram check here. Each profile can be saved to different folders, under “Output Location”. I have mine set to an Export directory, using the Recipe Name followed by the Collection Name. This way, I can drag and drop various Flickr photos without having to move around the filesystem.

Generally, C1 is loads faster than LR. Exporting means highlighting the photos and hitting Ctrl-D. The photos are exported according to the enabled profiles, and saved in their appropriate locations. With a decent connection, uploads are much faster than waiting for Lightroom to export and upload using APIs.

Hopefully, this helps with some of the growing pains in switching software. It’s worth noting duplicate import detection is currently worked into Capture One 11. As this is a work in progress please feel free to add on.


Thanks for the post, trying to learn as much as I can before giving C1 a try. 10 years using LR and if I make the s witch I want to do it right the first time.


Thanks for this! I’m in the process of switching from LR to C1, the sidecar JPG tip was very useful to know.


I switched from LR to C1 too! I just started and I am sure you know most of the stuff already since your post is 3 weeks old but make sure to check out Michael Damböcks (Pixelcatcher on youtube) video about Capture 1. He describes the difference between LR and C1 and shows everything from the LR standpoint which is exactly what I, as a longtime LR user, needed.

It helped me a lot! Maybe it will help you too!


Thanks for the tip! I hadn’t heard of him before, so I’ll check it out. There’s still a lot I don’t fully understand yet, so I’m sure this will be really helpful.