Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?

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ToiletDuck Regular Member • Posts: 176
Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?

What's the best DAM software for someone who has the opportunity to start from nothing and get a good system in place from the start?  With my Iphone X Photo's is pretty awesome with it's geo tagging and timelines. I don't know if I can use it for my Sony A6500.  So wanting to know what I should look at using once I start blasting away? Plan on taking my first round of shots tomorrow.

Sony a6500
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OletaJackson
OletaJackson Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
1

Try ACDSee and have a look. It is decent enough and is almost considered an alternative to the Adobe Lightroom.

Jim B (MSP) Veteran Member • Posts: 9,724
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
2

ToiletDuck wrote:

What's the best DAM software for someone who has the opportunity to start from nothing and get a good system in place from the start? With my Iphone X Photo's is pretty awesome with it's geo tagging and timelines. I don't know if I can use it for my Sony A6500. So wanting to know what I should look at using once I start blasting away? Plan on taking my first round of shots tomorrow.

Will you shoot in Raw?

How many photos are currently on your hard drives?

How many photos a month do you think you will shoot?

How complex do you want the DAM to be?

Do you intend to add keywords to everything you currently have?

What software do you use to edit/post process your photos.

I ask these, as there are a few good DAMS out there, but each has their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

I for one want to be able to connect my DAM with my editor very easily.

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Bobthearch
Bobthearch Veteran Member • Posts: 8,001
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
9

A system of folders and sub-folders organized by date and event,

a system that's not dependent on any particular software, and that doesn't chain you to any single software vendor, a system that doesn't involve catalogs or databases, that is infinitely expandable into the future (or the past), and works equally-well with any camera or editing software.

That is what I recommend.

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Jim B (MSP) Veteran Member • Posts: 9,724
Re: a very good list
2

There was a very good thread here a few months ago that summarized a list of all the various options for photo DAMs that are out there, or at least known by users of this site,

I use this list in a class on Photo Organization and Cataloging that I teach.

Take a look at the final summary

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62178173

I tend to focus discussions for most people on four of them, from most complete and complex to least : IMatch, Lightroom, ACDsee, and PS Elements.

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 6,633
Re: a very good list
2

I've been using the free Adobe Bridge CC more and more.

I just want to navigate to known organized folders.  Certainly not interested in any program that works only from a common captive library.

As often as this questions comes up, it tells me that there is room in the marketplace for something better.

calson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,726
Re: a very good list
2

Only iMatch provides real DAM. The rest are file managers with browsing capabilities.

For real DAM there is iMatch for a PC based system or going to something like Extensis that requires a database server and is considerably more complex and expensive.

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desertsp Contributing Member • Posts: 795
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
3

Lightroom is pretty good and you get Photoshop with it for $10/mo, plus some cloud storage which can be upgraded for extra $$$. Maybe overkill in terms of complexity...and I hear that some alternatives are faster.

It’s never going to go away since so many pros use it, so your nondestructive edits will always be accessible in the future, and you don’t need to maintain a redundant clone of every photo “just in case the software stops working”. It has a plugin architecture too which might be useful, for instance I have a plugin which syncs to Flickr, and one which gives me more powerful search capabilities.

They created a new more cloud-oriented version last year I think, but are still supporting the older version. Just something to be aware of...

Hans de Zomers Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
1

desertsp wrote:

It’s never going to go away since so many pros use it, so your nondestructive edits will always be accessible in the future, and you don’t need to maintain a redundant clone of every photo “just in case the software stops working”

Nothing against Lightroom but to state "It's never going to go away since so many users use it". Sorry, but history taught all of us that software can be discontinued ANYTIME.

How many users use the software is of less importance. When the software supplier decides that the software no longer matches their future company vision then it's almost certain going to be killed off.

Recent samples of discontinued photo software from large companies: Phase One Media Pro, and Apple Aperture, and probably many more, also from large suppliers

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desertsp Contributing Member • Posts: 795
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
3

Hans de Zomers wrote:

desertsp wrote:

It’s never going to go away since so many pros use it, so your nondestructive edits will always be accessible in the future, and you don’t need to maintain a redundant clone of every photo “just in case the software stops working”

Nothing against Lightroom but to state "It's never going to go away since so many users use it". Sorry, but history taught all of us that software can be discontinued ANYTIME.

How many users use the software is of less importance. When the software supplier decides that the software no longer matches their future company vision then it's almost certain going to be killed off.

Recent samples of discontinued photo software from large companies: Phase One Media Pro, and Apple Aperture, and probably many more, also from large suppliers

You’re right.

But still, it’s relation to Photoshop (the industry standard editor, I believe) has to be considered a plus in terms of staying power. Even if Adobe discontinues LR, it seems they would provide an avenue to keep those manny users using their photo editing and management ecosystem.

OTOH if Adobe gets out of the photography business then we would have a problem. Maybe that’s more likely than I’m accounting for - after all they’re big enough to have other revenue streams.

Hans de Zomers Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
1

A good folder structureel is the first step in your photo management workflow. That has nothing to do with using a DAM. The DAM will help you find your images back. For example: how long would it take you to find all images that show Jack and Jane in 2017? Or to find all your “excellent” pictures from that one trip to show to friends?  Those are situations where a DAM helps you.

I’m using Photo Supreme for DAM

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Hans de Zomers Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?

Check out Photo Supreme.

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Bobthearch
Bobthearch Veteran Member • Posts: 8,001
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?

Hans de Zomers wrote:

A good folder structureel is the first step in your photo management workflow. That has nothing to do with using a DAM. The DAM will help you find your images back. For example: how long would it take you to find all images that show Jack and Jane in 2017? Or to find all your “excellent” pictures from that one trip to show to friends? Those are situations where a DAM helps you.

I’m using Photo Supreme for DAM

About the same amount of time as if I created a database / catalog and then moved to different program that can't read it.

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Hans de Zomers Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
2

Bobthearch wrote:

About the same amount of time as if I created a database / catalog and then moved to different program that can't read it.

DAM software typically follow standards and it should be a no-brainer to switch from one application to another. I for one did that a few time already. Of course you should pick software that doesn't protect its catalog in some proprietary format.

All of the popular DAM products follow open standards and switching between any of them won't lead to major data loss. Those products include Photo Supreme, Lightroom, Daminion, ACDsee, iMatch, and Bridge.

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johnnyandedgar Forum Member • Posts: 99
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
4

Lightroom

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BigBen08 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,251
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?

Bobthearch wrote:

A system of folders and sub-folders organized by date and event,

a system that's not dependent on any particular software, and that doesn't chain you to any single software vendor, a system that doesn't involve catalogs or databases, that is infinitely expandable into the future (or the past), and works equally-well with any camera or editing software.

That is what I recommend.

Hmmm...kind of sounds like a Windows system of files & folders. Although I don't think Windows Explorer or File Explorer can search for tags - a persons name, for example.

Is that what you mean?

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Bobthearch
Bobthearch Veteran Member • Posts: 8,001
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
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BigBen08 wrote:

Bobthearch wrote:

A system of folders and sub-folders organized by date and event,

a system that's not dependent on any particular software, and that doesn't chain you to any single software vendor, a system that doesn't involve catalogs or databases, that is infinitely expandable into the future (or the past), and works equally-well with any camera or editing software.

That is what I recommend.

Hmmm...kind of sounds like a Windows system of files & folders. Although I don't think Windows Explorer or File Explorer can search for tags - a persons name, for example.

Is that what you mean?

Iv'e never needed to tag, nor had the time to tag or rate thousands of photos.

If I need a photo of "Aunt Gertrude" from the 2010 reunion, I simply look in the folder /2010/Reunion.  It's not rocket science and only takes two seconds.   Even RAW files are shown as preview thumbnails in Windows Explorer, or any photo browser software.

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Hans de Zomers Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
2

Bobthearch wrote:

If I need a photo of "Aunt Gertrude" from the 2010 reunion, I simply look in the folder /2010/Reunion. It's not rocket science and only takes two seconds.

Sure, if I hardly have pictures of my Aunt Gertrude, whom I've met at the reunion in 2010 then I'd also not have much difficulty finding it on the file system.

But if I want to find that one picture of my son who was playing with water in the pool then I'd have a hard time finding it without my DAM. I wouldn't know the exact year, and the event could have been anything, or even just a random day at the house. And I take a few thousand pictures per year so I'd have to wade through a lot to find it.

In my DAM I enter my son's name and pool and it will be presented to me in milliseconds.

But I can imagine that when you don't have a lot of pictures in your archive that you'd be able to find any picture fairly quickly without using a DAM

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Jimmy C Contributing Member • Posts: 666
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?
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Do you have access to your DAM if you don't pay your monthly rent payment?

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Jim B (MSP) Veteran Member • Posts: 9,724
Re: Best DAM software for someone starting from scratch?

Jimmy C wrote:

Do you have access to your DAM if you don't pay your monthly rent payment?

If you are speaking about LR - the answer is yes.

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