Recommend photo organiser software?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by paulobrad, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. paulobrad macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Pretty new to the world of DSLR; I'm looking for a good (preferably free) organiser for my pics, iPhoto's good for the odd shots but looking for something a bit more heavyweight. Any ideas?

  2. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    For photo organizing (and not editing or other post production) can you explain how you think iPhoto falls short? iPhoto supports the basics in keywording, folder sorting, searching and viewing. What do you think you are missing, particularly expecting to find for free?

    Aperture, I think, has better folder capabilties (as an example), but is certainly not free. Any details on what exactly you need to do with the application?
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think when you couple the fact that you're new to the world of DSLRs and you want a preferably free photo organizer I think iPhone is actually your best bet. It is not free if you don't currently have iPhoto, but it is a highly capable application for someone in your shoes. As you grow you may want to work with other applications such as Aperture or Lightroom, but right now iPhoto seems to really be powerful enough for you.

    I qualify this based on the fact that there are trials for both Aperture and Lightroom and you haven't been able to identify what you want other than saying you want something more "heavyweight". What does that mean exactly? Are you looking for something that is taxing on your system, Aperture is where it is at. Are you looking for something that gives you the best RAW workflow? Both Aperture and Lightroom are highly capable and will take care of you, and then again so will iPhoto.

    You see, it is my opinion that Aperture does not offer enough over iPhoto that would warrant the price tag for the casual photographer. iPhoto has been handling RAW files long enough that even the casual photographer will find iPhoto just fine. Also, it is my opinion that aside from basic RAW editing neither iPhoto or Aperture (or even lightroom for that matter) are useful enough. I believe all three applications do need to be accompanied by Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS2/3, depending upon your needs.

    Again, all three applications are supposed to be great for digital file workflow. If you're a casual shooter then iPhoto should be ok. If you're working more towards advanced amateur or professional then Aperture or Lightroom may suit your needs better.

    Give iPhoto another try, a serious try. Just because it is a "bundled" app with every new Apple computer doesn't mean it's not capable. Sure, Apple f'ed up MobileMe, but they've done rather well with iLife.

    And if it matters, I was a lightroom user through their beta stages, then went to Aperture.
  4. EricBrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2005
    I tried Apple Aperture and Adobe Lightroom. Go with Adobe Lightroom... it is a really good package with tons of features. I thought Aperture sucked.
  5. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    If you're planning to buy the most recent version of Photoshop Elements (or the full Photoshop for that matter), Adobe Bridge comes free with it. IMHO it doesn't offer anything iPhoto doesn't offer; but I suspect you're not aware of all the stuff you can do with iPhoto.

    The newest Bridge is supposed to be quite a step up from previous versions, and integrates with Adobe Camera Raw in a non-destructive manner.
  6. Poncho macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    I use IView Media Pro, only it's called something else now that Microsoft has bought it, cos it looks nice and Photo Mechanic, which is as mechanical-looking as it sounds but it is fast...

    But if it comes down to money just use iPhoto.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It would have helped if you said why you don't like iPhoto. What do you need that it doesn't have? Without that bit of info we can only guess about what you might want.

    You said "organize" so I assume you need something that can handle meta data in more depth. Look at Aperture. Apple gives you a free 30 day download trial period. There is a little bit of a learning curve so be sure to look at Apple's on-line video tutorial and read the manual. Just playing with Aperture for a few hours is not enough.

    When it come down to it, any organizer is only as good as the keyword and tagging system you use. And that system is up to you. You have to invent your own system. Apple software (iTunes, iPhoto and Aperture) uses the idea of "smart folders" that are essentially pre-canned searches that group pointers to files in "virtual folders". Some people find this hard to understand and prefer to type in search criterial and use "real folders". Adobe Bridge works like that.
  8. Jessitt macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    I just purchased Elements 6. Am I better off using iPhoto or Bridge. I am also a new Mac user so have no experience with iPhoto.

    Either one would be a new learning experience. I use these photos for my business, so I would like something more than the cutsey "lets make a calender" type of program.

    Any input as far as which one of the two to use would be greatly appreciated.

  9. NintendoChick macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2008
    I don't have any experience with iPhoto, but I do use Photoshop elements 5.0. The editing software is brilliant. Anything I can imagine manipulating in a photo, I can do in Elements. The only thing is, does it handle RAW images?
  10. Jessitt macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    Yes, Elements 6 does handle RAW.

    But, maybe I wasn't clear. I was referring to photo storage and organizing. Bridge vs. iPhoto???????
  11. khollister macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    I use PhotoMechanic. It is an organizing/cataloging app but does not move or copy your files - it provides browsing, organizing and metadata searching on the files as they are stored on your disk. It is also extremely fast and has the added advantage for me of displaying NEF files using the imbedded JPG thumbnail, so the Nikon in-camera settings are applied. It is also very CaptureNX friendly - I can set up NEF's to open in NX as the editor, and JPG's to open in CS3. It also has extensive ingest options inc. sophisticated renaming, etc. It's more like Nikon View or Adobe Bridge on steroids. Did I mention it is very fast? :)
  12. jywv8 macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2003
    I've always preferred Extensis Portfolio when looking for just an organizational tool (without all the extra doodads).
  13. grizzlybrice macrumors regular


    Mar 10, 2005
    Playa Del Rey, CA
    Expression Media is what they retitled it, and that's what I use. I really like it.

  14. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Whats wrong with iPhoto. Organizes great -- add comments and make smart folders. The folders automatically update. Slick!
  15. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    I agree, I can't see anything wrong with iPhoto
  16. Jessitt macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    iPhoto it will be.

    Thanks all for your help.

  17. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    The difference between iPhoto and Bridge (and I prefer iPhoto): iPhoto works better if you load the photos into iPhoto, and don't try to manage your folders through the OS. Bridge lets you manage your photos in your own folders outside of Bridge. Having said that, I find iPhoto more powerful, more elegant, more responsive and easier to use. But, as I say, iPhoto really prefers if you load photos into iPhoto, and not mess with the underlying folder structure. Some people (especially coming from PC land) have a hard time with that concept. I would say first and foremost back up ALL your photos until you get used to working with iPhoto, so you can always start over if you mess up.
  18. alainr macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008
    as a new mac person, i have been debating between using iphoto or bridge in elements 6 for organizing photos. I edit photos and need to keep different versions for submission for different events. is that easier to keep track of w/ bridge or iphoto? i read that iphoto only keeps the latests 2 versions of a photo so how wld that work?

    this has been an informative thread!
  19. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    iPhoto doesn't really keep "versions." It keeps the original (which you can revert to) or the latest copy with edits. You'd have to copy the pic, in order to make versions.

    If you do a lot of versions, the Aperture or Lightroom organizes those better, and you can even keep "stacks" of related photos, with the best one on top. iPhoto doesn't do that.

    Try a demo trial of Lightroom or Aperture. Which to go with is usually personal preference.
  20. Jessitt macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    Bking thanks so much for answering and clarifying what I needed to know.

    You've been most helpful.


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