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Thread: DAM software for Mac?

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    DAM software for Mac?

    What does everyone use for image cataloging on a Mac? Expression Media appears to be abandoned, Aperture takes way too much power to run efficiently and Lightroom is really more of a raw processor than catalog. What is left?

    I process my images in a dedicated processor and that won't change.

    Any recommendations?

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    I use Lightroom
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Lightroom is getting harder to beat.

    I tried Extensis Portfolio but discovered it did not support RAW and was very slow in updating new camera models.

    Lightroom has great catalog funtionality and will handle metadata fairly well... the ability to group pics on the fly makes it much more friendly than some of the other options.

    I have no familiarity with Aperature and do not use LR to process my files as a rule but do love the ability to catalog, view and output as needed. It seems to be evolving into a very strong program.

    Bob

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Aperture has issues to support other RAW converters. E.g. drag&drop of RAW files does not really drop a RAW file but a JPEG preview instead (weird).
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    The way Aperture work is that it knows where your RAW file is and does an on the fly conversion whenever you look at an image. The converted image doesn't actually become a file until you output it, thus making it more efficient in terms of storage. Most of the power requirement of Aperture is in supporting the on the fly RAW conversion

    If you are using another RAW convertor then the output from that is going to be a TIFF or JPG, which Aperture will happily import. But of course in the case of a TIFF file these files are going to be much larger.

    Aa a DAM Aperture is pretty comprehensive

    just my thoughts

    K

  6. #6
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Aperture , and now , with new library features , more than ever .
    It's worth giving a try .

    Cheers

    James

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    Aperture has issues to support other RAW converters. E.g. drag&drop of RAW files does not really drop a RAW file but a JPEG preview instead (weird).
    Drag and Drop from the Aperture Library does indeed product a high res Jpg. Depending on what you have photo preview size and photo preview quality set at in Aperture preferences will govern the size and quality of the dropped image.

    However to utilise your raw images in another image processor aperture has settings in the preferences under the export tab, here you can specify the 3rd party application you wish to use, the file type to export, Tiff or PSD, 8 or 16bit, colour space and DPI.

    Then if you right click on the image within Aperture you will have the option to edit the image in your other image processor and the results of your work with this image in the other app will be updated into your aperture library as a new tiff or psd.

    To export a raw file from aperture, simply right click and select export, master and specify your folder destination.

    Aperture IMO has the most functional DAM ability of any out there, no matter if you use referenced masters with your own directory structures or you entrust your images into the actual Aperture library. Once you discover the true power of smart albums, extensive keyword functions, ratings and metadata filters you'll discover you have complete ability to manage and filter an ever growing image database now and well into the future.

    I've used Aperture since v1.0 and it's performance has always been dependent on Graphics card power and memory as well as system memory. Get these items right with Aperture and a couple of well chosen plugins, you should have a workflow environment and DAM database that will suffice for 99% of your needs.

    The other 1% is simply right click the image and select edit with Photoshop CS4.

    This is all of course dependent on if Aperture actually supports your camera raw image format, I've been lucky in this regard, others not so lucky and perhaps the single weakness I see in Aperture.
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    well put eoin

    I think that Aperture is misunderstood by many people

    K

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    When evaluating any type of software the most important step is getting the requirements right . The needs of a photojournalist are considerably different than those of an event,portrait or wedding photographer. Shooting for stock is the most difficult because it assumes that accessing any technically decent image has value.

    I use Lightroom ..like most photographers we pick what seems best at the time. After that its a lot of work to change . Almost all my work is personal as I only do a few professional assignments a year. I shoot about 20-25K images a year . Because of the subjects I shoot....I go in short bursts of activity...like 10 days in Paris where I may take 1500-2000 images. In the winter I shoot surfing,kiteboarding etc in Florida then Spring Training for baseball. So you can see its pretty easy to organize folders by subject within year.

    You could support my requirements with either Aperture or Lightroom and with modest effort build your own with Photo Mechanic,Capture One and Photoshop.

    Ok here is my pitch for lightroom.

    1. It has a significant advantage in market share verse Aperture (something like 3 or 4 to one ...Aperture doesn t run on a PC).

    2. The training available for LR is exceptional and getting better.

    3. LR is just easier to work with for a new user( if you started with Aperture you will of course not agree) .

    4. LR has local area adjustments ....if you grew up in a darkroom you will understand this ..otherwise maybe just a preference item.

    The only perfect answer is the one that fits your requirements.

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    fair comments roger - though i think Aperture 3 addresses point 4 with the new nondestructive brushes

    K

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    >To export a raw file from aperture, simply right click and select export, master and specify your folder destination.

    Compared to a simpe drag&drop to complicate (if you do it often).

    >Aperture IMO has the most functional DAM ability of any out there

    Very powerful indeed.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Would be nice if it supported more than one of the three cameras I shoot.
    Meanwhile it is just pretty useless for me but I can see that it might be interesting for some. I really feel that the conflation of raw processor, photo editor, and DAM almost always disappoints.
    -bob

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I really feel that the conflation of raw processor, photo editor, and DAM almost always disappoints.
    -bob
    Depends what you mean by "disappoints". We need at least a raw processor and a DAM. A DAM without a good raw processor is annoying for me. Aperture 1 was the first app that got a balance of both that was useful. Now I use Lightroom and I would not like to be without it.

    Even if I would prefer a different raw processor (e.g. C1, ...) the raw processor in LR is needed for fast image analysis.

    Of course I always wish for improvements but in the end the way Aperture and Lightroom work is the way to go. For final editing I use Photoshop anyway.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    There really is no right or wrong answer. My personal preference is LR 2.x right now as it gets fairly frequent updates (5 or 6 last year,) offers native support for the cameras I own, and is the easiest to grasp for the way my brain works. I tried the demo for Aperture 2 before I bought LR 2.x and I liked it but Apple's lack of constant updates for non Canon and Nikon cameras was a deal breaker ultimately. You can't go wrong with either IMO but I suspect I will stay with Adobe as LR3 provides evolutionary improvements and sustained support in updates and 3rd party plugins.
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Some camera formats are raw-converted best by one, sometimes by another.
    There are several different tastes in tools for local adjustment, mine is photoshop, others like a simpler interface.
    Operating system and other preview generation is another issue.

    Over the past ten years, I have never been in the position where all my raw camera formats were supported by a single tool.

    iMedia View USED to be pretty useful until it got swallowed by Microsoft.

    If tools like Lightroom and Aperture provided a decent way to support other raw converters and there were a better standardized mechanism for preview production, there might me a lower frustration level for folks like me.

    As involved as I am in standards...
    I think that this is an area ripe for standardization.
    Functional partitioning IMO would make a lot of things much better.

    -bob

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    +1 for Aperture > LR.

    I process everything in C1 and bring the Processed images into Aperture for cataloging.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Well, of course it's all personal, and I understand that Aperture looks much slower than lightroom - but if you organise yourself (and it) correctly, it's a wonderful program.
    The new brushes function work beautifully, and the retouch always was much better than lightroom.

    I got very fed up with the lack of camera support (2 out of my cameras are not supported theoretically: EP1 and M9). So much so that I decided to move to Lightroom. I spent a month learning, and started converting my library (nearly 50,000 shots) . . . and at the end of it I realised that for me Aperture was just better, it was better for:
    1. the tools (less fully featured, and less extensive, but more useful)
    2. the cataloguing and interface
    3. the actual raw processing (even the unsupported M9 seems to me to be better than in LR2 or LR3 beta).

    Now with Aperture 3, it all seems snappier, and the new brushes tools are simply wonderful and wonderfully simple.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Has anyone tried ACDSee?

    Aperture is out because I don't think I have the power to run it. Lightroom is a possibility.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Interesting topic, and one which comes up in various forms from time to time. Jono points out that it's a personal choice and I agree, like OS, capture device, raw converter, etc... but at the risk of being accused of not reading the original post (I read it and all subsequent posts) I'll add my 2:

    For my DAM on the Mac I love... wait for it... the Finder. Now please bear in mind that I don't often shoot events (though I'm not sure I'd change my flow if I did). But I still feel very comfortable using a hybrid of Seth Resnick's file naming process at the Finder level so that I can access any file (or event) via the software of my choice. I know that my process is probably too slow for some users (though I find it very fast because files are where I expect them to be), and I love the peace that comes from knowing that my backups will work, my duplicates will work, my software updates have no effect, etc.

    I read, with interest and respect, the AA3 thread discussing updating libraries and such, which may take a day or more in order to do the software update. I felt bad for the participants who stated that the process took hours or days. But of course, I also accept that they make choices that work for their processes. For me... I would drink a tall glass of motor oil and ground glass before I'd endure the steps reminiscent of data recovery from a failed hard drive in order to migrate to new software version.

    We each have preferences and comfort ranges, plus there may be cataloguing requirements most suitable for some tasks. In my case, all shoots are downloaded to a unique folder which has a name corresponding to the date, followed by the subject or job, inside a folder named "Pictures" at the Finder level. I visit the files via Capture One, Bridge, Photoshop, Preview, Spotlight, file uploaders on the web, etc. and it is convenient for my process.

    The naming convention is: 20100217_Stephanie for a file containing images of Stephanie on February 17, 2010 (the parent folder). Child folders might separate Stephanie's images on the beach, modeling sportswear, etc., or the divisions could describe scenic landscape sections, etc. The files list in the proper chronological order in a list view on the Mac, and in my case I will not likely shoot two Stephanies (or two anythings) on a single date (though that is easily handled). If one was doing high school grad pics they would need to have unique names for it to work, which is not difficult if you understand databases (though not fun for some).

    Obviously, style of shooting, number of shoots per day, personal preferences, etc., etc., factor in to one's choice, but as a guy who likes to keep things simple, I find keeping image files in a folder (and on dedicated drives) at the Finder level to be elegant and easy.

    Oh, keywording and such is done via Bridge or whatever is used to address the files during the first visit, but I should state that I really don't like keywording (in image management cases) beyond finding individual shoots.

    Sorry if I'm misreading the intentions of your query, Bill. I understand that what is asked is a recommendation for a packaged DAM solution for the Mac. I looked at ACDsee et al, but just love the joy of none proprietary file storage.

    Good luck in your search.
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 17th February 2010 at 00:45.

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    Lightroom

    ... does the job I need insofar as my photography is concerned.

    For more extensive data archiving/cataloging, and not image editing, Extensis Portfolio and Cumulous are very good.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    Interesting topic, and one which comes up in various forms from time to time. Jono points out that it's a personal choice and I agree, like OS, capture device, raw converter, etc... but at the risk of being accused of not reading the original post (I read it and all subsequent posts) I'll add my 2:

    For my DAM on the Mac I love... wait for it... the Finder. Now please bear in mind that I don't often shoot events (though I'm not sure I'd change my flow if I did). But I still feel very comfortable using a hybrid of Seth Resnick's file naming process at the Finder level so that I can access any file (or event) via the software of my choice. I know that my process is probably too slow for some users (though I find it very fast because files are where I expect them to be), and I love the peace that comes from knowing that my backups will work, my duplicates will work, my software updates have no effect, etc.

    I read, with interest and respect, the AA3 thread discussing updating libraries and such, which may take a day or more in order to do the software update. I felt bad for the participants who stated that the process took hours or days. But of course, I also accept that they make choices that work for their processes. For me... I would drink a tall glass of motor oil and ground glass before I'd endure the steps reminiscent of data recovery from a failed hard drive in order to migrate to new software version.

    We each have preferences and comfort ranges, plus there may be cataloguing requirements most suitable for some tasks. In my case, all shoots are downloaded to a unique folder which has a name corresponding to the date, followed by the subject or job, inside a folder named "Pictures" at the Finder level. I visit the files via Capture One, Bridge, Photoshop, Preview, Spotlight, file uploaders on the web, etc. and it is convenient for my process.

    The naming convention is: 20100217_Stephanie for a file containing images of Stephanie on February 17, 2010 (the parent folder). Child folders might separate Stephanie's images on the beach, modeling sportswear, etc., or the divisions could describe scenic landscape sections, etc. The files list in the proper chronological order in a list view on the Mac, and in my case I will not likely shoot two Stephanies (or two anythings) on a single date (though that is easily handled). If one was doing high school grad pics they would need to have unique names for it to work, which is not difficult if you understand databases (though not fun for some).

    Obviously, style of shooting, number of shoots per day, personal preferences, etc., etc., factor in to one's choice, but as a guy who likes to keep things simple, I find keeping image files in a folder (and on dedicated drives) at the Finder level to be elegant and easy.

    Oh, keywording and such is done via Bridge or whatever is used to address the files during the first visit, but I should state that I really don't like keywording (in image management cases) beyond finding individual shoots.

    Sorry if I'm misreading the intentions of your query, Bill. I understand that what is asked is a recommendation for a packaged DAM solution for the Mac. I looked at ACDsee et al, but just love the joy of none proprietary file storage.

    Good luck in your search.
    Dale

    Your points about using OS to manage the file structure are very appropriate. While it is possible (and recommended in most books ) to ingest your raw files directly into LR or Aperture......I generally do not recommend it . By keeping your raw images "independent of the DAM software" you preserve your right to change your mind later. (if something better comes along).

    I am not confident that either LR or Aperture can be trusted to be completely non destructive.. especially with the Leica DNG format . If you really know what you are doing ..then you should have no problem? Of course , thats a pretty bad assumption when you are just starting out with a software product. So it could be useful to have a folder structure supported by the OS that can be used with any DAM solution.

    My solution is (1)copy to disk (2)backup (3)import by referencing the files in place.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    MS Expression Media 2 seems to be OK on the MacBook environment. [My CD contains both Mac and Windows versions].

    Try exploring the DAM Forum - OK, it is another Forum - but there is some good coverage of the complete DAM cycle.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Dale and Roger, using the Finder is pretty much what I am doing now, and that file structure will not change. One constant in this industry is companies going out of business or being acquired, so being able to migrate is important. However, I'm at the point where I need a catalog so that I can search, view and find images, regardless of whether they are on a currently attached drive or not. The problem with the Finder and browsers like Bridge and Photo Mechanic is you can only see what is there now.

    John, I used iView for a while and loved it, but iView and EM are dead. There is some great info on the DAM forum, but I get the feeling a lot of people are in the same boat.

    A few people there mentioned AtomicView, so I will check that out too.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?


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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    Dale and Roger, using the Finder is pretty much what I am doing now, and that file structure will not change. One constant in this industry is companies going out of business or being acquired, so being able to migrate is important. However, I'm at the point where I need a catalog so that I can search, view and find images, regardless of whether they are on a currently attached drive or not. The problem with the Finder and browsers like Bridge and Photo Mechanic is you can only see what is there now.

    John, I used iView for a while and loved it, but iView and EM are dead. There is some great info on the DAM forum, but I get the feeling a lot of people are in the same boat.

    A few people there mentioned AtomicView, so I will check that out too.
    Bill

    Seth Resnick s Lightroom book has his workflow . He maintains his previews at 100% ...I think its .lrpreviews. This give him access to 100,000s of his images(you probably know he is know for his stock photography and in particular with his metadata coding) . He can then locate items and he will know which drive archive its stored on. He can also produce a slide show from the previews . This works when you are going from thousands to a few.

    I was not suggesting that Os X was a decent base for a DAM but rather that you need to keep the Raws independent from the DAM software.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Thanks Roger, I'll take a look at the Lightroom book again. Do you know if the book has been updated since Lightroom 1? I have the utmost respect for Seth, both personally and professionally, but he uses the software and equipment he is paid to use and his opinions are just that.

    I have mixed feelings with Lightroom. On the positive, Adobe is clearly committed to it and has the resources to develop it which, aside from Aperture, sets it apart from pretty much all other DAM software. On the other had, any file that ever goes through Lightroom has a different look to it, so it clearly is doing something to the files even when it isn't supposed to.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    Thanks Roger, I'll take a look at the Lightroom book again. Do you know if the book has been updated since Lightroom 1? I have the utmost respect for Seth, both personally and professionally, but he uses the software and equipment he is paid to use and his opinions are just that.

    I have mixed feelings with Lightroom. On the positive, Adobe is clearly committed to it and has the resources to develop it which, aside from Aperture, sets it apart from pretty much all other DAM software. On the other had, any file that ever goes through Lightroom has a different look to it, so it clearly is doing something to the files even when it isn't supposed to.
    ??

    Lightroom changes nothing about TIFF, PSD, and JPEG files unless you tell it to. It process raw files (native or DNG) and you MUST tell it what you want it to do to them if the defaults are not to your taste.

    I maintain two catalogs: "in-progress" and "completed". In-progress has the original masters (all RAW) that I adjust and render. Completed has only finished TIFF and JPEG files, and is used as a library of finished work; no editing is done in this catalog, only organization for use. What goes into the completed catalog does not change, it is used specifically for management.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Bill / Godfrey

    A few months back I had a running debate with the Adobe Lightroom developers over how LR2 processes a raw file (coming in with a DNG format....Leica M8/M9). The bottom line was that they view it as appropriate to update the file to the current DNG standard and to embed not only metadata but in some instances the development instructions.

    Godfrey is correct that if you are careful about the settings in LR you should not have problems . I have two issues with Adobe position (1) non destructive is for me to decide not them...updating my raw file in anyway is unacceptable . (2) basing a key system attribute (non destructive processing) on a full understand of LR is a real stretch.

    With that said you can easily build a workflow that both leverages the DAM software while at the same time protecting the raw originals.. I think this is best accomplished by archiving the raws during import with OS X .

    I would prefer not to have to have a perfect understanding of the current release of LR to properly protect my raws.

    This only really applies to cameras which produce their raw images as a DNG..all others create a sidecar file . For most workflows this shouldn t be an issue and of course if you know what your doing ..no problems.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Bill / Godfrey

    A few months back I had a running debate with the Adobe Lightroom developers over how LR2 processes a raw file (coming in with a DNG format....Leica M8/M9). ...
    I would prefer not to have to have a perfect understanding of the current release of LR to properly protect my raws.

    This only really applies to cameras which produce their raw images as a DNG..all others create a sidecar file . For most workflows this shouldn t be an issue and of course if you know what your doing ..no problems.
    This is absurd. I have no idea who you were talking with at Adobe, but Lightroom does NOT behave like this.

    Lightroom does not modify or write anything to a DNG file in the original file repository unless you tell it to. You don't have to be "careful", nor do you need to have a "perfect understanding" of LR. By its defaults, this is the standard behavior. If you're going to change the standard behavior, or don't want to understand the most basic concepts of LR ... that the original file repository is untouched, and is independent of the catalog itself ... then nothing can satisfy you.

    I performed a test ... I have a bunch of DNG files in my archives which were natively created by my Pentax K10D in December 2006. First I copied them onto a working hard drive. Then I created a new catalog and imported them with LR2. Next, I applied several edits to a bunch of them, and then quit LR. I performed a bit for bit file compare of the K10D original DNG files in the archives vs the ones that were imported into LR with the UNIX binary compare utility, md5. They are absolutely identical, no changes whatsoever.

    The only time Lightroom would modify a DNG file in the original file repository is exactly the same time it would write XMP data out to a JPEG, TIFF or PSD file, or create a .XMP file for a native raw file:
    - when you use the "Save metadata to file" command.
    - If you have the LR Catalog setting, metadata, to "Automatically write changes into XMP" set on.

    When you Export a file ... a different situation entirely, where LR is creating an entirely new file with updated contents ... a DNG file will be formed with the current DNG specification settings. Whether it is with "DNG" or "original format" settings, it will write a current and correct DNG. You still have the ORIGINAL DNG in the original file repository, untouched.

    Another test: I chose an original DNG and exported it twice, once to "original format" and once to "DNG". The Pentax K10D produces uncompressed DNGs of specification 1.2 compliance ... the original format export created an uncompressed DNG with specification 1.3 compliance with my metadata embedded, the DNG export created a compressed 1.3 compliance file with my metadata embedded. This is exactly as expected ... and the ORIGINAL K10D DNG file in the original file repository is still untouched, capable of being opened by Pentax Photo Lab (which can only open the original Pentax K10D DNG files, not later versions).

    If you need to use an original DNG file for some reason, just access it from the original file repository ... don't tell Lightroom to generate a new one.

    Make a couple of original Leica DNG files available to me and I'll test it with them.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Godfrey

    I am not going to have this argument again. A few things you need to understand before you start throwing your research around. If you import a raw file into LR ..you are in effect processing it . For example if you indicate on import to add metadata ..it will be in the DNG you believe to be your "original". In most LR tutorials and books they recommend that you import from the card directly into LR . If you read the raw file off the card and build your folders (as recommended by Adobe) outside of LR ..you have processed your raw file.

    Now take a "raw file " from your folder(using LR as recommended) and export it as "original" your meta data has been included in the record . In addition the DNG format has been updated (if necessary to the Adobe standard definition). There are a few options in the export process that can result in your baking in the develop settings as well (but this is generally considered a mistake).

    Now if you are working exclusively with LR you may never even see this . Its when you try to reprocess a raw DNG (original) through C1 that it can show up.

    We saw this first when LR3 was introduced and we found that all the develop settings were stored in the DNG by LR2. Sandy (the developer of Cornerfix) went into the DNG s and confirmed the points above . As I noted this is not problem with anything other than DNG files because LR stores everything else in a side car.

    Since we raised this issue with LR they have added a feature in LR3 to include the stuff stored in the DNG in a sidecar. To the best of my knowledge they do not agree that updating a Leica DNG format to the current DNG is inappropriate.

    The only "so what" that matters is that if you import your Leica DNG into LR you "may" find that while it will work as you like inside LR......it may not be the same when you want to process it in some other raw developer.

    This was discussed at length over on the LUF and we took it directly to Adobe through the LR forum.

    You can avoid this issue by going directly from a card to your primary raw repository and your backup ....using OS X not LR. Or you can ignore it and assume that it will not affect how your files will be used.

    I am sure sandy did a better job of explaining this than I did over on the LUF. I discovered the issue and he did the analysis.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    I am not going to have this argument again. A few things you need to understand ...
    So don't. You're still incorrect, and don't understand what I wrote.

    Remember that I teach Lightroom, know it quite intimately. And I have a 20 year software development engineering background, 13 years of it at a company "right down the street" whose name starts with the same letter. I worked with Adobe extensively on their software engineering issues for several years. I have engineering connections there with whom I speak directly.

    I tested reading K10D DNG image files from the card and added metadata in the import dialog as you suggested. The DNG image files on the card are bit for bit identical to the DNG images now on the hard drive. It would not be sensible to consider that they do this rewrite and modification ONLY for Leica DNG image files.

    Regards export ... as I said before, LR will export the files into DNG with metadata added whether you choose "original format" or DNG.

    But it doesn't change your ORIGINAL DNG files at all, in the file repository where you told it to put them, unless you tell it to save metadata to the original file through either the "Save metadata..." command or through the implicit same functionality by turning on a catalog preference.

    You misunderstand how LR works with original image files, and how to use it to get what you want. Sorry about that, but it's true.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    >But it doesn't change your ORIGINAL DNG files at all, in the file repository where you told it to put them, unless you tell it to save metadata to the original file through either the "Save metadata..." command or through the implicit same functionality by turning on a catalog preference.

    By default some of these changes are on for a catalog.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    By default some of these changes are on for a catalog.
    Uwe,

    The only LR setting that can effect the automatic writing of metadata to a DNG file is Catalog Settings, Metadata tab, check box "Automatically write changes into XMP".

    It is OFF by default, in ALL versions of Lightroom including LR3PB.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Uwe,

    The only LR setting that can effect the automatic writing of metadata to a DNG file is Catalog Settings, Metadata tab, check box "Automatically write changes into XMP".

    It is OFF by default, in ALL versions of Lightroom including LR3PB.
    True. I have it on all the time because I don't use DNG that often (only if native in cameras) and like the settings in side car files (only if native with cameras). I would like to have all settings for TIFF and JPEG in side car files.

    ----------------


    Sidenote

    This writing of metadata into TIFFs and JPEGs has a nasty side effect for backup. Lets assume you have 500GB of TIFF files. Now add the copyright to all the files and save the metadata to the files. Now your backup system will find 500GB of changed data. If this information would be in side car files the changes would be very minor.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    True. I have it on all the time because I don't use DNG that often (only if native in cameras) and like the settings in side car files (only if native with cameras). I would like to have all settings for TIFF and JPEG in side car files.

    ----------------


    Sidenote

    This writing of metadata into TIFFs and JPEGs has a nasty side effect for backup. Lets assume you have 500GB of TIFF files. Now add the copyright to all the files and save the metadata to the files. Now your backup system will find 500GB of changed data. If this information would be in side car files the changes would be very minor.
    The value of having embedded metadata in DNGs is that you don't have to manage file plus sidecar file. The downside is that when a file is changed, you have to backup the whole file ...

    That said, I don't write metadata into original image files (DNG or native RAW). It is stored in the catalog. Sometimes I create a separate catalog and process the same original image files differently ... having my LR metadata in the files will only confuse the issue. This eliminates the backup issue. If I need a DNG file that contains all the LR metadata, it's very easy to tell LR to export one. I've not needed to do that for any reason other than testing.

    The only purpose to pushing the metadata into the original image files is if you go back and forth between using Lightroom and Bridge+Camera Raw often, and want to have the settings transfer. I have seen no practical reason to do that for any of my work, although I've demonstrated it for students in my workshop when they ask about it. It becomes somewhat problematic when mixing different revision levels of Camera Raw and Lightroom anyway.

    For exported files, I limit the metadata exported into the files to either just basic EXIF + IPTC or only IPTC data with Metadata Wrangler, except for the finish-rendered TIFF archive masters. I see no point to putting EXIF and Develop settings into exported files to be sent to clients.

    The facility to have a .XMP sidecar file exported on demand is useful, however, for other things since .XMP files can be processed with perl and other text processing engines. A lot of information about a set of files can be extracted from a set of .XMPs ... how useful that is depends upon what it is you are doing. Of course, it's also very easy to write a little script and extract the same information using EXIFtool.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Godfrey

    I am not going to have this argument again.
    Roger, don't feed the trolls. I'm going to take Godfrey's response as a data point suggesting that the DNG issue is limited to Leicas and assume that the recent problems I have had with my Sony files are due to a setting that is different in the beta and leave it at that. I like the concept of using LR only as a catalog.

    Godfrey, I greatly appreciate your insight and experience and may just go ahead with Lightroom, but please don't assume that you are the only one here with a brain and the rest of us are idiots.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Not to feed any flames, but for reference:

    1. Under certain conditions (depending on your preference settings and what you ask LR/ACR to do), Lightroom and ACR will modify original DNGs. In Adobe's defense, these modifications are entirely legal under the DNG specification, and DO NOT change the raw data in the file. What they do involve is e.g., the injection of XMP data, etc.

    2. There is a known issue that some DNG readers do not implement the full DNG specification - they are limited to only reading "as generated by the camera" DNGs - as thus don't correctly read such modified DNGs. This has been confirmed by Phase One as being an issue with M9 files that have been modified by LR on the most recent versions of Capture One, but there may well be other examples. Or be other examples in the future. So unless you're 100% certain you'll never want to use any non-Adobe raw converter, it's as well to ensure that your original DNGs remain unmodified. You can of course do so by backing up originals prior to importing into LR.

    3. Adobe's recommendation for ensuring that imported DNGs are left unchanged under all circumstances is to set them to read only in the operating system before importing them. This isn't harmful - it just causes LR to treat such files the way it treats other raw files e.g., NEFs, etc - so sidecar files will be used when necessary, rather than the injection of data into the DNG. (This recommendation is from Eric Chan, btw, who I understand wrote a fair proportion of the XMP code).

    Sandy

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandymc View Post
    Not to feed any flames, but for reference:

    1. Under certain conditions (depending on your preference settings and what you ask LR/ACR to do), Lightroom and ACR will modify original DNGs. In Adobe's defense, these modifications are entirely legal under the DNG specification, and DO NOT change the raw data in the file. What they do involve is e.g., the injection of XMP data, etc.
    This is exactly what I've been saying, in particular the bolded portion of your comment. Lightroom's default behavior will not modify an original image file. There are exactly three operations possible in Lightroom that will, period, and all of them require that you tell Lightroom to do them specifically.

    2. There is a known issue that some DNG readers do not implement the full DNG specification - they are limited to only reading "as generated by the camera" DNGs - as thus don't correctly read such modified DNGs. This has been confirmed by Phase One as being an issue with M9 files that have been modified by LR on the most recent versions of Capture One, but there may well be other examples. Or be other examples in the future. So unless you're 100% certain you'll never want to use any non-Adobe raw converter, it's as well to ensure that your original DNGs remain unmodified. You can of course do so by backing up originals prior to importing into LR.
    I believe Aperture is another of these "..DNG readers that do not implement the full DNG specification ..". I know it will not read DNG files containing linearly represented image data, for instance, and will not read some mosiac representation DNG files from for which cameras it does not already read the native raw files.

    3. Adobe's recommendation for ensuring that imported DNGs are left unchanged under all circumstances is to set them to read only in the operating system before importing them. This isn't harmful - it just causes LR to treat such files the way it treats other raw files e.g., NEFs, etc - so sidecar files will be used when necessary, rather than the injection of data into the DNG. (This recommendation is from Eric Chan, btw, who I understand wrote a fair proportion of the XMP code).
    The problem with this is that it simply doesn't work ...

    Example:
    - Take a few DNG files, put them in a folder, set the lock bit.
    - Create a new catalog and import them.
    - Modify develop settings and metadata.
    - Use the Metadata->Save Metadata to file... command (one of the only three ways to have LR actually modify an original image files).
    - This is the result:


    No .XMP file is created. Clicking the "show in library" button will create a temporary collection of the files whose metadata could not be written.

    But the default behavior is all you need. Do not set the options to write metadata to the file automatically, and do not use the "Save metadata to file" command (**) and your original image files will never be modified.

    ** The third way to modify an original image file is to write time or date changes.

    BTW, I do not include changing file names as a change to the original image file either. That does not affect the contents of the file, but might also screw up some DNG reading applications.

    And BTW, Bill, calling people names is exactly the kind of troll behavior I despise. It is an example of being ignorant and taking a defensive posture that is unwarranted by the facts.

    I have never assumed anyone here was stupid, simply ignorant of the facts. And I have never called anyone names.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    The problem with this is that it simply doesn't work ...
    I think you misunderstand; that's as intended. After you have set the file to read only, LR is correctly refusing to modify it, and telling you so. That's the point.

    Of course, for this to work properly, you have to have your system correctly configured; if LR is running with administrator privileges, I'm not sure that it wouldn't be able to overwrite files anyway.

    Sandy

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandymc View Post
    I think you misunderstand; that's as intended. After you have set the file to read only, LR is correctly refusing to modify it, and telling you so. That's the point.

    Of course, for this to work properly, you have to have your system correctly configured; if LR is running with administrator privileges, I'm not sure that it wouldn't be able to overwrite files anyway.

    Sandy
    I'm certain I didn't misunderstand as it wasn't what you said:

    ... it just causes LR to treat such files the way it treats other raw files e.g., NEFs, etc - so sidecar files will be used when necessary, rather than the injection of data into the DNG. ...
    Your statement is that setting the files to locked will cause Lightroom to use .XMP sidecar files. This is not what happens. XMP sidecar files are not generated for it to use, the write does not succeed. The original files remain unaltered, but that would be the case anyway if you didn't tell Lightroom to write the metadata to them.

    I did the example on my test system for which the ONLY account is the administrator account, that answers the question as to whether administrator privileges has any bearing on the locked-file behavior: it doesn't.

    You seem to be mistaking this behavior with Camera Raw's behavior, or perhaps Eric Chan is. When a DNG file is locked in the file system and you open it with Camera Raw, apply changes, and click Done or open in Photoshop, it writes .XMP metadata files to save the changes, presuming the Camera Raw preferences are to save changes in .XMP sidecar files rather than its centralized database.

    Lightroom, although it shares a good bit of the Camera Raw code for the image processing, does not work this way.
    Last edited by Godfrey; 21st February 2010 at 10:42.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I'm certain I didn't misunderstand as it wasn't what you said:



    Your statement is that setting the files to locked will cause Lightroom to use .XMP sidecar files. This is not what happens. XMP sidecar files are not generated for it to use, the write does not succeed. The original files remain unaltered, but that would be the case anyway if you didn't tell Lightroom to write the metadata to them.

    I did the example on my test system for which the ONLY account is the administrator account, that answers the question as to whether administrator privileges has any bearing on the locked-file behavior: it doesn't.

    You seem to be mistaking this behavior with Camera Raw's behavior, or perhaps Eric Chan is. When a DNG file is locked in the file system and you open it with Camera Raw, apply changes, and click Done or open in Photoshop, it writes .XMP metadata files to save the changes, presuming the Camera Raw preferences are to save changes in .XMP sidecar files rather than its centralized database.

    Lightroom, although it shares a good bit of the Camera Raw code for the image processing, does not work this way.
    I think what you misunderstand is what I was solving for - to make sure LR/ACR will not change the file, which is what at least some people want from a DAM system. I wasn't getting into the issue of under what circumstances LR should or should not write a sidecar file, or trying to write a sidecar file. Personally, I'd say that refusing to update the DNG and giving an error message is reasonable behavior, but that's neither here nor there. The point is, (a) the file wasn't modified, which is the behavior I was solving for, (b) LR is still doing its thing, (c) and there was a clear message telling you that what you tried to do couldn't be done. If you think LR should write an sidecar file under those circumstances, that's fine - personally I'd be quite happy with that behavior as well, suggest you file a bug/feature request with Adobe.

    And yes, if you read my original post, you will see that I started it with "LR/ACR". Apologies if I wasn't consistent in saying that I was talking about both all the way though.

    Sandy

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandymc View Post
    I think what you misunderstand is what I was solving for - to make sure LR/ACR will not change the file, which is what at least some people want from a DAM system. ...
    That might have been what you intended, but it wasn't what you wrote. I was responding to what you wrote in the context of this thread: we were talking about Lightroom, not Camera Raw, and its behaviors regarding DNG files in the image file repository it is being used to manage, its DAM functionality. Camera Raw has no DAM functionality at all.

    Of course, locking the files on disk will prevent writes by any application, that's a no-brainer. But the point I'm trying to make is that there's no reason to even do that if you understand how Lightroom works and under what circumstances it will modify a file in the original file repository. That's what I was explaining.

    ... Personally, I'd say that refusing to update the DNG and giving an error message is reasonable behavior, but that's neither here nor there. ...
    If you don't understand WHY that error message appears, it can be pretty disconcerting to people who don't understand the operations of the software.

    If you think LR should write an sidecar file under those circumstances, that's fine - personally I'd be quite happy with that behavior as well, suggest you file a bug/feature request with Adobe.
    Many who want to use the .XMP sidecar files directly have done this already, and Adobe is including that as a feature in LR3 it seems from the public beta. I consider it a useful if seldom needed capability. As I implied, way up thread, there are times when having the .XMP data available can be useful, but those are exactly the times I'll Export a file containing the XMP data specifically so I can extract it with EXIFtool and other utilities.

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    Re: DAM software for Mac?

    I'm afraid I have to rescind the advice I gave above about marking a DNG file read only ensuring that Lightroom/ACR will not change it under any circumstances. Some testing on my part showed that out that under the right combination of circumstances, it can be modified. One set of circumstances is if you are running XP in Administrator mode, but there might be others. I've communicated with Adobe on this, and they have confirmed that this can happen, as LR relies on the OS for read-only enforcement. In other words, LR does not check file permissions for itself, so if you as a user have sufficient system privilege to write a file, LR will write that file, regardless of the setting of the read-only flag.

    So the only completely safe way to ensure that your DNGs remain unaltered is, I'm afraid, to save them separately before LR sees them.

    Sandy

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