Testing DAM Workflow: ON1 Browse / FastRawViewer / DPL / Apple Photos

I’m still using good old Aperture as my main DAM but as we all know, with Catalina this will finally come to end. I don’t use Aperture for any serious post processing for which I use DXO and now DPL2. I’ve created a quite complex suite of Apple scripts called apHUB to send pictures with adjustments back and forth between Aperture and DPL which helped me tremendously with that workflow over that last years.

Thus I’ll want to stick with DPL as my main image editor but need something to replace Aperture for the DAM and culling part.

Over the past months I’ve tried every DAM for Mac mentioned here but each one was lacking something.

My key requests are:

  • Nice and responsive UI
  • Folder based browsing of pictures, no hidden database
  • Albums for cross folder collections
  • Star ratings, color labels, favourites, but that’s standard in most DAMs
  • Fast display, no long delay when opening folders
  • Dual monitor support
  • Full size display of multipe pictures side by side with synchronised scrolling
  • Listing non-picture formats like videos
  • Filtering on Metadata
  • Map view
  • “Library” accessible from multiple computers (desktop, laptop etc.)

I’ve stopped keywording long ago, so that is no feature I need but it doesn’t harm if it is supported.

The only DAM-like app I found that supports all my requests (except the last 2, but those are advertised to come) is ON1 Browse, part of the ON1 suite. It is a bit pricey if I’m only using the browse module. But the other modules can be usefull for things DPL doesn’t offer, like HDR, panorama stitching, focus stacking, upscaling for large format prints, layer support, luminosity masks etc.

I’m currently evaluating, whether it works as an Aperture substitute for me.

I have FRV in my workflow arsenal as it is still the fastest RAW viewer and it has some goodies like the true RAW histogramm, which ON1 Browser doesn’t offer. I found that both work together nicely, i.e. ratings or color labels I set in one are reflected in the other. So when culling I usually prefer to use ON1 Browse due to the nicer UI and the dual monitor support but when I’m evaluating bracketed shots for the best exposures I switch to FRV due to it’s RAW histogram and its numerical over- / underexpose values.

For distributing pictures between my Mac and iOS devices, I currently use Apple Photos via iCloud. I don’t store my whole library in Photos but only the (developed) candid shots as JPEGs.

ON1 just advertised a sync services that isn’t bound to cloud storage, probably working via LAN syncing similar to Mylio. Sounds interesting. If ON1 Browse passes the test for a DAM and the sync service works well and reliable, this could probably replace Apple Photos for distributing pictures in my workflow.

Maybe this info is helpful for others who are also in need for an Aperture replacement.


Did you look at NeoFinder?

I have On1 Photo Raw. I like the side by side comparison.
But I was appalled to find out that just browsing creates gigs of cached images on the drive. Apparently this can be avoided with an external scratch disk.

I’d suggest taking a look at Photo Supreme, which has all the features you list & is available in PC and Mac versions - https://www.idimager.com/

If you want multiple users to access it from multiple devices you’d need the server version. If you only want to take a copy with you on your laptop when you’re on the move, then the single user version would probably be all you need.


I’ll vouch for PhotoSupreme. https://www.idimager.com
It’s one heck of a DAM with great features and works very well together with PhotoLab.

I love the versioning, stacking and being able to manage basically what ever meta data you through at it. And then be able to search for it.
And it does video as well.

iMatch is also a top-notch DAM. I’m certainly not beating up PhotoSupreme just offering up another option. iMatch

Verison 5 is now out with some intresting AI (Google)taging. Its a pain to get working but once it is workes well and is likly to only get better.