Best D.A.M besides Lightroom

ralf-11

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I'd personally say that darktable is superior to Lightroom in many respects once you get used to the differences in the workflow.

I liken it to Windows (Lightroom) vs. Linux (darktable). One let's you do most stuff you want pretty easily but if you want something that is a little outside the norm then you're screwed. The other lets you do all the stuff you want with a little more effort but it's outside the curve is where it really shines.

A perfect example is the darktable tone equalizer. You just can't do that in Lightroom.
Lighttable has the ability to find focus points in your image. LR6 doesn't, tho there is an addon for it
 

oldracer

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One of the features of LR that I use frequently is the ability to create Collections of photos. I have a number of cases where one image is included in more than one collections. The "Collection" is really just a set of pointers to the included images. Any editing done to the image appears identically in all collections that include it. This is most naturally mechanized in a database covering all images. Possibly it could be done with sidecar files but it is not obvious to me.

Does anyone know if LightTable has a similar capability?
 
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One of the features of LR that I use frequently is the ability to create Collections of photos. I have a number of cases where one image is included in more than one collections. The "Collection" is really just a set of pointers to the included images. Any editing done to the image appears identically in all collections that include it. This is most naturally mechanized in a database covering all images. Possibly it could be done with sidecar files but it is not obvious to me.

Does anyone know if LightTable has a similar capability?
This is actually the default way that darktable works and was one of my stumbling blocks early on. I wasn't understanding that the "collection" I was looking at was a folder. You build a collection by setting criteria (date, filename parts, containing folder, camera, and on and on) until you have the pictures you want in it. Then you can save the collection as a preset. I'm probably not explaining it well. Paging @junkyardsparkle !!!
 

grcolts

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betamax

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I've settled on Exposure X6. Has the basics, including layers, and a basic DAM which uses sidecar files, and is fairly snappy. What it lacks, photostacking for NR, HDR and focus stacking, I've got in Affinity.
 

ralf-11

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HDR stacking is critical for landscape photos with m43
 

junkyardsparkle

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I'm probably not explaining it well. Paging @junkyardsparkle !!!
I'm probably not understanding the problem well, but... I personally try to do my organization in a way that's as software-agnostic as possible, which for me means good use of keywords aka "tags"; this means that the same methods of collecting will be available with other software, or when uploaded to a decent hosting site.

That said, if I *did* want to explicitly create organization structures within darktable but outside of normal keywording, I would probably look into the use of "private tags". These are available in darktable's tagging interface, and are (optionally) not included in exported images. Using uniquely named (maybe prefaced with "collection_") keywords, you should be able to easily create arbitrary collections. You add and remove images by adding and removing the tag from the image. Might be a different approach from what some people are used to, but quite flexible. :D
 

oldracer

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... Using uniquely named (maybe prefaced with "collection_") keywords, you should be able to easily create arbitrary collections. You add and remove images by adding and removing the tag from the image. Might be a different approach from what some people are used to, but quite flexible. :D
Thanks! It seems very obvious when you say it but I was not smart enough to think of doing that. It's a bit of a workaround to be sure, but as you say, doing it that way would make my library more software agnostic.
 

junkyardsparkle

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Thanks! It seems very obvious when you say it but I was not smart enough to think of doing that. It's a bit of a workaround to be sure, but as you say, doing it that way would make my library more software agnostic.
Yeah, it's probably not really different from how collections are handled in LR under the hood, it's just updating the thinking about what collections really are (an attribute that any given object may or may not have, as opposed to little containers that objects get sorted into). By approaching it directly this way, "collections" fit right into all the interesting things that darktable's "collect images" module can do with "rules", so you can combine, intersect, etc using the collection attribute just like any other keyword.
 
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What is the best digital asset manager (database functions) for the MacOS other than LR?
My friend likes Apple Photos. Derrick Story thinks pretty highly of it. He wrote an eBook for it.
When I was a Mac user I loved Apple Photos. It had all the Lightroom CC syncing features a few years before Adobe did.

There's a plugin called Raw Therapee which was developed by the leads of the old Apple Aparture team that I used to use, I haven't used Photos since they introduced Tone Curves and Levels but it was the biggest feature I wish they had when I changed to Windows.

On1 photo raw is also good and reasonably priced.

https://www.on1.com/products/photo-raw/
I moved away from On1 to Adobe CC last year reasons:
- On1 would promise features and miss timelines.... Repeaditively.
- Lack of a real print module in Photo RAW.
- Better education resources for Adobe.
- When you're setting up a Smart Album or Collection or whatever there was no Boolean function in their filtering options. This is extremely powerful for finding photos that are missing keywords they should have.

In the end Lightroom Classic worked out way better for me than On1 did. At times I found it hard to not end up with a haloing effect on a lot of high contrast images processed in On1, in Lightroom/Photoshop, it's just not an issue.

If it were me:

- Free DAM: Apple Photos. Take a look at what extensions are available that might enhance your editing.
- Good option: Adobe Photographers Bundle. Not sure why you're hesitent about them, if it's the subscription thing, just bite the bullet and jump onboard. More and more software is moving onto the SaaS model, it's the way forward (and Photoshop has never been more affordable than it is since Adobe introduced CC)
- Subscription free option: Capture One. You'll pay through the nose for it though.
 
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Also, I've found that since moving away from On1 to Adobe my processing style has moved from high contrast, high dynamic, unrealistic effects and filters to a more realistic approach. Probably one of the best things I ever did for my photography.
 

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