How to shortcut almost anything in Capture One Pro (Mac)

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Capture One has a pretty decent custom shortcuts feature which I use daily, but it lacks two shortcut-able things which would be really useful: Workspaces and Styles.

Fortunately the Mac user can utilize the System keyboard shortcuts to get around this shortcoming.

Go to System Preferences > Keyboard

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 21.18.33Click on Shortcuts, then with App Shortcuts selected, press “+”

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 21.18.42Set the Application to the installation of Capture One you want to affect.

The menu title needs to be exactly what the Menu is called in Capture One (case sensitve). For this article I made a Workspace called “EditWorkspace” (the names of your Workspaces need to be unique).

Add a shortcut – this also needs to be something unique.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 21.19.46

If the shortcut is truly unique, and everything went to plan, you should now see a shortcut next to the Workspace in question. You can now switch to that Workspace using shortcuts.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 21.21.00

This technique is great for short-cutting almost any menu item in the app. It relies on unique menu names in order to find it and then call it. However, there is one use case where this won’t work – that of shortcuts for Styles.


The problem with Styles is the menu titles for the actual styles names appear first in the “Delete Style” menu – and as this menu is found first, any attempt to add a shortcut to a Style in the manner above will add the shortcut to the function to remove the style. Maybe not what you want.

Fortunately there is a simple solution.

When adding the Menu title to the shortcut, you will need to put the full menu hierarchy to the function, separated with “->” (dash, greater than)

The example below adds a shortcut to the Style BW-01 in one of the Phase One Styles Packs. The full menu title is:

Adjustments->Styles->User Styles->B&W->BW-01

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 21.35.05This will add the shortcut (MacOS adds the shortcut to the menu UI) and the Style can now be applied via shortcut when a variant/variants are selected in the app.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 21.36.11

This technique is really awesome when used in conjunction with Tangent button panels, putting 12 Styles under your fingertips to do quick looks on images.


Tethering Over Distance

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Tethering (for the uninitiated) is Capture One’s party piece. Connect a supported camera to the computer over the relevant cable and shoot directly to the hard drive instead of the memory card. Instant preview, instant client approval, happy customer.

Tethering is a valuable asset to Capture One users. Once you’ve adopted it into your workflow, it becomes very hard to live without it. If it stops working mid-shoot it can be a serious source of stress.

There are physical demands on the system for this to work well, the main one being power. It’s worth noting that 90% of all tethering issues I’ve ever seen were solved with proper power supply. The other issues we’re either faulty cables, faulty hardware, bugs, and plain old user error (in that order).

To transfer data effectively over distance, the cables need supporting power. As distance increases the requirements for power supply increase. In fact, even with the supported lengths (USB2 – 4.5m, USB 3 – 3m) laptops and cheaper consumer products like iMacs often don’t provide a power supply for the camera to run spec.

This problem of distance has only gotten worse with the retirement of FireWire. While it had its own problems, digital back owners could tether over a single 10m. This was technically never supported by Phase One (official FireWire spec was 4.5m) but it mostly worked (to do it officially, a special repeater was needed).

A repeater or hub solution is a great way to extend effective cable length – or just get a solid power supply. Normally the device sits between camera and computer, and the device is plugged into a mains power source.


Optical USB3

This cable architecture is a fairly new idea but they come with a single awesome feature – cable length is not an issue!

In a nut shell, Optical USB cables do away with copper as a means of transferring signal. Signal from the device is converted in the plug to light and then transmitted over fiber-optic. Once received at the other end, the optical signal is converted back to electronic signal.

All that you need to make it work with your camera is a traditional copper USB adapter (maybe 2-3″ long) to convert the female end of the USB cable to a male type used in the cameras USB socket and you are good to go.

The only downside to Optical (apart from the initial cost), is charging – if you used the ultra modern XF camera and IQ backs from Phase One with the USB charging feature, you will have to turn that off.

Corning optical cables are available on Amazon, and are available in lengths of 10m, 15m, 30m and 100m.

Corning USB 3.0 Cable Optical 10M