Adobe is test marketing doubling the price of LR/PS. PhotoLab has a opportunity to increase its user base

Adobe is currently test marketing doubling the subscription price of LR and PhotoShop to $20 USD per month in the US and presumably elsewhere. It is apparently not a finalized strategy yet, but clearly Adobe is unhappy with the $10 per month rate. This is an opportunity for other software vendors to capture some of Adobe’s frustrated user base. DXO can profit by this but only if they step up their game and make PhotoLab more functionally competitive by upgrading/adding features, improving performance, especially on Macs, and adding new cameras/lens and fixing bugs on a more timely basis. I assume they are not purposely holding PhotoLab back so I hope they have the resources and are up to the task.



…here‘s why DPL needs better DAM functionality and a proper way to import settings and metadata from LR catalog(s).

It apparently was a temporary test to gauge the public’s reaction and the prices have now returned to the their previous levels. But, I assume they never would have tried it out if they hadn’t been seriously considering raising the price. And perhaps they’ll decide to try again at say $15 a month.


Yes. The usual “fear-then-relief” technique.

I’m not sure about this. DxO are good at developing post-processing algorithms but designing a UI (even more so a DAM) is obviously not their “cup of tea”. And I’m not sure they have the necessary resources to do this. I prefer seeing them focusing on the post-processing part.

IMHO, the best solution is to use an existing DAM and call DPL from it. There are a lot of good DAMs on the market, even free ones. Or DxO could build a partnership with the editor of such DAMs.


I was quite sure from the beginning that a price increase would be introduced as soon as a sufficient number of users had been ‘hooked’. I’m glad I made the decision not to continue with Adobe. Lightroom is replaced by DxO PhotoLab (I use  Photos as my DAM), whilst Affinity Photo is a proper replacement for Photoshop.
I will keep Adobe programs on my Mac as long as they are compatible with my OS (currently latest version of Mojave 10.14.4), but already get warned daily by Adobe Application Manager that they will not be compatible in the future. So long, Adobe!

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Exciting news, Mark. Thanks for sharing it.

I’m always astonished by the naivety of Adobe victims who talk about the “fair” pricing of the photographer package. When CC launched Adobe wanted full price and then backed off to $20/month. When $20/month didn’t make the fish bite and too many swam off to alternate software, a scorched earth policy was implemented: $10/month. If Adobe now feels that it has its fish in closed nets and there are no enough new fish to bait of course, the price is going up.

Adobe is a company only concerned with greed at this point. Creative software and benefit to users are a second thought. What matters is cost cutting, revenue growth, quarterly stock market projections and the stock price. This is no way to run a business long term (think Big Three in Detroit in the 70’s they had this down pat).

Anyone using Adobe software outside of a corporate environment where s/he has no control of his/her computer is in the long term a victim and only a victim. The remind me of prisoners of digging their own grave. Ironically some of them will sing the praises of their long term executioner as they dig.

There’s lots of DAM software out there:

  • FastRawViewer
  • iMatch
  • ACDSee (more advanced on Windows)
  • Neofinder (Mac-only)
  • PhotoMechanic 6

I won’t mention the broken and crap DAM in On1 or Luminar or even C1 as they are clear examples of why DxO shouldn’t sacrifice a first rate RAW developer for a dilettante DAM. Most of the DAM applications on the above list have been in development for ten years or more and still struggle with asset management issues. DAM, as it related to file integrity and database optimisation at huge scale, is extremely hard.

What’s really important is the PhotoLab continue to play well with external applications like the afore-mentioned DAM and pixel editors like Affinity Photo. What DxO could do here which would be clever, is partner with two or three of the big DAM solutions to become a recommended vendor for the RAW development portion of the pipeline.

By talking about their own internal DAM solution (which seems to already be making it harder to just open files in PhotoLab/Optics Pro, work on them and move on – database deletion issues are not fun, to get a simple folder refresh), DxO is making competitors out of companies who should be their partners in taking business away from Adobe.

For the sake of the long term integrity of your photo archives, Platypus, I hope you are keeping them in well-named folders in the file system.


I agree, but again its also not helped by the retreat into the DXO corporate shell again. Ignoring existing and potential customers over the direction and time periods of improvements, new cameras/lenses and bug fixes.


I agree with you. Its frustrating, but DXO is obviously struggling. We have a few choices. We can jump ship, we can investigate other alternatives, or we can just be patient. Haranguing them or getting angry, as some of us have done in the past, will not make upgrades appear any faster. Each of us has to make our best decision about which path to follow.


  • digiKam (free)
  • Photo Supreme

Yes sure, I have my folder system up and running and it will never be able to replace a proper asset management. Most images have more than one message. How can you manage a multidimensional system with a twodimensional folder structure and still keep decent searchability?

My structure sorts along time and place (typical travel structure) but I also keep track of other things, persons I travel with to just name one. This gets us three dimensions. Any hints?

I am just keeping to use Lightroom Classic CC as my DAM. Just block it from communicating to Adobe servers through a firewall and it turns into a free DAM with the newest camera support after the demo period is over.

Keeping your hierarchical keywords in lr:hierarchicalKeywords tag inside XMP is the most future proof way to store your multi dimensional hierarchies, because nearly every other tool understands it.

Once you leave this path of keywording, you can start to learn the commands for the ExifTool to repair your metadata at some point. :slight_smile:

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+1 in my opinion…(I’m using IMatch


That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’ve been working with IMatch for a few days and will go through the 30 day trial. As of now I’m quite impressed as it is very extensive; yet, can be configured to be as simple or complex as your needs are. IMatch, along with DPL and ON1 RAW seem to meet my needs as of now.

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Interesting challenge. I have very simple needs as my images are organized by Date & Project… so what if we expand things a bit?

Please note: I am not trying to change anybody’s mind about their DAM set-up; rather I am exploring here how to use just the operating system to effect a more in-depth database. Also I’m on a Mac - Windows users may have similar functionality.

There are 2 (Mac OS) components to my trial set-up: “Automator” app & “Spotlight”.

Automator is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used with its enormous number of built-in operations - or You can script it. Here we will simply be batch changing file names adding keywords. So “_DSC5479.NEF” becomes “_DSC5479_Bill_Tahoe.NEF”. It is a snap to create this action (which can be saved and reused) and the process of re-naming hundreds of files takes less than 2 seconds.

You can of course be more granular with manual keyword additions for particular files.

Note: You can also use Automator to enter “keywords” in the “Comments” section for an image in the info dialog (Cmd-i) instead of in the file name as described just above. Spotlight will search for keywords in this location. Please see “Addendum” at the end of this post.

At this point I still have all my files organized by Date & Project, just adding keywords to the filename.

Now I want to find in my thousands of folders a particular set of criteria that utilize not just the keywords we’ve added to the filenames but other parameters such as the date range, file type, color space, color profile, etc.

For this operation we will use the Mac’s “Spotlight” search feature and the associated creation of “smart search” folders (which can be saved) where all my search criteria is stored and any time I create a file that matches that criteria it is automatically added to this “smart search” folder. Note that files in this smart folder simply point to the original, no wasted space by making an actual copy of the image.

Because “Spotlight” indexes your files on an ongoing basis the results, even for thousands of files, occur in an instant.

As mentioned five paragraphs above You can use Automator to enter keywords in the “Comments” section of the “File info” dialog (Cmd-i) for selected images. More significantly You can create an Automator action as a Service. Which means You can select a group of images (or single image), then right click (control-click) and from the “Services” category at the bottom of the context menu select the Automator action to create the keywords for those images. Really tightens your workflow.

A small sample of search criteria using Spotlight & “Smart” folders (screenshot):

========= break > further down the list of possible search criteria



Platypus, the most effective way to work with DAM is to only put finished files in the DAM. That means either 12 quality jpegs or TIFFS depending on the kind of work it is. Lightroom 4 can handle this and runs on the latest Apple OS and doesn’t require monthly payments (I’ve paid for mine and there’s no reason I can’t or shouldn’t use it forever).

Consumer DAM collapses quickly when it’s used as a culling tool. There’s at least 10x as many files going in than if the DAM only gets finished files (you can keyword them and sort them and classify your finished files to your heart’s content). It’s also less work in the long run for the photographer as when s/he’s looking for an image, there’s less cruft to sort through and the DAM runs briskly. Additional photos/outtakes (there shouldn’t be any but we’re all human) can be found in dated folders or by searching for the original filename).

This DAM nonsense is like some of Quest for the Holy Grail. A Monty Pythonesque-quest, except by grown adult photographers who quite simply should know better. I’m mocking myself as well. I had my years of enthusiasm for Aperture (still have a soft spot for that program) and then miserable years trying to turn Lightroom into the Holy Grail which it is not.

Ingesting/culling before processing and managing digital archives of finished images should be two entirely separate processes.

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…this means that you trow whatever percentage of your files into what the french call an “oubliette” (a dungeon that is meant to let prisoners rot and starve until dead) or something that is not better than the classic shoebox which, in modern context, would then contain tens of thousands of images instead of a few hundred.

Other than that, I strongly feel that keywords are needed and therefore, some minimalistic functionality should be introduced that keeps the keywords safe.


  • Adobe Bridge (see here for details)
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