I've been using EM since upgrading from iView. I like it fine for managing my files, but I really need something that can handle non-destructive editing, so I downloaded trials of Lightroom and Aperture. Both are good and worked fine, but each had features that have made it difficult to decide between them. Here's some of my considerations:
--Over the years, I have made extensive use of the iView/Expression Media "people" field, and there is no easy way to migrate all that info over to another software package. (I know, I can manually convert them all to keywords, but I've got over 20,000 images and I don't even know how many hundreds of people, so it would be tedious.)
--I REALLY like Apple's photo books, and I'm going to be making a few of them in the coming months. That argues for Aperture.
--I preferred Lightroom's interface, and it seemed a bit zippier on my hardware. I also am more comfortable with the number of pros that use it, and of Adobe's commitment to the photo industry -- I worry that Apple might pull the plug on Aperture someday. This all argues for Lightroom, although it is more expensive.
So what I really want is LR's interface, with Aperture's photo books feature. As I see it, here are my options:
--Get LR, and export processed images to a folder that I can import into iPhoto, and make my Apple photo books from there. The downside is that I don't get A3's photo book refinements, I'm stuck with whatever they have in iPhoto.
--Get A3, and deal with the speed issues and interface that I don't like as much by visiting a therapist.
So my question is how to deal with the DAM issue here. Should I continue to use EM for that part, and just use either A3 or LR for image processing? Or should I go whole hog into either A3 or LR and one of them for both DAM and image processing? If I do that, which is the better choice from a DAM point of view? That could be the issue that decides it for me, as I would like to minimize the number of software programs I have to use.
Put more succinctly, it looks like I have 4 basic options:
EM for DAM, LR for processing, iPhoto for books
EM for DAM, A3 for processing and books
LR for DAM and processing, iPhoto for books
A3 for everything