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So to play devils advocate for a mo, I don't think they should develop a DAM but partner with DxO or C1 for close integration. The develop persona, being kind, is very weak and for me goes hand in hand with DAM. Affinity Devs strengths seem to me to be on the artistic side which is really fantastic and long may it stay that way!

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Well the Asset Management feature of DxO Photolab is not all that strong. Mediocre really.  Personally I don't use the developing persona, although it has been improved a lot  over the years, it still does not meet my standards.  I use Dxo Photolab and I don't think that anybody, incl LR,  can touch Photolab or C1 as far as output quality goes. So, a stand alone DAM like Bridge  that utilizes windows explorer , or the MAC equivalent whatever that is, with an export function ("open with") would be my preference.  Being able to get images from camera or card would be nice too (DxO doesn't do that)

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10 hours ago, rudyumans said:

whatever that is

That would be the Finder, but I don't follow how a "stand-alone" DAM would "use" the file manager of the OS?

The file system sure, but that wouldn't have anything to do with explorer or the Finder.

On1 Photo RAW is another app that manages photos within the filesystem, by the way, though its RAW development quality isn't quite on par with DxO or C1 either - I don't think anything else really is right now.

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Hmm 

Well as a comparison

On1 Photo Raw £66.53

Capture 1 £299 (assuming you don't have a Nikon, Fuji, or Sony camera)

Dxo photo lab £112 or 169

So the prices vary somewhat when you look at just the initial investment

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2 hours ago, fde101 said:

That would be the Finder, but I don't follow how a "stand-alone" DAM would "use" the file manager of the OS?

The file system sure, but that wouldn't have anything to do with explorer or the Finder.

On1 Photo RAW is another app that manages photos within the filesystem, by the way, though its RAW development quality isn't quite on par with DxO or C1 either - I don't think anything else really is right now.

The windows file system is called explorer I am told by people in the know, but either way, anything other than importing like with LR would be fine with me.

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3 hours ago, rudyumans said:

windows file system is called explorer

No, the Windows file system on reasonably modern versions is either NTFS or WinFS.  Explorer is the name of the application that allows you to browse the files on the file system - it is not the file system itself.

The file system on the Mac is typically either HFS Extended or APFS.  The original Mac file system was MFS, which wasn't even truly hierarchical - that was replaced fairly early with HFS, which then grew into HFS Extended as drives became larger, and now APFS is slowly replacing that for some use cases.  When MacOS X was first introduced it was also possible to use UFS but they dropped that at some point.

Earlier Windows versions were based on the same FAT family of file systems that were used with DOS, but evidently it was placed on a diet at some point (though that didn't actually make it any smaller 🙂

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On 6/21/2020 at 4:29 PM, Blende21 said:

If you look at it from a workflow perspective, the DAM missing is the next most important element to give customers full autonomy from Adobe.

Professional or engaged amateurs alike produce way more footage than they „need“ or can process. So the first step is always to get this flood under management and do some initial steps to organize and balance this as a resource. This is what Lightroom does, and it is pretty good at it.

Once you start using Lightroom, you are dedicated to the rest of CC.

The current alternative solutions all lack the full integration of the following workflow, that is set to create satisfaction and/or money from the „stars“ selected before. Without a fully integrated DAM, the Affinity Suite is like an impressive building set on a weak foundation.

All depends on what your needs are

Capture ONe is a better RAW processing program than LR, ask anyone that is a pro and used both and they will tell you the same.  The teathered capture is also class leading.

The File management side of the program is debatable.  I prefer to work in sessions, so can't compare the idea of working with an insanely sized single catalog.

I'm not convinced on the whole "integrated" approach between LR and PS, it isn't that much different than what can be done with C1 and Affinity (or a few other DAM type of programs on the market) that allow you to open up a raw file.

There are even free options that are very capable.  DarkTable being one of them.  

Jumping ship from LR the only challenge there is deep legacy users that have a catalog and massive amounts of Presets adn settings that won't translate.  Anyone jumping in from new, I don't see the point of using LR if you don't want to.   

That said, Capture One is not a cost effective alternative (unless you only use one single camera brand and one of these Sony, Nikon, Fuji, or PhaseOne).  If you use a cross section of brands....the $300 entry point and annual updates that are in the $150 range puts it at the top of the market...which performace wise, it certainly is.  

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14 hours ago, 78deluxe said:

I prefer to work in sessions, so can't compare the idea of working with an insanely sized single catalog.

My take on it is that catalogs are preferable for personal photos (for their ability to let you look back through the history of what was previously taken) and for people taking photos for a single company or client over a long period of time (someone on staff at a company, taking lots of photos just for them - for similar reasons).

Sessions are preferable for people doing individual jobs in isolation from each other.

 

Quote

Capture One is not a cost effective alternative (unless you only use one single camera brand and one of these Sony, Nikon, Fuji, or PhaseOne)

This one I disagree with.  I don't currently have any of those camera brands (though I would like to get a Sony at some point for its low-light capabilities, and I am curious about some of Fuji's more unusual sensor designs), and I do work with photos from an assortment of camera brands (Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, Canon...), but I still consider the cost of that program to easily be worthwhile.

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17 hours ago, fde101 said:

No, the Windows file system on reasonably modern versions is either NTFS or WinFS.  Explorer is the name of the application that allows you to browse the files on the file system - it is not the file system itself.

🙂

semantics, but you win

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This is a very difficult subject and everyone has their own workflow and valid opinion. Nevertheless, I am going to risk wading in and give some of my experiences. I am not making a recommendation, just saying what I think is important and what works for me.

I was a full time professional photographer and latterly videographer for 10 years. I have closed my company but have a back catalogue of 100,000+ photos and videos. I still actively submit work to Alamy. During those years I largely worked on PCs, but a few years ago switched mostly to Macs, which I now much prefer. But I have data and programs on both platforms. In catalogue terms I started using a small PC program about 10 years ago and gradually moved to MS Expression, Media Pro, the original beta Lightroom then versions of Lightroom up to CS6. I have the entire CS6 production suite and updated every new release, but once Adobe switched to a subscription model with no backward compatibility I vowed never to touch an Adobe product again. Lightroom is the last program to be turned off - and I am getting there.

For several years I have used Lightroom 4,5,6 as an essential tool in cataloguing and initially processing my images. All my images from about 2005 onwards are Canon RAW, converted to DNG, and since I take care to get most things right in the camera I can do about 95% of my processing only in LR Developer and leave the RAW files untouched, with few jpg or psd copies. I have produced books, albums and prints directly from here, so a huge productivity gain.

I have now been using Affinity Photo and Publisher for some time and they are both fantastic products. I have for a long time kept my eye open for a LR replacement and in the last few weeks actively tried lots of them. I finally (and with some difficulty) found NeoFinder (same product on Windows with a slightly different name). You can have a free version or, for a modest charge, an unlimited version. Within minutes I had imported loads of files from various network drives (something severely limited in LR). I could easily jump directly into Affinity Photo or Publisher for editing. But here is the missing link.

With RAW processing the viewer changes the view of the image, but nothing changes on file. So NeoFinder and APhoto cannot write back changes. Those changes are the things that LR or Apple Photos stores, and you can easily revert original - the beauty of RAW. This gives me an awkward workflow. If I process the RAW image in aphoto I have to develop and save as aphoto, jpg, psd or whatever, increasing my storage and file viewing complexity. I also have to jump in and out of APhoto. Interestingly, Apple Photos is tightly integrated with APhoto. You can do basic image corrections through Apple Photo with APhoto, and Apple Photo then represents these changes in the latest view. In this respect the system works a little like LR.

If only Serif would create the same integration with NeoFinder as with Apple Photo my problems would be solved. I'd have more or less the equivalent of LR, but with far more extensive searching capability and some extra good bits with Apple Photos sharing images in iCloud if I wish. They would save a lot of development time and be able to tap into a good DAM almost like a plugin.

As things stand I'll probably continue with NeoFinder (handles all file types including video with metadata), does not create sidecar files (other than with aphoto format). Since I can almost simultaneously import a folder into both Neofinder and Apple Photos I'll use this approach so that I can quickly go through all my RAW images using the Apply Photos interface, then use the power of Neofinder for finding, geotagging, things with Apple Script and so on.

Sorry it's such a long post but I have used many generations of DAM and my experience has led me to where I am - still searching.

 

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I'm only an amateur photographer.

I have been using AFPhoto and AFPublisher for the last 3 years... I love them.  Coming from LR (stand alone version) I looked for a DAM for a while then I found Neofinder.

I have been using Neofinder on Mac now for the last 2.5 years and I can say that it is the best tool that meets my needs. 

The cataloging is super fast. The search is great and fast. The metadata editor is quite good and Neofinder uses / supports the standard ".xmp" sidecar format. It handles a lot of file types so as a DAM, it is "software editor" independent. There is almost no limit on the number of catalogs it can handles and no limit on the size. I manage over 80,000 photos in over 35 catalogs without any problem.

The support team is very responsive and there are regular updates.

I"m very happy with it and I stopped looking for a DAM... 2 years ago.

Hope this will be helpful to someone.

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8 hours ago, fde101 said:

My take on it is that catalogs are preferable for personal photos (for their ability to let you look back through the history of what was previously taken) and for people taking photos for a single company or client over a long period of time (someone on staff at a company, taking lots of photos just for them - for similar reasons).

Sessions are preferable for people doing individual jobs in isolation from each other.

 

This one I disagree with.  I don't currently have any of those camera brands (though I would like to get a Sony at some point for its low-light capabilities, and I am curious about some of Fuji's more unusual sensor designs), and I do work with photos from an assortment of camera brands (Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, Canon...), but I still consider the cost of that program to easily be worthwhile.

Your understanding of catalog vs sessions is indeed the basic idea.

 

As for the value, it is all relative.  I own and use Capture One.  However, $600 for 3 years of use/updates is not "cost effective" according to the average user.  It is very difficult to get high paying photography work these days to offset that kind of cost.  Even Adobe is cheaper over 3 years by a large margin $360.  And there are alternatives such as On1, Luminar, etc that are cheaper than that.  And those that are serious hobbiests not making money from photography, that is very serious money for software.  

 

I'm not going to say it isn't worth it, as I think it is amazing.  But it lacks quite a few niceties (HDR, Focus Stacking, etc) and it is one of the most expesnive opitons on the market.  If you plan to buy a camera and use that camera for say 8 years and not update the software...yeah, $300 is fairly reasonable.  For most users, I think it is tough pill to swallow.  The yearly upgrade costs more than most compettors buying the product outright.  The feature set they added from v12 to v20 at launch were frankly very minimal, and I expect the same next year with a heafty upgrade tag on it.  They did add one decent update during the year (and I could mention some bugs introduced in 12 to 20 that are pretty annoying.....but overall the updates they make each year are not jaw dropping, and not inline with the added cost to stay current (and the ability to use newer camera bodies with it).   And if you skip a year for updates, the update price goes up even more for when you do....  $200.

 

 

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21 hours ago, stuartbarry said:

I finally (and with some difficulty) found NeoFinder (same product on Windows with a slightly different name).

 

Do you happen to know the windows version's name? 

and thank you for your post. very informative.

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3 hours ago, rudyumans said:

Do you happen to know the windows version's name? 

and thank you for your post. very informative.

Here is the contact info to ask them:

Norbert M. Doerner. (ndoerner@cdfinder.de)
West-Forest-Systems
Wachsbleiche 26
D-53111 Bonn

Germany

Twitter: www.twitter.com/NeoFinder
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NeoFinder

 

 

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On 8/11/2020 at 1:31 PM, 78deluxe said:

If you use a cross section of brands....the $300 entry point and annual updates that are in the $150 range puts it at the top of the market...which performace wise, it certainly is.  

In the off chance that anyone is interested, I happened to notice that B&H has Capture One Pro marked down to $180 in their deal zone for today only:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/dealZone.jsp

 

Yes, it's not cheap, but it is the best option out there right now in terms of the quality of the results for many types of photos.

 

On 8/11/2020 at 1:31 PM, 78deluxe said:

There are even free options that are very capable.  DarkTable being one of them.  

Just noticed this comment: yes, darktable is another good option for RAW development, if you can get past the learning curve, but I find it a bit lacking in the organizational department.

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14 hours ago, fde101 said:

In the off chance that anyone is interested, I happened to notice that B&H has Capture One Pro marked down to $180 in their deal zone for today only:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/dealZone.jsp

 

Yes, it's not cheap, but it is the best option out there right now in terms of the quality of the results for many types of photos.

 

Just noticed this comment: yes, darktable is another good option for RAW development, if you can get past the learning curve, but I find it a bit lacking in the organizational department.

I've seen a couple "flash" sales on it since C1 - 20 came out.   I really hope they get on the loyalty discount train, as the upgrade prices are usually ridiculously close to that to add minimal features.  

$180 is indeed one of the better deals I've seen on it.   It is also in line with there is likley a new version ready to drop in about 3 months...just far enough out that one would still have to pay the $120-150 upgrade cost ($120 if they do another pre-order type of deal - where you don't even know what you will be getting)

 

If Darktable could speed up the processing speed, and simplify the toolset and layout, it woudl be a much easier "sell" but as it is, feels more like for advanced users that also don't need a speedy workflow.  It can produce great results, but feels like it takes a lot more time and effort to get there.

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I've been looking at this in some detail recently, and come up with the following conclusions (you may all disagree)

I currently use Aperture (for old photos) and Apple Photos (for new) this is due to buying an EOS R which aperture can't read the raw files from.

So looking at the options:

Darktable

  • Can't read CR3 files so out of contention

Capture 1

  • Probably one of the best if your wallet can take the impact - personally £300 is too much for an application and the upgrades are going to hurt - if I had a Sony camera it is different but as I shoot on Canon...

Lightroom

  • It is Abode (need I say more) and I tried and don't like it

Pictorial

  • If you shoot raw it will cost you $5 per month as it is another rental software

Dx0

  • Metadata handling is poor

On1

  • Seems to be a reasonable choice - and will probably be what I will go with.

Anyone care to offer other opinions.

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If you do not have special interest in having a powerful RAW developer, IMHO you can use Apple Photos to manage your pictures.

If you add PowerPhotos, you can handle several photo collections (for example yearly catalogs) instead of all on one big heap. Occasional RAW development can be done with AP, as all the other stuff. If you need more, you probably have to open your pocket ...

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Apple photos loses out with the metadata handling for me.

I have about 40k photos with around 2000 keywords to allow me to find anything, as photos doesn't do keyword hierarchies it is very hard to maintain. If they had ported over the Aperture keywords system then I would have saved money but as they didn't....

 

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Photos relies heavily on intelligent albums. The structure between tags is created by the criteria that make the selection for the  Album.

Maybe you should dive al little into this.

Personally I use Graphic Converter as a DAM solution. It has the usual bunch of functions, like a picture overview, tagging, Evaluation, EXIF management, map view, functions to select JPEGS and transfer this to the corresponding RAWs etc. It writes XMP files for non-destructive edits. It has a RAW developer and even some layer editing (way less advanced than AP). It is in the market since long, maintained by a German software house, Mac only.

It can be tried free of charge, and will cost 40€ for a full lifetime license. The Free version has all functions, it just will extend a startup delay more and more the longer you use it without a license.

Maybe you want to give it a try.

https://www.lemkesoft.de/mac-fotobearbeitung-mac-diashow-mac-grafikprogramm-mac-bildbetrachter/

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Another program you might look at if you're on a Mac is Apollo. Very fast, handles EXIF, and metadata quickly, integrates with apple maps and google maps, and handles RAW and videos.

I've been experimenting with it, and so far I'm impressed. Still haven't nailed the work flow To Affinity Photo yet, but if I do I think it will be a winner.

Take a look. https://www.apollooneapp.com

Cheers!

Ed

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I recently committed to Affinity Photo. I have used LR and C1 in the past, and was rather relieved to recover so much disk space and so many processor cycles by removing Adobe altogether from my Mac. I am choosing between two products as a DAM:

1. NeoFinder. Actually rather clunky, for example it does not update a folder/catalog until you specifically ask it to do so. I add a photo to the 2020 folder, but then I have to ctrl-click on the catalog, select 'Update', click through a dialog box and then it shows up. No way in its prefs to set which application a photo is opened in - again ctrl-click and select Affinity Photo from a submenu. Also, how long did it take you to figure out how to arrange the viewing order for a catalog. That little tiny unlabelled icon at the bottom of the window is very inconspicuous. Naturally, that is absolutely in line with the way Apple does things these days, so maybe Norbert is just going with the Apple flow...

2. Graphic Converter. Used this for years, and the browser works without having to be updated or any such nonsense. Having been a LR/PS user for a long time I haven't kept up with how it works as a photo editor, but I suspect that now it has layers it is pretty good. Maybe not good enough yet for local brushes and non-destructive editing.

What I want in a DAM is integration with the Finder and with the image editor. LR got that part just about perfectly. If Affinity Photo let me browse my folders and then edit a selected photo the way LR did it would be wonderful. What I'm doing with NeoFinder and Graphic Converter is a bit of a kludge, but one I can live with in order be rid of subscriptions and processor overhead. I'd pay twice as much for a permanent license for Affinity Photo that included such functionality!

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