Image collection managemet

I fully understand that DxO does not produce image collection management applications similar to CameraBits Photo Mechanic. A bit of history, and my current issue.

In the film era, using 35 mm, I kept strip and a manual index to the images on each strip so that I would know which drawer, binder, etc, in which the strip could be found. When I switched to digital, I started the equivalent indexing using “optical” media – CD-ROM, then DVD, then BluRay. With a Nikon Z9, and even a bit before that, this has become unfeasible. It has been recommended to store images (eg, JPEG and NEF from body, .dop, and DXO.jpg after PL5E) on SATA SSD drives (eg, Crucial 2.5 inch SSD laptop drive). I have been looking at a USB tower, eg,

Syba 8 Bay Tool Less Tray Hot Swappabe 2.5" 3.5" SATA Non Raid External USB 3.0 Enclosure SY-ENC50119

to hold the drives. I do not plan to establish a high performance computing data storage silo, but rather a means to organise and find image (and soon, video) files. i need to be able to attach and de-attach the drives from a computer, preferably over USB to allow different computers I use to access the same drives/files. What applications are working photographers on this forum actually using for this purpose? I have looked at CameraBits PhotoMechanic Plus, XnView MP, etc, and am very open to suggestions.

see → Getting the PCspec right - #3 by Wolfgang
and of course one can put 8TB in such a box

It appears that you misunderstood what I am attempting to do, an issue that “must” arise for other photographers. I am not attempting to construct a “more powerful” workstation for image processing. Also, I do not intend to construct a data storage silo, albeit a “mini” version, such as used by Google, Amazon, Lexus-Nexus, etc. I currently am storing images, JPEG plus NEF, transferred from CFexpress cards (Nikon Z9) onto 2.5 in SATA (“laptop hard drive form factor”) SSD (currently, Crucial) for archival storage. From the interval since Christmas 2021 (when my Z9 arrived via USA NPS pre-order), I have filled up two of these (following the same rule as with camera data cards, 80 to 90 percent full, not “100 percent”), and have more arriving. To start with, and for field use, I use a SATA to USB 3 (soon USB C) adapter that plugs onto the SSD SATA connector and then into the computer. The drives are formatted to exFAT, as this was recommended as being both the most portable and sufficient to hold both still and video files and directories. I do not plan to keep all of these active but rather to store these into a USB disk tower (such as the one for which I provided a URL) that I will attach to a computer as needed, and then mount each drive. However, other than a tedious and very, very my time consuming task, I need a means to manage the entire collection of images. An example: say I am interested in an image of an egret for a client. I would be able to find “all” instances of egret within my image archive on multiple drives. This presumably means that the index is stored on one drive – in the 8 slot tower, slot 0 (first slot) would contain the drive that contains the index hierarchy to all of the other drives. After finding egret, say, I could then look for other key words that would provide location, my image rating, if the image was accepted by a client but still owned by me, description of what was in the image (standing, eating, flying, etc). I am looking for a software application that can manage such a system. Camera Bits Photo Manager Plus has been recommended, but there may be others. I am curious as to what other working photographers use.

I think you’re crazy to put 8 drives into an array without RAID redundancy unless you’re intending to do that some other way. Drives fail too often to have to manually manage restoring a backup. Unless you have some other redundant solution in mind I strongly encourage you to consider an off the shelf raid solution like synology or qnap.

Also for archive storage spinning disks are still much more effective with redundancy than SSDs and you shouldn’t need to SSD performance.

That said, to your headline question I think archival image storage is a separate topic and as you know DXO doesn’t provide any tools really. If you are interested in how I do it let me know and I’ll write it up.

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I agree with MikeR
for storing use a NAS with Redundancy(an 4 bay NAS will be ok, or calculate with )
for Backup use an external HD or two, and maybe a Cloud Solution (Photo Corrupted by Software - #22 by BHAYT)
for searching and finding photos a DAM like “Imatch” (search for DAM here in the forum and you will be overwhelmed by posts)

best regards