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What I like about Daminion


franky68
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Hello,

 

I am following this forum and Daminion pretty much since the beginning. Most post in this Forum are about problems. This is due to the nature of a forum and Daminion is still in beta after all.

 

So first of all a big thank you to Murat for the great work hes doing here in the forum answering our questions and for the most part fixing problems pretty quickly.

 

I am in the market for a DAM application since almost a year now. In this time I checked pretty much every single application (and there are plenty of them). Most of them have been tossed right after a first glance and a few made it almost through the whole trial time.

 

There are quite a few applications that are pretty good when it comes to organize images but most of them fail more or less when it comes to RAW files. This is even more true for Nikon users who use the native Nikon RAW converters for their workflow. This is the main reason why I still haven't found what I am looking for.

 

The problems with RAW files are two-folded:

 

1. They contain no real images but are only interpreted by the raw-converter. Most camera companies provide their own native converters that understand the basic settings made in the camera (e.g. b/w, curves, shapening, noise-reduction and so on). The nikon tools even can do (non destructive) advanced editing in the RAW file. You can crop, use masks and whatever. This leads to a situation where the edited RAW can be completely different from the original data as it is interpreted by third party applications. However they do contain a preview JPEG in very good quality reflecting all the changes beeing made.

 

For whatever reason most DAM applications refuse to use the buildin JPEG but instead come with their own rendering engine - trashing everything that has been done to the RAW - and (in extreme cases) showing a completely different image which is of very little use to identify the image.

 

Daminion provides the option to make use of that JPEG - for thumbnails, fullview and even exporting. This is absolutely great since it allows to organize the images and even to export them to JPEG edited as they should be. And all this directly from the DAM and without the need to call the "real" raw processor.

 

2. Tagging can be done directly to the files. The Nikon approach has the advantage of putting the receipes directly into the RAW-File. So there is no need for sidecar files which make transfering and backup pretty cumbersome. Now most other DAM applications can export their tags into .xml files (which is a sidecar again). Most of the time these aint even interchangable between applications. Daminion however can use the RAW files directly and therefor eliminate the need of sidecars completely. The best of it is that those tags can be read by the Nikon tools. If I set labels or ratings in Daminion I find them again in CaptureNX or ViewNX. Another thing where most other DAM applications fail.

 

I can only speak from a Nikon users point of view. But alone those two points make Daminion outstanding in helping me with my personal workflow. And I am sure there are many other Nikon users sharing my opinion once Daminion is released.

 

In all the time looking for the (for me) perfect DAM I have only been able to locate three DAM applications that can do this. One of them stopped beeing developed, another is really cumbersome to use (and the new (supposedly better) GUI is still under development) and finally Daminion which, eventhough its still in early development looks most promissing.

 

So a big thumbs up from someone who hopes that his quest finally came to an end! :)

 

Kind regards

Frank

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Frank, thanks for the kind words and for the encouragement!

 

We've made a few tests with Nikon RAW files and ViewNX. On the next build we decided to leave 'writing metadata to NEF files' feature. But we'll replaced XMPToolKit library with ExifTool.

XmpToolkit will be used for reading metadata from NEF files, while ExifTool is good for writing.

 

I've made a performance test and write metadata to 50 NEF files by ExifTool. It takes about 1 sec per file on my Intel Core Duo E6750. It's not very fast but at least works correctly, and I see the changes maden by Daminion in ViewNX and visa versa.

 

There is problem that you mentioned before about incorrect number showing, but I guess this is related to ViewNX, because it shows the label names correctly.

 

We'll added a feature to "Read the metadata from disk" without media item removal on the upcoming builds. And the wrong thumbnail rotation will be fixed also.

 

PS. I am looking for an expert in DAM and photography industry to write articles to our blog. Your post is very well written. Probably we can re-publish it on our blog? ;)

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Hi Murat,

 

I've made a performance test and write metadata to 50 NEF files by ExifTool. It takes about 1 sec per file on my Intel Core Duo E6750. It's not very fast but at least works correctly, and I see the changes maden by Daminion in ViewNX and visa versa.

 

you definately have a point there. And fixing issues with incorrect metadata will take even longer so this definately is the better way. Will the usage of ExifTool be a temporary workaround for the time till you can use the Nikon libraries or is it going to stay like that?

 

We'll added a feature to "Read the metadata from disk" without media item removal on the upcoming builds. And the wrong thumbnail rotation will be fixed also.

 

Great - I am really looking forward to test that build.

 

PS. I am looking for an expert in DAM and photography industry to write articles to our blog. Your post is very well written. Probably we can re-publish it on our blog? ;)

 

*lol

 

Im not an expert in photograhy industry and what I know about DAMs is only because I was testing nearly every damn DAM I could get my fingers on ;) I am not sure about the well written either as I was writing it in between fighting with my daughter and Im not a native speaker but yes, if you really want to please feel free to publish it.

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Will the usage of ExifTool be a temporary workaround for the time till you can use the Nikon libraries or is it going to stay like that?

 

I can't to say now. Writing a well tested .NET wrapper might take some time. Obviously we'll stay with ExifTool for some time.

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