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Alternative to Lightroom

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It's only a matter of time until someone realizes that an alternative to LR would be a winner. I was a PS & LR user & went to the subscription versions. The decided to start using Affinity Photo but still using LR. Adobe with their new setup is the start of subscription only software. I believe that the LR Classic as they are calling what was LR will be phased out or merged into LR CC they new cloud based version. The are discontinuing LR6 the stand alone version, so with only subscription versions available I don't believe anything they say - they will have just 1 version, cloud based & high priced. PLEASE develop a DAM, its a database not rocket science so we can support a company who thinks of their users & yes charge for every upgrade its only fair.

Read web blogs & forums on LR - no one wants the new set-up except a very few.

Love Affinity Photo BTW - learning curve not as steep as Photoshop was.

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I am repeating myself here, but...:

Really nice DAMs out there already. For example iMatch, DigiKam, Daminion, Photo Supreme, and many more.

Some searching led me to this page - which mirrors my opinion. Always plan for contingencies - is there an escape route? Software may be discontinued (or go rental only, in spite of "a certain company's promises").


Don't confuse a DAM and a RAW processor/developer. Lightroom is both, but there are a number of excellent professional DAMs available NOW - and it will allow you to choose Affinity Photo and other RAW processors to develop your photos.

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You could have a look at RawTherapee as a replacement for Lightroom. You can even link it to Affinity Photo. It has the advantage that it writes a side-car file when developing, something the Affinity Photo Develop module doesn't do.


It's also cheaper than Lightroom (free!!!).






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Lightroom is versatile but bloated and slow.  I'd be happy with a simple photo browser with somewhat limited functionality such as Adobe Bridge.  Raw conversion could continue to live in the main photo program.  But the Affinity raw converter really needs a serious overhaul for speed.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm a professional photographer and have been using Lightroom for years to manage and edit tens of thousands of photos. When discussing alternatives to LR, I keep coming across the suggestion that there is a difference between DAMs and RAW processors, and that there are many alternatives to Lightroom. I've been looking for alternatives to Lightroom for about a year. I tested them all: commercial, opensource, separate DAMs and combined with RAW processors. So far I have not found anything that is equivalent to LR for me. Capture One is close, but the GUI is too cluttered and the font and icons are too small. It's trivial, but with a software I work several hours every day, that matters. Luminar 2018 is interesting, let's see how the DAM functionality is integrated. With Lightroom, many things are ideal, I just lack some speed and AI-based automatic tagging. A separation into two programs, DAM and RAW processor, is not an option for me as a photographer at all. I like to use Affinity Photo as an alternative to Photoshop, but it has nothing to do with Lightroom. If I want to edit 1000 photos after a shoot, it has nothing to do with Photoshop or Affinity Photo. I want to quickly provide hundreds of photos with the same look or denoise and perform visual corrections. Creating a new file for each photo in Photoshop or Affinity Photo and then editing that image takes far too long and multiplies the local storage footprint. What I want is the RAW persona from Affinity Photo in a new app combined with DAM functionality: with automatic AI-based tagging and GPS tags. Just in case someone from Affinity reads this...


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I have Lightroom as a free Photoshop addition  but never use it really.   As a DAM it's ridiculous, can't handle huge databases,  slow and inconvenient.   Not even close to something like iMatch and I hate to do "export" instead of just drag and dropping things instantly when I need them.    As a Raw processor it can't handle Sigma camera Foveon matrix pictures I love to do so also of little help.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8.2.2018 at 7:02 PM, Vitalspark said:

Nuturbild. I agree with all you say. Hope your 'want' is available soon. If Affinity do come up with a DAM even without GPS tags it would take over from LR particularly now Adobe are going to push cloud only soon.

Affinity should not wait too long with a DAM after Adobe started rent-only policy for lightroom. I would change to affinity if DAM is provided, even without GPS. Import modul for an excisting lightroom catalogue, Keywords and a rapid workflow is most important.

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  • 5 months later...

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