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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?  

263 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.
      44
    • 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.
      41
    • 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).
      178


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On 3/15/2019 at 11:31 PM, Jörn Reppenhagen said:

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.

Once again to the point of ad nauseam ... !  

solution.gif      XnViewMP   

duh.gif  


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

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32 minutes ago, PedroOfOz said:

Once again to the point of ad nauseam ... !  

solution.gif      XnViewMP   

duh.gif  

Amen. I just started with it and within hours left ACDSEE


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 & beta 1.7.2.476  Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 beta  1.7.2.476 Affinity Publisher 1.7.0.422 beta  1.7.2.458

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

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

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Two Mac related tools which do come adhoc to my mind, in terms of being slightly a little bit like Aperture was or at least influenced by that, are:

Maybe that's no surprise, since AFAIK Mr. Nik Bhatt (from Gentlemen Coders, aka RAW Power) worked previously for Apple on the iPhoto and Aperture teams.


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

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2 hours ago, Gilescooperuk said:

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

Well even there are tools which can deal with that, I believe they all somehow (re)use the Adobe DNG SDK here, since DNG is still mainly Adobe's child. - So you are still using their format implementation base then. - See for example ...


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

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Hmm I need to check these out

Rawpower looks good - apart from the lack of keywords / built in database.

Picktorial - $5 per month or $70 without updates - bit too close to the adobe subscription model for me.

But I will have a look and see what they offer.

Converting to DNG - it only really puts off the fact that Aperture will stop being supported at some point so I have to move away finally.

Thanks

Giles

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31 minutes ago, Gilescooperuk said:

Converting to DNG - it only really puts off the fact that Aperture will stop being supported at some point so I have to move away finally.

Well that was obvious in the long run, however when you look over the comments related to the above link, you will see that a lot of people are somehow unhappy with that. - So it's the best time now to look for some possible good alternative then.


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

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So what is the good alternative to Aperture?  

I just needed to look at at a bunch of my photos from the 2014 NYFF of Abel Ferrara and Willem Defoe in Lightroom as a test back then (all my other NYFF photos are in Aperture).  Simply quickly flying through 400+ photos to flag the good ones is painfully slow in Lightroom - by contrast you really do fly Aperture. (My Mac is the fastest possible 2018 MacBookPro with an amazingly fast SSD - this is strictly the contrast between Aperture and Lightroom).  And this is why "people are somehow unhappy" about Aperture going away.

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Posted (edited)

I would find an Adobe Bridge alternative immensely valuable.  The features I most use in Bridge are: 

the 'folders' window, the 'metadata' window, and the 'filter' window.  And I use the 'batch rename' and batch process in PhotoShop.

These functions are the best at what they do I have yet seen, but if I'm going to DUMP Adobe I'll need to replace Bridge, too.  I use Canon DPP for RAW conversion (it's far and away the best for Canon files) and it could mostly work in a pinch, but it's kinda limited.  

Please please please bring us this!

 

ps — And I should add:  I happily use folders, and don't need OR WANT Light Room style collections and 'Import to library'!!!

 

Edited by Aaron D
Added a ps...

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14 hours ago, Aaron D said:

 I happily use folders, and don't need OR WANT Light Room style collections and 'Import to library'

I too happily use folders and I use Lightroom. Collections are just additional tool, there is no need to use them. As for library import, DAM needs to have some sort of database. LR uses some time to build previews which people find slow (I admit LR is a bit slow generally) – modern software might possibly generate previews on the fly.

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Hyi

LR+Affinity Photo ... what is important for me is the fast way I can download from cameras, renaming, applying the lens profiles. Then fast browsing, discarding, voting about 400/500 photos for every session (4 cameras, my wife and me). After a fast editing for a better selection, the best photos are processed as RAW in AP with layer and effects. 

I've leave PS and now I'm using only Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher (beta testing), and I'll want to leave LR but is so fast and easy to browse my 50.000 photo library. 

A similar tool from Serif will be amazing ...

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So, it's May 2019 now. Any updates on the development of this?

I would just need, as many other I gather, a simple tool to store my RAW files when taking them from my camera. AF can be used to edit the keepers, the rest can just sit on a disk until I think I should have another look at them. Any simple data managementsystem would do.

If of interest, I would not have a use for batch jobs, so that can be left for another time, if developers are breaking their brains over it.

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20 hours ago, DiederikvdS said:

So, it's May 2019 now. Any updates on the development of this?

I would just need, as many other I gather, a simple tool to store my RAW files when taking them from my camera. AF can be used to edit the keepers, the rest can just sit on a disk until I think I should have another look at them. Any simple data managementsystem would do.

If of interest, I would not have a use for batch jobs, so that can be left for another time, if developers are breaking their brains over it.

Darktable - best RAW processor (or Rawtherapee) if you just need powerful RAW handling, some basic batch workflow functions. 

Digikam - can process raw, AND can function as a full DAM much richer feature set than XnViewMP and truly free and open software. 

ETA:  My expectation is Affinity will not have time/resources currently to add a DAM in the near future, as commented earlier in thread.  And I'm ok with that.  There are such outstanding FOSS tools out there.  If you need RAW + batch processing, with very lightweight cataloging features:  Darktable or Rawtherapee alone will do it.  And these can work nicely with Affinity products, you can specify AP for example as the hand-off editor for processed raw files. 

If you want a true DAM, I think Digikam is unbeatable and in fact, has some capabilities that even LR does not have.  Further, Digikam integrates pretty good raw processing, good enough for most non-pro users although pro users will again, want one of the above specialized raw apps. 

Personally, a combination of the following apps gives me everything I need, and then some:

* AP
* AD
* Darktable for detailed raw touch-ups and a batch workflow to rename and apply a set of common changes to a folder full of images.
* Digikam as a DAM.  For creating a highly organized, tagged, searchable database with very powerful full IPTC metadata support, rich batch processing functions, upload to a lot of common cloud sources, and more features than you can shake a stick at.  Works great on Windows.  Works AWESOME on Linux!

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4 hours ago, timlt said:

Digikam - can process raw, AND can function as a full DAM much richer feature set than XnViewMP and truly free and open software. 

Unfortunately Digikam doesn't appear to be able to read .afphoto files (nor PSD). Perhaps there's something in settings I've missed?

As far as I'm aware XnViewMP is currently the only 3rd party app that can read .afphoto (and .afdesign).

I agree with you 110% regarding darktable (also quite suitable for non RAW as well—tiff, jpeg etc).

These recent graffiti images are primarily edited in darktable—RAW, Fuji X-Pro2. (Best viewed on a darkish background)

2019_04_Plate-11b (3000 x 1996).jpg

2019_04_Plate-17 (3000 x 2000).jpg

2019_04_Plate-21 (3000 x 1996).jpg


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

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Yes totally true, Digikam lacks support for .afphoto format.  For me, this was not a requirement.  I've been avoiding storing files in any proprietary format so that, well, I don't have to deal with the limitations of proprietary formats. :-)  I've been trying to work with generic raw format like DNG, and using jpg or PNG respectively for web artifacts or quality archival copies, or .tif if needed for higher res printing or even a 'working' copy of an image with layers intact.

Also XnviewMP has very poor file format output quality and control options, for me at least, and I personally was looking for a FOSS app for my DAM and RAW processor, whereas XnViewMP is neither truly freeware nor is it open. 

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20 minutes ago, PedroOfOz said:

Unfortunately Digikam doesn't appear to be able to read .afphoto files (nor PSD). Perhaps there's something in settings I've missed?

DigiKam is first of all a Photo management tool, hence ...

Quote

...digiKam only displays files that are in formats that it understands. It does this by looking at the file extension on the files and checking this against a predefined list. If the file extension is in the list digiKam will show the file in the Image View, provided the appropriate library is installed. You can change the list of file extensions that digiKam will accept, see the Configuration section for more details. ...

The Affinity and PSD formats are no common photo formats, so nothing photocams or videocams would produce here and thus instead proprietary vendor application specific formats.

XNViewMP is instead more a general image viewer and converter, though it might only show up the embedded thumbs portion of the Affinity files then.

 


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Yes, all valid comments.

However, this thread is about DAM/Image Viewer(s) that can read Affinity files. Until Serif release a DAM/Image Viewer, XnViewMP is (currently) as far as I'm aware the only 3rd party app that can read Affinity files.

IMHO I can't see the relevance mentioning apps that can't read .affinity :)


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

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Well my thinking there is Affinity allows you to use many file formats, including the 'open' ones that are non-proprietary.  I don't use the Affinity formats at all.  As long as whatever DAM I'm using can handle the common open image formats, then I can use it with Affinity. 

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12 hours ago, timlt said:

Well my thinking there is Affinity allows you to use many file formats, including the 'open' ones that are non-proprietary.  I don't use the Affinity formats at all.  As long as whatever DAM I'm using can handle the common open image formats, then I can use it with Affinity. 

I like the .AFPHOTO (and .AFDESIGN) format for its ability to preserve not only layers, but also masks, filters and Live Filters, adjustments, layer effects, etc. The native Affinity formats ARE proprietary, but this allows them to preserve not only layers, layer masks, adjustments, and  filters, but also Live Filters, layer effects, etc. Some of these have no direct equivalents in other software or in the file formats.

Yes, the Affinity file formats are definitely bloated, but the engineers are working on this and have promised smaller file sizes in the future. 

All of this to say that it’s very helpful when a DAM or other file organizing tool can recognize the format and give the use a preview while looking at a folder that includes Affinity files among other formats. :)

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2 points:

DAM does not need to read affinity format. It is enough it can read some metadata, including preview images.

If you save as TIFF, AP can save a lot of its proprietary information (like layers & adjustments) within file while keeping compatibility.

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12 hours ago, Fixx said:

2 points:

DAM does not need to read affinity format. It is enough it can read some metadata, including preview images.

If you save as TIFF, AP can save a lot of its proprietary information (like layers & adjustments) within file while keeping compatibility.

Great points, @Fixx. I suppose if we're talking about a DAM not designed by the Serif engineers, then a universally recognized format like TIFF would be very helpful. But if we're talking about an Affinity DAM of some sort, it's highly likely that it will also read the various Affinity formats.

Quick questions about something you mentioned:

1. I haven't experimented at all with this, but how much of the Affinity proprietary info can TIFF preserve? For example, I find myself using Live Filters quite often.

2. Image previews for a TIFF file would be in the form of a low-res (or user adjustable rez) embedded JPEG file? 

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Reading about digikam made me go and have a look, all very impressive until I found it doesn’t support the cr3 raw files that my Eos R produces. 

Which OS X does in the operating system raw library.... and the affinity photo beta does

another one off the list to look at...

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On 5/10/2019 at 2:45 PM, Gilescooperuk said:

Reading about digikam made me go and have a look, all very impressive until I found it doesn’t support the cr3 raw files that my Eos R produces. 

Which OS X does in the operating system raw library.... and the affinity photo beta does

another one off the list to look at...

That makes sense--everybody has to know what their requirements are and if those include a file format that's unsupported, that has to factor  into your decision.  In fairness, sounds like very few RAW processing apps, whether OSS or commercial, support CR3 yet.  Those that do will have a leg up for users of newer Canon cameras like yours and the upcoming 2019 models, but it's highly likely that all these popular apps that handle RAW processing will add CR3 support soon. 

Not suggesting this would change your mind in the short term, and I'm not evangelizing for Digikam at all, it's just what I happen to use.  But I just checked their forum, it sounds like Libraw (the OSS library that Digikam and other open source apps use to handle RAW formats) plans to add CR3 support.  I see similar comments in forums for Rawtherapee, and some of the commercial app forums.  The takeaway being, if you have a DAM app that you like (not just Digikam, but *any* DAM app) and it hasn't added CR3 yet, it might be worth considering a workaround until support for CR3 is added, so that you can use whatever DAM app that you like, feature-wise, versus having to switch apps strictly due to support for CR3.  For instance, I would expect that there's a utility app by Adobe, maybe even Canon's own RAW software, that would allow you to bulk-convert from CR3 to DNG format.  Which would get you by until one of your preferred apps supports CR3. 

 

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9 hours ago, IndigoMoon said:

Btw NeoFinder is also an optinion for Mac...

 

 

Hmm same problem for me as digicam - CR3 files display as an Affinity photo thumbnail - but hit quick lock and the file is generated properly. However trying to go through a folder of images that look like this - isn't going to be much fun.... and when I first bought the camera I was doing raw + jpeg

image.thumb.png.b4a35f4fb5130458a7384bdb9b7e5df3.png

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1 hour ago, Gilescooperuk said:

Hmm same problem for me

Ops, as I see on their homepage .cr3 file format is still not supported...

...but which iOS version do you have, can you see the . cr3 thumbnails in finder?

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