iMatch 2020 is out -- one of the best DAM combinations with PhotoLab

The rules spelled out by @bekesizl should work well. They’re very similar to ones I use with IMatch and DxO.

  1. Just my input to remind that Lightroom Classic is absolutely free to use as a DAM without a paid plan. Without a paid plan, you don’t have access to the Develop and Map modules, that’s all.

  2. I’d like to see DxO full integrated with macOS as it currently is with Lightroom. On a Mac, Photos also allows face recognition, maps, keywords with AI. It’s user friendly and can be enough for many of us

I kinda agree/disagree with this. When DxO decided to be PhotoLab instead of Optics Pro, it clearly sent the message “we want to be more than a plugin”. So either DxO go 100% into the whole digital darkroom + DAM to compete with LR and C1 or they just revert back to be something like Topaz products and get rid of their poor DAM implementation.

Comprehensive DAM: IMatch, PhotoSupreme, Lightroom Classic
DAM Light: Capture One, new Lightroom, and most others

DAM is an application by itself… incredibly hard to get it right and it will create a massive bloat in your application.

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I agree with that but if Dxo proposed it in his DPL, he must go further and must do better.
For the moment, few people are satisfied

It was always said by many of us it was going to a bad diversion of resources and never going to keep those who want a DAM happy. Always would have been better to creat a stand alone programme.

For me no importance if DAM will be stand alone or not, even if I will prefer an integration, I just wish it to be as complete as possible and suits at most person.
DXO staff started doing but it must continue in the good way and improve it.

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That’s why I mentioned (as a reminder to some) that LR Classic could be used totally freely as a DAM only.

Maybe yes. As I wrote: or they really go at it and makes it as good as LR Classic or they get rid of it and come back to DxO Optics Pro’s spirit (plugin only). When I saw how well integrated PL4 is with LR Classic, I now tend to think they should focus on integration with existing DAMs, including simple ones likes macOS

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Mmmmm, Photos and keywords. Possibly the worst implementation of keywords I have come across. Even worse than just not having them.

As for PL being/having a DAM, I fall on the side of “do it well or don’t do it at all.” Lightroom Classic has long been a yardstick for good DAM functionality. PL is quite close to it already. Sure, it should never be iMatch or the like, because a lot of people don’t need that level of power. But as already mentioned, we see a lot of commentary on these forums about PL’s DAM and almost all of it is either “get rid of it” or “not good enough.”

Indeed, and I’d like to add that keywords etc. should be able to travel.

  • don’t just bury the stuff in the database
  • don’t just make it travel with exported files
  • use accepted ways for the exchange - also with raw files
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@platypus, e.g. with XMP-files (read/write)

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I used to upvote DAM improvements thread, but now I fell into the “get rid of it” and go on making implementation with other software.

I’d pretty much like LR Classic as a DAM (free) sending to C1 for RAW demosaicing/ajustements and to DxO for noise/optics corrections. 3 softwares, sure it’s isn’t ideal, but it is what it is.

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If you want Deep Prime denoising you will have to use PL4 for demosaicing as Deep Prime is part of the demosaicing process. C1 will have to come afterwards.

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Thanks for that informative comment.

So, if I use the DNG format to transfer files from LR to DxO first in order to use Deep Prime, what you say also implies that once I send back the DNG to LR to pass it to C1, the demosaicing will already be done (by DxO) and I won’t be able to use C1’s RAW engine (because it’s no longer a RAW DNG, but a linear DNG). Is that correct?

After trying out several possible workflows, I am currently settled on LR Classic as my DAM, but it is only a DAM.

I import camera-native DNG files from my card into the LR library where LR automatically puts them in date-based folders (nothing else makes sense for me as I don’t do ‘shoots’ or ‘projects’). I then use LR’s superlative keywording capabilities to add my hierarchical keywords, and lastly “write metadata to file” to push those keywords into the DNG files. Then I close LR and move to PhotoLab for all of my processing and exporting, with the final JPEGs being uploaded to Flickr using their web interface.

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Yes, that’s correct.

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Preview for things to come in IMatch 2021: The IMatch 2021 Preview Board ( IMatch)

For me, IMatch is still the gold standard in DRM if you’re on Windows. Nothing comes remotely close.

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A couple of other good alternatives out there.

Best of the DAMs, IMHO, is Photo Mechanic Plus. It’s designed primarily for professional photographers or enthusiast amateurs with an inventory of many images. Available for both PC and Mac.

The ACDSee world is another option.

My experience (Mac) indicates these apps work well with DxO PhotoLab. I have adopted Photo Mechanic + as my DAM. It recognizes the DxO sidecar files. Photo Mechanic + does not have facial recognition, if that is important to you.

Don’t forget that, despite recent posturing by Adobe, Lightroom Classic can be used as a DAM for free, too.

I did try out Photo Mechanic Plus and was generally impressed, but it didn’t meet my specific requirements for keywords. The key message here is try before you buy. They all offer trials that let you see how they work for your workflows (or perhaps invent a new, better workflow). In the case of Lightroom Classic, the trial gives you full editing and more, but once that trial is over you still get the Library module functioning fully.

It’s a great option as well. But it’s not the best for most users. Photo Mechanic Plus is targeted towards photo journalists, sport photographers and event photographers who have to deal with hundreds of thousands of images per shoot. It is a culling tool with DAM strapped on.

Fully agree with try before you buy.

  • Lightroom Classic (Mac/Windows), free to use as DAM when you let your trial expire
  • PhotoSupreme (Mac, Windows)
  • IMatch (Windows)
  • Photo Mechanic Plus (Mac, Windows)

These are most often considered as good DAM applications. And maybe Adobe Bridge (also free I believe) from a more legacy point of view.

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