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Noj

DAM - What are people using?

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I'd love to see an Affinity DAM offering so add my voice to the chorus for one. But I know it takes a while to develop a good product so I'm asking what other people are using in the meantime. 

What I'm doing now is using LR5 on a Mac for DAM, color balance, and light weight retouching, and jumping right into Affinity Photo to do anything else. I have close to 1Tb of images and while I don't need immediate access to everything its nice to search metadata when I need to find an old image. Fast and accurate rendering, bulk metadata update, decent search are high up on the list of needs. 

So with all that in mind, what are other people using? Are you happy with what you're using and what other products have you tried?

Thanks in advance for all replies and suggestions. I did look for this topic but did not find a thread, so apologies if there is one and please let me know where it is.


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Jon Revere
 

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For Photos I still rely on Lightroom, now in the CC flavour. It fits my needs, as I shoot with three different cameras and can import AND edit images stright on my iPhone, iPad or workstation. All files get synced across devices and the cloud, which is really useful IMO. 

But then we said assets, and that includes more than just photos for me. I work with layout files as Indesign and Affinity documents, PDFs, use occasionally some old Illustrator files, more and more 3D object and scene formats, image sequences and movie files. A really good DAM would have to play nice with all of these, have tags, metadata and also translate/sync platform specific attributes. Since I don’t have that, I just use Explorer/Finder, and sometimes Bridge. Together with a somehow matured project file structure, I tend to manage and find what I need without huge efforts.

I think a modern DAM should be something like Dropbox with a variety of viewing/editing plugins for the various file formats in question. I at least work across different platforms and am a huge fan of a common file structure across devices, common file formats and being able to access and edit as much as possible regardless of the end device.

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Thanks Rocketdrive. You might want to look at Photo Supreme (https://www.idimager.com/) for managing files. I've not done a deep dive on that product but its on the list. And I agree with you on all the points you made.

Update: My mistake Photo Supreme is only for images - it doesn't look like it handles the wide variety of files you use. NeoFinder (http://www.cdfinder.de/) might be worth a look.

Edited by Noj
Clarification

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Jon Revere
 

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It would be nice to have Affinity DAM, but I think we need to be patient. ;-)

I used to use Bridge, but now I'm testing digiKam. I only use it to tag, categorise and preview my photos, I don't use it for developing RAW files.
It doesn't have a beautiful interface, but it's simple, it seems to do the job very well and it's free.


W10, Dell G5, i7, 16GB, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2600, Wacom Intuos Pro M + iPad Pro 2018. 

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Thanks Przemyslaw. I looked at digiKam but it seemed to be a bit buggy. I'm Ok with spending money if the product is stable, well-supported, and at least seems like it will be around for a while. Thus far I've downloaded trial copies of ON1, Luminar, Photo Supreme, NeoFinder, and Capture One Media Pro.

I have a 2011 iMac so some people might have a different experience but here is my unscientific assessment of each product so far:

ON1 - Lots of promise but buggy, slow and sometimes freezes up. Poor transition between editing tools. Nice cataloging. Does not support APh files. Creates Photoshop files to handle layers (ugh!).

Luminar - Was supposed to add DAM by now but has not. Editing tools look nice but without DAM not of use to me. I already have good editing tool in APh.

Photo Supreme - Nice interface, slow catalog speed. Its cataloging right now. No editing tools. It does handle APh files and will launch APh. Supported by a large company has lots of users. Server and Single user versions. Promising. Need to work with it for a while.

NeoFinder - Clunky interface, fast catalog speed. I kinda like it but need to work with it more. Neo/finder also handles APh files and launches APh. Claims to be the only DAM that does a lot of things, handling APh for instance, but as previously stated Photo Supreme does as well.

Capture One Media Pro - Has all the features I want but it is truly a Pro product with a Pro price as well. I felt its RAW conversion was not as good as LR5.

There's a good possibility after trying these products and some others I might wind up staying with Adobe Lightroom. I'm opposed to the subscription plan and grate my teeth every time LR calls home. But it supports my workflow well, tools work well, and its reasonably performant. Sigh...


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Jon Revere
 

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I was under the impression that Capture One Media Pro was discontinued... Is there a place to download the most recent version?

https://www.phaseone.com/en/Products/Software/Capture-One-Pro/mediapro-discontinue.aspx

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On 6/9/2018 at 3:08 PM, el.gato said:

i'm using canon's dpp 4 and the older version dpp.

not long ago tried darktable, not quite like it.

el.gato:

Based on your comments, I downloaded DPP4. Thanks. Since you're using Affinity Photo, how do you open a raw file from DPP4 in AP? Any help is apreciated!

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I've been using Eagle ( eagle.cool ) recently.
It handles Affinity files and shows the file previews OK.

Allows me to group together all the files from anywbto


Seems to support most files I use but strangely doesn't include LibreOffice files like odt format

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Take a look at ACDSee, kinda pricey however. I use the DAM, not the editing part. Does Categories, Tags, Ratings, and Keywords and direct changes on files on HD. Seems to play nicely with its External Editors button. I run ACDSee in one window and have Affinity Photo open on another one. Seems to get switched about as fast as you move from one to the other. Trial period offered, I think. 

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16 hours ago, trichens said:

I've been using Eagle ( eagle.cool ) recently.

Looks nice, handles also AI and EPS, but it collects all to its own library. Would be better if it would leave files where they are.

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Wow! I started this thread in 2018 and it's still active. Since then things have changed...

I still would love to see Affinity develop a DAM solution. Since I'm only interested in DAM for photo images I tried many of the photo image focused products previously mentioned in this thread. ON1, Capture One, ACDSee and so on. I finally settled on Alien Skin Exposure 3 and am now on the most recent Exposure 5. Selling points for me are:

  • No database; uses your folder structure (for me on a Mac) and side-cars
  • Non-destructive editing of all the major photo formats, RAW, TIFF, JPEG, PSD
  • Fairly fast on my aging 8 gig mem Mac
  • Good image manipulation features
  • Decent upgrades, updates, bug fixes, and good customer support
  • Support for external editor (for me Affinity Photo)

I have about 3/4 tb of images. Not trying to sell Exposure 5 but it's worth a serious look... until Affinity comes out with it's own... ;)


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Jon Revere
 

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5 hours ago, Noj said:

Exposure 5. Selling points for me are

X5 has got some very food reviews. Loos like it is a lot like LR but faster. No import, it just sees folders direct and provides previews as you go. LR catalog import is very basic and some suff like HRD and panos are still missing, NR is nothing to write home about. (This all is hearsay, I have not yet tested.) Wonder if it has content aware fill? Possibly even automatic when doing perspective correction?

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I'm currently using XnView MP. It is free and shows the previews from Affinity Photo. It also lets you tag your pictures with stars and colors. For more serious stuff I use Capture One as my RAW software and DAM, and then I export pictures to Affinity if needed. They work well together.

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15 hours ago, Fixx said:

X5 has got some very food reviews.

Because foodies like it? 😄

 


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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