Media Management Software Options for Digital SLR Photographers

Media Management Software Options for Digital SLR Photographers

You have plenty of options for managing dSLR footage, from pure media managers to apps focused on raw image workflows and development. Also, a lot of photo editors have basic management tools built in.
Adobe Bridge is one of the best media managers (Adobe fans might say they are the only ones). It’s large, credible, versatile, well-supported, and backed by a solid company. The bridge is really a bridge. It connects your photos to your other apps in a way that allows you to seamlessly manage thousands of photos.
You can create and manage groups, rotate images, apply different Camera Raw settings, and more from within Bridge, but you connect to other applications to complete most development and editing tasks.
You don’t buy Bridge alone. It comes with Creative Suite software and Adobe Creative Suite bundled editions. Notably, Photoshop Elements for Windows is not provided with Bridge; The Mac version includes Bridge. It has its own internal regulator.
The following applications focus on raw image processing and workflow. This is necessary if you set the image quality of your photos to RAW in the camera. All of them also have powerful photo management features. Photo enthusiasts can work with these apps, but they have features and capabilities that also attract professionals.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
This Macintosh/Windows app is for photographers, not graphic artists. It contains almost everything you need to import, manage, develop and publish raw images or JPEGs.
In Lightroom, you can create one large and comprehensive catalog or create different catalogs based on different cameras, projects, or years. When you import images into an open catalog, they appear as thumbnails on the Library tab, where you manage them. You can view, sort, filter, categorize, delete, search, compare, create and assign keywords, quickly develop images, and edit metadata. You can also export images in different formats.

To work with layers, masks, adjustment layers, panning, HDR photos, artistic filters, effects, vector shapes, 3D support, text, frames, and other aspects unique to photo editors, you need to get a photo editor other than Lightroom.

Apple slot
This Mac-only app marries image development and management. The Library tab is where you create projects and organize your photos. The shortcut buttons at the top of the preview window allow you to change views, identify faces, and select geolocation. When you import images (or work in Photoshop .psd files) into Aperture, you map them or create a new project.

Within the project folder, you can manage subfolders (or albums) and individual images. (You can use Aperture 3 to create new libraries.) It also contains sample projects so you can get a feel for how things work in Aperture.
As you might imagine, you have all kinds of management tools at your fingertips. You can view, sort, keyword, delete, rate, export, track versions, manage and edit metadata, make basic edits to images, and run images to an external image editor for more advanced editing. Aperture 3 can send GPS coordinates to Apple so it can geolocate your photos.

Capture One Express / Pro
Capture One is not, by stage one, well known outside professional circles, but it should be. It comes in two versions: Pro has a lot of features and is priced accordingly. Express is best for casual photography enthusiasts.
Capture One’s management feature set is comparable to Lightroom and Aperture. Import, sort, rate, preview, organize, tag (add keywords), develop and publish images. Organize your photos into catalogs or work face to face with photos using sessions. Capture One also contains albums, which are virtual collections. It’s cool, powerful, professional, and focuses on workflow and image quality.

Built-in media management
These relatively inexpensive editors are mostly aimed at cost-conscious photo buffs (don’t let this statement deter you – they’re perfectly capable):
Apple Photo
iPhoto is a neat little cation from Apple with lots of good organizational tools. You can import, organize, view, rate, tag (add keywords), title, edit, and publish photos. iPhoto is an excellent application for Macophile enthusiasts.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Adobe’s entry-level photo editor has a lot of features, given its reasonable price. It has a photo editor, of course, and a Windows version that includes a built-in organizer; Mac users have Bridge. This major editing project is in progress, complete with various layers and edits.

Corel Paint Shop Pro
PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate has three modes: Manage, Adjust and Edit. You can sort, organize, rate, review, keyword, edit, and export photos.

Picasa Google
Even Google has an image editor and organizer for beginners. It is free and both Windows and Mac can use it. It’s Picasa, it’s awesome. As you’d expect, Picasa has close relationships with Google Maps and Google Earth.
Picasa scans your hard drive for your files and then loads them into a library – you don’t need to import them unless you want to. (You can add or subtract folders or import photos later.) Provide organizational structure by creating and assigning photos to albums. You can perform initial editing tasks in Picasa, such as rotate, straighten, remove red-eye, and more.
The main management tasks revolve around organizing photos and videos into folders and albums, by people, then sorting, filtering, tagging, sharing, exporting, blogging, and creating other types of output, such as movies or collages.