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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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14 hours ago, davidg2020 said:

I'm looking for a publisher's tool (i.e. one for graphic designers, art director and magazine/newspaper editors).

Along with your earlier suggestions I would say that what you described is a tool that would be useful for more people than just Publishers. 


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On 6/20/2019 at 10:46 AM, Tazintosh said:

Apple have officially dropped 32bits apps, and Aperture (which still has some 32bits code), can't work on Catalina.
As professionals, we need to know were to go, how and when to invest. Please answer us guys.

You may be in luck!

Nik Bhatt, ex-lead of Aperture, brought out his excellent RAW Power app a while back. It taps into the MacOS built-in RAW decoding, which is used/maintained for Photos.  This is what Aperture uses too, although Aperture can no longer use the current decoding.

A couple of weeks ago at Apple's WWDC, Apple announced that they are going to allow developers to access to Photos' database in 10.15 Catalina.  This means that apps like RAW Power will be able to use the Photos database, which crucially will allow them to share all that metadata and perhaps the adjustments.  So I would imagine, that you will be able to import your files into Photos, but then ... not use Photos ... and instead use something else, with more features and a better UI more suited to pros, like RAW Power.

The long and short of it is that Nik could build RAW Power into as good a DAM as Aperture AND it will be able to read your Aperture Libraries (because Photos already can).  Did I just make your day?

Maybe give him some encouragement ...

https://twitter.com/gentcoders

https://gentlemencoders.com/raw-power-for-macos/

 


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9 hours ago, Ulysses said:

Completely agree on all those points. :) 

What I found interesting about yesterday’s keynote was that while the Affinity apps were built to care for similar tasks as competing Adobe applications, the truly revolutionary thing about them is now realized with StudioLink technology. It’s such an intuitive approach that it’s amazing no one has truly done this sooner. Cannot wait to see where this takes them in future versions.

This sort of tight integration is another reason I, too, always recommend this suite to other pro colleagues and friends.

Agree and that was my main take away as well.

Last night I ran across this interview with Ashley that I really enjoyed.  Interesting that all of this was strongly hinted at 7 months ago, it also provided some insight that a NLE isn't on the roadmap as that would require a different "core" for such integation.  

 

 

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I need a DAM which has similar features as LR and is CAPABLE OF IMPORTING MY LR CATALOGUE! :)

I understand this is a tall order, considering Adobe having worked at it for many years. However, I am still very hopeful.

Thanks,

Peter

 

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@Ulysses & @AdrianB: thanks for the proposal of not updating. But since you took this statement without having the big picture: perhaps I need to update because I'm also into app development (UI more precisely), and I've to be able to run the last system + Xcode to compile and test our apps for you guys ;)

I'm already more than 1 year behind (already with hack, else, I'm officially more than 2 years behind), but cannot continue now.


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On 6/22/2019 at 4:02 AM, PetervL said:

I need a DAM which has similar features as LR and is CAPABLE OF IMPORTING MY LR CATALOGUE! :)

I understand this is a tall order, considering Adobe having worked at it for many years. However, I am still very hopeful.

Thanks,

Peter

 

PhaseOne figured out how to import lrcats (with most settings), so it can be done.

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I’m in need of a DAM with ability to import photos (including RAW) and catalog them with robust selection and filter features.  Photo recognition that automatically tags the photo would be welcome feature.  Exporting and upload to sites such as Smugmug, 500px, Flickr is a must have and wouldn’t complain if it also included Instagram,  Facebook, and Twitter.  Syncing with SmugMug galleries  would be a very nice feature too.  It would also have the ability to make adjustments,  apply filters such as eye and skin smoothing, and incorporate a robust selection tool,  and powerful batch processing.

Workflows should be intuitive starting with importing photos, culling and selection,  adjustments,  and export / upload that helps to reduce the time editing event photos such as weddings or parties.  

 

 

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Life without DAM is possible but not meaningful. :1_grinning:


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58 minutes ago, j3rry said:

Life without DAM is possible but not meaningful. :1_grinning:

 


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I use DAM  iMatch.   It's better than anything I ever tried,  better than what Lightroom Classic can offer in that regard.  

Doubt they could do any better.   

But if a fresh new  DAM could sort my images without me,  by some cool AI  recognizing not just  general stuff but every subject on every  layer  intelligently , and find things better than Adobe AI  which to be honest is  as simple minded  as rock.      And all this would be working on my local pc without 2gb cloud space limit  I would be definitely interested.

But I guess the whole AI and neural networks area  is a too special discipline  and would require tones of money  to develop and teach.  Without AI a new DAM wouldn't have any sense at all

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On 7/4/2019 at 10:38 AM, kirk23 said:

I use DAM  iMatch.   It's better than anything I ever tried,  better than what Lightroom Classic can offer in that regard.  

Doubt they could do any better.   

But if a fresh new  DAM could sort my images without me,  by some cool AI  recognizing not just  general stuff but every subject on every  layer  intelligently , and find things better than Adobe AI  which to be honest is  as simple minded  as rock.      And all this would be working on my local pc without 2gb cloud space limit  I would be definitely interested.

But I guess the whole AI and neural networks area  is a too special discipline  and would require tones of money  to develop and teach.  Without AI a new DAM wouldn't have any sense at all

Plenty of room in the market for another DAM.  iMatch is $120 or so, which is more than the average consumer wants to pay for a document finding solution (without advanced RAW processing capabilites).

Other programs have AI built in.  ACDSEE has facial recognition, not just tagging after the fact.

Many people don't need advanced AI, it is just a nice to have.  

Multitude of ways Affinity could break into the market with a viable solution for a number of users.  Super fast viewing of RAW files and searching and Tagging for a multitue of file formats alone would be valuable at an "affinity" price point if it can be done without creating a seperate database and catalog.  

There is no clear winner across the board in the DAM space.  Each has pros and cons.  Capture One is the only one I see as the market leader in RAW processing, and that isn't even 100% necessary for a DAM solution for some users.

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There are  Luminar and Alien skin one(forgot exact name) . I tried them briefly and they looked pretty much same as Lightroom classic.  So the market share is quite  crowded already.    But who knows maybe Seriff would do  wonder like they did with Affinity products.    Among gazillion of existing toyish  image editors they managed to do something in some respects better than Adobe products. So who knows.    

At the same time I would prefer they wouldn't scatter their resources among other fields and focus on to overcoming  still existing gaps and possibly do even better than Adobe. There is a plenty of room for that.   

It's just a view  from a person who pays for Lightroom as a free addon to Photoshop but  not using it at all. So maybe I am just not within a target group .

 

 

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I would like to apologize in advance for my non-response to the three choices listed and my (somewhat) long reply to the subject of the poll.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once wrote (I am paraphrasing here) that, “[Everyone] takes the limits of [their] own field of vision for the limits of the [universe].” While both yes answers provide a possibly positive path forward, I personally find the scope of both yes answers limiting. It is my belief that a Digital Asset Manager should encompass all the digital files a user stores on a computer system, whether stored locally or in a personal cloud, and encompassing either research material or personally created end-products.

That said, my perfect DAM would allow me to catalog documents, spreadsheets, eBooks, audio and movie files, and so forth, as well as all my photographs regardless of the hardware or application used to create or process them. This DAM would catalog all the metadata embedded in any digital asset. For example, it would read and store Exif, XMP, IPTC, ID3 or Ogg Vorbis tags. It would also read and store the information in any sidecar (XML) files generated by the application processing the asset. The DAM would also allow file locking, version control, and the ability to open an asset in any application installed on the computer and capable of processing its specific file format. Additionally, this DAM would allow the creation of a user-defined schema to assist with managing the asset and to write that schema as a sidecar file that can travel with the asset. Finally, the DAM would allow the creation and storage of ad-hoc queries of all metadata associated with all assets.

For what it is worth, there are several DAM systems installed on my computer, but each has a scope limited to a specific segment of digital assets. Non will catalog all the types listed above. Also, there are commercial products available that perform most of what I listed, but they are generally cloud-based, are somewhat team-oriented, and usually come with hefty annual subscription or maintenance fees.

Full disclosure: As a now-retired Database Architect, Administrator, and Data Analyst my opinions on this subject are somewhat skewed. :1_grinning:

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DAM requirements for Affinity Photo

 

Some background on why I need a DAM - sorry for the length, but I am sure many fellow professional photographers are suffering from similar problems.

 

I am a professional photographer and videographer. I have been using Adobe products (mostly Bridge, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Lightroom) for the last 15 years. I have around 75,000 images in my active catalogue and boxes of about 500GB of archived wedding photos on DVD/BluRay. In addition I have about 1 TB of video footage. I am trying to keep on top of this lot.

 

I started to move away from Adobe products when they introduced their subscription service and am stuck at CS6 for the remaining products I use. At the same time I moved from PC to Mac. I still have a PC with my main Lightroom catalogue but am desperately trying to move everything to my Mac, both because I love the experience and because I want to ditch all things Adobe.

 

I recently bought both Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher. I love the software and the integration between the two packages. But I am stuck with Lightroom and keep getting warnings that it will not work in future OSX releases. The maps module has already stopped working, so I am running out of time to find a replacement.

 

I have completed the poll, but wanted to add some specific points on what I really need to keep an efficient workflow going.

 

  1. A Lightroom type view of my images. I always start from a thumbnail preview and all of the initial review and rating before going deeper is done there. It just about works now with doing the bulk of the work in Lightroom then editing in Affinity, but a simpler switching in and out of deep editing would speed up the workflow considerably and reduce errors and duplications.
  2. A referenced file system rather than a database, although either is acceptable. But either way it is vital that network drives can be included in the catalogue. I take my Mac on travels and use a temporary catalogue which I import into the PC. But I often want to refer back to my main catalogue (a copy with reasonable resolution is too big to carry), or to share data between my various computers. I have a mixture of 4 iOS, Mac and PC systems that use where convenient. Sidecar files create thousands of extra files, so if the only way to avoid this is a catalogue then that is the better way.
  3. Post Photoshop and since Lightroom I do 95% plus of my editing in Lightroom. I rarely need to drop into Photoshop or Affinity Photo. I’d like to be able to do this with a DAM/Affinity photo integration.
  4. I use RAW on all cameras bar one, and keep everything in RAW, but the editing needs to be indistinguishable between RAW and other formats.
  5. Metadata is critical and this is what is currently stopping me from moving to another package. I frequently search on any of the metadata items. I have built up a huge library of keywords for use with Alamy. This needs to be on display and editable with the image.
  6. The usual range of flags, ratings and so on goes without saying and must be there.
  7. The ability to print directly from the DAM interface with ICC profile options, as in Lightroom.
  8. A map view (as taken away from non cc versions of Lightroom).

 

Essentially this is Lightroom on Affinity, but there is a good reason that Lightroom is the market leader. A halfway house, and one that would let me move away from Lightroom right now, is to use Photos on Mac for the basic file structure and viewing and to add a strong metadata and searching model to Affinity Photo. Photos already allows for network files as well as files integrated into the Photos library.

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On 7/20/2019 at 12:52 PM, stuartbarry said:
  1. A map view (as taken away from non cc versions of Lightroom).

One detail: I would prefer the GPS record to be converted also to textual address. Sometimes it is much easier to search images by street address than with map view. I really like how iOS shows human readable address with iPhone images – those though disappear when I move photos to Lightroom.

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Voted no as devs can optimize their work fixing bugs in current apps.  I loaded all my photos in SSD folder, Finder is adequate.  I do believe it will happen, as a separate future app.  Until then,  patience.


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I think that we have two things missing.

One is the ability to quickly brouse files and show them in an affinity product ready for processing. Even crude products like Nikon's own free software allows a similar ability. One can quickly traverse (backwards and forwards) a directory of files and process or discard as appropriate. There is no need to inport.

Second is a full DAM such as Light Room. Let's remember that LR is not a raw processor or an editor. LR sits above ACR and Photoshop and calls on them as needed. For this functionality a formal inport is needed.

I agree with Cecil that refining the present products should take precedance at present however I would expect that the architecture of the Affinity suite was developed with provision for an overall application that could sit above the other products. I would not expect that to be a free 'add on'. I like the modular approach by which I have purchased licences to Photo and Publisher. I would purchase a DAM module licence at the same sort of prices as the existing modules.

Incidentally I noticed the term 'inport' was used somewhere in the documentation before getting photo and publisher. It confused me somewhat because we don't import anything. I guess that DAM is planned. Also we export rather than 'save as'. Another clue that developers within Affinity might have something cooking?

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Posted (edited)

Good Morning,  Would love to have a Image management solution made by Affinity.  One of the issues Window users have is seeing thumbnails of all the file formats available.  For example Windows does not provide thumbnails for RAW files from Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic and others.  Windows also does not provide thumbnails for PSD and Affinity files in their browser.

This is problematic when trying to select files to bring into Affinity as you can not identify the file you need if the only thing you see in the Windows file browser is a icon and not the image.

This is why I have a problem using Affinity Photo at this time.  Have owned the program since the first release and would love to move from Lightroom and Photoshop - and not because of the subscription model - but for a long list of issues that I won't go into here.

So I encourage your developers to make haste in bringing us a browser solution that will read all types of file formats.

Thank you

 

 

Edited by DLM87
corrected wording in 3rd sentence in 1st paragraph

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I reiterate a point that I made earlier that, in my view, Adobe's Lightroom is not a digital asset management application but, rather, more of an image management application, in that it is primarily designed for the management (and editing) of files created in a camera.

I am longing for a true digital asset management application - one that manages files regardless of their source.

They may be camera RAW files, JPEGs or TIFFs but they may also be files from the likes of Affinity Designer and Publisher - offering previews of these files which Adobe Bridge doesn't do (not that I want to use Bridge... that's the whole reason I want Affinity to produce a program with similar functionality to Bridge - but better!).

It should also be able to handle (and show previews for) Illustrator and InDesign files (because, like it or not, I have thousands of these files in my archives), video and audio files, HTML files, Word and Excel files and so on. In short, all types of digital assets.

I do not seek nor expect it to have any sort of editing capabilities built in - it is simply a cataloguing application.

If Affinity could nail this I'd dump Adobe in a flash!

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8 hours ago, davidg2020 said:

I am longing for a true digital asset management application - one that manages files regardless of their source.

...

It should also be able to handle (and show previews for) Illustrator and InDesign files (because, like it or not, I have thousands of these files in my archives), video and audio files, HTML files, Word and Excel files and so on. In short, all types of digital assets.

 

On the Mac, this is called the Finder, although most people wouldn't be aware of how powerful it is.

 

 

 


Grumpy, but faithful (watch out all you cats)

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