When exporting originals, Capture One enables you to export copies of your source files as originals with separate settings files (i.e., in their native format with no adjustments applied).
Capture One must have access to the originals. When using a Catalog, this will typically be by referencing the files, either on a local drive or by connecting an external drive instead. If the files are stored physically inside the Catalog itself (as shown adjacent to the In Catalog field, under the Folders panel of the Library), Capture One already has access, however, the images will still be copied on export. This should not be used as a means of purging the files from your Catalog.
Exporting originals is more likely to be chosen when you want to share files with colleagues and further editing is expected. The Export dialog offers two options for this: you can either include adjustments, where the Capture One settings and previews are exported in a separate [CaptureOne] settings folder along with XMP sidecar files or opt to pack RAW files as Phase One Enhanced Image Package (EIP) files. Both options allow all adjustments and metadata to be included when importing back into another copy of Capture One. Phase One EIP files, however, include the source file and all the associated settings and metadata files and any additional profiles together in one file, making it impossible for the individual files to become separated.
When exporting RAW files in their native format, individual XMP sidecar files will accompany them, which can be useful if you are maintaining a separate DAM system. You may have to modify Capture One's application preferences settings for the migration of metadata in XMP sidecars as when left to the default settings, no metadata will be included. If you only want to add metadata such as keywords, ratings, color tags, and descriptions on an ad hoc basis, select Sync Metadata from the action menu in the Metadata panel’s title bar.