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Affinity, we need clarification: are you or aren’t you working on a DAM?

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14 minutes ago, EddCh said:

However, Aperture has had a new lease of life since High Sierra was released. I've had the opportunity to test my main Aperture library on the latest MacBook Pro models and it runs very smoothly. I've now updated all my Macs to High Sierra and they're all running Aperture with no issues as yet. Looks like Apple has bought some extra time for Aperture. 

 

 

Yeah... Unfortunately, I don't think that we'll ever see a true Aperture replacement coming from Apple.

 

I'm pretty convinced by now that Apple's focus lies entirely on iPhoneographers and hobbyists. They completely forgot about the enthusiasts and professionals. As long as they can provide a somewhat useful tool to their iPhone users to keep them captivated in their ecosystem they're gonna be happy. Why build more?


Check out my site: https://five.photos

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Its quite refreshing to find someone who thinks as I do and is objective about various software. There are too may 'moaner-groaners' on some forums that just want to criticise and are not willing to think what they want from an App. I agree with your view on Apple Photos, I've never really liked Photos and its organisation isn't really on a par with Lightroom. I too have suffered issues with Photos and you don't need to be on the Cloud for the software to corrupt your images (thank goodness for backups!)

 

I've just been looking at Exposure X3,  https://www.alienskin.com/exposure/  which looks very promising unfortunately it looks as if you can only send a TIFF to an external editor rather than the original RAW file!

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I do like Lightroom but I have no need of its processing functionality, I just need the library, which is great. I have Lightroom desktop/classic whatever its called and i have not "upgraded" to a subscription version, nor will I and that's my big beef. I also have an issue with Adobe littering my MAC with Creative Cloud files, which I don't need, it all seems a bit 'Big Brother' to me.

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I hear you. I use Lightroom's develop module only if I need to apply quick fixes to snapshots. Things like cropping, straightening, and sometimes lifting shadows or pulling highlights. If I'm looking at a good photo that needs more work I switch to Luminar. And if I need to do HDR stacking, panoramas, or something else that's more complex I choose Affinity. 

 

Have you tried Lightroom's new AI-based auto adjustment option, though? It's quite awesome! Lately, I found myself doing more and more editing in Lightroom because of it.

 

But, basically, I am also using Lightroom solely as my DAM and don't really need its post-processing functions. Yet, I'm more than happy to send the monthly $10 to Adobe for what I get with Lightroom Classic. Here's my take on the value of Adobe's photography plan: https://five.photos/the-value-of-adobes-photography-plan/


Check out my site: https://five.photos

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I know I'm arriving at this party very late (because I didn't see it until now...) but nobody is trying to 'not answer' anything and there are no 'difficult questions' - there are only questions that some moderators may not know the answer to as they're not privy to all information. I'll say this: I'm sitting next to the guys that are writing the DAM... It's a thing.

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Just downloaded Exposure X3 trial. It only sends a TIFF to an external editor, takes around 5x longer to load a file into an external editor than Lightroom, not for me!

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On 12/20/2017 at 4:59 PM, MattP said:

I know I'm arriving at this party very late (because I didn't see it until now...) but nobody is trying to 'not answer' anything and there are no 'difficult questions' - there are only questions that some moderators may not know the answer to as they're not privy to all information. I'll say this: I'm sitting next to the guys that are writing the DAM... It's a thing.

 

...and there's the answer for Five.  

 

Now I want to know, if I buy Affinity for Mac today, can I have the DAM free creative content software bundles that was offered back in November?  Come on guys :)

 

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1 hour ago, Nowisee said:

 

...and there's the answer for Five.  

 

Now I want to know, if I buy Affinity for Mac today, can I have the DAM free creative content software bundles that was offered back in November?  Come on guys :)

 

No, sorry that 1.6 promotion offer has passed. 


Patrick Connor

Serif (Europe) Ltd.

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This topic has come alive again, suggesting there is a degree of dissatisfaction with existing DAM software. The problem Serif face is in developing a new programme that fits what appears to me to be an impossible set of demands. I go back to what I said a while back for my own personal want. Can we have a Lightroom, now LR Classic, looky-likey please at the bargain Serif price? That said, I owe Adobe a huge debt of gratitude, the company's software being the first that enabled me to produce images that I was never able to achieve when shooting film. Paying Adobe a few quid a month is buttons compared to the money I spent with Fuji, Kodak, Agfa and Ilford over the years. Also thanks Serif. I bought Affinity when I dropped out of the Adobe sub scheme a while back. This was not due to Adobe's pricing etc. but because the cameras I was then using were fully supported by my old perpetual license software and there was no need for me to get the updated features CC offered. New cameras saw me lose photoshop and LR RAW compatibility etc. and I found I really missed Lightroom, so I went back to Adobe. Which goes back to my opening gambit. Thanks again team Serif. I have faith in your ability to compete with Adobe and will support you with buying a DAM if you do get around to releasing one.

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On 20/12/2017 at 9:59 AM, MattP said:

I know I'm arriving at this party very late (because I didn't see it until now...) but nobody is trying to 'not answer' anything and there are no 'difficult questions' - there are only questions that some moderators may not know the answer to as they're not privy to all information. I'll say this: I'm sitting next to the guys that are writing the DAM... It's a thing.

 

I’m very glad to see this. Now that Apple (through High Sierra) has possibly bought another year or two for Aperture, it will hopefully give you guys more time to develop a DAM that matches the standard of the other Affinity apps. 

 

BTW: there is an awesome feature called Light Table in Aperture that NO OTHER software seems to have (at least none that I can find) – please, please build an Affinity version of it into your DAM.

Aperture Light Table.jpg

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On 12/20/2017 at 4:59 AM, MattP said:

I know I'm arriving at this party very late (because I didn't see it until now...) but nobody is trying to 'not answer' anything and there are no 'difficult questions' - there are only questions that some moderators may not know the answer to as they're not privy to all information. I'll say this: I'm sitting next to the guys that are writing the DAM... It's a thing.

Please ply them with treats daily (I'll start a collection if necessary) and keep them happy. I'm very much looking forward to their work product!

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An aperture replacement would be good news

 

Mind you my my needs are fairly simple

Read aperture database

decent easy to use keywording system (the keywording being one key reason I haven’t moved to photos)

simple adjustments in app, crop, levels, white balance

use the apple system raw engine so as updates for new cameras aren’t tied to the application

simple interface

exports with presets

batch processing

 

i tried lightroom and it was the most inconherent mess of screens I have ever come across, do not want Adobe subscriptions and will not have any adobe products on my machine at all.

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The luminar problem is that it is designed to work with a very few files. It is as well designed mainly to be "Wow" for your already edited files.

 

A DAM point to exist is very simple:

 

1) Digital collection of all your hundreds of thousands/millions of digital files

2) Manage the metadata by tagging and applying identifications, rating etc.

3) Search/Filter/Browse files by metadata (time, location, gear, setting, people, tag) by combining them to narrow down what you are looking for, even by drawing a sketch about photo you are searching.

4) To backup, copy, move files, print them, order prints, have multiple variations, upload to remote service etc.

5) To view them, slideshows, individually etc. 

 

A DAM is not there to edit files, to convert raw files or do anything to those. That is the job of the image editing and image manipulation applications. 

As DAM is exactly where you manage your photos so that you example can insert a memory card to computer, copy the files from card to computer, backup copied ones, tag them, insert other metadata like people. And then rate them. Then you easily find the successful ones, import them to image editing application, do the edit and finish by tagging edited ones as "Finished". 

 

And in time you are handling a same DAM, but you use multiple other editing tools to do your work for the images editing.

Luminar etc are designed more like for smartphone user, who goes to holiday and takes a 50 photos in a week trip and then all are so fancy and great that they need more "pop" so it is just couple sliders and "it is better". 

 

Instead DAM is for professionals who come day after day with thousands of the frames. Every frame needs to be backed up, marked, tagged and ranked so you are not wasting time for the photos that isn't going to be sold or used. But you don't delete the others as you can need to use them any time later in future. Then you will send the files to someone else who edits them and sends them back to you.

 

If Affinity is going to do a DAM, it needs to be very well focused just for the management of image files of all sorts. And get them opened with Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo and finally in Affinity Publisher.

The DAM even should support to use a any third party raw converter to process raw files. 

 

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I don't see any priority for doing this until Photo and AD are totally polished, and even A. Publisher has a first release.  Again we'd be covering too many fronts.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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21 hours ago, paristo said:

A DAM is not there to edit files, to convert raw files or do anything to those. That is the job of the image editing and image manipulation applications. 

Possibly so. That is the old DAM definition and for it to hold true today there are some loose ends that photographers DAM should solve. Connecting raw developing and DAM has some merits as you can keep raw files and have non-destructive edits available at the same time, using same files. This can be done also with separate raw developer but it needs some new technology as DAM should be able to read non-destructively edited files, possibly with sidecar files (which I do not believe really to be most effective way of handling edit recording) and deliver those as edited output when needed. As AP does not do non-destructive raw developing there seems to be some challenges...

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DAM doesn't need to convert raw at all!

 

That is the whole point of the DNG as well.

 

The DNG file is "like a ZIP file", just like every other raw file is just a container. Most raw files inside holds a sidecar file with metadata, a low resolution preview JPEG file and then three TIFF files, one for each bayer filter color. 

The raw converter job is to import the TIFF files (and if manufacturer has done, decrypt the encryption) and then read the metadata and then proceed to do the demosaicing by combining three TIFF files to one by the commands that there are given. 

 

The DNG does the same thing, except that the TIFF files are never encrypted, there comes a sidecar file for metadata and all the modifications done to the image, there are two preview JPEG (large and small) and you can even embed the original raw file inside, to be used in future with a raw converter that can read the original file instead converted clear images DNG offers. 

So when ever you have a DAM, all it needs to know is to read the raw file container JPEG file for preview, read the metadata sidecar file and that's it. No need to what so ever to do conversion. 

 

So everytime you save your "non-destructive" file, its preview JPEG is updated and DAM reads that.

 

It is all already solved long long time ago, the only difference is that you really get a new window to do your image editing, instead swapping to "Develop module" or such "tab" otherwise. And that is as well better in multi-screen environments, with low memory systems etc as you have more flexibility to choose what you use and when. 

 

That is one of the great things with the Affinity Photo that you can just double click raw file in memory card to open it, make the adjustments, save the Affinity file to memory card. Take the card out and move to other computer and do the DAM import there and you get that Affinity file correcly with the original raw file and then you can just double click the Affinity file in DAM on any computer and get it opened in Affinity Photo in those computers. The raw file stays intact without any problems. 

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That work flow would demand that all raw files would be converted to DNG. It is possible, I think LR has also option to convert to DNG at import. I guess all kinds of things can be embedded to DNG.

As opening RAWs, you can do it with about any advanced graphics app and save to card and import to DAM.

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Well the advantage of the Adobe DNG format is that it is open and well-documented, unlike the usually proprietary formats of most camera manufacturers. Also the actual image information itself is not touched and a DNG thus contains each pixel, which is also contained the original vendor RAW format. What's not included here are the peculiarities of the camera manufacturers. For example no data on the autofocus measurement fields that were active during recording, which scene program was set and so on (in short Maker Notes specific metadata).

Another DNG advantage is (at least with Lightroom) that metadata and development settings can be stored directly in the DNG file. With other RAW formats, this is only possible with an additional file, the so-called XMP Sidecars or vendor specific RAW converter software (as an example Nikon's CaptureNX2 and their older scanning software can read/write and alter NEFs file contents too here). And even if disk space plays only a minor role today, a DNG file is often up to 20 percent smaller than the corresponding original RAW file, since Adobe's lossless compression method is generally more efficient compared to that implemented by most proprietary raw formats. The later also usually tends to faster file loading times.

In terms and related to DAM here, with Digital asset management (DAM) is usually the storage and management of any digital content, especially media files such as graphics, videos, music files and text modules etc. In the media sector, it is sometimes referred to as Media Asset Management (MAM) or, more specifically, as Video Asset Management (VAM). And it belongs to the field of content management systems. - Thus my personal understanding of what a DAM system is and how it works, stems more from the classic press and big media oriented agency systems (there mostly shared multi-tier CMS) and thus doesn't go conform to what most forum people here think instead a DAM for photo management is.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.1 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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On 2017-12-20 at 2:59 AM, MattP said:

I know I'm arriving at this party very late (because I didn't see it until now...) but nobody is trying to 'not answer' anything and there are no 'difficult questions' - there are only questions that some moderators may not know the answer to as they're not privy to all information. I'll say this: I'm sitting next to the guys that are writing the DAM... It's a thing.

 

Nice!

 

I hope your colleagues are well versed in the DAM capabilities of Aperture.  Apple was light years ahead on the DAM features and they were making good progress on automation of generating the metadata.  I would ask you to consider continuation of that thread ... that is, analyze my photos and help me generate the metadata (people, shot type, faces, contact info, geotags, animals, landscape type, day, night, cloudy, season, event, exposure, etc).  And make it all searchable.

 

Another aspect of Aperture often overlooked is the automation it provided for creating slideshows and books.  Please consider including these features in the roadmap.

 

Good luck!

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On 20/12/2017 at 9:36 AM, Five said:

 

Yeah... Unfortunately, I don't think that we'll ever see a true Aperture replacement coming from Apple.

 

I'm pretty convinced by now that Apple's focus lies entirely on iPhoneographers and hobbyists. They completely forgot about the enthusiasts and professionals. As long as they can provide a somewhat useful tool to their iPhone users to keep them captivated in their ecosystem they're gonna be happy. Why build more?

 

I don't expect Apple to do anything at all for photography professionals – they've sunk that ship the moment Aperture was discontinued.

What I was referring to is that Aperture 3.6 will run on the latest macOS High Sierra with pretty good stability and will run on the latest Macs currently on sale. Therefore it is not inconceivable that Aperture might still be running reliably for at least the next few years – thus giving third parties like Serif more time to create a good DAM/Aperture alternative.

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6 hours ago, WeiPhotoArts said:

Is Affinity listening to us? Will they put out a dashboard for 2018 for DAM? With the past 2 months since the last post, it's getting discouraging.

We won't release anything until it's ready, and we won't be showing pictures of what we've got until we're nearly ready because other people can copy our UI in the meantime! It makes no sense for us to tease a UI until it's nearly ready for sale... 2 months since the last posting is surely not discouraging is it? There's nothing new to say and development takes time - great things don't just pop into existence without many man-years of work! :S

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9 minutes ago, MattP said:

It makes no sense for us to tease a UI until it's nearly ready for sale...

 

Where does that leave us with regard to Affinity Designer for iPad, Matt? You posted your ‘#shakycam’ teaser to Twitter in July of last year! :o

 

 

 


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.1.404 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.4 (iPad Air 2)

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