A Lightroom and Capture One Workflow

Capture One is a program for capturing, processing and managing photos, and it’s used by many professional outfits, partly because it is good at the tethered shooting that often happens in a studio, partly because it’s made by Phase One (who also create some very nice and very expensive medium-format cameras), and partly because its underlying processing of RAW images is amongst the best available anywhere.

In other words, if you have a good camera, you can often make your photos look rather better with Capture One than with, say, Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto or Adobe Camera Raw, though it will cost you around 200 quid for the privilege.

However, for the normal importing, managing and editing of large numbers of images, I find Lightroom to be much faster, more capable and more reliable.

So here’s a little tutorial about how I set both apps up to allow images to be moved easily between them, so I can take advantage of the best bits of both.

Video also available on YouTube here.

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An excellent tutorial – very informative and helpful. I use Windows, and have been able to set it up almost completely, but have failed to set up key strokes to automate this. As far as I know you can set up key strokes to open ordinary shortcuts (i.e. to run programs etc. but not key strokes to start off a process from within a program.

Do you know if I am correct, or is there a way?

Here’s hoping… It is still very much worth doing, but the automation is very neat!

Mike Anderson.

Hello Mike – I’m sorry, you’re asking the wrong person: it’s been more than a decade since I last used Windows.

There must be a way, though…

Sorry not to be more help!


Very helpful, thanks so much for taking the time to figure this out and share it, Quentin!

Excellent. Thank you a thousand times for sharing your workflow. Really helped a ton.

Greetings from LA!

It is is 2016 and we are on Capture One Pro 9.1. There is no longer a reason to use LR for cataloging your images as C1 does a great job with cataloging and key wording. With the superior Raw engine and color adjusting features I rarely even have to export to PS. But when I do it is now very easy to round trip.

You mentioned discarding the edited raw file after saving the final version as a TIFF. If you want to keep the edited raw file and save it in a specific folder, do you have to make sure you save the sidecar file to the same location.

Very good Idea, if it works. I remember, that it worked for me ten month ago. I was very thankful.
Now I’m on a new machine. My system now ist LR CC an Capture One 10.
I did the exact way you explain in your video, but there is no way to get the presets from LR into Capture one. It only works with the original RAW. What did i wrong. Would be appreciative if you could give help to this.

    Hi Matthias – yes, I did that because I explicitly wanted to use Capture One to process the RAW files. I don’t have the CC version of Lightroom, not a recent version of Capture One, but I imagine that something similar should work – if you set LR to export a TIFF instead of the original RAW, then you should get the effects of any processing you’ve done in Lightroom transferred into C1.


Great tutorial! Thank you for posting. That is exactly the workflow I was looking for.

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