Importing images into a Session involves a similar workflow to that of Catalogs. However, the Import dialog is used solely for importing from external media such as memory cards, external disks, and a connected camera when that is not being used for tethered capture.
Although there is no difference between a tethered Session and a regular Session, the importer is not used when tethering. Capture One will detect and recognize a supported camera model upon connection and the Camera inspector will be enabled to control, capture, and manage storage.
If your camera is a supported model and you want to connect it only to import images from it, you can deselect the relevant Provider (i.e., maker) option in the preferences. This will temporarily disable the tethering function until it is needed again.
When a memory card is detected in a card reader or camera, the importer may open automatically. The setting that controls that can also be found in the Preferences. Note that you can only import images from a connected camera memory card if it supports the Mass storage protocol.
The greatest benefit of the importer to Sessions users, particularly for those that are time-pressured and working with a high volume of images, is the ability to automate the organization of images into sub-folders by their metadata. By adopting Capture One’s location tokens, the importer can automatically sort images into dynamically named sub-folders. If you want to organize imported images by vertical and horizontal orientation, for example, simply select the Orientation token in the Sub Folder field and every imported image will be sorted into two sub-folders named Landscape and Portrait.
When you regularly use sub-folders to manage complex shoots over the day, it may be better to set up fixed sub-folders in advance and save them as a template, which you can use for a new Session.
It is not recommended to use the importer to access images on a local or external drive like a Catalog. Doing so will copy the images and you will just end up having duplicates of them. As the Library in a Session works like a regular file browser, using the importer is not always crucial. You can drag and drop images into system folders instead of using the Finder or Explorer. If the Session is open already, you will see the images appearing in the Browser.
The import dialog can also be used to offer a quick backup to an external drive, add copyright data, and include a caption. Capture One does not change image file names when left to the default setting, but you can rename them by using text or tokens or a combination of both. Similar to the location tokens, naming tokens automatically create text directly from the image metadata.
It can also be used to apply groups of image adjustments with Styles or individual adjustments with Presets, which can be as diverse as your IPTC metadata for contact, content details, a complex set of keywords, or a simple +1 exposure compensation.
Finally, if you are a retoucher importing a set of EIP files and using the Import dialog, remember to add a check-mark to Include Existing Adjustments. Otherwise, none of the accompanying files (adjustments, variants, ICC and LCC profiles, etc.) will be enabled and you will see the file as captured with the default settings applied.