Like a lot of folks, I'm wondering about whether the new Lightroom release should cause me to shed my connection to iView. Since that type of decision depends on the individual needs, here's my situation:
- I'm a new iView user and, as the gods would have it, at about the exact moment that the new Lightroom release was announced, I was completing my keywording of 5,000 images in iView --
. These are the images from my original archive type library;
- I have an additional 1,000+ pictures that need to be edited, "derivatve-ized", and imported into iView;
- I will be doing some heavy shooting over the next few months and will be adding about 1,000 more;
- I'm generally a hobby shooter -- assume less than 3,000 images per year -- with some volunteer and pro bono work and I use Bibble for my RAW conversions;
- I've been generally not too happy with iView's lack of bells and whistles but picked it because a) it's one of the few robust options available on Mac, b) it will write IPTC to RAW files, and c) it's a "big" program with an active user community. I've been unhappy with the lack of easy heirarchal keywording, lack of frequent updates (it seems to be frozen in time for the last year), lack of versioning and a bit nervous about its future support of Mac.
Basically, I'm getting a lousy vibe from the program and what I thought were big benefits (i.e., robust keywording and writing to all (?) IPTC fields) are turning out to be not such a big deal. For example, I like that iView uses the full slate of IPTC fields. But after I finished associating 5,000 images with 36 "people" in the People annotation category, I tested out the sync function and found that the People category is not as useful as you'd think since other programs won't read that "contact" field. So, to make that data exportable (thanks to advice on this forum), I created heirarchal Catalog Sets based on those annotations. These work great but are native to iView so if I want to embed their data in my files I need to find a script that converts those into keywords and then embed those. Long story short: all the useful IPTC data ends up in the "keyword" field which every program supports so there is little obvious advantage in the ability to write to all the IPTC fields. Must we resign ourselves to all these work arounds?
My Question: how much deeper do I want to go into iView? I know I'll be eligible for a free upgrade to Expression Media but, frankly, it better have "something that sings" or I'm not inclined to wait around for it.
I'm really tired with working around the lack of usability in iView. This is from my perspective, of course, which is a new user who is struggling with initial DAM setup and also finding some shortcomings in the program. It's hard to see where my inexperience ends and the programs shortcomings begin but my general sense is that the biggest selling point for iView is for people that already have 100,000 images in it and don't want to go through the painful transition to another system. I'm in a much different situation where I'm on the edge of being in too deep but could still "call off the wedding" at the last minute.
I know some of you have access or insight into planned releases and the direction of iView v. Lightroom. I'd like to avoid spending $199 on Lightroom now if my free upgrade to Expression Media is going to get that program up to speed. On the other hand, I don't want to wade further into iView, have Expression Media come up short, and then spend $299 on Lightroom 4 mos from now when I finally decide to make the jump.
Any advice for someone in my situation? Should I wait until Expression Media comes out and then sort it out (not really looking forward to another big migration) or does someone already know enough to help me sort it out now?