I've been using Capture One for nearly 10 years and I'm very used to its work flow, etc., etc., etc... except for sessions and catalogs. For years I've been creating directories on the HD, named by trip or whatever, had raws in one sub-folder, processed in another. In C1, navigated to the folder (folder tree visible at the left) and all worked fine. Never bothered (knowingly) with sessions.
Over the past year C1 has become really slow when first open - HD whizzing away as its reads something... While I didn't use Sessions, C1 did, so all these pictures from C1's perspective where within 1 session. That's not how sessions are intended to be used, so I bit the bullet and created a catalog.
Started importing the "raw" subfolders into the catalog. 100, 200, 500 images - no problem. Now the catalog is up to around 3000 images and C1 is getting unstable again. There have been alot of crashes with folder management - like deleting a folder or expanding the tree to show the hierarchy. I've lost count of how many crash reports I've sent to Capture One. And the slow start-ups are back. It's taking 15-30 seconds when the app is first opened to do whatever it does when first reading the library. At this point, there has been no upside (from end user standpoint) to using the catalog approach.
Now I'm beginning to wonder if I'm going about catalogs all wrong. I came into this thinking "Lightroom" with one big catalog for everything. Should I be creating a catalog for each trip or sub-group of pictures? That seems to miss the point if that's how things are supposed to be done. Is there some unwritten rule that no more than X files should be in a session or library? So, just looking for some best practices here from other people who manage large libraries in C1. If I'm approaching this "catalog" thing all wrong, now is the time for me to shift directions.