Author Topic: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)  (Read 1623 times)

nereo

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To all serious photographers out there (enthusiasts, pros, hobbiests)

Given Adobe's direction with Lightroom CC (and the pending 'death' of v.6 a-la end of upgrades) I'm looking for a good alternative for image archiving and post-processing that is non-subscription.

Personal background: currently an enthusiast who occasionally does shoots as a side gig; library is around 40k images shared across multiple SSDs. I've been using LR for 4+ years after (painfully) switching over from Aperture. Running Mac OS 10.12 (sierra). Briefly tried (and didn't like Carousel) I do a fair bit of post-processing and shoot raw + jpeg; "Photos" just doesn't cut it for me.
I hate the idea of perpetually paying Adobe $10/mo + another $20-$50/mo for the additional storage (2GB - 5GB) I'd need to be cloud based and have access to my library. That could quickly add up to an unfathomable (to me) annual cost of $720 - not very mustachian.
While cloud-based can be nice, I tend to do all my editing from my primary computer.

I'll be sticking with LR v6 until I can find a better option that doesn't have a subscription service).  Macphun put out a teaser but to me that's entirely untested terriroty.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:03:30 AM by nereo »

Daley

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 08:59:25 AM »
Not wanting to assume what platform you're currently running, I'll lay out the best candidate true alternatives in no particular order that I know of (all are fully Windows/Mac/Linux cross-platform, excuse one):

RawTherapee (OSS - free)
Corel AfterShot Pro (proprietary - 30 day free trial, $80USD, though currently on sale for $55)
digiKam (OSS - free)
darktable (OSS - free, caveat: Windows support is still very new and very unstable)

I'd say take a look at all of them, fiddle a bit, see which tools might best fit your workflow and editing style, and go from there. I'm partial to Darktable myself, but I'm a creature of habit running Linux.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:05:07 AM by I.P. Daley »

nereo

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 09:02:40 AM »
Thanks I.P.
Running Mac OS 10.12.
I'll explore your suggestions a bit more in the weeks ahead. The only one you mentioned that I have heard of is Corel (still remember using Corel Draw circa 1998!)

ketchup

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 09:04:36 AM »
At the very least, you can cut out the cloud storage piece and just have your own sensible backup in place.

Daley

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 09:22:38 AM »
Yeah, I cut my own teeth on vector image editing with CorelDRAW myself back in the late 90's. I'll admit, I've never tried AfterShot Pro as I could never justify the price (don't do it enough, and Darktable did everything I needed for free), but I've read good things about it over the years.

The rest, you've probably never heard of them because of the OS platform circle you kind of run in. They are rather big and established software apps in the F/OSS community (free and open source software), but not as well known by Mac users. Given the OS you're running, however, I might recommend against getting your hopes up over digiKam. It's not that it isn't a good editing suite under Linux, it's just that I've never really met a KDE/Qt-library based application that I really liked to run under OSX over the years despite their decade-long efforts at OSX support and integration. Granted, at this point it has been a couple years since I last tried doing so, so your mileage may vary, but....

nereo

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 09:53:45 AM »
At the very least, you can cut out the cloud storage piece and just have your own sensible backup in place.
Sure, I can run the now-labeled "Classic" CC, but I'd still be paying $120/year (i.e. it's still a subscription service). Call me crazy, but I think this level of software should justify a price tag of ~$100 upfront and should last for 2-3 years before the next (paid) upgrade cycle.

I'm certain big marketing has realized how many people are bad at math and will gladly pay $10-30/mo in perpetuity but will balk at buying a software package for $100-150.  Then they get 'power users' and 'increased functionality & storage' if you spend 'just another $20 (per month).  Viola - software that used to cost $100-200 every few years now suddenly costs 3-5x that amount every single year, a 10x+ increase in total cost.  ... but of course this is the MMM forum, preaching to the choir....

Cwadda

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 09:55:18 AM »
Not wanting to assume what platform you're currently running, I'll lay out the best candidate true alternatives in no particular order that I know of (all are fully Windows/Mac/Linux cross-platform, excuse one):

RawTherapee (OSS - free)
Corel AfterShot Pro (proprietary - 30 day free trial, $80USD, though currently on sale for $55)
digiKam (OSS - free)
darktable (OSS - free, caveat: Windows support is still very new and very unstable)

I'd say take a look at all of them, fiddle a bit, see which tools might best fit your workflow and editing style, and go from there. I'm partial to Darktable myself, but I'm a creature of habit running Linux.

Hey Daley, good to see you back around the MMM forums!

ketchup

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 10:01:09 AM »
At the very least, you can cut out my butt storage piece and just have your own sensible backup in place.
Sure, I can run the now-labeled "Classic" CC, but I'd still be paying $120/year (i.e. it's still a subscription service). Call me crazy, but I think this level of software should justify a price tag of ~$100 upfront and should last for 2-3 years before the next (paid) upgrade cycle.

I'm certain big marketing has realized how many people are bad at math and will gladly pay $10-30/mo in perpetuity but will balk at buying a software package for $100-150.  Then they get 'power users' and 'increased functionality & storage' if you spend 'just another $20 (per month).  Viola - software that used to cost $100-200 every few years now suddenly costs 3-5x that amount every single year, a 10x+ increase in total cost.  ... but of course this is the MMM forum, preaching to the choir....
Oh, I totally agree that paying $10/mo forever is bullshit, but it's just less bullshitty than paying $20-50/mo forever.  I didn't realize there was a split into "Classic" CC and CC.  Looking it up, the new Lightroom CC looks pretty stupid but I didn't pry at the details.  It looks very "consumer" and offers basically nothing to a pro.  Again, just my hand-wavy armchair evaluation after looking at it for two minutes.

nereo

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 10:05:43 AM »
At the very least, you can cut out my butt storage piece and just have your own sensible backup in place.
Sure, I can run the now-labeled "Classic" CC, but I'd still be paying $120/year (i.e. it's still a subscription service). Call me crazy, but I think this level of software should justify a price tag of ~$100 upfront and should last for 2-3 years before the next (paid) upgrade cycle.

I'm certain big marketing has realized how many people are bad at math and will gladly pay $10-30/mo in perpetuity but will balk at buying a software package for $100-150.  Then they get 'power users' and 'increased functionality & storage' if you spend 'just another $20 (per month).  Viola - software that used to cost $100-200 every few years now suddenly costs 3-5x that amount every single year, a 10x+ increase in total cost.  ... but of course this is the MMM forum, preaching to the choir....
Oh, I totally agree that paying $10/mo forever is bullshit, but it's just less bullshitty than paying $20-50/mo forever.  I didn't realize there was a split into "Classic" CC and CC.  Looking it up, the new Lightroom CC looks pretty stupid but I didn't pry at the details.  It looks very "consumer" and offers basically nothing to a pro.  Again, just my hand-wavy armchair evaluation after looking at it for two minutes.

Your synopsis is very similar to the one I arrived at after reading the announcements, a few initial reviews/synopses and studying the spec sheets.  Minimum you pay $120/year, and potentially a lot (LOT) more if you have a large catalog of images as I do.

...the search continues (thanks again IP for suggestions on where to get started).

ketchup

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 10:18:37 AM »
At the very least, you can cut out my butt storage piece and just have your own sensible backup in place.
Sure, I can run the now-labeled "Classic" CC, but I'd still be paying $120/year (i.e. it's still a subscription service). Call me crazy, but I think this level of software should justify a price tag of ~$100 upfront and should last for 2-3 years before the next (paid) upgrade cycle.

I'm certain big marketing has realized how many people are bad at math and will gladly pay $10-30/mo in perpetuity but will balk at buying a software package for $100-150.  Then they get 'power users' and 'increased functionality & storage' if you spend 'just another $20 (per month).  Viola - software that used to cost $100-200 every few years now suddenly costs 3-5x that amount every single year, a 10x+ increase in total cost.  ... but of course this is the MMM forum, preaching to the choir....
Oh, I totally agree that paying $10/mo forever is bullshit, but it's just less bullshitty than paying $20-50/mo forever.  I didn't realize there was a split into "Classic" CC and CC.  Looking it up, the new Lightroom CC looks pretty stupid but I didn't pry at the details.  It looks very "consumer" and offers basically nothing to a pro.  Again, just my hand-wavy armchair evaluation after looking at it for two minutes.

Your synopsis is very similar to the one I arrived at after reading the announcements, a few initial reviews/synopses and studying the spec sheets.  Minimum you pay $120/year, and potentially a lot (LOT) more if you have a large catalog of images as I do.

...the search continues (thanks again IP for suggestions on where to get started).
Yeah... my GF is a pro photographer and her photos currently amount to 14TB and counting.  I don't even want to know what they would charge for that.  Also, the lag has to be shitty; we're on a gigabit fiber line and even with that there's no way that scrolling through thousands of RAWs could be anywhere close to as responsive as a local SSD (which is also way better than a local HDD).  And when GF travels, she'll have copies of stuff on her laptop; no way hotel wifi could handle something like that.

nereo

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 10:37:27 AM »
At the very least, you can cut out my butt storage piece and just have your own sensible backup in place.
Sure, I can run the now-labeled "Classic" CC, but I'd still be paying $120/year (i.e. it's still a subscription service). Call me crazy, but I think this level of software should justify a price tag of ~$100 upfront and should last for 2-3 years before the next (paid) upgrade cycle.

I'm certain big marketing has realized how many people are bad at math and will gladly pay $10-30/mo in perpetuity but will balk at buying a software package for $100-150.  Then they get 'power users' and 'increased functionality & storage' if you spend 'just another $20 (per month).  Viola - software that used to cost $100-200 every few years now suddenly costs 3-5x that amount every single year, a 10x+ increase in total cost.  ... but of course this is the MMM forum, preaching to the choir....
Oh, I totally agree that paying $10/mo forever is bullshit, but it's just less bullshitty than paying $20-50/mo forever.  I didn't realize there was a split into "Classic" CC and CC.  Looking it up, the new Lightroom CC looks pretty stupid but I didn't pry at the details.  It looks very "consumer" and offers basically nothing to a pro.  Again, just my hand-wavy armchair evaluation after looking at it for two minutes.

Your synopsis is very similar to the one I arrived at after reading the announcements, a few initial reviews/synopses and studying the spec sheets.  Minimum you pay $120/year, and potentially a lot (LOT) more if you have a large catalog of images as I do.

...the search continues (thanks again IP for suggestions on where to get started).
Yeah... my GF is a pro photographer and her photos currently amount to 14TB and counting.  I don't even want to know what they would charge for that.  Also, the lag has to be shitty; we're on a gigabit fiber line and even with that there's no way that scrolling through thousands of RAWs could be anywhere close to as responsive as a local SSD (which is also way better than a local HDD).  And when GF travels, she'll have copies of stuff on her laptop; no way hotel wifi could handle something like that.

Well 10TB will cost $100/mo under this new plan - seems they charge ~$10/TB so $140/month for your GF assuming she stops shooting new images now?
yeah, the initial uploading of images is a pain (will take several hours in my case, maybe days for your GF) and needing a fast internet connection to view your raw images is another dealbreaker for me (as opposed to storage on SSDs).
FWIW it seems like CC stores 'high-resolution' jpeg thumbnails on all your drives, so you can rapidly scroll through your entire library, but making real edits requires the aforementioned fast internet connection.

hyla

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2017, 08:08:34 PM »
From what I know there are programs that do organization of photos as well as lightroom, and other programs that do editing as well as lightroom, but not many (or any?) programs that do both things as well.

That being said, if you already have a perpetual license for Lightroom 6, is there any reason you need to switch? Lightroom 6 does everything I need it to. Adobe is continuing to release bugfixes for lightroom 6 (just no new features like the subscription version gets), and it will support cameras released through the end of 2017.  So, unless you're someone who upgrades your camera every few years, there's no reason you can't keep using the version of lightroom you have for years.  That's what I plan on doing anyway. 

Daley

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2017, 08:26:10 PM »
Hey Daley, good to see you back around the MMM forums!

Thanks... never really left, just don't feel much like posting too much these days.

nereo

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Re: non-subscription image archive programs (alt. to Adobe Lightroom)
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2017, 02:15:40 PM »
From what I know there are programs that do organization of photos as well as lightroom, and other programs that do editing as well as lightroom, but not many (or any?) programs that do both things as well.

That being said, if you already have a perpetual license for Lightroom 6, is there any reason you need to switch? Lightroom 6 does everything I need it to. Adobe is continuing to release bugfixes for lightroom 6 (just no new features like the subscription version gets), and it will support cameras released through the end of 2017.  So, unless you're someone who upgrades your camera every few years, there's no reason you can't keep using the version of lightroom you have for years.  That's what I plan on doing anyway.
mostly I'm seeing what my other options are.  I'll continue using LR v6 for the next few months, but the lack of support starting ~2 monhts from now basically means that its time is limited on this earth.  I'll probably be able to use it just fine for the first half of 2018 but after that I expect it will increasingly be less functional, as happened with Aperture and others.
The problem is 1) no future support for cameras & lenses and 2) no future support for newer operating systems. ADditionally they won't add any new features.  Eventually I'm going to run into those problems.

For right now i'm fine, but I'm the sort that likes to have a plan rather than wait for a time when it no longer can do what I need and then rush to find a newer solution.