DAM Pixelmator … we are missing something in the market

A place to talk about anything else with other Pixelmator users.
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2021-01-02 03:22:04

I was a big, big fan of Aperture. But once Aperture stopped working, I have almost stopped using my digital camera. Sifting through shots, organizing them and editing is just no fun on any of the pieces of software I have tried. Most have weak DAM features and a modal interface. I think I have tried most of the big names and none of them appeal to me UI-wise. I even bought two versions of Luminar because they promised to release DAM features.

I have been a big fan of Pixelmator since it launched. And I just bought Pixelmator Pro 2. I hope the Pixelmator team decides to take a stab at it.
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2021-01-05 11:02:58

Hi there, I replied to your comment in the other thread, but I'll also paste my response here:
The best we might be able to offer is something that would use the Photos framework as a base rather than building our own DAM from scratch.
My question to you would be – what would you highlight as the absolute key features you would like to see in a DAM created by the Pixelmator Team?
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2021-01-06 00:22:42

Thanks for asking! Much appreciated.

I am an old Aperture user and I have been trying all DAMs on the market again. Currently, I use Photos, because that syncs across devices and comes with the OS. But Photos is way too limiting for serious photography.

I find that most DAM software focus on editing features that I would rarely if ever use instead of robust DAM functionality. Luminar AI is a great example: it has tons of (“smart”) editing features I will never use and only includes very rudimentary DAM features. Many punt and are mostly glorified file/folder viewers; I’m sure that works great for some people, but to me it feels like the software maker has just punted.

Triaging photos as you import them is much harder than it was with Aperture. Many don’t do version and as far as I can tell none but Lightroom do stacks of photos. You could ask Aperture to automatically stack photos (based on time between shots). This was really useful, because you had perhaps 30 essentially different photos, but for some you took 5–10 shots (e. g. in continuous shooting mode at, say, 5 fps). Aperture allowed me to ingest photos, mark some for deletion, mark them 1–3 stars, pick the best photos in a stack and then focus on the good ones (3 stars).

Here are some key features I’d like to see:
- Versions (aka virtual copies): these allow you to e. g. quickly create versions of an edit (temporarily or permanently) and they do not use up a lot of space.
- Stacks of photos: when you have 10 almost identical photos, you can collapse them to a stack and select the one or two best ones.
- Sorting photos as you like. This sounds trivial, but most DAMs these days are file-based, so files appear in alphabetic order.
- Copying and pasting edits: this is essential to copy essential settings like metadata and white balance to a whole family of shots. For photos in a stack, I’d often also copy and paste a crop.
- No modes in the interface: Aperture had no modes and I thoroughly enjoyed that. I could bring up the editing HUD whenever I wanted to and edit a photo e. g. right in a book to balance the colors in the context of the other photos
- Quick starring and sorting by stars. Include an X for pictures you want to mark for deletion, too. Then allow one to show only pictures marked for deletion to double check.
- Optional: a managed library.
- Make it fun. Ok, that sounds a bit dumb, but since Aperture stopped working, I have essentially stopped taking photos with my nice cameras. And that’s because managing photos has become a big chore. The other apps I have tried are very clunky and/or seem to want to get inmy way. They sucked the fun right out of it.

Here are things I can do without (especially initially):
- Advanced editing options like slimming faces, changing eye sizes and so forth (I’m not kidding, this is included in at least one editor and produces comical results)

Here are nice-to-haves for version 2.0 or 3.0:
- Access to the photo library across devices (e. g. iPad).
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2021-01-10 08:29:56

Hm, I really understand you.
But at the moment I think you have to use two or three pieces of applications for your demands, starting at base level with Photos DAM.
For example Raw Power has starring, marking for deletion, filtering, organizing in albums and some other features taken from Aperture.
I don't know about stacking...
Still can't understand why they stopped supporting Aperture.
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2021-01-11 12:27:13

by OreoCookie 2021-01-05 22:22:42 Thanks for asking! Much appreciated.

I am an old Aperture user and I have been trying all DAMs on the market again. Currently, I use Photos, because that syncs across devices and comes with the OS. But Photos is way too limiting for serious photography.

I find that most DAM software focus on editing features that I would rarely if ever use instead of robust DAM functionality. Luminar AI is a great example: it has tons of (“smart”) editing features I will never use and only includes very rudimentary DAM features. Many punt and are mostly glorified file/folder viewers; I’m sure that works great for some people, but to me it feels like the software maker has just punted.

Triaging photos as you import them is much harder than it was with Aperture. Many don’t do version and as far as I can tell none but Lightroom do stacks of photos. You could ask Aperture to automatically stack photos (based on time between shots). This was really useful, because you had perhaps 30 essentially different photos, but for some you took 5–10 shots (e. g. in continuous shooting mode at, say, 5 fps). Aperture allowed me to ingest photos, mark some for deletion, mark them 1–3 stars, pick the best photos in a stack and then focus on the good ones (3 stars).

Here are some key features I’d like to see:
- Versions (aka virtual copies): these allow you to e. g. quickly create versions of an edit (temporarily or permanently) and they do not use up a lot of space.
- Stacks of photos: when you have 10 almost identical photos, you can collapse them to a stack and select the one or two best ones.
- Sorting photos as you like. This sounds trivial, but most DAMs these days are file-based, so files appear in alphabetic order.
- Copying and pasting edits: this is essential to copy essential settings like metadata and white balance to a whole family of shots. For photos in a stack, I’d often also copy and paste a crop.
- No modes in the interface: Aperture had no modes and I thoroughly enjoyed that. I could bring up the editing HUD whenever I wanted to and edit a photo e. g. right in a book to balance the colors in the context of the other photos
- Quick starring and sorting by stars. Include an X for pictures you want to mark for deletion, too. Then allow one to show only pictures marked for deletion to double check.
- Optional: a managed library.
- Make it fun. Ok, that sounds a bit dumb, but since Aperture stopped working, I have essentially stopped taking photos with my nice cameras. And that’s because managing photos has become a big chore. The other apps I have tried are very clunky and/or seem to want to get inmy way. They sucked the fun right out of it.

Here are things I can do without (especially initially):
- Advanced editing options like slimming faces, changing eye sizes and so forth (I’m not kidding, this is included in at least one editor and produces comical results)

Here are nice-to-haves for version 2.0 or 3.0:
- Access to the photo library across devices (e. g. iPad).
Awesome, thanks for the detailed and thoughtful reply! We'll keep this in mind.
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2021-01-18 08:38:50

by Andrius 2021-01-11 03:27:13
Awesome, thanks for the detailed and thoughtful reply! We'll keep this in mind.
Sure. Feel free to post again if you need more input
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2021-02-12 02:54:50

Oreocookie, I couldn't agree with you more. I truly love Aperture. In fact I have two computers I won't upgrade the OS because I still have Aperture on them. Nothing really compares to Aperture. I am looking for an alternative to Photoshop for some of the more creative work I do, and have had Pixelmatorpro for a while. I am relatively sure it can do everything I need. I decided to come here and search out answers to some questions for some of that creative work I do, for instance, when I use templates and want to place a photo and add a drop shadow I seem to get a shadow of the picture, so I am going to dive in and learn all I can here. So far I am happy here!