It has a clunky interface with clunky way of doing things.
Phil, I've always enjoyed your turn of phrase and its no different here - and as you've put it, C1 is certainly "clunky". Could put this another way and that's to quote Steve Jobs. He went on to say, "The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious
". While Jobs may have got it right, not quite sure if Phase One has. In C1 there's little there that is obvious and hardly anything that's intuitive.
Having said that, C1 7.x has basically "evolutionised"
(rather than revolutionised) my images, this to the extent that I've just spent the last month or so working through much of image archive and reworking a lot of my images in there. With C1 7, my finished images - especially my architectural images - now have a clarity and acuity that never seemed to be there before. Well, the RAW data was certainly there but, never to seem to see this in the finished image, until now that is.
Before, I was using Camera Raw (7.3), C1 6 and even Canon's DPP and, in each, never seemed to be able to pull up the detail I had seen and was looking for.
Added to this, I recently acquired a Fuji X-E1. Here I ran the RAW files through both C1 7 and Camera Raw - as a test of sorts. While the results were something of a mixed bag, would hand it over to C1 as producing the better image.
That aside, have long since given up on LR. Shoe shuffling between the Library and Developer modules (and the rest), remembering to update the changed metadata in between and fiddling with all those image editing tools became too much of a distraction in a day's work. This is where C1 has always scored for me - as in all the editing tools being in one place. Compared to Camera RAW/LR, C1's tools may have their idiosyncrasies but, they do the job and IMHO, a pretty decent job at that.
My workflow usually involves downloading my images to their respective drives - computer and external. Then, using Bridge to browse and manage the files - as in renaming, applying metadata and selecting images. After that, work all my selects through Camera RAW and then, convert them into TIFFs. From there, go into CS6 to finish off and then resize the images. For me, this was quick and easy.
With C1 7, I've now basically forsaken Camera RAW - mainly for the reasons stated above. And, like I said, there's little that's obvious or intuitive in C1. In some ways C1 is a bit like working with a command line computing language and where, after a long while and much pushing and poking around, things - like driving a car - start to become "intuitive".
Regarding C1 7's new cataloging features and contrary to what's been said elsewhere in this C1 forum, find this feature a God send. True.
No doubt I may be using catalogs in a way not intended. But then, who cares - as long as it works for me. How so?
As mentioned, I use Bridge to do my image selection. Here you have use ratings - as in the stars thing. For some reason, C1 doesn't seem to pick up on Bridge's colour labels. In C1, I go to the Library icon and create a new or use an existing catalog and then, move/import my selects into this catalog folder. It requires some effort to set up these catalogs and to figure out how to best use them. Like I said, there's little here that is "intuitive" let alone obvious.
The interesting thing that I've found with C1's catalogs is that all my image prep work is now "stored" in one place. In the past, if C1's Sessions weren't set up properly, they would populate themselves all over your hard drive. Now, this new catalog feature does that together with doing a pretty good job of remembering where and on which drives my selects are located.
After doing the image prep, do one of several things - either create a finished file in C1 - as in resized JPEGs or, TIFF's to be finished off in CS6. And that's it.
In C1 you can get to create "recipes" or get use some of the built in presets. These certainly help with the workflow. Over the last month or so now, not exactly sure how many images I've managed to work through but, I could swear, I've managed to get through a lot more work with C1 than using any other method - and I'm talking about preping RAW images and handling most of these on a one on one basis.
As for C1 managing my image archive, forget it. While C1 is now my primary image editing tool, that's all it is. And, in using C1's catalog as I do, this feature serves my purposes well - as in managing my selects. As a DAM tool, not quite sure. For this, the search is still on.