Lightroom alternative with good compare functionality? Acdsee and CaptureOne fall short

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APCUser Junior Member • Posts: 25
Lightroom alternative with good compare functionality? Acdsee and CaptureOne fall short

I would like to find an alternative to Lightroom for Windows, but I can't seem to find a program that ticks all my boxes.

AcdSee Ultimate and Capture One fall short for the reasons I describe below (poor compare functionality / cannot select multiple folders), and which I hadn't found mentioned in any of the previous discussions or reviews - which is why I trust this thread is not a repetition of similar other discussions.

My priorities are:

  • decent DAM, file management and classification/filing features
  • decent way to compare multiple photos at once (eg when you have 8 shots of a child running and you need to find the best one)
  • lets you select multiple folders and export retaining the folder structure
  • a perpetual, not periodic, license

I am not asking for anything super fancy or advanced, yet all these programs fall short:

AcdSee: great DAM, great pricing, some quirks (like always saving a developed jpg) but the functionality to compare multiple photos is so dysfunctional it's useless: you can only view 4 at a time, keyboard shortcuts are disabled when comparing, and the boxes containing the photos don't adjust automatically like Lightroom's survey mode does - you end up with empty boxes into which you then have to manually drag the photos. A detailed description with screenshots is here . I spend a LOT of time comparing similar photos so this is a deal-breaker for me.

CaptureOne: more expensive than AcdSee, decent functionality to compare multiple photos, but it doesn't let you select multiple folders (see 1 or 2 ), nor one folder and all its subfolders, at once. Using albums doesn't work for older photos (I am not going to waste hours manually filing 15 years of photos) but neither for new ones, since albums cannot be nested into each other.

Corel After Shot Pro: it doesn't support DNGs, and many people complain it's been kind of abandoned by Corel.

Luminar: limited DAM, no keywords

Darktable: many reviewers say it wouldn't handle libraries > 40k photos well; no file management feature

Digikam: DAM only, limited editing

RawTherapee: very limited DAM

Any thoughts? I don't expect  to do things "the Lightroom way" but I expect that the basic tasks of comparing multiple photos and filing, browsing and exporting by folder shouldn't become a waste of time.


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