Considering a switch to Mac OS - what is the workflow like?

I just noticed that bit. I can only compare between my 2017 iMac (3.8GHz Quad i5 with a Radeon Pro 580 8 GB GPU) and M1 Mac mini with 16GB RAM. The M1 runs the PhotoLab UI noticeably faster than the iMac, even though it is using Rosetta to run Intel code, and is faster in general apart from when exporting using DeepPrime, where the iMac GPU gets used - but if I’m exporting more than ten at a time, I would leave it running and go and do something else anyway, regardless of the computer speed. PhotoLab is still… less than stellar in its UI performance on the M1, compared to its rivals.

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll check it out.

The Photolab UI is less than stellar on my current hardware too (i5, 16GB RAM, SSD, integrated graphiczzzz). I’m not talking about image processing time (I can walk away) but UI lag, especially UI element fade in/out, preview pan/zoom lag, etc. is annoying, but workable, at least for now.

Thanks for the workflow explanation, I’ll keep that in mind while I evaluate it.

Workflow-wise, what I tend to do is to import to Mylio, rate and cull there, then optimise the keepers using PL working in Mylio’s folders, saving the JPEG result in the same folder as the raw. Mylio has an automatic stack-like behaviour - if you save a JPEG next to a raw, but give the JPEG a filename suffix ‘_display’ (so ABCD1234.raw becomes ABCD1234_display.jpg), Mylio recognises that as the finished version and shows it in the UI instead of the raw.

I was doing some work on my M1 Mac earlier - PL is certainly very usable, it’s just that the native versions of some of the rivals do better! When PL gets a native version, I think it will catch up.

Mac Performance: pretty spritely these days with a solid graphics card and lots of memory and images which are 36 MB and smaller. D850 and 5DSR images have always been much slower for me. For best speed in workflow, don’t turn on noise reduction at all until right before processing (except for previewing/testing noise reduction on a couple of sample images).

I second everyone’s comments about Apple Photos. Treat that application like the plague as it will destroy any workflow you attempt to build with its flaky database and it’s ability to lose or ruin originals. Metadata, particularly ratings, cannot be reliably exported from Apple Photos.

I would advise you to use the Apple folder and file system as part of your core DAM process. It’s very reliable. Don’t bother with Finder Tags as support comes and goes from them and they have historically been very fragile. XMP sidecars with metadata are far more reliable.

Triage applications which support XMP sidecards include FastRawViewer ($15), ApolloOne ($30), Photo Mechanic ($130). Photo Mechanic Plus ($230) will also create and manage catalogues which are incredibly fast to filter and search even when huge (7 TB of images). Using finders and folder structure to manage finished images can work though.

I have written in considerable detail about workflow in Photolab on MacOS, based on my posts here on workflow, DAM and triage.

Dear Alec,

thanks for the link to the DAM thread of 2018. I’ve read the whole bunch :laughing: and found a lot of informations you talk about, which are still under discussion and have not been implemented.
It sounds like a wishlist of past times.
So i will take a deeper look into FRV, which I bought only for culling a few month’s ago.

best regards

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The Apple M1-based machines are light-years better than the hardware that is based on Intel. Get an M1 Mac and not an Intel Mac. If you can spend more money, get 16GB of RAM. The M1 does not have dedicated RAM for graphics/video. My wife has an M1 mac mini with 8GB and you can see that it is offloading process data to the SSD. I have a 16GB M1 mini and it feels snappier.

I’d also urge you not to use Photos. Lots of heartburn. I use it for sync’ing iPhone images over to my Mac. Once they are on my Mac and out of Photos, they are safe!

I do hope that DXO adds native support for M1 soon. It’s been a year since Apple announced it - most of DXO’s competition is native today and Nik/DXO is the only photo software that I use that still needs to run on the emulator.

Good luck whatever you choose to do.

iMazing works a treat for managing and offloading iPhoto/iOS/iPadOS photos. iMazing also offer a free HEIC-JPEG converter which works in batch and renders the HEIC well enough in JPEG I can’t tell the difference, even under a loupe.

PS. Intel Macs do pretty well on desktop from mid-level graphic cards. Not in a rush to fight with a new system architecture. The latest Apple OS are incredible violators of privacy – Catalina+ send home information about every time you open any app telling what you opened and why. There is no option to opt-out. Privacy, Apple, ha ha. No thanks.

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Thanks for the advice, and those links. Very helpful reading. It’s a bit of a paradigm shift because the workflow I’ve fallen into (maybe thanks to the iMatch Way) tends to treat the raw as the master and everything else as derivative, which (as one commenter said) eventually leads to putting a lot of work into some images that you end up throwing away during processing. I like the idea of applying tags and captions to the finished image instead, and that can be done in the file manager on Windows (and presumable in Finder too).

I downloaded FRV to trial. Overall I like it, and I can see it fitting in to a simplified process.

Thanks. I’ll be strongly considering the 16GB version if I go this route, to give the thing a hopefully longer useful lifespan.

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There’s no practical opt-out any more. Windows does the same thing. Android (let’s not go there). Maybe one is still safe with a Linux box, if you stay off the internet with it.

Defeatism is a pretty poor code by which to live. Mac OS 10.14 using scripts to shut down unnecessary launch daemons, without iCloud and with Little Snitch set to fairly strict preferences and avoiding Apple’s own applications is still viable in leaking a minimum amount of information.

But certainly, there’s a lot of Linux in my near future, despite more than twenty years on MacOS and then OS X.

I have a M1 Mac Mini with 8Gb memory. PL4 runs smoothly on it most of the time, but I do find I need to close it down every half a day or so as it starts to ‘bog down’. Upon restart it runs fine again. I suspect this is memory related, but I have no actual hard evidence to offer to back this up.

With hindsight, I wish I’d got 16Gb installed though as I think it would help a lot with the performance of the machine when I have PL4, Photo Mecahnic, Firefox, Mail, Spotify and Excel all open at the same time. I now find I close all but PL4 and Spotify when editing images.

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The recommendations I give to prospective buyers (with limited funds) are these:

  • Establish the requirements first:
    What do I want to do instead of what do I want to have - and read reviews
  • Spend money for more RAM rather than for a more expensive CPU (on Intel Macs)
  • Do not pinch your pennies when you buy a Mac that is not user-upgradeable.
    This may be hard at times, but it pays with an extended usage period without having to
    add kludges because you’ve run out of drive space…

I’ve had five Macs between 1991 and 2019. I’m on iMac #5 (first Mac was an LC) since autumn 2019.
I also got me a M1 MacBook Air for X-mas. I don’t really need it but it comes in handy at times.


My Mac workflow differs from your proposal in the following:

  1. Copy RAW files to hard drive.
  2. Delete images, apply keywords, geolocation, ratings etc. in Photo Mechanics for the remaining ones.
  3. Pick and develop RAW files in PL4.
  4. Send a copy of the developed image to Apple Photo.

While developing images I stay independent from Apple’s Photo app. For having images by hand I have the essence of my favourite ones available in the Apple Photostream and on all synced Apple devices.

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I struggle pretty badly but I think that has a lot more to do with my overall ineptitude with things regarding stuff like this … I finally have it down to at least somewhat of a fluid workflow … I often worry though that there are things that I don’t know that I don’t know … Like I could be missing out on a step, method, ect that is not compromising the full potential… I hope it’s going well for you

That’s a good use of Apple Photos as long as one is not using iCloud. With iCloud, Apple is up front that they share all the data on iCloud with NSA, FBI, CIA. Until recently Apple claimed not to examine the data not on iCloud. Now in the States (and really everywhere, I don’t believe they won’t push the spyware onto European phones), Apple promises to monitor what you store everywhere in iOS 15. No more iPhones for our family.

Welcome to Neanderthal!

If Apple (or anybody else) has compromised privacy without informing users (and who reads the conditions anyway), we’ll see the EU in court again…

What a primitive and naive thing to say, platypus. Go and read the link. If you are comfortable with full body scans and chip implants, enjoy. It’s not for me or my family. The EU fines on Apple and the other tech giants are generally laughable. The only real one was when Apple was asked to pay back taxes for their Irish tax scam. After profiteering and not paying taxes based on a secret (since when are corporations allowed secret deals with sovereign nations) Tim Cook dismissed EU complaints as “Total political crap”. As far as I know Apple still hasn’t paid those back taxes. At the same time EU companies like my own and DxO must pay Apple’s share of the EU tax burden.

We’ll be fine without iPhones. There are three solid alternative choices right now for de-Googled Android:

  1. LineageOS (adequate support across a wide range of phones)
  2. /e/ OS (very good support across select Samsung phones, not latest models)
  3. Huawei HarmonyOS phones (latest and best photo models)

I’ve already owned one of the Huawei phones with de-Googled Android (gave it to someone in the family who is still happily using it). Huawei tries to tie you into their own services and it’s a bit of headache to opt-out, hence I’ll probably go with LineageOS or /e/ OS.

Yes, it’s a pity. On the other hand, to just sit here and boil like a frog in ever warmer water. Well, that’s okay if you’re a frog, or, it seems a platypus.