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[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?  

268 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.
      45
    • 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.
      42
    • 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).
      181


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1 hour ago, Jörn Reppenhagen said:

without being forced to import pictures

How do you create a catalogue without import?

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Fixx: If I wish to include pictures into a catalogue, I am happy to import them.

But I wish to be able to use the organization features with all files and folders, without being forced to first import them into a catalog.
Just quickly open a folder, pick a file for editing - while being able to e. g. display RAW files only, use tags, ratings, color codes, and the like.

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Yes, I definitely need a DAM. As an amateur snapper who got hooked into Aperture long before I converted to shooting raw, I do really appreciate the productivity improvements that can be made when importing, flagging, renaming and storing away files. Yes, yes, I know you can be ultimately flexible using operating system tools, but what a pain! I have lain Aperture aside to die peacefully, and have longed for a decent replacement, but it would have to include functionality to handle raws, edited Affinity files and jpegs/tiffs separately, so that one didn't fill up the ssd with files that essentially belonged in an archive. For me, subscription mode is out, but I have been hanging on for years now waiting for Serif to come up with their own 'front-end' to Affinity Photo, a project which has been promised for some time. I'm beginning to loose faith, but it's encouraging to at least see it being talked about again.

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On 11/30/2018 at 12:04 PM, Gaul said:

OPTION #3

Affinity team, I would recommend taking the best of these 2 DAM softwares and produce an all-in-one DAM + RAW converter (integrated with Affinity Photo):

ACDSee Ultimate for its All-In-One aspect and managing images without importing them

Adobe Lightroom as a standard in the market

I use ACDSEE and keep it because of features like the shortcuts panel, the basket for moving graphics around from various folders, renaming, resizing, having other programs oin the tool bar, archiving and a lot more that I can't think of right now. If you are going to create a DAM, it has to be more than the database but has to be able to totally manipulate files in a fast and efficient way. Of course their kludgy editing can be dropped and ported to Photo (but pay attention! some of their editing adjustments are BETTER that the current Photo)

ACDSEE has been sliding for a while and the market is getting ripe for a new DAM player


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On 12/11/2018 at 4:34 PM, hifred said:

I personally very much like that one can embed edited RAWs in Photoshop files. That way you can always return to the RAW workspace to fix stuff with a couple of strokes which in a layer based app would take a stack of several layers. You do that on the downmost file – anything you did on the file with layers accomodates the new development status.

I too use adobes "Smart Objects"in PS.

I use it to combine photos – as layers for placed images, which I want to have stored unchanged–plus the overlying modifications, so I can duplicate this Layer to another PSD or simply change the source-image and the same modifications are applied to this new image. I'm talking about heavily layered compositions.

As I'm still using CS5, I was not aware you could by now use RAW-files as source-images … 

 

What I'm still dreaming of was always Macromedia xRes (an old mac-app from 1997) which allows to combine different images resolution independent ...


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Having had my interest in this topic re-lit as it were, I have been doing some searching across the net for an alternative to Lightroom. Judging by the number of variations on this question and the number of reviews of possible contenders, plus the lack of a clear recommendation for a competitive alternative, it's obvious that Lightroom has a very strong market position , despite the existence of numerous also-rans - a very good reason for Serif to want to compete with it. But if they are to compete, their starting point is not likely to be to listen to what we, the current users of Affinity, have to say about how we would like the thing to work. Rather it is to figure out how many Lightroom customers they could drag away from the subscription model, and how many photographers they could drag into the Affinity orbit. So the thing to consider first is the marketing strategy. What is needed to appeal to the widest possible market? That in turn will drive the overall design goals, which may well result in something that does not please you or I. Software should always be conceived top-down rather than nuts-and-bolts-up. But that's how it should be, if you are a Serif shareholder. Lightroom is successful for a reason. Maybe they have the best i.e.most widely appealing design. If that's the case, then Serif have to copy it, but in doing so, make it better. I only wish they would get on with it.

 

Good thing this isn't twitter, 'cos I feel some potential differences of opinion coming my way...

 

 

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Serif is a small company. You will get a mediocre ho-hum DAM and development of the entire Affinity Range will be affected negatively. You will get fewer new features at a slower pace. Again. Beggars can't be choosers. 

 

 


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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3 hours ago, Jowday said:

Serif is a small company. You will get a mediocre ho-hum DAM and development of the entire Affinity Range will be affected negatively. You will get fewer new features at a slower pace. Again. Beggars can't be choosers. 

While I respect your opinion, I do wonder what you bas that on. They have spoken of a SAM before and they have built all their products around a core code which has allowed them to integrate all their offerings. Not to oversimplify but much many of the pieces for a DAM are already theer


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4 hours ago, Rick G said:

While I respect your opinion, I do wonder what you bas that on. They have spoken of a SAM before and they have built all their products around a core code which has allowed them to integrate all their offerings. Not to oversimplify but much many of the pieces for a DAM are already theer

All things equal Serif still have to create, build, maintain and document, market and sell yet another product for

  • Windows
  • OS X
  • Possibly iOS

All the common code that will be integrated into a DAM will have to be integrated and tested inside a fourth product. FOUR products must now be in sync. If Serif is a little pro then this will be done by the programmer(s), programmers who verify a product increment (user story) before it undergoes real testing efforts. Further they are aiming at live targets: Windows, OS X and iOS change all the time. Even service packs and security fixes can require updates of Affinity. Every bit of complexity you add to a product (range) follows you through every release and update of the product for as long as it exists. And further... whenever dependencies are updated or retired every bit of your complexity requires attention. 

It goes without saying that none of the above makes the Affinity Range cheaper to develop. You guys are paying for this effort with your money and waiting for years. Lost options. Time consuming work arounds. The need for several programs to accomplish one simple task.

Creating and maintaining (especially) software is a bigger task than you think. With the current pace of development in mind I see no reason to slow it further down with a DAM. We do have options but lack basic features most of all in Designer. In the long run a DAM is fine. In the short run I simply need basic features. I have nothing special to index in a DAM before that happens.

Right here and now I think that Serif should focus hard on fulfilling the great potential the Affinity has user interface wise and price wise with actual and often requested features. Or simply tone down the marketing hype until we finally see these features released and working.

Personally I hope Serif is prioritizing plugin support higher than a DAM.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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Good points and no disagreement. BUT if they are trying to cover the market, they will; need to consider a DAM at some point. AVDSEE has become a kludgy mess and lets not get into the adobe offerings. That market seems open if not ripe, but I am sure they will delve into the possibilities much deeper than we can before they commit anything to a new program


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CPU Intel Core i7 4770 @ 3.40GHz Haswell 22nm Technology

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On 4/7/2019 at 9:04 PM, Jowday said:

Creating and maintaining (especially) software is a bigger task than you think. With the current pace of development in mind I see no reason to slow it further down with a DAM. We do have options but lack basic features most of all in Designer. In the long run a DAM is fine. In the short run I simply need basic features. I have nothing special to index in a DAM before that happens.

We users are in neither of these roles.
Not in the role to mull over Serifs business strategy and possible complications, caused by some decision or another. Not in the role to patronize fellow users either – on what adequate expectations might look like.

There's also zero point in building an argumentation based on the price point Serif has chosen. That's again entirely "their beer" (up to them) as we say in German. I would gladly pay considerably more for a suite of tools on a perpetual license, which is on par performance-wise with Adobe's offering.

As a matter of fact work on the DAM has already begun and it should be helpful for Serif to get feedback. I understand that you don't consider a DAM important – that is perfectly fine. I personally can state that I wasn't willing to use an otherwisely highly mature Affinity Photo 3.0 in 2025 if it still dealed with RAWs in the same the way it does today.

 

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On 4/8/2019 at 12:13 AM, Rick G said:

Good points and no disagreement. BUT if they are trying to cover the market, they will; need to consider a DAM at some point. 

Absolutely. :)


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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Yes, DAM please.  Think, no copy, Apple Aperture!  (Luminar apparently doesn't listen.)


--

Stuke

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On 3/13/2019 at 7:51 PM, MGBJAY said:

... SORRY for this late response, however, I have just visited the XNVIEW site, and the listed supported image file formats DOES NOT include *.AFPHOTO file support. It does not list such files under the SERIF format either, which is what I was hoping for, since the first was not listed. 

Unless you can validate that XNVIEW supports the AFPHOTO format, your post requires an update, or information illustrating the fact that it does.

Current (12 MAR  2019 @ 2306HOURS) list posted at the XNVIEW site for supported file formats:

On behalf of @CreativApartheid ... XnViewMP most certainly does!

Although admittedly currently both .afphoto and .afdesign can only be viewed at low rez in full screen view   

...as per screen shots

Affinity Files Screen Shot.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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For those who not needing a DAM (and others as they wait), I've been using a free program, Everything (https://www.voidtools.com) ,to keep track of my Affinity related files, among others. Unfortunately, I do not believe they have a Mac version.

Everything runs as a service and maintains an index of the drives/directories, and searches them with lightning speed. What makes it especially useful is that you can set up filters. I've got one for files I use with Affinity programs. Not DAM, but much better (and faster) than Explorer.

This is especially useful for me as I am learning because while I might want to use a new technique, I surely won't remember where the associated files are or what they were called so I can brush up. Everything Affinity filter to rescue:

 image.png.22b3e2092e57b34b297b653c2e292723.png 


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12 hours ago, casterle said:

For those who not needing a DAM (and others as they wait), I've been using a free program, Everything (https://www.voidtools.com) ,to keep track of my Affinity related files, among others. Unfortunately, I do not believe they have a Mac version.

Everything runs as a service and maintains an index of the drives/directories, and searches them with lightning speed. What makes it especially useful is that you can set up filters. I've got one for files I use with Affinity programs. Not DAM, but much better (and faster) than Explorer.

This is especially useful for me as I am learning because while I might want to use a new technique, I surely won't remember where the associated files are or what they were called so I can brush up. Everything Affinity filter to rescue:

  

Well we learn something every day. Thank you. I have been using Everything for years and it is essential for me. I never thought of using either the preview window nor making my own filters


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I don't need another DAM, (using LR), but this looks like something I might use. LR has become very slow on my system.

Thanks @casterle


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4 hours ago, Ron P. said:

I don't need another DAM, (using LR), but this looks like something I might use. LR has become very slow on my system.

Thanks @casterle

IF you are talking about "Everything", that is just an all powerful search utility for searching all your hard drives INSTANTLY

I took a hint from another user in this thread and revisited XNView with the idea of replacing the bloated ACDSEE ... and it is looking good for that so far


Affinity Designer 1.7.3 & beta 1.8.0.486   Affinity Photo 1.7.3 beta  1.8.0.486 Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 beta  1.8.0.502

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1709

CPU Intel Core i7 4770 @ 3.40GHz Haswell 22nm Technology

RAM 32.0 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 798 MHz (11-11-11-28)

Motherboard Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. B85M-D3H (SOCKET 0)

Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4600 (Gigabyte)

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3 hours ago, Rick G said:

IF you are talking about "Everything", that is just an all powerful search utility for searching all your hard drives INSTANTLY

I took a hint from another user in this thread and revisited XNView with the idea of replacing the bloated ACDSEE ... and it is looking good for that so far

Yes, Everything is just a search utility. I imagine it uses the same mechanism to display preview images are Explorer.


Windows 10 Pro, XP-Pen Deco 03, AP & AD

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2 minutes ago, casterle said:

Yes, Everything is just a search utility. I imagine it uses the same mechanism to display preview images are Explorer.

A light year ahead of windows searching. Seriously, try the portable for a few days and see the difference


Affinity Designer 1.7.3 & beta 1.8.0.486   Affinity Photo 1.7.3 beta  1.8.0.486 Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 beta  1.8.0.502

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1709

CPU Intel Core i7 4770 @ 3.40GHz Haswell 22nm Technology

RAM 32.0 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 798 MHz (11-11-11-28)

Motherboard Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. B85M-D3H (SOCKET 0)

Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4600 (Gigabyte)

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15 hours ago, Rick G said:

A light year ahead of windows searching. Seriously, try the portable for a few days and see the difference

I'm the one who mentioned Everything in the first place :)


Windows 10 Pro, XP-Pen Deco 03, AP & AD

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On 4/28/2019 at 2:19 AM, Stuke said:

Yes, DAM please.  Think, no copy, Apple Aperture!  (Luminar apparently doesn't listen.)

I'm now looking for a replacement for Aperture as I have upgraded to a new Canon EOS-R and aperture doesn't support the RAW format that it produces...

There are a lot of poor apps on the market out there - that people want some serious money for. My primary concerns are indexing, cataloging, basic adjustments (Straighten, exposure etc) and ideally non-destructive editing (or at least automatic versioning)

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37 minutes ago, Gilescooperuk said:

I'm now looking for a replacement for Aperture as I have upgraded to a new Canon EOS-R and aperture doesn't support the RAW format that it produces...

AFAI remember Aperture did handled DNG files, thus a workaround in the meantime maybe is to convert EOS-R RAWs to DNG with Adobe's free DNG converter. Though it's always an extra workflow step and recently I've somewhere read that Aperture might not run anymore on future MacOS versions (10.15).


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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I am *still* using Aperture, and Apple has announced that they will kill it altogether with with the coming 2019 macOS upgrade.  I am desperate for an equivalent to Aperture DAM - is there any chance that Affinity Photos will become or have a DAM by the end of this year, or am I forced to transfer my several TBs of Aperture libraries to Lightroom?

I have been trying to switch to Lightroom for several years now, get very frustrated and go back to Aperture, unfixed bugs and all. Affinity at least started out as a native Mac app, and has a similar to Aperture purchase up front structure. 

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Ah well if you can name a non adobe product that can convert to DNG maybe.

But I don't want anything to do with Adobe on any of my computers (this includes acrobat, flash, photoshop, Lightroom etc) and certainly don't want software subscriptions. Even though for work I have too (well until I can upgrade an application or two)

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