Capture One, iPhone image dates, and file formats Oh My!

I recently complained about Capture One’s inability to “see” the dates in jpegs from Hipstamatic. So this morning I started poking around a bit and found that it’s not just jpegs imported by Image Capture, but also png files (screenshots) imported by Image Capture and Lightroom, and anything sent from the camera roll to the mac via AirDrop. 

This is a big pain. I import photos into a hierarchical structure by date: any pictures taken today would go into a folder ’03’ inside a folder ’10’ inside ‘2015’ inside ‘Photography’ on an external drive. Since Capture One can’t read from the iPhone directly, I’ve been using Image Capture to import into a staging folder, and then using Capture One to rename and move from there to the final destination.

Since it can’t read the dates, Capture One shoves some—but not all—iPhone pictures into a folder called ‘Empty Name’ inside a folder called ‘Empty Name’ inside a folder called ‘Empty Name.’

Useless for my purposes.

Today, I opened two jpegs in TextEdit—one that Capture One can read the date on, another that appears to have no date for Capture One (but does for Lightroom)—and discovered why:

On the left is the jpeg that Capture One can read. Note the two red circles with clearly visible date strings. On the right is a jpeg that Capture One can’t read the date on. Note the lack of a date in the first part of the file. I searched the file for “2015” and it doesn’t appear anywhere, nor does it appear in the png screenshot picture from the mac, or screenshots from the phone.

Also, I noticed that when importing, Capture One sees the picture on the right before importing it, but shows the picture on the right as a dotted square until it processes the data.

So something is going on. I think there’s some kind of a new jpeg and png coding scheme that Capture One just can’t see. Capture One read all pictures just fine, up until about a month ago, and then it stopped seeing the dates in screenshots from the phone (and the mac too), as well as pictures from Hana’s Moto G, and now it doesn’t see anything from Hipstamatic or anything rendered by the phone (sent via AirDrop).

I expect it’s just a matter of time before it can’t read anything jpegs from the phone at all.

So… Going forward, it looks like I’ll need to start managing jpegs and screenshots with Lightroom, and only importing what I need for projects or whatever into Capture One. This really sucks.

I’ve submitted a support request to Capture One. Maybe they’ll sort something out in a future update; maybe not. After all, Phase One—the makers of Capture One—make medium format backs for serious photography and Capture One is primarily a Raw convertor, not a library manager or any thing else.

But I’ll hold out some hope, and in the mean time start moving the phone stuff into a secondary set of folders, much like the Phonegraphy category on this blog. Maybe it’s better for me to keep the stuff separated, maybe.

Edit: and I received a reply from Phase One support “We do not officially support iPhone.” Totally unsatisfactory, since it’s really an issue with jpeg files, but not unexpected. So it looks like I’ll be separating my photography work going forward. Yuck. 

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