Some background on why I need a DAM - sorry for the length, but I am sure many fellow professional photographers are suffering from similar problems.
I am a professional photographer and videographer. I have been using Adobe products (mostly Bridge, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Lightroom) for the last 15 years. I have around 75,000 images in my active catalogue and boxes of about 500GB of archived wedding photos on DVD/BluRay. In addition I have about 1 TB of video footage. I am trying to keep on top of this lot.
I started to move away from Adobe products when they introduced their subscription service and am stuck at CS6 for the remaining products I use. At the same time I moved from PC to Mac. I still have a PC with my main Lightroom catalogue but am desperately trying to move everything to my Mac, both because I love the experience and because I want to ditch all things Adobe.
I recently bought both Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher. I love the software and the integration between the two packages. But I am stuck with Lightroom and keep getting warnings that it will not work in future OSX releases. The maps module has already stopped working, so I am running out of time to find a replacement.
I have completed the poll, but wanted to add some specific points on what I really need to keep an efficient workflow going.
A Lightroom type view of my images. I always start from a thumbnail preview and all of the initial review and rating before going deeper is done there. It just about works now with doing the bulk of the work in Lightroom then editing in Affinity, but a simpler switching in and out of deep editing would speed up the workflow considerably and reduce errors and duplications.
A referenced file system rather than a database, although either is acceptable. But either way it is vital that network drives can be included in the catalogue. I take my Mac on travels and use a temporary catalogue which I import into the PC. But I often want to refer back to my main catalogue (a copy with reasonable resolution is too big to carry), or to share data between my various computers. I have a mixture of 4 iOS, Mac and PC systems that use where convenient. Sidecar files create thousands of extra files, so if the only way to avoid this is a catalogue then that is the better way.
Post Photoshop and since Lightroom I do 95% plus of my editing in Lightroom. I rarely need to drop into Photoshop or Affinity Photo. I’d like to be able to do this with a DAM/Affinity photo integration.
I use RAW on all cameras bar one, and keep everything in RAW, but the editing needs to be indistinguishable between RAW and other formats.
Metadata is critical and this is what is currently stopping me from moving to another package. I frequently search on any of the metadata items. I have built up a huge library of keywords for use with Alamy. This needs to be on display and editable with the image.
The usual range of flags, ratings and so on goes without saying and must be there.
The ability to print directly from the DAM interface with ICC profile options, as in Lightroom.
A map view (as taken away from non cc versions of Lightroom).
Essentially this is Lightroom on Affinity, but there is a good reason that Lightroom is the market leader. A halfway house, and one that would let me move away from Lightroom right now, is to use Photos on Mac for the basic file structure and viewing and to add a strong metadata and searching model to Affinity Photo. Photos already allows for network files as well as files integrated into the Photos library.