Need a DAM - any suggestions?

zathras

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Chris Nielsen
Hi all

I am in search of a DAM. I use DxO for my image editing, and I am looking for a DAM to go with it. I am really hoping Apple's new photos.app will do what I need but who can say until it's out. Assuming it doesn't do what I need, can anyone offer suggestions? Needs to run on a Mac. I need basic rating and keywording and folder sync so I can process in DxO and sync the TIFFs it spits out. Some sort of stacking would be nice. Needs to read .ORFs from my E-M1. Some way to export directly to Smugmug would be nice too.

For years I ran iView Media Pro, mostly loved it (except the constant crashes) and I got used to using a heavy duty DAM, ever since moving from it (when MS bought the company) I have missed it. For a time I used Aperture and then Lightroom, but I don't really like either of those, their DAM components seem like an afterthought. Also with Lightroom there is the $10 a month to consider, I don't want to pay them forever, and especially as I now use DxO for my editing LR seems like overkill. I have briefly tried using Aperture but using it with DxO seems like fighting against it constantly. I did think if I switch back to Aperture I could easily upgrade to photos.app when it comes out but I have no idea if that will be awful with DxO as I am starting to think it might be, knowing what Apple is like.

I am trying Photo Supreme right now but I am not liking it....

Wish I could use Phase One's Media Pro, that is the evolutionof iView, but I believe it is pretty much a dead product now, and I would be missing lots of features. MS bought it, did nothing with it, Phase One bought it, did nearly nothing with it. Poor iView, you were so good to me. I sobbed when I realised I had lost my license code to it.... I do have a license to the MS version of iView which seems stable enough but it has the infuriating catalog size limitation that makes the catalog blow up if you use large previews, if you don't it's dog slow.

Any suggestions would be MUCH appreciated!

Cheers,

Chris
 
D

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The three that come to my mind that might interest you:

Lightroom
Picasa
ACDSee
 

hese

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Few more:
Daminion
Zoner Photo

Personally i switched to Photo Supreme. As bonus it shows sigma merrills photos, if sigmas pro photo 6 is installed.
 

mpresley

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Adobe says a Creative Cloud subscription isn't and won't be required to get Lightroom - the perpetual license version is still available on their website (I just checked). That doesn't help you if you don't like Lightroom.

ACDSee Pro has the basic DAM features as well as an improving RAW workflow - I have both but don't really like ACDSee for RAW work, mostly just because I'm so invested with LR. ACDSee does support sending photos to facebook, flickr, SmugMug, and Zenfolio. It does support both public data (EXIF and IPTC) as well as private collections. It's nicely done software, just not my favorite.

I just reread your post and realized you said you're looking for mac software - there is a Pro version of ACDSee for mac. I have no idea how it compares to the Windows version.
 

Just Jim

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LR isn't really a great option if you're not in the Adobe ecosystem, even then it's way too slow for a pure DAM tool. http://www.phaseone.com/Imaging-Software/Media-Pro.aspx
This is really what you're looking for, a stripped down, DAM tool that's quick, light on the bloat as all your real edits are done elsewhere. Anything better will cost you an arm and a leg. I've looked too. Like all software it's not perfect, requires some learning, but it's a solid piece of software.
 

zathras

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LR isn't really a great option if you're not in the Adobe ecosystem, even then it's way too slow for a pure DAM tool. http://www.phaseone.com/Imaging-Software/Media-Pro.aspx
This is really what you're looking for, a stripped down, DAM tool that's quick, light on the bloat as all your real edits are done elsewhere. Anything better will cost you an arm and a leg. I've looked too. Like all software it's not perfect, requires some learning, but it's a solid piece of software.
I have looked in the Phase One forum and it seems that the current version of Media Pro is allegedly not fully compatible with OSX 10.9 !!! I am running 10.10 and trying it out but I am worried that as Phase folds catalog functionality into Capture One, that Media Pro will be left to die
 

Just Jim

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I have looked in the Phase One forum and it seems that the current version of Media Pro is allegedly not fully compatible with OSX 10.9 !!! I am running 10.10 and trying it out but I am worried that as Phase folds catalog functionality into Capture One, that Media Pro will be left to die
Hmm. Well sorry about that. It runs wonderfully on Windows, blazingly fast program. But I don't use Apples so I'm sorry I can't help there. FWiW I don't think media pro is really being folded into C1, the catalog in C1 currently is structured like LR as a glorified browser. I've seen some good stuff about DB gallery although it maybe way more functionality than you need, although if you're doing a lot of offsite back up's it may be perfect...
 

zathras

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Hmm. Well sorry about that. It runs wonderfully on Windows, blazingly fast program. But I don't use Apples so I'm sorry I can't help there. FWiW I don't think media pro is really being folded into C1, the catalog in C1 currently is structured like LR as a glorified browser. I've seen some good stuff about DB gallery although it maybe way more functionality than you need, although if you're doing a lot of offsite back up's it may be perfect...
I am not trying to be negative - I am trying it and have not had any issues whatsoever so I am leaning towards it. At the end of the day I have a 60 day trial and I will be using it hard out and watching for any issues

I may contact Phase One for confirmation of compatibility

I loved iView and that is pretty much all Media Pro is. Hope it does what I need without random crashes.
 

Whtrbt7

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I'm still running Aperture for right now since it's the fastest DAM that's out there that fits my workflow. If you like to work with Lightroom or Photoshop in post then the other one I recommend that a lot of media people use is Photo Mechanic. It's wicked fast for initial edits and ingestion and then can fit into a Lightroom for post workflow pretty well. The problem with Photo Mechanic is that it's still pretty manual which doesn't fit my usual workflow pattern of ingestion, edits, meta, then PP. Apple's new Photos.app will be pretty interesting since it will automatically handle mobile ingestion as well as cross-device DAM but will probably come at the cost of iCloud storage space. It also isn't a library management tool from what I've seen since it is designed for cross-device DAM which means everything is kind of connected to the iCloud servers which is limited in space.

So looking at your list of requirements, iPhoto, Photo Mechanic, or Aperture would work well but you take the risk of having iPhoto and Aperture unsupported in the future (Which may not be a huge deal once Photos.app gets released). Aperture does the best right now due to stacking, external TIFF edits on DxO, and Smugmug Exporting which is easy. Also library/catalogue/whatever crazy thing people are using management is pretty easy since it's a single "folder/library" that can be transported easily. Photo Mechanic can do most of the major edits like rating and keywording but the file structure needs to be managed manually which I just don't have the patience for unless I need to create a separate Lightroom Catalogue for my post processors. If you're comparing Aperture to Photo Mechanic, Ingestion via Aperture is still faster overall but Photo Mechanic does allow you to edit (rating+keywording) while you are ingesting which means that for extremely large ingests, it's more time efficient. Photo Mechanic just doesn't support stacking. Another possibility for manual DAM, is Adobe Bridge. It can stack and it can do slower ingestion as well as edits (keywording and rating) but it doesn't do direct Smugmug integration. With every DAM that's out there, different strengths and weaknesses occur. You'll find one that you like and use it for a while until your usage pattern changes.
 

zathras

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I tried using DXO with Aperture but was foiled by the way it produces TIFFs and that stops me using its lens corrections etc
 

Whtrbt7

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Ah yeah, Aperture TIFFs are not really "real" TIFFs. I normally have to re-export originals from Aperture in order to use external RAW processors. I just re-stack the PPed TIFFs or PSD/PSBs after I finish with them. I just wish Apple would update and fix Aperture because it's great for what I use it for. As a DAM, it's awesome due to its library management. It's just that PP in Aperture is pretty bad unless you're just editing JPGs.
 

T N Args

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I use LR with DxO Pro. It's a good combination: LR is far more efficient with image file size (no TIFFs), can handle all the database work as well as routine file editing (including batch), then I use DxO for the 'special' images where I want 10/10 quality.
 

zathras

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I use LR with DxO Pro. It's a good combination: LR is far more efficient with image file size (no TIFFs), can handle all the database work as well as routine file editing (including batch), then I use DxO for the 'special' images where I want 10/10 quality.
I may have to do the same, I can see that. I do like how easy it is to fire photos back and forth between LR and DxO. I don't like paying $10 a month for it forever though. I think in the end if photos.app turns out to be a fizzer then I could just purchase LR and be done with it....
 

kevinparis

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Ah yeah, Aperture TIFFs are not really "real" TIFFs. I normally have to re-export originals from Aperture in order to use external RAW processors. I just re-stack the PPed TIFFs or PSD/PSBs after I finish with them. I just wish Apple would update and fix Aperture because it's great for what I use it for. As a DAM, it's awesome due to its library management. It's just that PP in Aperture is pretty bad unless you're just editing JPGs.
Think you are a little confused about how Aperture works.

1) TIFF's exported from Aperture are as real as any other TIFF

2) Of course you have to re-export original Raw files to use in another RAW processor, because as soon as you look at a RAW file in Aperture it has been RAW processed by Aperture

3) It has to generate a TIFF to use with plug-ins/external image editors because thats what they accept

4) Funny that every photo I have taken in the last 5 or 6 years has been shot in RAW only and processed almost exclusively in Aperture ( you can check out my Flickr link in my sig) - usually within a couple of minutes of work. Aperture is a very good and very powerful RAW editor.. I will be using it for at least another year.

5) There will be no update or fix for Aperture.. It will remain what it is.... a damn fine piece of software :)

K
 

zathras

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This might sound weird to you, but after years of using iview where you can browse your keyword hierarchy and simply click on a keyword and the appropriate images would pop up, to then use Aperture, you can browse your keyword hierarchy using the keyword inspector, but clicking on a keyword does not bring up those images, instead you have to use Find and navigate a flat list of keywords, when I had a very deep and complex keyword hierarchy that difficulty of browsing my images drove me absolutely spare. I can see why more people don't complain about it. Lightroom is nearly as bad with the way keywords work.
 
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