Digital Asset Management in PhotoLab

After a public voting system is available, I have created this thread to allow publicly voting for Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality in PhotoLab.

If you think, that PhotoLab should have features like:

  • Hierarchical Keywording
  • Hierarchical Collections
  • Fast searching by core metadata attributes
  • Batch renaming
  • Maybe a grid and compare view for photos
  • Maybe RAW based panorama and HDR

then leave your vote here. If you are using an external DAM tool, your OS file browser is enough for you or chaos is your order, then just ignore this thread. :grinning:

I would certainly make use of a Batch-renaming feature … but I’m not much interested in any of the other, general DAM features, which I see as LOW priority for the DxO dev-team, compared with improvements/enhancements to PL’s image editing capabilities.


Metadata editor

  1. Keywords
  2. Other tags like description

Search and filter by

  1. Keywords
  2. Exif and other metadata

Grid and compare views

  1. Additional markers
  2. Show rotator buttons


  1. If an image is in several collections, it can be customised so that each collection contains a different customisation, a thing that projects cannot do today.

Same opinion as John.
In my case I will use a DAM on my sorted JPEGs therefore access to raw files is secondary.



Same as you @Pieloe.


I would like to have a fully integrated solution without the need for other tools. My workflow is:

  1. Import RAWs
  2. Delete loosers
  3. Keyword keepers, write back keywords to XMP sidecars
  4. Develop RAWs
  5. Export JPEGs to the same folders as the source RAWs. Let PL transfer keywords from XMP sidecars to JPEGs automatically
  6. Hide all RAWs through filtering

For second develop cycle:

  1. Show and select RAWs
  2. Repeat from 4) to 6)

This way I normally look and browse on keyworded JPEGs, but the RAWs are a single click away.


DxO team should simply enable other parties like Photo Supreme to fully read the PL side car files and render them for preview.

Then we would have both the best RAW developer as well as DAM.
No need for DxO to put in the time and money for yet another functionality as a DAM.


The sidecar files only contain the develop settings as a description. They are human readable, just open them in a text editor. It is a cooking receipt only the PhotoLab’s raw engine can understand. All external tools could read this, but there is nothing they could do with “Apply prime and do a little bit of smart lightning”.

What I don’t want is to turn PhotoLab into Lightroom. I don’t want to have to import images. I don’t want additional complexities for a DAM which can affect performance and distract DXO Labs’ already limited programming resources from their main task of adding or enhancing raw editing features. In any case, DAM enhancements to PhotoLab are probably unlikely anytime soon since this package is now in its 12th iteration.



I do not know, how often I have read this. PhotoLab will never become a Lightroom. It is the other way round. PhotoLab is the only RAW developer, I know of, which has no DAM functionality. This is true at least for On1 RAW, CaptureOne, Lightroom, Darktable, Alien Exposure, ACDSee, PhotoDirector, soon Luminar and Affinity.

If you want to have DAM functionality, there are several approaches:

One approach is for example used by On1 RAW, where you can define folders on disk as your favorite folders. Only these folders are indexed and only these folders allow extended search and navigation. If you do not set favorite folders, nothing changes for you. This indexed folders approach is also used by plain DAM tools like IMatch.

An import can also be an optional thing, as it is the case for rename functionality. The “import” is just an improved copy, where you can define the target directory, some directory structure created with the help of file metadata and metadata templates to be applied on the copied files. If you copy your files manually in the explorer and do not alter metadata, then again there is no change for you.

The only downside to having DAM included are the potentially limited human resources to realize this.

Btw. here is a nice article for the whole topic. See especially the comaprisson table and the PROs and CONS at the end:


That’s true.

But with the ability to correctly parse the PL receipt in the sidecar the DAM would be able to correctly or at least render the preview a bit more refined and show it how it looks.

Thanks, @Asser, that’s a very thorough comparison … and it provides a nice “warm & fuzzy feeling” to know that we, as DxO-PL users, have made such a great purchase decision :sunglasses:

It’s also reassuring to see that PhotoLab has been awarded 2018 “Best Imaging Software” - see link: TIPA WORLD AWARDS 2018 - BEST IMAGING SOFTWARE

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Regarding requirements for Digital Asset Management in PL;

A different way to approach this is to ask is; “What practical outcome do we want to achieve” … rather than a list of features we think we might need, which can end-up as nothing more than a marketing check-list.

Because, just for example, we’ve seen requests for such features as key-word search … but, perhaps, without understanding that this implies that extensive and accurate key-word tagging will need to be applied to all images (in order to allow for reliable searching).

So, is it worth DxO’s time implementing a feature that’s actually not going to get much practical use (except by the few of us who are well organised) ? … Or, would this limited resource be better applied in enhancements to, say, Nik & PL integration ?

Disclaimer: I’m making this point from the perspective of someone with no need for DAM features in PL; I have this handled using other tools … So, I accept that mine is a “selfish” perspective.


seems silly or redundant for others but i like separate tools for separate things.
those do things better and easier then the " i can do it all"
The only thing you need is a row of tools which arn’t overlapping to much so you don’t override actions done by a other.

  • import tool to select images and videofiles
  • fast culling viewer
  • raw editor with power to do most (also local) corrections you want.
  • A pixel editor for the sake of extra corrections.
  • DAM for tag and organise the bunch you keep.
    i use a import folder which hold the imported files, from there i cull the bads out, then i proces the raw’s export in a other folder. copy this to my nass to view in 48" and if satisfied i move those to my archieve which is guarded by my DAM.
    At last i move the rawfiles to my other (raw)archieve with the sidecars for as i like to do a other development.
    Then clearup the leftovers like tiffs , dng’s which i use to move between the tools

But that’s just my way of keeping track of my things.


It is not only about what we want to achieve, but also about, who is the target audience for the product.

There is the basic user, who needs the basic features given by PS Elements, On1, ACDSee. He will not buy a RAW developer for 300€.

There is a pro user, who mostly will not leave the Adobe eco system, because of all external dependencies that exist.

And there is a prosumer, which mostly will choose between:

  1. Lightroom
  2. CaptureOne
  3. PhotoLab

The most part will stay with 1), of the same reason as the most part buys iPhones. Just because it is the market leader, and they do not want to deal with compatibility problems or other issues, that make them think.

The remaining part will choose between 2) and 3). For those, that need a fully featured workflow between SD-card and JPEG export in one tool, will currently not choose 3). That is my opinion. The question is, whether those people are the target audience.

We are customers already, so we have adapted our workflows somehow.

understood. clear.
it’s above my viewpoint so i let the Staff pull this “splinter” one out.

Yes - agreed.

Actually, Apple/iPhone is not the smartphone market leader (that’s Samsung) - but I know exactly what you mean. Many people buy certain camera brands for the same reason.

I’m curious about your conclusion here, @Asser - Are you suggesting that this group would typically choose CaptureOne over PhotoLab because CaptureOne has better browsing/catalogue functionality ?

If that’s the case then that makes a good argument for DxO to make PhotoLab at least as good as CaptureOne in this area … and, that’s probably all they really need to do.

Adobe Bridge does this, as well as “Automator” (Mac OS) - surely there is a program in Windows that can do the same?

If there is indeed a genuine market for a DXO DAM - then why not have a separate app?

PhotoLab has a long way to go in fulfilling its primary mission without getting distracted by a DAM sideshow.