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Capture One 4 and 5 Tethered Workflow

Last updated: 04-01-2016


How do I shoot tethered in Capture One 4 and 5 with Phase One Digital Backs?


Capture One 4.1 Tethered Workflow.

The release of Capture One 4.1 introduced tethering for Phase One Digital backs.  In terms of speed and preview quality it is a great improvement over Capture One Pro/DB 3.7.x.  While operation is largely the same there are a few changes that should be noted.  This Document will describe both functionality and workflow for using Capture One 4 and 5 effectively as a capture tool.

Layout and Features: The Capture Tool.


Histogram:  The histogram displayed is an accurate histogram of the image that takes into account all adjustments and crops applied.  While the capture histogram in CO 3.7.x was an estimate, this one is much more precise.

Exposure Estimate: This is a visual tool to make a quick judgment of the exposure.

Name:  Use this box to enter the naming convention for all subsequent captures.  Numbering is applied automatically.  The field directly below is a preview of how the final capture name will appear.

Location: This field shows the folder path where new captures will be stored.  The button beside it allows you to choose a different folder.  You can also choose your Capture Folder in the Library tool. 

Space Left: This field shows the amount of free HD space available on the computer.

Next Capture Adjustments:  These selections determine what settings will be applied to each capture. There are separate settings for Camera ICC Profile and other adjustments made.  The “Other” field controls what adjustments are applied in regards to Exposure, HDR, Levels, Curves, LCC, Lens corrections, Sharpening, Noise Reduction, Crop, Rotation, and Metadata

Both settings have 3 different basic options: Default, Copy From Last, and Copy from Primary.  For the ICC profile, you can also select a specific Profile to use.

A.    Copy from Last:  Copies the settings or  ICC Profile of the previous capture.

B.    Copy from Primary:  The Primary image in Capture One 4.1 is whatever image is currently selected.  If multiple images are selected, it will be the image with w thick white outline.  Capture One will copy the settings from the primary file and apply them to the next capture.

C.    Default:  This setting uses the programs defaults. Sharpening and noise reduction defaults can be set in their specific tool, where as exposure related defaults are set to 0.  For ICC profiles, defaults are generally the Flash profile for each digital back.

Camera: Displays what Digital back is connected.

ISO: controls the ISO of the back

Balance: Select the eyedropper to neutralize the image on a grey card.  Clicking the “Set” button will make that white balance the default white balance for all incoming captures.

Format: This field allows you to choose the Raw format of the captures.  Choose IIQ-Large or IIQ-small.  Uncompressed (Raw 3.0) is available for older backs with that capability such as the P25, P20, all H-series and Lightphase backs.

Capture: This button allows you to fire compatible cameras from the computer.  For a list of compatible cameras see this KB article: 

Basic Workflow: 

1. Open Capture One and select a Capture Folder.  The default folder is Pictures>Capture One Library>Capture (choosing a new capture folder in the Library tool).



2. Set the Capture Name



3. Connect the back to the computer via FireWire cable.

4.  The Camera name will appear when it is connected, then you can select the proper ISO and Raw format.



5.  Take a picture!  The first one will load a little slower because it will transfer black calibration data.

6.  Set the white balance.  Take a picture of the scene with a grey card in it.  Then select the dropper and click on the grey card.  Once the white balance has been selected click “Set” to make it the new default.

7.   Now you are ready shoot.

Using Compare Variants in capture, checking focus, and sessions:

Compare variants:  At any time while shooting you can mark an image as a compare variant.  This will keep the image on screen while you are shooting and the new images will appear beside it so that you can compare.  Compare Variants are marked with an orange outline.

To make an image a Compare Variant simply select it and hit “Enter.” Note that as images come into Capture One they are automatically selected unless you have chosen to deselect “Auto select new capture” in the Camera menu.

Checking focus:  Checking focus can be done at any time by viewing the image at 100%.  To do this you can either: 
1.    Click on the right side of  the zoom slider, or…
2.    With the Hand curser selected, double click on the image.



If the photographer is shooting quickly it may not be possible to focus an image at the full screen size before the next image comes in.  For this there are two workflow options.

1.    De-select “Auto select new capture” in the Camera menu so that you only view the images you choose.  New captures will appear in the thumbnail browser, but not the main preview window.



2.    Make a capture the Compare Variant, then zoom to 100%.  When the next capture comes in beside the compare image you will need to zoom that new image out to fit so that it does not bog down your system.  When you are done, hit command+enter to remove the compare variant.

Basically the workflow here is an “Enter’ and then two double clicks


Session Folders: Because Capture One 4.1 is essentially an LE version with tethering; sessions are not included as they are in Capture One Pro and DB.  They will however be back in Capture One 4.2 Pro/DB.  

The workaround for this is to create the folders manually in the OSX finder or Windows explorer.  In either system we do not recommend creating capture folders on the desktop, as you will not receive the same performance as other areas of the hard drive.  A recommended folder structure might look like this: 



Here the folder: “Example PhotoShoot” is placed in the Pictures Folder.

In Capture One 4.1 you will need to assign functions to each folder.  To use a separate Trash folder for a shoot, create a trash folder and make it the “Move-to Folder.”  Then when you want to delete an image, hit Command+J (CTL+J windows) to send it to the trash folder you made, instead of the system trash.



.IIQ File Extension:  With Capture One 4.1 you now have the option to have Phase One Raw files use the file extension .IIQ instead of .TIF.  This can be set in Preferences.  .IIQ Files will not be read in Capture One Pro/DB 3.7.x



Related Articles:

Capture One 4: How do I copy adjustments from one image to other(s)?