Anyone thinking of migrating away from using dams?
Once upon a time, I used to manage my digital asset in the Finder and edited in Photoshop CS. When i migrated to Aperture, the dam aspect of Aperture was so good, it added a lot of value for me. Unfortunately, all of the Aperture alternatives are very weak dams, that it takes more work to manage my assets than not having a dam such as Lightroom and Capture One Pro. With tools like Lightroom and Capture One Pro, the user needs to manage their asset in Finder in addition to managing the same asset in these apps. Why?? Why should we do that????
Would you believe I find it easer and faster to manage my digital asset in the Finder and edit in Affinity Photo? The fact is this: Affinity Photo adjustments are non-destructive and all edits can be made non-destructive. As an photo editor, Affinity Photo can do a lot more than Lightroom and Capture One Pro combined!!!
Aperture is the first and last dam for me. Here's the advantage of using the OS X Finder and Affinity Photo: 1) less work!!! 2) a lot more editing capabilities. 2) can do layer compositing and design. 3) Easy migration!!!!!! no more migration headache!!!! switching from Affinity Photo to Photoshop CC or another editor is super easy!!!
How good is Mac OS X Finder as a dam?
1) Has backup integrated into it.
2)Has search (both in Finder and Spotlight) to search your metadata.
3) Automator can process batches and record batches.
4) Finder is scriptable with Applescript. And if you are comfortable with the bad unix user land, you know what kind of power you have. Oh ya, Spotlight search is simply an unix command. yes, you get mix that with regrex in your code.
5) need star ratings? You'll have to substitute with Finder's color labels. To me, that has more granularity than 5 stars. You can assign your photos with are good for clients as green and assign photos that are good but you need time to think of about as yellow.
6) Can tag images.
7) iTunes can sync your photos in from filesystem to your iPhone or iPad!!!! iTunes cannot sync photos from Lightroom or Capture One Pro.
Just for the record: you don’t need to use the finder for managing your pictures in C1.
So far it is the only tool out there besides Aperture which has the explicit option to let the application handle all the file and folder management in the background for you. It is basically the same like Aperture: just throw your pictures in it and don’t worry about a thing (other than backing up everything).
Here’s the main disadvantage of using the finder: I would never be able to find shit in 40.000 images…
From a certain number of pictures upward there is no future in using the finder.
It has to be about keeping organized, cataloging! Keywords, star rating, flagging and color labels all need to be there in the management. Will finder work with my 500,000 photos plus videos? I don’t know!! Will Finder catalog and manage across many external hard drives? Removing and reconnecting and then adding more and more storage.
How about C1? Does it handle a giant collection of photos? Lightroom doesn’t and I’m about to dump that software for something like C1 or Photomechanic. So frustrating :(
If LR can not handle a giant collection of photos, then neither does C1. It’s database is the bare minimum in terms of functionality and performance. From my experience the one tool out there which had the best scaleability was indeed Aperture. It did not actually affect performance no matter how many images you threw into it (from my experience).
With an image collection that large I think you are actually out of luck in terms of alternatives. Even Mylio has on their most expensive plan a limit of ”up to 500.000 images”. Photo Mechanic’s website has not seen an update in ages, they still claim to developing a SQL backend for it.
You may want to look at Media Pro (from Phase One), which advertises itself as a solution for large libraries (but even that has a limit of 128.000 images per catalog!):
But here is a similar problem in terms of a lack of development over recent years. Those Phase One guys seem to be a pretty small company and I guess they threw all their resources into C1 Pro development recently.
I’m testing Photos OS X again. I actually see it as very very fast for scrolling. If the files are referenced, it gives you the option to find in Finder. That’s great for editing outside of Photos! After using LR for 6 months or more I started adding keywords to every photo and found keywords to be VITAL in organizing. Way more important than star rating. I just don’t want Photos trying to manage my assets in its catalog where you can’t get them out! I hated that when I used it last Summer. It’s looking great so far.
I suspect Finder should be able to find every file in file system even with 500,000. I suspect the Finder should able to handle millions photos. the reason why most dams fail is they are using an embedded sql database which is great for relational databases but not great for search.
The Finder uses a search engine instead. First of all, i do not know the exact internal working of Apple's index server. i do know the files which including photos are “crawled” by metadata demon which put it in the search engine index. i do see both process running. as search engines go, 500,000 is small number of entires.
so what's the downside of a search engine (compared to sql)? you have to wait until data is put into the search engine index after a photo is added before you can search for it. when you add a photo to Lightroom, you can search for immediately. not so with the Finder. you have to wait until it gets indexed. You should be able to search millions of photos with no issues.
Lightroom not does search through 500,000 photos well because the embedded slq database. Finder does not use a database. it uses a search engine. it should be able to search millions of photos. you can search using Spotlight. the metadata is indexed (if not, u can enable it in the System Preference).
I recently tried FileLoupe trial and found its performance fantastic. In my usage it outperformed On1 Browse 10 trial and its quite cheap. I like it so much, I’m planning to use that as my DAM to manage photos which were previously managed in Aperture. It doesn’t have any editing capabilities but excels at fast loading jpegs and even raw files. Its a great compliment to C1 Pro (for Sony), which I cannot use for my old Canon photos.
Lightroom is a hot mess. I’ve given it a solid try over the past year and have now started calling it Bugroom. For example: It doesn’t seem to understand which way is up (all of my photos and videos are randomly rotated, even for shots taken in a burst with virtually no change in camera orientation; other programs including Preview on OS X have no problem understanding photo orientation). It doesn’t seem to understand the day or time photos or videos were captured (about 50% of the time it uses today’s date as the capture time). It doesn’t reliably identify duplicates, even for photos that it just imported! The interface is unnecessarily intricate (to change capture day/time you MUST click on the date, not the time) and the workflow is absurdly rigid (I can’t edit a photo in my Library without switching to the Develop module? I can’t use grid view in the Develop module? I can trim video clips in the Library module but I can’t even view them in the Develop module? #inconsistent #nonsensical). Memory usage and speed are horrendous - even on a new Mac with the maximum amount of memory possible it can take close to a minute to switch modules. Video playback works properly only a small percentage of the time; more often the video fails to play or does so with severe audio problems that have nothing to do with the source file (which plays just fine in QuickTime and other tools). It’s hard for me to find anything that it does well. I have now documented an extensive list of bugs that I have to continuously work around. This is photography software made for people who enjoy fighting with their computer instead of, you know, experiencing photography.
Reading the tea leaves on the new Lightroom CC (the second most confusing product naming ever, second only to the iPad model names), and reflecting on how Apple pulled the plug on Aperture, I wonder how long Lightroom Desktop (Classic, CC, whatever name you prefer) will be around. My father in law is also a serious amateur. I asked him what he uses and he replied “The file system on my computer”. He keeps things organized in folders and edits individual photos using a variety of tools. If I am interpreting things correctly then the changes from Aperture to Photos and Lightroom Desktop to Lightroom CC reflect companies who want to make software for non-technical users who don’t want or need powerful tools for digital asset management or editing. That feels disloyal given all of the marketing hype they have produced over the years, but it’s the direction they have chosen to take. However, it feels like someone would step in and fill the void. This leaves the question: what workflows are professionals using? I would describe myself as a serious amateur - photography isn’t my day job but it’s a hobby that I put a lot of care and effort into. I guess the major difference here, other than money, is that I do this mainly to please myself. What has happened since I stopped using Aperture is that I spend far less time enjoying this hobby and instead spend an inordinate amount of time arguing with software that behaves like a toddler (I already have two toddlers in the house and don’t feel like I need another at the moment). There must be a better way…
i fired up Aperture today again (on High Sierra). Seems to work 🙂. Such a nice UI and so quick. 😍
Still regretting the demise of Aperture, but alas, nothing lasts forever ;-)
As many others, me too I have been looking for a valid replacement especially for the DAM part of it.
After a lot of research and try-outs, I have come to conclusion that the combination of image editing + DAM is a poor choice (and often expensive).
So I decided to split that relationship, and found a little DAM gem called NeoFinder that works like a breeze - you can find more info about it on the net.
And it’s not even expensive - go try it out if you are still looking :-)
Nothing lasts forever