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Author Topic: Do my custom Web galleries keep me wedded to EM2/Media Pro?  (Read 3306 times)
syncrasy
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« on: June 30, 2011, 03:39:08 PM »

After Phase One's less-than-auspicious launch of Media Pro (replacing EM2), I am considering another DAM software for Mac but can't seem to find anything that matches EM2's Web gallery capabilities. My custom iView/EM2 template uses several custom fields (print size, price, model/property release status, etc.) some of which are integrated into a PayPal form. It took me days to construct the template and months to perfect it, and it wouldn't have been possible without iView's excellent XML/iView tag documentation.

I've spend the last couple days playing with Aperture 3 and Lightroom 3 trial versions on my new MacBook Pro (Snow Leopard), and here are my observations:

- Aperture allows the creation of custom fields, but has no ability to utilize them for Web galleries as it apparently doesn't allow user-customized themes/templates. It seems half-baked. So I am dismissing Aperture. Too bad, as I do like the interface.

- Lightroom does not allow creation of custom fields but does allow custom/user-created Web gallery themes/templates. But Lightroom provides no XML/tag documentation to help figure out how to modify an existing template in HTML. Perhaps this is moot becaue it seems as though Lightroom forces you to generate a version of your template for each use. For example, in EM2 I use my single template named "Images" to build 100s of Web galleries (e.g., Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, etc.) from my 100s of Catalog Sets. In Lightroom, it appears as though I would have to create a "Birds" template, a "Mammals" template, and a "Reptiles" template, ad nauseum, since it doesn't give you the ability to code the template generically. If I'm right, then this defeats the purpose of a template. Also, the process is somewhat confusing; do I need to create both a "Birds" Collection and a "Birds" Web Gallery to use for my "Birds" template/theme? If I am misunderstanding something, please correct me.

I think John B's plug-in is intended to address custom field issue, but with caveats regarding the wisdom of relying on custom fields in the first place. But without them I couldn't have created my PayPal e-commerce solution.

So, assuming Phase One can fix the damage they did to EM2 with the first release of Media Pro, it looks like I will have to use Media Pro. I wouldn't mind so much (since I've been very happy with iView/EM2) but Media Pro on a Mac (only a Mac?) doesn't display Nikon NEF edits made by another manufacturer's software (Nikon Capture NX 2). To see the previews you have to pay a ransom, er, purchase Phase One's Capture One raw editing software. Alternately I could save all of my edited NEFs as TIFs to sidestep the raw preview issue, but then my hard drive storage needs would be more than quintupled (a 13 MB NEF -> a 70 MB TIFF) and I would have to manage another set of files.

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.
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--Mark

Nikon D300 | Nikon Capture NX 2 | Photoshop CS2 | Expression Media 2 | Mac Pro | Mac OS 10.6.8 | 10GB RAM
syncrasy
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 05:17:42 PM »

Follow up: regarding NEF previews and Media Pro/Capture One... I just realized that Capture One doesn't save its edits into the NEF like NX2 does; I'll have to output my edits as a TIFF. So if I stick with Media Pro I guess I'll have to deal with TIFFs whether or not I use Capture One. Is that correct?
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--Mark

Nikon D300 | Nikon Capture NX 2 | Photoshop CS2 | Expression Media 2 | Mac Pro | Mac OS 10.6.8 | 10GB RAM
Roger Spencelayh
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2011, 03:43:32 AM »

So, assuming Phase One can fix the damage they did to EM2 with the first release of Media Pro, it looks like I will have to use Media Pro.

Why? What is the problem with EM2/iView that you feel you need to upgrade to Media Pro?

I can understand that at sometime in the future there may come a time when EM2 won't work on your new PC/OS and that an upgrade or change will be needed. But if all is working well at the moment, I'd stick with what works and just keep an eye on the Phase One forum to keep up to date with what is happening with Media Pro. If Phase One find that MP is a dead loss, they'll drop it and you've lost out again by 'upgrading' to MP. If they get it to work reliably and start improving it, then you can consider buying it.

Roger (a happy EM2 user who has no intention of moving to MP untill it's fixed).
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syncrasy
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2011, 05:41:43 AM »

So, assuming Phase One can fix the damage they did to EM2 with the first release of Media Pro, it looks like I will have to use Media Pro.

Why? What is the problem with EM2/iView that you feel you need to upgrade to Media Pro?

I can understand that at sometime in the future there may come a time when EM2 won't work on your new PC/OS and that an upgrade or change will be needed. But if all is working well at the moment, I'd stick with what works and just keep an eye on the Phase One forum to keep up to date with what is happening with Media Pro. If Phase One find that MP is a dead loss, they'll drop it and you've lost out again by 'upgrading' to MP. If they get it to work reliably and start improving it, then you can consider buying it.

Roger (a happy EM2 user who has no intention of moving to MP untill it's fixed).

Hi Roger. Actually I completely agree with you. I plan on using EM2 for as long as I can, but my Power Mac G5 is showing signs of a dying logic board and/or power supply (frequent fan cycling, failed FireWire 800 port). A repair would cost over US$800, which is more than the computer is worth. So, one day soon I will have to get a new desktop Mac. Unfortunately EM2 on post-Tiger OSs does not display edited Nikon NEF previews (I just confirmed this on my new Mac laptop running Snow Leopard), so a new computer will also require a new workflow. The Nikon NEF issue is half of my calculus as I try to plan for the future.
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--Mark

Nikon D300 | Nikon Capture NX 2 | Photoshop CS2 | Expression Media 2 | Mac Pro | Mac OS 10.6.8 | 10GB RAM
syncrasy
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 10:02:17 PM »

Well, my G5 finally died, so I now have a Mac Pro with Snow Leopard. My tentative plan is to continue using EM2 but modify my workflow by adding an extra step: after editing a NEF in Capture NX2, I'll save a high-quality JPEG copy to serve as the preview for EM2 and the master for generating Web galleries.
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--Mark

Nikon D300 | Nikon Capture NX 2 | Photoshop CS2 | Expression Media 2 | Mac Pro | Mac OS 10.6.8 | 10GB RAM
peterkrogh
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 09:45:28 PM »

Mark,
Can Capture NX2 replace the embedded review on the NEF with an optimized one?  I thought that was something it could do.  If that's the case, you should be able to tell EM2 (but probably not Media Pro) to use the embedded preview in web gallery creation.

Can you share some examples of how you use the custom web galleries?
Peter
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syncrasy
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 12:42:14 PM »

Mark,
Can Capture NX2 replace the embedded review on the NEF with an optimized one?  I thought that was something it could do.  If that's the case, you should be able to tell EM2 (but probably not Media Pro) to use the embedded preview in web gallery creation.

Can you share some examples of how you use the custom web galleries?
Peter

Peter,

I'm not sure I know what an "optimized" preview is so I can't answer your question directly. As I understand it, Expression Media running on Mac OS Tiger could interpret Capture NX2's embedded previews easily (with Manufacturer rendering selected). It was only after the release of Leopard and Snow Leopard that EM2 lost its ability to display Capture NX2's embedded preview. As far as I can tell, and from reading others' experiences on this forum and the Phase One forum, there is no way around it.

With regard to telling EM2 to use the embedded preview, I assume that's the default (and only) action. I don't recall having an option to tell it to do otherwise. And as such, because of the loss of support for Nikon manufacturer rendering, the issue is moot. Currently (on Snow Leopard) the Web gallery generates images based on the original raw file, regardless of any edits make in Capture NX2. Perhaps I'm not understanding your statement.

As for my custom Web gallery examples, as I mentioned in original post, my uses include modifying iView templates to include custom fields such as print size, price, model/property release status, etc. Some of these fields I include in PayPal form menus. I also use custom-coded Javascript popup links.
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--Mark

Nikon D300 | Nikon Capture NX 2 | Photoshop CS2 | Expression Media 2 | Mac Pro | Mac OS 10.6.8 | 10GB RAM
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