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hifred

[Poll] Do you need a DAM? And what should it be like?

Do you need a DAM-program by Serif? And what should it be like?  

241 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you need a DAM?

    • No thanks. I'm just fine with the OS native File Browser / I happily use a 3rd party program for browsing my assets and RAW editing.
      40
    • Yes. I would like to have an Asset Browser. It should provide reliable Preview of all Affinity filetypes and of other popular file types. I do not work with RAW files / the current RAW editing implementation works well for my needs.
      38
    • Yes. I would like to have an Asset Browser, but it needs to have a powerful RAW processor built in. I often work with numerous files which need common base-corrections as well as individual tweaking – therefore the Develop Persona and working on single files one at a time doesn't cut it for me. I would appreciate better interchange with 3rd party RAW editors, hence sidecar files were very helpful. Affinity still could embed the RAW file along with its settings for compositing with other artwork – but in a way that one can return to the DAM for further tweaking of the input RAW file. Note: This implementation should work equally well for those who voted for 2).
      163


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17 minutes ago, Ulysses said:

Downloaded and installed it on my Mac, which calls for XnView MP, which is the multi-platform version. No AFPHOTO thumbnail join. :61_sob:

 

... Should be the same for Mac

#1 Check 'Show all graphic formats'

#2 Uncheck the three boxes in Exclude if you want to be able to view .svg, xml etc

XnView-MP-Exclude.jpg

XnView-MP-Show-All-Graphic-Formats.jpg


https://www.peterdinnan.com/     photography with elements of mood, abstraction, pareidolia, gestalt and the morphics

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5 minutes ago, PedroOfOz said:

... Should be the same for Mac

Ahhhhh, there we go. It was the "Show all graphic formats" that needed to be checked. Thanks! Although I'm not a fan of the interface just yet, maybe it will grow on me. I'll see if this will generally suffice in the weeks ahead. 

Thanks again! 

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1 hour ago, Ulysses said:

Once I've adjusted the RAW file to the point that I want it, I leave it there and usually don't need to tweek it again

Thanks for the explanation. I have to admit, that I got extremely used to the editing freedom coming along with embedded RAWs. I enjoy not having to declare an image readily developed and not having to deal with interim tifs ever - in return I gladly give these files a bit more space on disk :o).

 

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2 minutes ago, hifred said:

Thanks for the explanation. I have to admit, that I got extremely used to the editing freedom coming along with embedded RAWs. I enjoy not having to declare an image readily developed and not having to deal with interim tifs ever - in return I gladly give these files a bit more space on disk :o).

I hear ya. In my mind, the number of steps is essentially the same. Either way, you need to output some form of working file and then output a processed version. Both approaches also call upon a format that can be returned to for further editing. :)

I love the simplicity of my workflow. I've been able to maintain it even after crossing over from Photoshop to an Affinity Photo workflow. Sometimes the AFPHOTO files turn out to be noticeably larger than a PSD equivalent would be, but the developers are on record as saying they will work on this. This workflow also allows me to save even the history of the Affinity Photo edits (if I opt to do so), allowing me to return to the rare image where I might want to back up a few steps for more extensive re-working. But I don't need to do much of that at all. Thank goodness. 

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1 hour ago, axoloth said:

I imagine this tool as a new persona

Which would mean that one could not browse images without having Affinity Photo open...Not a solution I personally wanted to use.

Also the DAM being a part of Affinity Photo meant that it wasn't a separate product Serif could sell and make money with.

 

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i like affinity photo, however, not being able to edit raw develop settings or apply it to other raw files is rather limiting.

I still have the old LR 5, but have been using ACDSee in the past year. 

ACDSee's DAM and development is pretty good, but i don't like the way ACDSee's non-destructive edits work. it creates a copy somewhere on the disk as the original.

A DAM would be very nice indeed with AP, just make sure it is thoroughly load tested/debugged before release. 

looking forward.

 

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I really hope Serif comes up with a good Lightroom Replacement. I had a quick look at iMatch and wonder if anyone has tried it or is using it. I like the GPS mapping option, I'm now shooting with GPS so I need to see where I've been so I can go back again if needed.

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Honestly I'm not sure why this is such a long-standing question. Any real professional media production suite needs a lossless DAM for managing versions and editing history. And integrating a RAW processor is critical to its success. This is a no-brainer. Just look at all the big names, present and former: Lightroom, Capture One, Aperture (R.I.P.), even Apple Photos and iPhoto before it. Apple doesn't use the finder to manage photos and videos, why should we? Adobe Bridge was good enough until the Library/Catalog database concept replaced it. Bridge still dumps dozens of near duplicates on your hard drive, and should your sidecar files ever become separated, good luck. And Managing RAW files in the Finder or Bridge is a lesson in frustration.

Let's stop trying to reinvent the wheel here. A database DAM RAW editor tool is essential. 

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8 minutes ago, tallrob said:

I should add and stress: the lack of DAM/RAW is keeping from adopting Affinity as my full time solution.

Here's my consistent take on it:

Lightroom is not a DAM, although it has DAM capability. Lightroom is a relatively full-fledged RAW processor packaged in an easy-to-access interface (with Capture One Pro being more advanced in most regards).

Affinity Photo (if that's what we're talking about when we say "Affinity") is a stand-alone pixel-level image processor with minor RAW processing capability. It's much more akin to Photoshop than it will ever bear a resemblance to Lightroom. I purchased Affinity Photo with the goal of replacing Photoshop. For that purpose, it has excelled perfectly, even though it's not always perfect. For better than 90% of the tasks I need to do, it does at least as well as Photoshop, and is often easier and more effective. For this purpose I have adopted Affinity Photo full-time for where it performs best — as a replacement for Photoshop. With v1.7 things are going to get even better, from what I can tell so far. 

Part of the problems with all the answers in this thread is that there are so many conflicts with what a DAM actually needs to do. A majority of the answers are that "it needs to be like Lightroom," when a full-fledged DAM needs to be able to do much more in the way of digital asset management than Lightroom is capable of. It will need to have the cataloging capability of Lightroom, while having the cross-application access of Bridge, along with other features and talents. 

I'm sure Serif has their own out-of-the-box ideas on what a DAM needs to be for their use with their own Affinity applications that include Photo, Designer, and Publisher.

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11 minutes ago, Ulysses said:

Affinity Photo (if that's what we're talking about when we say "Affinity") is a stand-alone pixel-level image processor with minor RAW processing capability. It's much more akin to Photoshop than it will ever bear a resemblance to Lightroom. I purchased Affinity Photo with the goal of replacing Photoshop. [...]For that purpose, it has excelled perfectly, even though it's not always perfect. For better than 90% of the tasks I need to do, it does at least as well as Photoshop, and is often easier and more effective [...]

And here's  my consistent take on it:  This Photoshop comparison totally doesn't fly.
Photoshop in terms of RAW handling is just as powerful as Lightroom (uses the same engine) and lets you work with whole folders of RAWs in parallel. Photoshop together with ACR and Bridge offers an awesome DAM + RAW Editor experience for those who prefer managing their assets without a database.

 

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14 minutes ago, hifred said:

Photoshop in terms of RAW handling is just as powerful as Lightroom (uses the same engine) and lets you work with whole folders of RAWs in parallel. Photoshop together with ACR and Bridge offers an awesome DAM + RAW Editor experience for those who prefer managing their assets without a database.

Photoshop on its own is simply a pixel-level image processor. In order to integrate RAW and DAM-like capabilities, it needs at least two other components: Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) for supplying RAW handling tasks, and integration with Adobe Bridge to care for DAM-like tasks. Photoshop on its own doesn't offer either of those tasks, but you have to give it to Adobe for providing a very well integrated suite of tools that behave (mostly) seamlessly together. But it needs to be recognized that these are distinct tasks.

On its own, however, Photoshop and Affinity Photo are pretty much the same type of image processors. What we're asking Serif to do is provide another app that does something like what Lightroom AND Bridge can do. Digital Asset Management is about the ability to manage many different sorts of media, file-types, metadata, etc., and making all of that information accessible. It's not simply about handling RAW files.  :) 

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19 minutes ago, Ulysses said:

Photoshop on its own is simply a pixel-level image processor. In order to integrate RAW and DAM-like capabilities, it needs at least two other components...

Well, I consider this bit only of academic value. If you own Photoshop you as a matter of fact have access to these components and they indeed integrate seamlessly. I never touch Lightroom but I still can deal with hundreds or thousands of RAWs efficently – with Photoshop.

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15 minutes ago, hifred said:

Well, I consider this part only of academic value. If you own Photoshop you as a matter of fact have access to these components and they indeed integrate seamlessly. I never touch Lightroom but I still can deal with hundreds or thousands of RAWs efficently – with Photoshop.

Sorry about this tangential point. But here's why it's not simply academic FOR ME: If you want to maintain access to all of that capability, you need to follow where Adobe is going to lead you. And that means being led to their Creative Cloud. Many of us have less than ZERO desire to go there. 

Allow me to explain what I'm trying to say: I stopped upgrading Photoshop at CS6. I stopped updating Lightroom at version 6. I opted to avoid renting software from Adobe and having my data potentially held hostage. I also didn't like the costs for their cloud storage options. However, I recently updated to the latest Adobe Bridge CC 2019 as well as the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw; after all, they're both FREE, so why not. I was hoping that I would now be able to process RAW files from the latest cameras from Nikon, Canon, etc. But I can't! Why not?? Because of the the message attached here.

Photoshop isn't what's handling your RAW images. It's Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw. BUT apparently without a qualifying version of Photoshop, Adobe won't allow you to access any of that. This arbitrary limitation is merely one of the reasons I needed to walk — or rather RUN — away from Adobe. And it's why I hope Serif will treat users differently. 

Adobe_Bridge_and_Camera_Raw_editing.png

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There hardly can be a person who dislikes rental schemes for content authoring software more than I do. I still can not believe that it's legal to cut access to intellectual propery and artwork after letting a software contract run out. That being said – I like the functionality of Photoshop a lot. Hence I continue using CS6 until Affinity Photo (or another program) is good enough for my needs to switch over.

I think it's still valid to say that everyone who has access to Photoshop (any legacy version released after 2004) or any version of CC (including the cheaper Photography version) at the same time has access to RAW editing (even without Lightroom on disk). I always embed the RAW files into the psd as Smart Objects – this way you can go return to ACR at any time. The RAW integration feels totally seamless.

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4 minutes ago, hifred said:

I always embed the RAW files into the psd as Smart Objects – this way you can go return to ACR at any time. The RAW integration feels totally seamless.

Ohhhh yeah! I remember conversing with you about that approach. I do find it intriguing. Even though I don't see us moving over to that approach, I can understand why the workflow works for you. How are you able to process the latest batch of RAW data from newer cameras without updating to the Creative Cloud versions of Adobe software?

With an Adobe workflow, the tasks are split between Photoshop, ACR, and Bridge. A Lightroom user essentially combines ACR and Bridge into a single program (but only partly since Lightroom can't do everything that Bridge can). My current workflow is similar in that I now split my tasks between Affinity Photo for pixel-level editing, Capture One Pro for RAW processing, and Photo Mechanic for keyboarding and metadata management. It's easy enough, although not as elegant as the integrated Adobe solutions. But when I ran away from Adobe, I knew it would also take time until the Serif solution is as fully integrated. Overall, though, I'm more content than if I'd stuck with Adobe's Creative Cloud.

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11 minutes ago, Ulysses said:

How are you able to process the latest batch of RAW data from newer cameras without updating to the Creative Cloud versions of Adobe software?

I can't, but I usually don't edit third party RAW data :o). Converting to dng first was an option, I guess.

11 minutes ago, Ulysses said:

With an Adobe workflow, the tasks are split between Photoshop, ACR, and Bridge. A Lightroom user essentially combines ACR and Bridge into a single program (but only partly since Lightroom can't do everything that Bridge can).

I think one needs to applaud Adobe for offering a lot of possible combinations for RAW editing. Photoshop with ACR and Bridge let you either work with a central database or with the usual file system and sidecars. Then there's the strictly catalog based program Lightroom if you prefer this approach – and obviously you can also integrate third party RAW editing plugins or dedicated standalone programs into both Photoshop and Lightroom based workflows.

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2 hours ago, hifred said:

Photoshop in terms of RAW handling is just as powerful as Lightroom (uses the same engine) and lets you work with whole folders of RAWs in parallel. Photoshop together with ACR and Bridge offers an awesome DAM + RAW Editor experience for those who prefer managing their assets without a database.

Except that Lightroom is a "DAM" in a limited sense, namely only for RAW and some image/photography related formats like TIFF, JPG and DNG (and probably a few more such as PSD), it does not handle other file types very well or at all. I need a full dam as some others have already described in the responses above because in my case the photography is secondary to my other work (i.e. the photos are used in projects and those projects and the files created for that are my main scope of work, not photography). If the Affinity DAM would only do photography (related) formats and Affinity files plus some other ones like PSD I certainly won't be interested. Given Affinity's focus on graphics I would expect Affinity's DAM solution to be too limited for me, but I'd be happy to be surprised in this case but it would require quite a bit of effort on Affinity's side to make that work, probably more than they have resources available.

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On 12/11/2018 at 11:51 PM, hifred said:

Which would mean that one could not browse images without having Affinity Photo open...Not a solution I personally wanted to use.

Also the DAM being a part of Affinity Photo meant that it wasn't a separate product Serif could sell and make money with.

 

That I agree with, a good, functional and flexible DAM program should be able to stand on its own and work indepentely of other software running or not.

I wouldn't mind if it could integrate with e.g. Affinity Photo for storing and keeping track of RAW edits in a non-destructive way, so that you could use Affinity Photo for RAW development and if possible copy the editing settings to other RAW files as well (e.g. similar to what some other RAW editors with DAM functionality have).

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8 minutes ago, Arte said:

Except that Lightroom is a "DAM" in a limited sense, namely only for RAW and some image/photography related formats like TIFF, JPG and DNG (and probably a few more such as PSD), it does not handle other file types very well or at all.

While what you say is correct I don't understand why you quoted me here :o)
I described my Photoshop-centric RAW workflow which comes along without Lightroom. For culling / browsing I use Bridge, which offers very broad file support. My CS6 version even supports viewing 3D models (got removed in CC).

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14 hours ago, BluestarCK said:

I really hope Serif comes up with a good Lightroom Replacement. I had a quick look at iMatch and wonder if anyone has tried it or is using it. I like the GPS mapping option, I'm now shooting with GPS so I need to see where I've been so I can go back again if needed.

iMatch is a very good DAM solutions, also because it can handle quite a few other file formats than just RAW/TIFF/JPEG etc. and it's metadata tools are not too photography centric like e.g. Photo Supreme so that makes it very useful for use with other formats (incl. Affinity files). Another one to consider is Daminion but in my opinion iMatch is the more flexible one of the two.

It does take some learning to discover all the features you may want to use as it has so many options but the past few and current versions are a lot more user friendly than e.g. iMatch 3 from long ago which was really for the techies, so you should be able to get quite far with it fairly quickly.

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Just now, hifred said:

While what you say is correct I don't understand why you quoted me here :o)

Sorry, I probably misinterpreted your perception of Lightroom as I got the impression you considered Lightroom to be an awesome DAM as well given your description of your non-Lightroom workflow being an awesome DAM option that is at least equal to that of Lightroom.

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7 minutes ago, Arte said:

I probably misinterpreted your perception of Lightroom as I got the impression you considered Lightroom to be an awesome DAM as well...

No, I wanted to say that those who stick to Photoshop have the same RAW processing engine at disposal as Lightroom users. I don't use Lightroom as its database and Import before you Browse scheme feels too strict for my needs.

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3 minutes ago, hifred said:

I don't use Lightroom as its database and Import before you Browse scheme feels too strict for my needs.

Thanks for the clarification, and it is exactly one of the reasons why I dropped Lightroom (besides other RAW converters giving better results for me).

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I voted No. My use for yet another file handling application is unlikely to be realistic.

I process all of my RAW files in DxO Optics Pro. It handles the filing, the batch processing, the examination of images quickly and the conversions are outstanding. I then round trip the 16bit .tif files into Affinity Photo if they need further post processing. I need the RAW file settings saved with the RAW file so that I have a good starting point when I am called upon to revisit the file. DxO Optics Pro saves a sidecar file (.dop) with every processed RAW file.

The DxO interface is slick, understandable, configurable and can be constructed to serve any unique purpose. I think it would be a mistake to expect Serif to reach this level of functionality in a program that developed over many iterations and serves its purpose well. Professional photographers are used to incorporating necessary steps in their workflows. Making one tool serve every purpose is what is wrong with so many multi-tools and legacy tool and software bloat are just one of the results. No tool will serve every need and purpose. I am happy to use Serif software for what it does well. The software is not Photoshop or Illustrator (thank the software deities who oversee such things) and it does not need to be.

I have attached a couple of images that demonstrate a few aspects of DxO Optics Pro interface.

Screenshot 2019-01-07 22.33.35.pdf

Screenshot 2019-01-07 22.32.43.pdf

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