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Old Feb 16, 2004, 7:53 PM   #1
CPH
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Default Need HELP with Album products and with organisation strategy

Hi, Everyone.

I am new here, and I am a newbie in digital photography. I have seen the light. I sold all my 12 analog SLR lenses, bodies and assessories. I did some research and bought my first digital camera (Olympus C-5060), a DVD writer, Adobe Creative Suite Premium CS, which includes Photoshop CS, and a Canon MP730 colour printer.

I still have to take time to learn all the features in the camera and in the software and it seems I will need to take 6 months' leave to do that. I am exhausted already just getting to this point.

OK, my immediate need is for something to deal with all the digital images and organise my pictures and it seems Photoshop Album 2.0 is the best product, is it?. Some questions:

Is this Photoshop Album a different product, with features not included in Photoshop CS? In other words, do I need it? Why wasn't it integrated into Photoshop for easier use (and it is called Photoshop Album)?

Does anyone have or know about a good strategy for archiving to DVD so that it is easy to find pictures later and so that they are safe? I can see that I will soon have thousands of images in a big mess. Should I just get a second hard disk for backup?

Any other advice on effective organising, pointers or articles would be most appreciated.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 8:37 PM   #2
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Hi.

I am still looking and I found some other highly regarded and what appear to be more professional products. Has anyone used them?

"Imatch"

http://www.pcphotoreview.com/pscSoft...0_3080crx.aspx

"Digital Photo Librarian"

http://www.pcphotoreview.com/pscSoft...g/O%20%20Neil%

and there are more on the same site.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 8:45 PM   #3
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Sorry for a mistake in my last post. That second link for the reviews on Digital Photo Librarian software should really be:

http://www.pcphotoreview.com/pscSoft...9_3080crx.aspx

Now, they all seem good. Wish there is some comparative review somewhere, or if any one you can comment on these "best" image organising/management products.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 2:38 PM   #4
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Hello?

Is there anyone there who can help? Klaus?

Anyone who have used these software tools?
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Old Feb 18, 2004, 10:49 PM   #5
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I found it, finally, a site with reviews of all or most of the leading photo album software, about 10.

The best product according to this is Compupic Pro 6.2 (rated 5 stars).

http://graphicssoft.about.com/gi/dyn....com/products/

http://graphicssoft.about.com/librar...r_compupic.htm

The regular (non-pro version) seems to have everything I need.

Other honorable mentions (and you choice really depends on what your requirements are or what particular features are important to you, irrespective of the number of stars):

Imatch (4 1/2 stars), may be difficult to learn but really nice

Photoshop Album 2 (4 1/2 stars), simple and easy but is for more basic home use

IrfanView (4 1/2 stars), FREE for non-commercial users!

ACDSee (4 stars), for the professionals with 1000's and 1000's of pics and using the software everyday,

FotoStation 4.5 (4 stars), great for including a lot of text with pictures, maybe for journalists?

Start reading the various reviews on about.com from here

http://graphicssoft.about.com/cs/ima...otocatalog.htm

It will take some patient drilling down and viewing similar pages, as you follow the confusing links to find all review reports, as some product review links (e.g. those under Related Articles) are not listed in some pages.

I hope the information is useful and save someone the time and effort.

So long.
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 2:16 AM   #6
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IMatch will keep the thumbnails and records of images you remove from your computer to CD or DVD. You do the search as if it is on your computer and if it is stored off the computer will give you the identification of the CD or DVD. It is the only program I know of that does that. It is considered the Photoshop of organization programs because it is pro quality but doesnít seem to go out of its way to be user friendly.

It is hard to change systems once you set up with one. Iíve used Thumbs Plus for years and am reluctant to change, but I really like the features and power of IMatch.

I see no reason to base a choice on limited image enhancement abilities. Get a decent image editor. Any quality editor is better than the stuff you can do in programs like ThumbsPlus and ADCSee.

This freeware is better than some of the glitzy photo management programs: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/myalbum/MyAlbum.html
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 7:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
... It is hard to change systems once you set up with one. ...
In addition, there is the chance that whatever system you pick will not work with the 930TeraHertz, 512 processor, Torvald OS PC that you will be using a few years from now.

I'd suggest a simple way to keep track of your original photos: file them by date and keep a shooter's diary. And keep the diary in plain ASCII to increase the odds that it will be able to be read in a future OS. Put a copy of the diary on every one of your CDs/DVDs so you have an "index" for that CD/DVD and for all previous ones. The diary can be searched for keywords to fairly easily find dates for whatever you are looking for.

I am not discouraging you from using one of the database systems, just that a combination of date filing and ASCII diary is a reasonable thing to do as well. Not as slick or fast as a database system, but much more bullet proof. And really cheap.
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 7:39 PM   #8
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Hey, thanks for your replies.

I have to choose between IMatch and Compupic now. These are the best affordable and powerful photo management tools so far. It's so difficult.

I have since read even more comments and reviews. I also went through the details on the software vendors' websites, looked at their manuals and other stuff.

The more I look, the more it seems the Imatch is the one. It is cheaper, not only in price, but also in not having to have payable yearly upgrades in future, which is necessary for the other product. Imatch has more power, at some expense of effort in use and learning. RAW support, e.g. is one of advanced features only available in Imatch. Computec, in the Pro version, has some more fancy features for sharing, like the ability to make CDs with pictures that can be displayed on any PC (because the viewing software is put on the CD). Those features may not be essential but are nice. The main advanatage of Computec seems to be speed and ease of use for casual users.

I said I am leaning towards the Imatch now and the reason is the company's approach. They support open source. Users are not locked into their product, the images and database info can be exported to other formats for peace of mind. They do not charge for upgrades, and they believe in supporting their users. The support seems to be fantastic according to all reviews. The documentation is also fantastic. They do not split their product into some cut-down version, regular and pro versions to make more money. There is only one version, the full version and it is at a great price. The software is stable, a rarity in this business when major vendors continue to release bug ridden software. This appears to be a company that is so honest that I cannot see any reason not to support it and buy the product.

Ok, so the software may not be the easiest to use but it is more powerful and better featured. That means more effort to learn, which is fair. I have chosen the Olympus 5060 over a Canon S50, and the Photoshop CS also for their great features in spite of the complexity and learning curve. I think my mind is made up.

I appreciate your further comments.
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Old Feb 21, 2004, 3:46 AM   #9
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I have made my decision - Imatch.

This was done after checking many more reviews, reports, user feedback on other forums. I forgot to mention something I found about "speed", which was often mentioned as something that Compupic is very good at. I read on one site that Imatch, while not super fast like Compupic, has scalability designed in and its performance would therefore not be too affected when you have a few thousand photos or more. It is not clear when and if Imatch catches up to Computec, but this is good enough for me. It shows that this product is built to last and to continue to perform, a good strategy, just like its open source and scripting ability.

The following is the relevant comments made by one reviewer, and it is part of a much longer review:

IMatch is the first and only image cataloging solution which will scale with your image management needs. I had tried numerous other applications including Portfolio, CompuPic, etc. but, they all started to slow down after a couple of thousand images. IMatch was designed to support 100s of thousands. The categorization engine make it much more performant and flexible. If you want to catalog all your images with the people, place, years, events, etc. this is the package to get. Designed to scale with your image collection over many, many years.

And this is the site:

http://www.pcphotoreview.com/Image,V...0_3080crx.aspx

There are many other reviews on this and many other products on this site. Note however that many of the reviews or comments are about older versions. Check the dates of the review or the version number of the software, since some products are quite different when upgraded, and sometimes it could be worse as in the case of one of the top products.

For me the search is over. Good luck.

CPH

Feb21, 2004
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 5:47 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing the results of your research with us, CPH. It sounds like the iMatch database export options help to answer Bill's issue about long term compatibility, i.e. using simple ascii. Another option, that I am using now for that reason in combination with ThumbsPlus, is Archive Creator:

http://www.pictureflow.com/ArchiveCr...s/AC-Main.html

The concept is that it provides an index built in HTML, assumed to be readable into the future. It also will span an archive set over multiple discs (CDs or DVDs), making it easier to move files onto storage media. It places an index on each CD/DVD, and also increments a master index on your hard disc. Once I have written the discs I run ThumbsPlus on them, so I can use its database for queries, and also have a backup index.
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