Digital Asset Management in PhotoLab

If you compare the three tools in a row, PL would loose here concerning the DAM topic. So if you want exactly one program to handle and catalog your raws and don’t want LR subscription with at the same time good image quality, C1 offers the most. There is a grid panel, there are hierarchical keywords, collections and stuff. I like the DxO output more, but it is a plain RAW processor. That is why people have to deal with Photo Supreme or ACDsee to organize their photos. But jumping between tools is not for everyone.

Regarding Batch-renaming, Jim observed …

There are complications, Jim - - It’s a matter of renaming both the image AND the .dop/sidecar file with exactly matching names AND completing the rename of both files fast enough that PL does not see the renamed image as a “new” image (without a matching .dop/sidecar file).

Having PL complete the renaming process itself would ensure these requirements are met.

Other threads have discussed problems with various tools NOT completing these tasks as needed.

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Ah, OK … as I concluded then;

Thank You for the insight… I use (completed) images differently.

I was thinking of re-naming for web site considerations (standardization for file pathways).

Even so, You will be attempting to graft functionality on to a program that was not intended for this purpose.

Again, why not have an app designed to be a DAM from the ground up - tightly integrated with PL?

From a business standpoint it gives DXO another profit center.

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Another profit center is all good, but it raises the entry barrier for new customers. It all must compete against Adobe subscription which is 130€/year currently (cheaper on sale). Lets count my expenses for the PL setup so far:

ACDSee Photo Studio Pro 2018 (DAM): 45€
PhotoLab + Filmpack + ViewPoint: 290€
Affinity Photo: 40€

This is 375€ in total, which is approximately 3 years of subscription and is even more costly than a CaptureOne setup, which is told to be expensive. Note: All these prices are “sale” prices, so the user must know when and how to buy.

The advantage of the DxO setup is, that Affinity, Filmpack and ViewPoint are almost never updated and the PL updates are much cheaper compared with C1 or Lr. But the initial investment remains, which can be scary for people coming from Lr+Ps.

absolutly necessary!!!

I come from LR to PL and the work with PL is amazing. BUT DAM is missing so now I use LR5.7 for DAM only - but for workflow it would be nice only to use ONE tool…

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Lightroom does not import images. It reads their name, and metadata into the Lr database. Images stay where they are. The import function is there so that Lr knows that these images are to be worked with.

Even DPL has a database, it is just not used as extensively because DPL has very limited capabilities outside of image development and customisation.

Adding DAM functionality enables DPL to act on metadata too.

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Thanks for your feedback. I’ve been a user of Lightroom from version 3 thru version 6.14 and am aware of how the import functions and what is stored in the catalog. Lightroom does import images from your SD card to a location of your choosing on your hard drive, or it can import images from one location on a hard drive to another and even rename the files for you, or you can import images from their current location on a hard drive without moving or renaming them.There are la number of variations but they are all imports into the database and can take a significant amount of time to process. . Additionally after making updates and before exiting Lightroom you should select the option to backup the catalog, another time-consuming task which protects you in the event of a catalog corruption. Perhaps when you posted you were assuming I thought Lightroom somehow stored the images themselves in the database. As an experienced computer user since Windows 3.1, and long time software developer, I know that is not the case

I use the very powerful Directory OPUS 12 as my computer’s file manager. I download my images from my SD card using a Lexar USB 3 card reader directly to a folder structure with a specific naming convention I’ve been using for many years. I have rarely needed to document or search using metadata. Once my files are downloaded they are 100% ready to be edited, but before I do, I view and delete obvious non keepers using the raw viewer in Directory OPUS. Very fast, very efficient. I can even add metadata tags to saved images if I wish.

In Lightroom the process of importing images from my SD card to the pre-existing folders I have created is significantly slower than copying them from my SD card to their final location using Directory Opus, And if I first copy them to their location outside of Lightroom and then import them in Lightroom without moving them I have an additional time consuming step that gives me no added value. On top of that any file manipulation of those images and folders must be done using the limited functionality of Lightroom’s file manager, otherwise Lightroom gets confused. With DXO PhotoLab all that is eliminated. I can move my files and folders or delete them with my file manager without any impact, All I have to be aware of is to move the sidecar files with the image files. Lightroom overly complicates things for me and significantly slows down my workflow. And If i have a one off image I would quickly like to edit I don’t have to first import it in DXO before editing it.

Not having to deal with Imports is probably the single biggest reason I was looking for alternatives to Lightroom. The second biggest reason was that I do not use Photoshop therefore $10 a month just for Lightroom was not as cost effective as purchasing a standalone license, and Adobe is not providing any more stand-alone upgrades after version 6.14. Finally, after using DXO Photolab Elite, I found that I got better results in less time than I could with Lightroom 6.14.


I would wish the Organize view in PL be a bit better: Faster to switch folders, supporting favorites and supporting some OS specific stuff like MacOS tags or even descriptions.

But I don’t miss a full DAM at all and would not like to see it messing with the current way of working: using the file system, which happens to be a hierarchical database of digital assets already…

Better and more complete EXIF viewing and editing capabilities and an improved filter dialog though would be appreciated. If this comes with a inobstrusive DAM functionality, then I’m ok with it.


A file system hierarchy is not a hierarchical database. And if it is, then a very limitted one. I expect for example three features, so that a DAM starts being usable for me:

  1. A DAM must be able to store a single image in two independent hierarchies without making a copy. Like in Persons|Dave and Events|2017|Birthday_Dave.

  2. It must be able to show me all photos of Dave or all photos of 2017 instantly by selecting Dave or 2017 in a tree. I do not want to scan all my folders, everytime I search something, like in Bridge. This is inefficient. I also do not want to mess with file names.

  3. I need an auto organisation of all images inside a calendar by date taken. So that I can see my images organized by days, months and years without any effort.

I forgot: Every DAM information I enter, must be stored outside of the database in a XMP file. Otherwise I am locked in in one tool, which I don’t like, because I cannot exchange the tool. I also do not trust databases to stay healthy.


As DAM I run Photo Supreme the server version but single user version offer the same powerful options.
Extremely good at injesting, tagging, and powerful searching. Easy interaction with what ever application you want to use as a raw developer or post editor.

Yep ! - - That goes for me too.

John M


I agree and with the forthcoming update to the Mac Finder there will be even less of a reason for a dam to be built. I would much prefer DxO to spend its time improving the products - especially the U Point and general masking functionality.


I also use Photo Supreme as my DAM. What would be nice and useful would by for PhotoLab to be able to read and use the resulting keywords that PS writes to the files. Then it would be able to view them in more than a straight folder point of view. Once the classification is done, modifying them as logical sets would be a big plus.

Further thoughts on this topic. If DXO could at least read and use the keywords that other DAM programs write into the images, it would be a big step up. That way, I could apply the various classifications and other DAM features elsewhere and use the saved keywords to filter the images in DXO for exporting.


Since I dropped LR, I am exactly doing the same thing.
It was a long process to find the tools I wanted to use.

I do not want to be prisoner of one single piece of proprietary software anymore.
Today I feel free, each photo has it’s own XMP (generated with Exiftool in an Automator script) and each tool has a part in the process. I can update or totally change one of these when it is necessary without killing my workflow.

For my own personal use, I am not expecting a full DAM from DxO anymore.
For this job I am using Neofinder (for mac and iOS - for Windows look for abeMeda): cheap, light, powerfull and evolving very quick (I got my license less than one year ago).

I am expecting DxO Photolab to be the best raw editor that is always up-to-date with
1/ cameras+lenses
2/ with the OS capabilities = new technologies and optimization
3/ focused on productivity and usability (understand “do better in less time”)
4/ best interface with other softwares (Affinity, Nik collection, etc)

I am not against more functionalities as long as the CORE has priority and regular support.
I do not need to tell you why I dropped LR, do I ?


If the number of votes associated with this request is high enough to convince DxO staff of the merit of including some Digital Asset Management functionality in PhotoLab, would it be possible to obtain some feedback from DxO staff about the expected DAM functionality? How about it @sgospodarenko?

Perhaps we may want a separate vote on leaving DAM enhancements out of PhotoLab?:wink:


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Well said !

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I agree as well, there is so much RAW work needed to divert into something new is a diversion. I dropped lightroom after some years and never used it for anything other than RAW processing. I have used Photo Supreme for some years and it does every thing I what without tying me to one RAW processor.

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I do think PL needs better image browsing capabilities but whether this need break out into a fully developed DAM is, I agree, open to question. Personally I think not, not yet anyway. I would prefer focus to be on stuff like more advanced selective editing and integration of the Nik suite. From DxO’s viewpoint they need to go where the sales are but I hope they do not fall into the trap that a DAM is some sort of Holy Grail. Skylum thought that and look at the mess that place now is!

Maybe RAW based panorama and HDR will be fine for me …