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Desperately seeking Lightroom replacement


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5 hours ago, Marshalleq said:

Yeah, I looked at all the examples given to me in this thread and a few others, downloading them all to try out and for my need there really doesn't exist a solution today.  Some people will argue with that but my justification is as follows: there is always something major wrong or missing.  The best is still Exposure, but it's very slow and therefore also is not a good fit given the primary task is to be able to quickly dive in and filter, sort and scroll hundreds of thousands of images.  The rest are either the same or have something else wrong, the better ones that come close to Lightroom are just too expensive (and surprisingly not just a little bit more expensive, a lot more expensive).  It is not a solution to want to leave Lightroom to get away from  the cost of a subscription to then end up with an even more expensive product.  And these surprisingly expensive products were only replacing half of the suite that you get with adobe lightoom portion only not photoshop.  So either the Adobe photography plan is a very good deal or the other products are very expensive.  You choose.

For these reasons there is still not a decent replacement for Lightroom available in the market today unless you want to pay more than the Lightroom bundle.  I'd challenge anyone who said there was to explain (I'm interested, but am jaded by what I've seen so far).  I'd pay more if it was a one off cost of course, but again the example shown for a one off cost, was not actually a one off cost.  It was a one off cost until the next version came out and was still more expensive than the adobe plan as well.

There really is an opportunity here for affinity to add this to their portfolio of apps.  I think the problem is that many people don't understand the market positioning - even my cousin a pro photographer didn't know why he needed Lightroom.  When you look at the above apps that are shown, a general trend of all of them was to market their photo editing features, I don't think any of them marketed their library management features.  It's surprising because the amount of photo's being taken these days is insane and you'd think some product owner / manager somewhere would recognise this as the opportunity that it is.  I could think of a lot of things to do using A.I and such to sort your photos so that they can easily be found.  Integrations with desktop apps to include e.g. Apple photos push / pull / library sync, scene recognition, etc etc.  Hopefully one of them reads this.

I chose to go with C1 because IMHO the raw engine is much better than Adobe's and I prefer AP to PS.  But to your point I pay a premium for using C1 instead of LR.

As primarily a photographer, I am keenly aware of the library features of both LR and C1.  An application such as PS or AP is not useful for a high volume photographer, you have to have the basic DAM functionality of LR or C1 (et al).  I think most photographers are also very much aware of this.

I am not sure why Serif has not created "Affinity Develop" to compete with the other RAW developers out there (the RAW developer functionality is already present in AP, write a DAM already!!!).  But that in my opinion is the huge factor in photographers not switching to Affinity apps.

If C1 keeps raising prices like that are then I might head back to Adobe...  Then PS would also replace AP on my machine.

Edit:

As an aside, I don't think Serif has any intention of releasing a LR/C1 competitor.  It is a glaring hole in their lineup and should have been released concurrent with Affinity Photo.  There is some strategic reason for not competing heads up with Adobe that we are not seeing.  Very unfortunate...

 

iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) Mac OS 10.15.5 | 4.2 GHz Quad Core Intel-Core i7 | 48 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 Ram | Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

Affinity Designer | Affinity Photo | Affinity Publisher | Capture One Pro | Fast Raw Viewer | NeoFinder

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On 5/3/2022 at 4:24 PM, RichardMH said:

NeoFinder/abeMeda seems another option for image management. Think I looked at it in the past.

I have neofinder, it is very nice...

iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) Mac OS 10.15.5 | 4.2 GHz Quad Core Intel-Core i7 | 48 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 Ram | Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

Affinity Designer | Affinity Photo | Affinity Publisher | Capture One Pro | Fast Raw Viewer | NeoFinder

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Not wanting to miss an opportunity I have downloaded neofinder.  I stopped it from scanning the network copy of my files as I could see it would be too slow.  Im currently scanning the same files I have on a local thunderbolt connected SSD.  It's been a good 5 minutes so far and has only gotten through 7,000 files which is slower progress than some of the others, but I could live with that if it just updates incrementally in the future (it does).

On the sample page it was hard to figure out how I could use this, but looking at the small portion of what was scanned from the network, it now shows up with a few more options, including 'open with' which allowed me to open with Affinity and a huge list of other apps it detected as photo apps (the ones I downloaded from the suggestions above and a few more).

It's heritage is CD cataloging, in fact that used to be it's name, CDFinder - so it's a sort of unlikely candidate here, being that cataloging is typically different to managing, but the two probably cross over quite a bit.

It's going to take probably an hour or two to scan my files - which I have to say is probably the slowest of all the things I've tried, but given it's incremental that is fine.  After that I'll take another look.  Thanks for the suggestion.

Also, in case anyone reading this is wondering, NeoFinder is39.99US for the first version, then an upgrade price of 25.99.  They also accept cross grades from other products, which might've some clues about some other products to try out.   This is probably one of the cheaper products out there, though initially on the face of it, also one of the most basic, but perhaps there are more features I will find once my library is scanned in.  20 mins in and 34,000 files scanned.

1826494315_Screenshot2022-06-05at9_18_59AM.png.6f7145fec6a58b74590a927307df84cf.png

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@KC Honie I don't know about this program.  It's finished scanning now, it's kinda ugly but it's kinda not all at the same time.  The preview is small and it sort of doesn't provide any better option,  I don't think it can rate things very quickly but perhaps there's a keyboard shortcut or something.  It does support just to view all photos in subfolders (amazing how much software fails on just that point), but because it's a smart folder you actually lose what folder you're in and there's not easy way to limit to a subset like other tools. I also don't know how to rate things quickly yet, seems like that's not possible, not really sure.  Any tips?  How do you use it?

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1 hour ago, Marshalleq said:

@KC Honie I don't know about this program.  It's finished scanning now, it's kinda ugly but it's kinda not all at the same time.  The preview is small and it sort of doesn't provide any better option,  I don't think it can rate things very quickly but perhaps there's a keyboard shortcut or something.  It does support just to view all photos in subfolders (amazing how much software fails on just that point), but because it's a smart folder you actually lose what folder you're in and there's not easy way to limit to a subset like other tools. I also don't know how to rate things quickly yet, seems like that's not possible, not really sure.  Any tips?  How do you use it?

If you just want to review RAW photos quickly, FastRawViewer is the go.

https://www.fastrawviewer.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well... thank you all for your replies. I have tested several app in the meantime. Right now, I am giving ACDsee Studio and Exile Foto a try - either an my Mac and also my Windows machine. I am struggling on my Mac which is due to I am on M1 - and plugins are simply not working anymore in Affinity Photo (which is poor, but another topic). 

What I see is that the search in Excire is incredible fast and a great DAM / photo organizer - but Excire doesn't recognize my Hasselblad raws neither on my Mac, nor an my Windows machine. ACDsee studio recognizes my Hasselblad raws on my Mac and can display a preview, recognizes these raws on Windows but cannot display a preview there. ACDsee can "look through" subfolders and bring a all previews (as Lightroom does is) but Excire can do this easily and damn' fast.

So - if you have no "exotic" raws (like me with Hasselblad) then you should give Excire Foto a try... as they have also a nice license policy which allows cross-installations on three devices.

Kind regards,

Robert

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'll give that one a look thanks.  So you're also finding there are a lot of products, but there's always something major missing.  I'm still gunning for the upcoming fix in exposure software's 'exposure' for library speed - it's still the only product out there that doesn't cost a fortune and has all the features.

 

@PaoloT I use apple photos, but it is not a replacement for a library manager unfortunately.  And it's a bit temperamental with large libraries at times.  I even tried using it with RAW for a while - the cost of storage got me - though I understand you can run it without iCloud which reduces features and makes it even more complicated, but that could be an angle to progress.  

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1 minute ago, Marshalleq said:

I use apple photos, but it is not a replacement for a library manager unfortunately.

May you tell something more about its limits? I’m seriously trying to understand why it is not working for some (or for many).

Paolo

 

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For me these things are top of mind:

To store all my photo's in it, I surpass the total purchasable storage requirement because I have shot RAW for at least a decade.  Without RAW I cannot get the best edits.  Without RAW I need to have compressed copies of everything to find stuff if I don't have a decent library manager and actually this is exactly what I've done - converted everything to jpeg and put them into apple photos so that I can manage them at the required speed.  It's horrible.  Even if apple did have a storage tier that would fit all my current and future photographs the price of that is already horrendous, and it would be cheaper to use Lightroom which is the very thing I'm trying to get away from.

Then

The library sometimes has hiccups.  Like where photos won't upload, or download.  Where suddenly it stops processing for example face recognition or just requires me to delete my photo database and redownload it.  Then of course because it's on device processing, everything has to be processed again.  Which takes weeks even on an m1 pro.  I can't just point it at my whole library externally like you can with Lightroom or similar and even when you do get around it, the corruption issue means it's not worth the effort.  The corruption issue is actually not really happening at the moment, but track record of Apple suggests that it will happen again sometime as it has on and off for years - I simply don't trust it.

There isn't really a workflow in Apple photo's either.  it doesn't integrate with other apps well or even at all in some cases.  It's really designed to be in it's own walled garden and not to play nice with other stuff too much - even if that's possible in some areas.

That's off the top of my head.

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