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Is a catalogue a safe file?

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9 comments

  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter
    There are two ways of dealing with the raw files when you use catalogs.

    (1) You can have them stored inside the catalog, which is what you seem to be thinking of. But if you have a lot of images, the catalog file can get very large and unwieldy. (These are "managed" image files - they are stored inside the catalog. It is possible to extract them though. I know how you find them on a Mac, but if you are on Windows, I don't know.)

    (2) You can have a catalog that works with your files in their existing locations. The catalog database keeps track of where the images are stored (and that could be in many different folders, or even different drives) and of the edits you make to them. The catalog database in that case is much smaller - it has previews and thumbnails of the images, and information about all your edits, ratings etc. Your raw files stay where they are, and they are safe if you do regular system backups.

    Either way, there is a facility to backup your catalog (as a separate matter from any regular system backups you make) and it is wise to use it on a frequent basis.

    Ian
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  • Soenke
    Tank you Ian, that helps...
    Regards Sönke
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  • Keith Reeder
    Soenke wrote:
    As i understand all raw-files are within a cataloge

    No. the images are wherever you've saved them on your computer system - they're referenced by the catalogue (which is a database), and details of adjustments you've made are saved in the catalogue, but the Raw files themselves are not physically in the catalogue.

    So if this single catalogue file is corrupt i have no access to my raw files anymore?

    No. Your Raw files will be just as easy to access as they were before the catalogue corrupts.
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  • Soenke
    Thank you for this info. I was afraid about the other option to store the RAWs within the cataloguefile what will create a giant single cataloguefile.
    But with the second option to put the RAWs on a separate place and only set a link to them i feel better...
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  • Paul Steunebrink
    Soenke wrote:
    Thank you for this info. I was afraid about the other option to store the RAWs within the cataloguefile what will create a giant single cataloguefile.

    For your understanding, there is no such thing as a big catalog file. A catalog may appear as a single file in the Finder, but is actually a main folder with subfolders and a catalog database file. That database file is the part you should backup often. You can do this from within Capture One.
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  • Soenke
    Yes when choosing the option to store the RAWs within the catalogue at import, it appears in Finder as i big single file.
    But i have no access to the RAWs in Finder.
    When doubleclick on it only C1 opens the catalogue.

    What i am doing wrong?

    And when i change one picture in it. My Backup via CarbonCopyCloner is copying the whole big file. Not only a small preference or setting file.
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  • John Doe
    Soenke wrote:
    Yes when choosing the option to store the RAWs within the catalogue at import, it appears in Finder as i big single file.
    But i have no access to the RAWs in Finder.
    When doubleclick on it only C1 opens the catalogue.

    What i am doing wrong?

    Right-click then choose "Show package contents".
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  • Soenke
    Ahhh, thank you.
    but i think i will stay to the other option where the raws are linked to.
    I am still afraid what will happen if such an "package" is corrupt why ever.
    i would not access the raws.
    thank you al for help...
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  • John Doe
    Soenke wrote:
    Ahhh, thank you.
    but i think i will stay to the other option where the raws are linked to.
    I am still afraid what will happen if such an "package" is corrupt why ever.
    i would not access the raws.
    thank you al for help...

    It's just a basic folder that the Finder shows as a single package, you can always access the RAWs even if the catalog database gets corrupt.

    If you're familiar with the Terminal, use the "ls" command and you'll see that it's actually just a folder.

    That said, if you're feeling more comfortable with referenced RAWs stored elsewhere, then suit yourself. 😊
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