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Lightroom -vs- iView for DAM
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Author Topic: Lightroom -vs- iView for DAM  (Read 32925 times)
JLovett
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« on: March 29, 2007, 09:43:41 AM »

Hello All-

I am a relative newbie but have bought Peter's book and have been reading a lot of the posts in various forums here and starting to get educated.   I am an amateur photographer at present with possible aspirations to become more and my girlfriend is doing some semi-pro photography as well.  As a result the growing catalog of files is badly in need of a system before it gets out of control.  Peter your system seems straight forward (relatively speaking given the complexity of the space). 

My question which I didn't see directly covered in any of the forums was the relative merits/weaknesses of  Adobe Lightroom as a DAM tool -vs- iView.  I have played around with iView some and like it overall....but thought with Lightroom being integrated with the rest of the Adobe suite and with Bridge etc. it might make life easier.   Any comparisons/education on why iView over Lightroom would be appreciated.

Thanks

Jeff
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ChrisTrauzzi
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2007, 12:39:12 PM »

Jeff,

I'm in a similar situation to you and I too would like to read comments from others on your post.  Maybe I can get things started.  Currently I'm reading The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book (by Martin Evening) and there is one line in the book which highlights a difference between these two programs:

"The items listed in the [Lightroom] Metadata Preset dialog are not as comprehensive as those found in Photoshop, Bridge, or iView Media Pro, but they do conform to the IPTC metadata standard." ... "Should this be a cause for concern?  For those who regard this as a shortcoming of Lightroom, it may well prove to be a dealbreaker.  But for others, the metadata options that are available should be ample."

Since I am an amateur photographer (and not likely to evolve past there), this one item is not a big deal for me.  I'm still digging to see what some of the other differences might be.

-Chris
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JLovett
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2007, 04:18:01 PM »

Thanks Chris-

Yes I am still doing some research but it does appear that Lightroom has some limitations so I may just go wtih iView..but still looking and researching.  Would appreciate it if Peter or some of the other more senior members of this forum could add some additional insight.
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2007, 02:38:22 AM »

With these things, it's such a big question and I've not had much spare time recently. What's more, the devil is always in the detail of one's personal needs. As a broad  measure, I'm not controlling my pictures with Lightroom, and still rely on iView. LR is only a version 1, iView is more mature, and DAM is all about certainty. If forced to rely on LR, I could just about do so.

My view is that LR's glass is half full, not half empty, and the following "why iView not LR" comments should be read in that light.

iView's performance is fine. Specifically, I refer to the speed with which thumbnails become visible after changing to a certain folder, or keyword filtration. LR's performance on my main PC is well below what I think it should be on that machine (2.2 ghz P4 with 1 gb ram and 25g mb video card). I don't mind the time it spends building its previews, and can do something else, but thereafter I expect the app's scrolling speed to match programs like iView. And I'm just not getting it.

I need to manage a wider range of file types than LR accepts. It would be OK if I simply wanted to manage photograph file formats, but for my writing I also have png files (screengrabs off the Mac) and Word documents. I'm not into video or audio, but LR is only intended to manage a photograph-only workflow.

But within a photograph-only workflow, there are other file type limitations that may be relevant. LR doesn't import images that are over 10000 pixels in any direction - not normally an issue, but a problem if you shoot panoramas. Photoshop CS3 is very much better at stitching and I can see that I won't be the only one to do more of this type of stuff. The Photoshop team have shot the LR team in its foot....

LR will not write metadata into raw files. That is Adobe's stance, but I see no problem writing directly into working raw files IF you are wise enough to keep virgin backups too. It's my call, and I like that iView sees it that way.

With iView I see my Nikon raw file's preview, while with LR I see Adobe's interpretation of it. In general, this is no bad thing because you often shoot to capture all the highlights for example, not to make the camera-generated preview equate to the finished article, and I do like to see my raw adjusted version of the image (some people like a Nikon Capture and iView combination for this reason). But it's not so welcome when you've done things like use your camera's b&w setting - in iView I see the preview in b&w, while LR shows Adobe's colour rendition of the raw data. While I accept LR can't get at Nikon's secret sauce, it can and does display that mono preview and so it should be able to store it. Now I only use the mode to get rid of IR captures' purplish cast, and as a b&w man I've always shot on the assumption that the negative or digital file isn't the finished article. But if you believe you get your shots absolutely right in camera (eg WB, sharpening etc) then you would get value from being able to compare the camera-generated previews.

I prefer iView's catalog sets, custom fields and people fields, to LR's collections. One can just about replicate the functionality, so my objection is more to the immaturity of the interface. For example, I hate how when I add a collection in LR, the database filters down to that collection. So imagine I'm using a collection for a wedding or vacation, and dividing it up into phases or themes, each time I add a new subcollection I then have to go back to the main one. It's the same with keywords - add a new one in the left panel and the whole database filters down to it.

I could go into lots of other details, but I'd be going too much into my own needs. Both products have free trials, so I wouldn't listen to me!

John
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JLovett
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2007, 10:28:53 AM »

John-

Thank you so much...these details are very helpful and confirm some of my suspicions about the two being similar but LR being a bit more immature... I also may end up using iView for more than just photos...other file types etc. so sounds as if it may be the best option for me for a number  of reasons...

Truly appreciate the detail you put into your response.  Really helps a guy who is still fairly new to all this but is trying to do as much research ahead of time as possible.

Jeff Lovett
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2007, 03:16:57 PM »


LR will not write metadata into raw files. That is Adobe's stance, but I see no problem writing directly into working raw files IF you are wise enough to keep virgin backups too.

John

John-
Do you consider embedding the RAW into the DNG (available for extraction) as "virgin" or are you suggesting backing up the RAW straight from the camera?

Dave
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 10:19:55 PM »

Dave

Probably not. They may be virgin but would still need extracting from their marriage to the DNG. OK, not much, but I prefer to keep a separate set of raw files that I can see. They're not quite directly from the camera, just after editing out the duds. I'll add I have never had a real need for them, but they come in handy eg when I want to see how Aperture does things or compare Nikon Capture's colours.

John
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2007, 04:19:06 AM »

To add to what John says about the differences between the two programs, I'll throw in these missing abilities from Lightroom:

Can't open more than one database (catalog) at once.  iView's ability to have multiple catalogs open makes it very useful to compare what's on two drives in order to sort out duplication, or to restore from backups in the event of media failure.

Better treatment of the folder tree in iView.  iView easily lets the user see where the files are, while Lightroom hides higher level folders from the user.  THere is a workaround to see the higher folder levels, but it is an inelegant hack at the moment.

Can't swap databases around as easily with Lightroom.

Can't merge libraries with Lightroom.  This is most important for users who use more than one computer, such as a laptop in the field and a desktop back at Home or in the studio.  History, Snapshots and Collections made on one machine cannot travel with the file to a different library on another machine.

Reemphasize the bit about the limitation of files that Lightroom will not import. If you shoot movie files with your point and shoot, Lightroom will ignore them.  You need to manage them with something else entirely, which means splitting up the files on a particular card, and using a second application to view, move, rename, etc.  Although the Lightroom team adamantly maintains that they will never catalog file types that they can't adjust, I think they will have to give on this one. 

As John said, there are other issues, and as John said, I definitely see the glass as half full (and rising quickly).
Peter

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Niall Horley
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2007, 10:36:45 AM »


Better treatment of the folder tree in iView.  iView easily lets the user see where the files are, while Lightroom hides higher level folders from the user.  THere is a workaround to see the higher folder levels, but it is an inelegant hack at the moment.


I do not like the way lightroom hides the higher levels of a folder tree, what is the inelegant hack? It might make my folders look a bit more sensible.

Niall
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Niall Horley
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2007, 04:10:59 PM »

Here is how you add the parent folders in the folder tree to the Lightroom folders panel:

1. Open the folders panel

2. Select a folder

3. Click on the + symbol

4. Navigate up to the highest level of folder you want to see in the panel

5. Click Choose

6. Before it adds the files, Lightroom will present a dialog saying that some of the images are already in the library.  Cancel the process at this point.

7. The folder hierarchy in the folders panel will now go up to the highest folder in the previously shown window.

Peter

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Kallel00
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2007, 06:51:04 AM »

Another thing that should be factored in this answer is how much money you're willing to spend on software if you're an amateur, excluding software piracy ....



Iview costs as much as Lightroom by itself,
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Butch_M
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2007, 07:38:25 AM »

iView Media Pro 3 is available from Amazon.com for $149.99 with free US shipping. Purchasing now would entitle you to a free upgrade to Microsoft Expression Media when it is released. Lightroom is on special until the end of the month for $199.99. I know it is a lot of money for a serious amateur, but for $350.00 you are home free for some time to come. Compared to cameras, lenses, memory cards, computers, etc. - this is a wise investment. (IMHO) I personally use this combination for my studio and find it quite impressive for keeping track of everything digital in iView while lightroom is only used for current working files until the order is complete then those files are purged from the LR database and handled soley by iView. unlike LR, IV will keep track of just about any file type there is - photos, InDesign documents, pdf, word docs, excel, and on and on. Just works for me, and I don't spend money on software willy nilly, but I'm very glad I made the investment in both iView and Lightroom.

Butch
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prairie_eye
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2007, 01:46:36 PM »

I am also deciding which of these two softwares to purchase and I appreciate all the feedback.

I am trying out the free versions of both and one interesting thing that I just noticed today is that iview includes quicktime movies in my catalog and lightroom does not.  I do lots of short quicktime movies with my point and shoot camera for personal stuff and the ability to catalog these would be a HUGE bonus!  That alone may be the deciding factor for me....since my main need is the  cataloguing features and not the raw processing or web stuff.  Ironic that I am a professional photog and a personal use may be the deciding factor!  I do like the lightroom interface a lot better however...so I am still a swing voter but I am leaning  towards iview.
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Niall Horley
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2007, 02:33:19 AM »

I have been using lightroom in anger since it was released, I did play with the betas when they were available for windows but did no real work in them. I decided that I wanted to use a single integrated application as I spend a lot of time moving between the library and develop module. This would be more awkward using 2 products. I am aware of the limitations that people have pointed out in this and other threads but I decided to live with them. Buying iView and Lightroom is starting to get expensive and I have a dislike for microsoft products, yes I do run on windows.

As lightroom is a v1 product it can only get better (I hope). Hopefully Adobe will listen to what people are saying about the product and develop it accordingly.


Niall
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Niall Horley
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2007, 07:21:57 PM »

Niall,
They are listening.
Peter
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