Hi Guys (non gender specific term):
I wanted to start a general discussion about the state of digital asset management software today.
Let me start by saying, I have needs! Serious needs. No longer can my collection of images be stored on a single hard drive. Last time I did that, it costs over $2,000 to get the data back (ouch).
I work in a single person company with a reasonable cash flow. Tools makes me competitive beyond my number of one person. So I invest heavily. As a matter of fact, it is quite common for me to purchase every piece of software in the competitive landscape if given enough of a reason. I love this stuff too.
So here is my assessment of the DAM field right now. Please feel free to disagree with me (that means you Skylum). I choose to start this discussion here for a reason. A good one.
Here are the products I use in this field.
1. Luminar 3.
2. On1 Photography
3. Lightroom 5.7 (no subscription)
4. Capture 1
5. AcdSee 3 (do not even bother)
6. Just about every $120 app the Mac store peddles.
All software is current, except Lightroom.
The Winner? Finder! Honest. Kind of! I have to scour a disk array for anything. Everything! And since keywording is a joke, so is Search! Yeah, I know Finder does not have a developer attached, but several are just a click away. Some of them, Luminar 2018, will even load fast enough to keep your mind from wandering.
My best organizational tool is my naming convention for my directory structures (name of area - date). Simple and so far faster than anything else.
Right now I have a mission to find all sorts of very specific landscape shots over 150 directories with at least 5 gb of files in every one. Some much more than that. NONE OF THESE DAMS CAN DO THIS.
Note: Each of them can supply part of the answer, not the whole thing. On1 will load the directories fastest of every one of these. Very impressive, but once you go to edit the image, get out the calendar for timing, you are going to be here for a while. That means instead of finding 20 suitable images and processing them, I get three done. The rest of the time the machine is locked up and I am at a beach ball party. Honestly!
Can Luminar 3 handle this any better? No! And what good would it do if I cannot even tell what Image I am working with. You can't go into "Info" every time to tell the file name. The developers know this. This is nothing new and they know they absolutely need this feature if they are ever going to get that DAM off the ground. That gives you a good idea of how far they have to go just to get to the starting line. In the real world. The one that contains all of my images.
Lightroom? No! Slower than a turtle. But I still like it. Finder is way faster. Good developer, the others are racing by it now.
Capture 1? No and I cannot even find a grid screen where you look at all the images in the directory in a grid, not as a strip. Strips do not work for me. And really Capture 1 strikes me as more of a developer, not a DAM. No speed here. I like it but I think this represents where we have been not necessary where we are going.
As far as the $10 apps go, you get what you pay for. Some are nice, none work well. Most are annoying.
AcdSee 3. Complete waste of code. Not as serious effort and one that makes me wonder if they are just trying to skin the unwary consumer and then hope they can keep the money. Disgrace! Utter and complete.
So what do I do? I use On1 for now. It is the best, but they have not sealed the deal my any means. I did get off of Lightroom. That is big in itself. Finder in many ways is faster, although the way On 1 reads the little .jpg in the .raw file is impressive. Wow! Very usable! Scanning directories that contain images that are .jpgs is slower. Usually when I find an image I like, I open it in Finder and move it to the directory I want and then deal with it there and then use the DAM to go look for more. Otherwise things are just way toooo slow!
My disk array is a Synology DS418Play. Highly recommended. Note to everyone: Stay the hell away from Drobo. They are NOT TRUSTWORTHY. You will lose data.
The 418Play is fast and a very nice media server. It hangs right off the router and is ALWAYS available. I love that. Sooner or later most people will end up here. It might be a while, but pictures add up,
The DAM field is exciting and currently wide open. No one has a killer app yet. Everyone is slow! Lots of features are missing. Everything is frustrating right now. At least we have some code to begin to play with, but solutions are still off in the distance.
No matter what any one says, no matter how nice they state it!
Jutst my two cents!
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