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On November 4, 2017 at 1:12 PM, owenr said:

 

There is no chance of an Affinity DAM in 2017. The project has been postponed indefinitely.

 

My guess is it won't be available before 2020, if ever.

 

 

At this stage it would be in Serif's best interest to forget the DAM (that ship has sailed) and make sure that AP works seamlessly with Capture 1 Pro, LR, On1, Luminar, Photo Mechanic etc...  Of course for the most part photographers that use Adobe CC Photography will not use AP anyway as Photoshop is included with the subscription (the only way to combat that was to have a companion DAM)...

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What I hope  your DAM does.

  • Runs on Mac or on local apache web server.
  • Fast keywording
  • Full access to standard metadata, subject to limits of the file format. (Additional fields are written to sidecars)
  • Controlled vocabulary
  • Hierarchial vocabulary. E.g. Separate entries for Birds -> raptors -> falcon and Planes -> fighters -> falcon. Parents are stored with keywords.
  • Parent items are automatically entered as keywords. (With the correct database link, this comes free as a side effect of the point above.
  • Synonyms -- I can define "Picea glauca" as a synonmym for "White Spruce" entering one, enters the other.
  • Version tracking If a lower resolution or a black and white image is produced from a master, the system should show that it's a derived image, and allow access to the master. A master should be able to list derived images. Derived images are not linear but form a multi-branched tree.
  • Metadata applied to a master should propagate down to derived images.
  • Ability to track through external editing programs. E.g. If I edit a program in photoshop, it will mark the PSD file as being derived, restore as much of the metadata as the PSD format allows. If Photoshop is used to create a jpeg image, that too is tracked.
  • All metadata is indexed.
  • Metadata is also written to sidecar files.
  • Through file system watching, name changes and directory reorganization are caught. Relevant sidecars are also renamed, and the database updated with new file location/name.
  • Support for previews of all common image formats and most raw formats.
  • Reasonable speed with catalogs of more than 100,000 images.
  • Ability to rebuild corrupt database from sidecars.

Nice to have:

  • Simple non-destructive editing -- crop, brightness, contrast.
  • Rating system
  • Smart albums

Suggestions?

So far:

  • Nothing I've found supports version tracking.
  • Lightroom: Doesn't support PNG, very clunky interface, slow on large catalogs;
  • Photomechanic is fast for keywording and culling, but has very limited search capability.
  • Photo supreme: Erratic quirks. Crashes. One man shop.
  • Fotostation: AFAIK no underlying database. Has to read metadata from images/sidecar files on startup. Slow after 10K images. (They have server based software too that is big bucks.)

Similar question: Advanced software to organize and manage a life of photos

That question has a more general set of requirements and received no answers.

To budnip answers of the form "This is impossible" here's how it could be implemented:

  • For each master image generate a unique ID based on the content of the file. This could be a checksum of the file preview image, or Camera model+serial number + shutter count.

  • This ID is written to a set of fields in meta data that most editors will leave at least one intact. If the master is unwritable, it's written to a sidecar file.

  • I addition all metadata in the file is slurped into a database.

  • When a file is edited, a file system watcher notes that the file was opened. The file goes onto the 'watch' list.

  • When a file is closed, this is also noted. If there has been a new file created it is checked for metadata. If the new file's metadata has a match for an existing file, then existing file metadata is used to repopulate missing data in the file. (Photoshop is notorious for not respecting all metadata.)

    • Database is updated with the new file being derivative of the original file.

    • optionally a suffix may be added to the new file's image number, showing whether it derives directly from the original or from another derivative

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Hey guys, I was just wondering. We’ve all pretty much assumed and wished that Affinity's DAM would be in the likes of Aperture, Lightroom or Capture One. All these have one thing in common: they are Cataloguing tools.

 

What if (please bear with me for a minute here), Affinity has something more Like Bridge in Mind? Yes, I just wrote the sinful name that should not be mentioned, but... The main thing with Bridge is that it's NOT a cataloguing tool. Let's call it a glorified Finder or Windows Explorer (the file manager, not the deceased browser). It allows you to browse your files and has some fancy features and labelling options on top. For a photographer handling hundreds of thousands of photos, it's pretty much an abomination and it makes very little sense. I do know who use it, but let’s not go there.

 

However, for a publishing studio who needs to manages projects assets and collaborate with many team members on a same project, it makes a lot more sense. For example, you are working on an InDesign file or a website and have tons of linked images — Usually, you're no longer dealing with RAW images at that stage, but you may still need multiple versions of the same subject, or need to rate and tag photos that may or not make the publication. You also need something that will preview all graphic files and give you info about images metadata at a glance, etc. What you need is to be able to browse your project as it evolves in collaboration. A catalogue system like LR or AP just does do the job here. Not even a bit.

 

Now, as much as I'm crying for the loss of Arperture, which no longer runs under High Sierra, as far as I have tried, or doesn’t read my newest Camera RAW files, I have to be prepared to the eventuality that maybe, Affinity has something else in mind.

 

If I look at it objectively, the current road map for Affinity consists of three pieces of software: Photo, Designer, and Publisher. As a whole, this much closer to a publishing suite than a Photography suite. In that light, something similar to Bridge would make more sense. Tears. 

 

Unless, of course, someone has the brilliant idea to make a DAM that handles individual projects (like Bridge does) AND cataloguing (like LR, AP, or Capture One). Let say through two different personas, for example.

 

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It would actually be nice to be able to drop a raw file (or an automatic version of it) directly to a layout without having to export it first and deal with a bunch of extra files. Something you could do with Aperture, BTW. 

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6 minutes ago, arkinien said:

It would actually be nice to be able to drop a raw file (or an automatic version of it) directly to a layout without having to export it first and deal with a bunch of extra files. Something you could do with Aperture, BTW. 

 

No, you could not, but nearly. Whenever you placed a "RAW" from Aperture into a layout, it was it's JPG preview. That was the way some photobook printer software also worked. And using less than HQ previews would eventually lead to poor looking photobooks :/

 

It has become very quiet around Affinity. They gave up their formerly promised DAM and focus on publisher - I guess, it's also a problem of manpower. At the office I tried to replace Illustrator and Photoshop, but unfortunately these apps have some functions which I need for my work and Affinity falls very short with dealing with technical drawings, even shorter than Illustrator already does.

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On 6.11.2017 at 4:33 AM, KC Honie said:

 

At this stage it would be in Serif's best interest to forget the DAM (that ship has sailed) and make sure that AP works seamlessly with Capture 1 Pro, LR, On1, Luminar, Photo Mechanic etc...  Of course for the most part photographers that use Adobe CC Photography will not use AP anyway as Photoshop is included with the subscription (the only way to combat that was to have a companion DAM)...

 

Well, I agree as far as I think we don't need another RAW converter - we need the catalogue part of it. Putting this two together, was Apple's masterpiece in terms of photo-software. Obviously, it's too hard for a small manufacturer to reach that standard. With the last Capture One version offering layers, I don't need much support of Affinity for my pictures. For focus-stacks, repairing flares or unwanted parts I still start AP, but else...

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20 minutes ago, JoJu said:

No, you could not, but nearly. Whenever you placed a "RAW" from Aperture into a layout, it was it's JPG preview. That was the way some photobook printer software also worked. And using less than HQ previews would eventually lead to poor looking photobooks :/

 

You are correct, it was not the actual RAW file that was placed. I guess i should have used a differend word “version” to describe this, it is technically incorrect. What i mean was “converted copy”, or JPG as you mentioned. I guess the point is that you could buid mock-ups directly from a photoshoot. Once a photo was approved in the layout, you’d still need to export properly, convert it to CMYK, color-corect it for press - newsprint is different coated paper, etc. But at least you could build mock-ups quickly and explore option without the extra work. 

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5 hours ago, arkinien said:

The main thing with Bridge is that it's NOT a cataloguing tool. Let's call it a glorified Finder or Windows Explorer (the file manager, not the deceased browser). It allows you to browse your files and has some fancy features and labelling options on top. For a photographer handling hundreds of thousands of photos, it's pretty much an abomination and it makes very little sense. I do know who use it, but let’s not go there.

 

You might want to take a look at MediaPro SE, which PhaseOne bought from Microsoft, who bought it from iView Multimedia (a UK based company) and which goes all the way back to the mid-90s as a Mac app.  It is a Finder replacement for handling media files, not just images.  I don't think it has really been developed since MS bought it ... but I'm sure it still works, because Phase would have had to update it for current OS's prior to putting it on sale.

 

As for Aperture ... it is still working fine in High-Sierra, with a couple of hiccups ... e.g. new RAW formats are not supported.  However, what I use it for is cataloguing.  It also works as a Finder replacement in the same way that iView Media does, if you choose to use it that way.  So you can either have images as Managed or Referenced.  You can very easily move your images between the two options and if you are working with Referenced, you can use Aperture to move them around in the Finder too.

 

If your Aperture Library is behaving oddly, try making a new empty library and then Importing your old library into it.  This will build a completely new database and I have found that it fixes problems that are not fixed by repairing the existing library.  If that doesn't work, then try exporting Projects as new Libraries and importing them into a new clean Library from there.  I think you'll find that this will fix pretty much everything except the unsupported RAW formats.

 

For the problem with unsupported RAW formats, I work around this in two ways.  I shoot jpeg to one card and raw to the other (my cameras have 2 slots) and I use other RAW developers for the actual RAW conversion, e.g. RAW Power (written by an ex project-lead of Aperture).  So I import the jpegs into the Aperture library as Managed and I import the RAWs into a Finder folder.  I do all the necessary image selection and perhaps experimenting with Adjustments on the JPEGs, then when I have made an image choice, I use the Show in Finder ... menu item, to open the enclosing Folder of the corresponding RAW file, then open it directly in another RAW processing software, from where I save to Tiff and work on it in whatever software I want from there.

 

To be honest, although it would be better in many ways to be able to convert the RAW in Aperture, I have found over the years, that *utterly horrible* as ALL proprietary RAW processing software is, e.g., Nikon's Capture NX-D ... when push comes to shove, they are the best RAW processors when it comes to their own proprietary format.  So having pixel peeped on many of these over the years and reached this conclusion, it is ironic that although Aperture's inability to process recent RAW formats ... for all the images that are work related 'picks' I'd probably not be using it for them anyway!

 

So, although I've tried AFPhoto's RAW processing, mostly I've spent that time comparing it to others and to the manufacturer's and end up using the manufacturer's.  So the Develop Persona in AFPhoto is of no interest to me at all really, except that it's sometimes useful to have those tools available for Pixel Layers.  So, conclusion for me, is that as long as Aperture keeps working as a cataloguing tool, I'll keep using it ... because it does it so beautifully and is such a pleasure to use.  NB ... I use it extensively in this sense, for all 'finished' files, which I import as Tiffs, e.g. after completing work in AFPhoto. I suppose I could just import JPEGs for this purpose, but, hey, what's wrong with having 'just one more' backup file?

 

FWIW.

 

 


Grumpy, but faithful (watch out all you cats)

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11 minutes ago, Fixx said:

 

I would suggest to try converting to DNG and developing those in Aperture. Adobe DNG Converter should batch process RAWs nicely: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/adobe-dng-converter.html

 

That’s a good point Fixx and it certainly facilitates the task.

 

As you say Adobe’s converter should do a good job and Aperture has DNG support.  But DNG is quite a complex format and I’m not certain that Aperture’s support for it will be up-to-date with what Adobe’s converter outputs.

 

Either way, for me personally it’s not an option, since Adobe’s converter cannot convert my principle format anyway.


Grumpy, but faithful (watch out all you cats)

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Thanks for the tips, I'll run some tests based on the above. Sounds like there is plenty of functionality I was not aware of, so I'm eager to check it out. Hopefully I'll aso be able to debug my current setup with Aperture.

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I tried DNG in the early days, 10 years ago or so, Pentax allowed it's cameras to save either DNG or native Pentax RAW. These days Sigma with their simply poorly supported Foveon RAWs goes the same road. That way to me is no alternative.

  1. There's a very well written article on Photographylife about the downsides and lack of support of DNG.
  2. Yes, storage is cheap - but do we like or need to work as DJs and handle all the different drives, host our RAWs in clouds or home servers? With D810 and more so D850 I'm happy to trash the garbage out of my files. But I don't like top see my storage needs growing and growing...
  3. As usual in Adobe land, everything what Adobe does blows up the consumed disk space.
  4. The Sigma DNGs are for whatever reason not as good as their native RAW - of course, the camera might save it as TIF and wraps the DNG parcel around. Double file size...

No way. Media Pro I tried but I see no reason to throw another 200 bucks at Phase One - Media Pro does offer network capabilities, but as a catalogue software, too much functions of Aperture are not there or poorly done. Into Capture One I also could import the JPG and RAW as couples and select / delete both filetypes. No offense GFS or Fixx, if your workaround works for you - I'm glad for you. But we're working around and around and around and no one gets the real thing flying. o.O

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The real thing for me JoJu, was Aperture.  Unfortunately it is still the best, even years after Apple, for some crazy reason, killed it off.  It’s hard to write software that good and Adobe have certainly not managed with Lr, although it is adequate for many people and everyone of course, must pick one of the tools that are available.  One day someone will write something as good as Aperture and I will switch with much relief ... but in the mean time, until the workarounds become worse than the alternatives, I’ll stick with them and Aperture.


Grumpy, but faithful (watch out all you cats)

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Yes, I full heartedly agree. Aperture is the scale others have to reach - none out there is as clear and well thought as Aperture was. That was the thing we're creating workarounds for - we can go different paths, but we only can hit a center spot with something like Aperture. I lost hope what i had for Affinity DAM - these guys can't do it. I see their RAW approach and I'm sorry to say - it's missed by that much.

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On 2018-02-12 at 3:15 AM, GFS said:

As for Aperture ... it is still working fine in High-Sierra, with a couple of hiccups ... 

Like many, I fear the day when I'll upgrade my OS and Aperture will stop working. I just got a new computer, which came preinstalled with High Sierra. When I open my library for the first time, it was just blank. I confessed that I just assume that this was it, and made no further investigation. I still have my old system, so I wasn't trouble yet. Thanks for your comment that put my lack of curiosity straits, I managed to reopen my libraries just fine. :D I might migrate to Capture anyway, just because it seems inevitable, but that's a whole other story.

 

On 2018-02-12 at 3:15 AM, GFS said:

So you can either have images as Managed or Referenced.  You can very easily move your images between the two options and if you are working with Referenced, you can use Aperture to move them around in the Finder too.

 

That, however, is a whole different story. I was hoping for a whole side of Aperture I did not know, but a closer look just confirmed my earlier statement. I did not try MediaPro SE yet, but according to the website, it's a similar basic idea : Cataloguing and managing images that are stored elsewhere. 

 

My point is that this is still a photographer approach. A graphic design studio actually has a whole different reality where the ideal photographer tools are of no help. 

 

For example, let's take a tourism brochure. In substance, it is very similar to a National Geographic magazine, but with fewer articles. This can count hundreds of pages loaded with charts, maps, photos, illustrations and articles. You can easily count dozens of people working on the same project at once. Ideally, you want anything that relates to the project stored and organized in project folder accessible by anyone working on it. You'll have a variety of file types in such a project, ranging maps (EPS), proofs (PDF), logos, photography, charts and, of course, your master Indesign/Affinity Publisher files. Images, charts, and maps are typically linked (referenced) in the publications (as opposed to be embedded in the file) and you need to be able to open and edit each file formats in its original application. You’ll have progress version for each file. Each section can actually be a different InDesign/Affinity Publisher file and different people work on different sections at once. The whole project evolves as it goes and is altered by many individuals with different skill sets and let's face it, some don't know how keep a folder organized. So what you need is a view of the project as is. Anybody in that project needs the ability to do that at anytime. 

 

Looks like a Finder job perhaps? In real life, you also need the ability to view all your file types, rate, label, add metadata, sort, review image quality, colour format, resolution at a glance. Project manager will trow a bunch of images they want to see in the publication and want to know if they are suitable for printing, so you want to be able to access photographic information quickly. If you happen to have a photo shoot for that project, you also want the RAW files in that project folder, and believe me, someone else is likely to move them at some point. You want to be able to place your files directly into your layout. Then if you ever look for the photo on that specific cover the client approval, you’ll look in your publication master file and check which photo was referenced. Then you’ll take that photo, do the required retouching and save it with the other selected files — maybe you can just tag it, but I like to keep the originals intact. Later, the photo will need to be adjusted for the press. If you have multiple paper types and an online version is means different versions of the photo as well. What you need is a file manager with extended photo and labelling features. The whole idea of a library or a catalogue would be very impractical in such a scenario. I'm sure one can find workarounds and make it work somehow, but you can also do a budget in MS Word or write letters in MS Excel — in any case, it's not great.

 

In a scenario like above, the Finder can't do the job, nor can Aperture, even with referencing. Bridge in the other hand, does that job. And because Affinity is actually releasing a design suite, it is very possible that if they ever make a DAM, they make it the Bridge way instead of using the library model seen in Aperture, Lighroom or Capture One/Media Pro (They all work with a system where when you need a library in witch you import assets) 

 

I too dream of a real Aperture replacement, but as many are pointing out here, Affnity might not be the ones to do it. However, a Bridge replacement seems more probable to me; it's definitely a more related companion to the other three software (Photo, Designer and Publisher). A comparable reference is the deceased Adobe "Design Suite CS_X", composed of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign was shipped with Bridge, not with Lightroom — not because it was a low-end product, but because it was more practical for that audience.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, arkinien said:

My point is that this is still a photographer approach. A graphic design studio actually has a whole different reality where the ideal photographer tools are of no help. 

 

Indeed.  Aperture is a tool designed specifically for photographers, although iView Media Pro was designed as a general media asset management tool.

 

I think if you’re talking about managing a wide range of assets in the context of a design agency or advertising agency, then you are talking about a completely different set of problems.  First off, it needs to be networked and you need more than just media asset tools.  You need to include email, text and presentation tools too.  Something like Extensis Portfolio is designed to do much of this, but wouldn’t be able to handle the communication and text file, or presentations side of things.  For that you would need to add-on some sort of database, like Filemaker Pro, which incidentally, has the very strong advantage of being cross-platform and cross-device and in the cloud (if you want).

 

Coincidentally, in the last year or so, I’ve thought about writing a Filemaker solution for myself, for cataloguing/DAM to replace Aperture.  Obviously there would be no retouching tools, but in terms of managing the assets, it would be excellent ... better than Aperture and with the incredible advantage, that you can make it do anything you want.  It can also work as managed or referenced and it can be made to open files in whichever app you want.  But until Aperture finally breaks (could take years) and unless at that time there is no equivalent to migrate to, then there is no deed to do so.

 

As for the Finder.  It is actually much more powerful than most people realise.

 

I use Tags quite extensively.  These are really powerful.  You can use these for asset management.

 

For example, you could create a new Tag for say; ‘Client-X’.  This Tag is then available system wide for all files.  So, Tag some files and then add the Tag to the Finder’s Sidebar and you have a super-fast, one-click way of gathering ALL those assets into a single Finder window in a fraction of a second.  Also ... Tags are synced via iCloud and your AppleID, so if you’re working in AFPhoto for iPad, then they work across your devices.  There is no limit on the number of Tags you can create.  (I should note though, that Custom Tags, are not preserved when sharing files with other users, so they are not suitable for a collaborative work environment).

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood next to someone trying to find something on their Mac.  Going through endless hierarchical Folder structures, sometimes giving up in frustration.  It’s like the worst database management you can imagine.

 

I gave up on that years ago.  AFAIC, the modern way, is to use Tags and Metadata and Smart Folders.  It is so much more efficient and so much faster.  Even on the most basic level, in database terms, it is a far better system.  (Smart Folders are actually just searches, but can be extremely powerful searches).  For example ... I only use Smart Folders in Mail.  The great advantage here, in database terms, is that using Smart Folders, a single item, can exist in many places.  With conventional Folder management, a single item can only exist in one place ... and at some point you have to decide where that place is ... and then you forget.  Say you work with an old friend called Peter, who is married to your sister.  Do you file his emails in Work, Friends or Family?  All my Mail just stays in InBox and Sent, but with Smart Folders, Peter’s emails would show up in all 3 of those folders.

 

Actually, I hardly organise any files in the Finder and similarly, in Aperture I have quite a large number of Referenced files, which reside on an external hard-drive.  I don’t put these in Folders on that drive, instead, everything is simply dumped at root level.  The advantage of this, is that you will never loose a file, because should anything happen to your Aperture file and you have to rebuild or something awful, you just point Aperture at the drive and it will find everything.  No searching through Folders.

 

So the Finder with Tags and Smart Folders ... but ... there is also Spotlight Comments in the Finder.  So you can very easily add metadata to any file of any kind.  As many keywords as you want.  When you combine this with Tags and Smart Folders, you have a very powerful system for file management and amazingly ... you don’t actually have to organise anything, if you don’t want to.  

 

You could top all this off by building your own Services (Contextual Menu) very easily using Automator, e.g. for Batch adding of Spotlight Comments, which is a single step Automator Action ... nothing to actually build.  Using this you can set, or append to, or clear, or in any other way alter, Spotlight Comments for thousands of files in just a few seconds.  Equally, you could have a Folder with a Folder Action, which tags and adds Comments automatically to anything dropped into it (so you don’t forget! :) )

 

I actually use Smart Folders extensively in Aperture, as I find them much easier and more malleable than the Search Bar, which can only do one search at a time.  With Smart Folders, you can have as many searches as you want, just one click away.


Grumpy, but faithful (watch out all you cats)

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56 minutes ago, GFS said:

I use Tags quite extensively.  These are really powerful.  You can use these for asset management.

I use Tags & Smart folders for asset management. For me this works OK but it requires a lot of manual setup so it isn't really ideal for large scale, pro use -- I'm just a hobbyist with no clients to worry about.

 

The FileMaker idea is interesting. I used to use it a lot back in the Classic Mac OS days, but I could not afford the hefty upgrade prices once I started using Intel Macs, so that isn't really an option for me anymore.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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I'm new to all but the simplest of image processing, but have got fed up with PS Elements (full PS is far too expensive) and decided to try Affinity Photo. Getting use to it still but liking it more and more.

As time progresses, I find it increasingly difficult to track images and what I have done, particularly as I am shooting now mostly in RAW. So I've been looking for a DAM that will recognises and display Affinity files. No luck so far. 

Has anyone any suggestions please? I'd prefer free software as this is just a hobby, but would pay if I knew the software met my needs.

Thanks.

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On 10/6/2016 at 9:58 PM, MEB said:

Hi amazme1,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

Lightroom is not a photo editor but a RAW developer. It's editing tools are not up to what Photoshop offers. Affinity Photo is both a RAW developer and photo editor.

We already announced plans for an Affinity DAM software which will work seamlessly with Affinity Photo.

Any update when Affinity DAM would be available? We eagerly wait for this gap to be filled.

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Wow, that's enormously disappointing to hear, 3 years after heaing it's planned. Skylum first hinted that they were working on a DAM late 2017, and apparently it is on the verge of launch.

Maybe you could have given a better hint into timing, so people can plan their photo software strategy. It's no minor matter.

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I agree.

On the other side: 2-3 years ago, when Affinity Photo came out, I gave the develop persona of Affinity a try. And another one. And then went back to Capture One. That has a (rather basic and far away of Aperture's comfort) image management part plus a way better raw developer. Affinity Photo is still nice to work with the results, but as a standard raw developer too much is missing or gave me really bad results.

I don't believe any longer in a well working DAM from Affinity as they opened up lots of new projects which will constantly keep resources busy. As I see it, they took away their own chance to do this because in opening up to Windows is more money waiting for them. And it's also important to get the publisher done - and well done, otherwise Adobe's InDesign will always be the easier way: Already existing, part of the package and well integrated with lots of more functions than Affinity will have from start.

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