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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?  

340 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.
      52
    • 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.
      57
    • 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).
      231


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METAdata are mostly messy (camera vendores and even ADOBE do not comply with standards), so one have to use a good DAM or nothing.

I am using IMatch, that is robust, keep all METAdata standards, has a lot automatism, plugins (scripts) AND has super support. The developer answers every question and solves every problem mentioned on the forum or per email. And the community of the forum is really supporting and inspiring. The price is comparable to Affinity Photo AND no subscription required.

I hope, that Affinity Photo doesn't want to be a DAM, just a picture browser or a sorter (for culling). Like Pixort. That would be nice. Do one thing and do it right.

Edited by mastodon

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It is not entirely fair from your company to not give your customers information on whether you are preparing a program that will replace the lightroom. I supported your company by purchasing all AP and AF and Publisher licenses for both PC and Ipad. Although I only use vector occasionally. All these programs are amazing and I really appreciate the work you have done. In my work, however, I can not do without Adobe Lightroom. Please tell us your intentions if you are preparing something like this. Apparently I'm not the only one who can't sleep.

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"It is not entirely fair from [sic] your company to not give your customers information on whether you are preparing a program that will replace the Adobe Lightroom."

 

"tomkuklik" makes the single most relevant point around which this multiple year(s) long thread should revolve.

As the "consumers" that provide this company [AF] with its income stream ... and without which they would be unable to remain viable ... we deserve nothing less.

Speaking as one of the myriad "consumers", and as outstanding as AF Photo truly is ... I'll not return until this issue is completely addressed. and/or the solution is released.

 

 

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7 hours ago, MGBJAY said:

"It is not entirely fair from [sic] your company to not give your customers information on whether you are preparing a program that will replace the Adobe Lightroom."

As the "consumers" that provide this company [AF] with its income stream ... and without which they would be unable to remain viable ... we deserve nothing less.

Keep in mind this thread was not begun by Serif themselves. It was a consumer that posted the poll and comment thread based upon a number of rumors and a few isolated unofficial statements made by forum moderators. Very few companies pre-announce their future products at least until they are only weeks or months away from delivery. If they have nothing near delivery, then I don't expect to hear anything from them. 

This thread says less about Serif and more about how consumers' minds work. We don't "deserve" better treatment by Serif. They've already gained my trust, and I signal that by spending my $$$ on their imaging products. If and when they release a DAM, I'll be happy to check it out. But for now, there are other capable products that perform this function well enough for my workflow.

Creating a true DAM (which Lightroom itself is NOT) is difficult business. I hope Serif figures out how to define and design one that fits in with the aesthetic and capability of their rest of their tools.

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5 hours ago, Ulysses said:

Keep in mind this thread was not begun by Serif themselves. It was a consumer that posted the poll and comment thread based upon a number of rumors and a few isolated unofficial statements made by Serif. Very few companies pre-announce their future products at least until they are only weeks or months away from delivery. If they have nothing near delivery, then I don't expect to hear anything from them. 

This thread says less about Serif and more about how consumers' minds work. We don't "deserve" better treatment by Serif. They've already gained my trust, and I signal that by spending my $$$ on their imaging products. If and when they release a DAM, I'll be happy to check it out. But for now, there are other capable products that perform well enough for my workflow.

Creating a true DAM (which Lightroom itself is NOT) is difficult business. I hope Serif figures out how to define and design one that fits in with the aesthetic and capability of their rest of their tools.

Well said


Affinity Designer 1.8.5 & beta 1.9.0.820   Affinity Photo 1.8.5 beta  1.9.0.820 Affinity Publisher 1.8.5 beta  1.8.4.798

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

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5 hours ago, Ulysses said:

Keep in mind this thread was not begun by Serif themselves. It was a consumer that posted the poll and comment thread based upon a number of rumors and a few isolated unofficial statements made by forum moderators. Very few companies pre-announce their future products at least until they are only weeks or months away from delivery. If they have nothing near delivery, then I don't expect to hear anything from them. 

This thread says less about Serif and more about how consumers' minds work. We don't "deserve" better treatment by Serif. They've already gained my trust, and I signal that by spending my $$$ on their imaging products. If and when they release a DAM, I'll be happy to check it out. But for now, there are other capable products that perform this function well enough for my workflow.

Creating a true DAM (which Lightroom itself is NOT) is difficult business. I hope Serif figures out how to define and design one that fits in with the aesthetic and capability of their rest of their tools.

 

16 minutes ago, Rick G said:

Well said

 

Agree with you both.  Serif are doing outstanding work in offering us a viable solution to the behemoth--Adobe.  They've started with the traditional buy-and-own-forever business model for software, which seems like it's still in demand and I think 100% of the people I know, including software developers where I work,  prefer that traditional purchasing model to Adobe' 100% rent-forever subscription model.  On top of that, Serif's pricing for their apps is very competitive, you get a lot of value for each of those $50 apps.  Besides the pricing model, they've built up the three great apps:  Photo, Designer, Publisher, to compete straight-up against Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.  

I still agree with the general impulse behind the OP, and this thread:   even though Serif are doing an awesome job with their standalone 3 apps, to TRULY compete and offer an end-to-end solution that's an alternative to the Adobe software ecosystem,  it's helpful if Serif could eventually offer some type of integrated DAM solution as well.  An app that helps us to manage our graphics assets, and that smoothly integrated with the 3 standalone apps we have today. This is going to help Serif ultimately, because many many users out there would then view Serif as a complete 100% replacement to Adobe.  I know for myself, if Serif comes up with a respectable DAM offering--I won't need Adobe apps anymore at all.  

But as @Ulysses said, we can get by today.  There are various DAM apps which will integrate adequately with the Serif apps to the extent you can get by.   What I'm doing now to get that functionality is that I use a combo of Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Bridge, together with Affinity Photo and Designer.  Lightroom lets me set Aff Photo as my photo manager, and then I can right-click a photo in LR and it'll launch Photo to edit any file in Lightroom's catalog.  And with Bridge--which is free to download for all users by the way--I can do metadata tagging, create collection, etc, for any type of graphics asset (not just photos, but vector formats too), other media file types (video, audio), and even PDF files.  It's the ultimate file viewer, file manager, metadata bulk tagger, and organizer (collections, etc.) for these file types.  And you don't even need a subscription to use it! 

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23 minutes ago, timlt said:

I still agree with the general impulse behind the OP, and this thread:   even though Serif are doing an awesome job with their standalone 3 apps, to TRULY compete and offer an end-to-end solution that's an alternative to the Adobe software ecosystem,  it's helpful if Serif could eventually offer some type of integrated DAM solution as well. 

... 

But as @Ulysses said, we can get by today.  There are various DAM apps which will integrate adequately with the Serif apps to the extent you can get by.   What I'm doing now to get that functionality is that I use a combo of Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Bridge, together with Affinity Photo and Designer... And with Bridge--which is free to download for all users by the way--I can do metadata tagging, create collection, etc, for any type of graphics asset (not just photos, but vector formats too), other media file types (video, audio), and even PDF files.  It's the ultimate file viewer, file manager, metadata bulk tagger, and organizer (collections, etc.) for these file types.  And you don't even need a subscription to use it! 

Very well outlined, @timlt

Just like everyone else, I cannot wait for Serif to deliver their own DAM. But just because it hasn't yet been announced doesn't mean that I intend to go elsewhere.

Like yourself and many others, I continue to use FREE Adobe Bridge CC. I would certainly prefer to be completely rid of Adobe products on my computer. But as long as Bridge continues to be FREE, I'm happy to integrate it as a general file browser and viewer. It also helps in managing a bit of my metadata needs — although Photo Mechanic from Camerabits does the heavy lifting there.

For raw file development, I abandoned Lightroom and moved up to Capture One Pro. It's not in the same price category as the Affinity products, but I'm glad I made the switch. It's not a DAM either, but Capture One Pro can care for a few lighter metadata and cataloging tasks even though I use it strictly as a raw developer.

If I need to see thumbnails of my Affinity projects, I use XNViewMP (for Mac, but they also offer a similar Windows product).

Out of the above items, I wish I could integrate the best features of Photo Mechanic, Adobe Bridge CC, and XNViewMP into one product. This would avoid a bit of hopping around between applications. That said, I don't expect an Affinity DAM to come out of the womb as a fully-formed, adult app. So I'll likely stick with the above products for some time. It's completely workable, and I'm able to get a lot done while I wait for Serif.  🙂  

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8 minutes ago, Ulysses said:

If I need to see thumbnails of my Affinity projects, I use XNViewMP (for Mac, but they also offer a similar Windows product).

I was going to mention XnView but was afraid they would run me out of here 😁

It beats the daylights out of ACDSEE which I used for years


Affinity Designer 1.8.5 & beta 1.9.0.820   Affinity Photo 1.8.5 beta  1.9.0.820 Affinity Publisher 1.8.5 beta  1.8.4.798

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 2004

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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Just now, Rick G said:

I was going to mention XnView but was afraid they would run me out of here 😁

It beats the daylights out of ACDSEE which I used for years

LOL! I know what you mean.  🙂 

And I'm glad you mentioned the comparison to ACDSee. I'd been considering purchasing that one, but just didn't find enough reason to spend the $$$ on it when they were offering a deal. I'm glad I won't have any regrets.

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2 minutes ago, Ulysses said:

LOL! I know what you mean.  🙂 

And I'm glad you mentioned the comparison to ACDSee. I'd been considering purchasing that one, but just didn't find enough reason to spend the $$$ on it when they were offering a deal. I'm glad I won't have any regrets.

Once it was the best image viewer out there. Now it is kludgy and bloated. They keep adding toys but don't fix the bugs.


Affinity Designer 1.8.5 & beta 1.9.0.820   Affinity Photo 1.8.5 beta  1.9.0.820 Affinity Publisher 1.8.5 beta  1.8.4.798

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 2004

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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Another +1 on what Ulysses said. 

Still clinging on to Aperture I would absolutely love to hear if Serif is making a DAM but it is definitely not unfair om them to not reveal their business agenda and pre-announce future products.

If anything, I'd advice them not to (not that they need my advice), until they have something real to show. Pre-announcing software development projects early on is asking for trouble. If they take more time than planned (which software development almost always does), people will be disappointed. If business priorities changes along the way, people will be disappointed. And so on. 

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23 minutes ago, Rick G said:

And I'm glad you mentioned the comparison to ACDSee. I'd been considering purchasing that one, but just didn't find enough reason to spend the $$$ on it when they were offering a deal. I'm glad I won't have any regrets.

I made the mistake of purchasing the latest ACDSee. Made an even bigger mistake by buying a multipack that included ACDSee for Mac and Windows (I use both) along with some video editing programs.

It turns out ACDSee doesn't support the latest compressed Canon RAW format (that my EOS RP saves in) and they don't seem interested in fixing it. After several emails to them the trail just went cold so I pretty much wasted my money.

Seems Adobe aren't the only software company that don't care about their customers (they've got so many, so what if they lose a few now and then!).

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6 minutes ago, AdrianB said:

If anything, I'd advice them not to (not that they need my advice), until they have something real to show. Pre-announcing software development projects early on is asking for trouble.

Here's another potential issue. Some have noted that companies such as Adobe have essentially copied some of the features, behaviors, and UI cues found originally in the Affinity products. Whether they opted to specifically copy Serif in these areas is debatable but not entirely out of the question. I'm sure they see the momentum of this relatively young, nimble, forward-thinking company. To pre-announce upcoming products too early would open Serif to losing some of their unique ideas. So I can be patient, especially since they continually refine existing products.

Their DAM will get here in due time.

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Just wondering but....if you have Adobe Bridge for free to use with the Affinity apps, what's the appeal of using XnviewMP at all?  I've tried Xnview, I realize it is free anyway, and it has some added functionality that Bridge doesn't have (however, note that Bridge's implementation of IPTC/XMP metadata is more cross-platform standards-compliant than Xnview's is, for those who care).   But given that the Affinity products like Photo can handle RAW files, and have a batch processor for things like converting many files at once, I'm not really seeing what Xnview gives you that's useful compared to the combined features of Bridge plus Aff Photo or Designer.  With Bridge you can:  import files directly from your camera,  export to JPGs, create collections, bulk metadata tag many files (manually or using a common template you create for values that are always the same on your files), have a customizable file viewer for almost any type of supported graphic format including most RAW formats, and more.  If you have an Adobe subscription Bridge is even more useful, you get direct integration with Adobe Camera RAW, which now lets you bulk RAW images, and save snapshots of your settings.   You can even write custom scripts to extend Bridge's functionality.  I've found a few of those on the Adobe Exchange site.  After trying both it and Xnview and a few other graphics asset manager apps both paid and free, I uninstalled Xnview and stuck with Bridge.  

 

 

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2 minutes ago, timlt said:

Just wondering but....if you have Adobe Bridge for free to use with the Affinity apps, what's the appeal of using XnviewMP at all?  

 

 

Bridge is the biggest problem I have with all Adobe CC apps... it crashes frequently and exhibits unusual behaviour in that when switching from another CC app to Bridge, Bridge is unresponsive to mouse clicks - I then have to go to another app and back to Bridge before clicking my mouse anywhere on the Bridge window elicits some form of response.

I have had this issue for ages and have had contacted Adobe many times, have had many open cases that keep getting marked as "closed" or "resolved" even though the problem still exists.

That's why I wish somebody else would come up with a product that offers similar functionality (and I don't mean an Aperture or Lightroom alternative - I mean a true DAM).

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1 minute ago, davidg2020 said:

Bridge is the biggest problem I have with all Adobe CC apps... it crashes frequently and exhibits unusual behaviour in that when switching from another CC app to Bridge, Bridge is unresponsive to mouse clicks - I then have to go to another app and back to Bridge before clicking my mouse anywhere on the Bridge window elicits some form of response.

I have had this issue for ages and have had contacted Adobe many times, have had many open cases that keep getting marked as "closed" or "resolved" even though the problem still exists.

That's why I wish somebody else would come up with a product that offers similar functionality (and I don't mean an Aperture or Lightroom alternative - I mean a true DAM).

Can you reproduce the exact same behavior on a second computer configured with similar hardware and operating system?  If not, I suspect it's a computer-specific issue.  Doesn't make it any less frustrating for you, of course.  But may not be a universal issue for all Bridge users.  I currently have it installed on 2 PC's at home, 1 at work, not seeing any of those issues.  But free admit I haven't tested it with hundreds of thousands of photos or anything at a huge scale, so I don't know how its performance (or the performance of ANY graphics app I use) would perform under those conditions.  

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3 minutes ago, timlt said:

Can you reproduce the exact same behavior on a second computer configured with similar hardware and operating system? 

I have had it over several different MacBook Pros and many different Mac operating systems. I thought it may be a conflict with a third party piece of software but have completely erased my hard drive and installed only Mac OS and CC apps and it still persists.

It doesn't seem to occur on my Windows machine, fortunately.

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Interesting--so you think it's a Mac-OS-specific thing?  Have you heard that from other Mac users too? 

FWIW, my machines that it runs well on are all Windows.  So I guess that aligns with your experience there.  

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8 minutes ago, timlt said:

Just wondering but....if you have Adobe Bridge for free to use with the Affinity apps, what's the appeal of using XnviewMP at all? 

I'm glad you asked. 🙂 

You're exactly right: Adobe Bridge works really well as a general purpose file manager and file viewer, allowing you to preview your images, apply and manage metadata, as well as a host of other functions, even if you use it standalone apart from other Adobe applications. However, Adobe Bridge will not show you thumbnails or image previews for any of your Affinity applications — such as AFPHOTO, AFDESIGN, AFPUB files. Instead, you see only the application icon.

If you enjoy navigating your work and projects by using thumbnail previews or want to see large previews of your Affinity projects, you need a tool such as XNView or possibly ACDSee. 

*** BTW it seems XNViewMP is not giving me previews for Publisher files after all. I don't use Publisher a lot, so this doesn't really impact my workflow right now.

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Ah...now THAT makes sense.  The thumbnail support for the proprietary file types.....not something I use, but I get why you'd want that.  Also I could never figure why so many on this forum in other threads mentioned they used Xnview, this must be "the reason" in most cases, that it supports Affinity filetype thumbnails.  Mystery solved! 😎

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3 minutes ago, timlt said:

Interesting--so you think it's a Mac-OS-specific thing?  Have you heard that from other Mac users too? 

FWIW, my machines that it runs well on are all Windows.  So I guess that aligns with your experience there.  

I've been unable to find any other users having similar problems, which probably explains why Adobe haven't fixed it... it's just too rare a problem to invest a lot of time in.

 

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Just now, timlt said:

Ah...now THAT makes sense.  The thumbnail support for the proprietary file types.....not something I use, but I get why you'd want that.  Also I could never figure why so many on this forum in other threads mentioned they used Xnview, this must be "the reason" in most cases, that it supports Affinity filetype thumbnails.  Mystery solved! 😎

That's really my ONLY reason for occasionally using XNView. Sometimes with certain projects I stick with an image file number, and not necessarily a name carrying some sort of description. In cases like this, it's helpful having a thumbnail or preview when I need to find a file.

If Serif comes out with their own DAM it will certainly have this function, and I can be completely done with XNView. 

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Switched from photoshop to Affinity photo a few months ago for two reasons:

  1.  AF can do as much and even more than  photoshop (will not start that debate here), the switch for a photoshop user was more than  easy. 
  2.  price on a monthly basis was becoming too much at the end.

Having said that, the DAM functionality of lightroom is missing. I am a very early user of Imatch and I think that Affinity should develop a similar DAM program.

there is a market slot for this and  there are very few useful affordable programs available on the market.

Just my two cents:14_relaxed:

 

  

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I think most Affinity users are waiting for LRkiller, and maybe one third of the users are hoping for TrueDAM. It is very unclear if these two can be combined successfully.

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I do not need a DAM.

I would like a DAM very much.

I would expect it to use a database and accept that importing would be necessary.

A browser like Bridge is not worth the effort of creating it.

I am aware of the problems of creating such a system since a colleague and I created a system for controlling engineering drawings, which ended up as a product database. This system used an Oracle DBMS. I understand that Lightroom uses a light single file version of Microsoft SQL Server. These DAM systems are not trivial and require several man years to develop.

I am still hoping but do not underestimate the resource needed. I would expect this, if ever created to be an add on at extra cost. This would be a huge project for a company whose expertise is in graphics, imaging, and desktop publishing.

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