Organizing and Filing Digital Images on a Mac: Is iPhoto powerful enough?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by david enzel, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. I am an amateur photographer new to digital. I probably will shoot 500 to 1,000
    images a month. I use a Mac with OS X. To store and catalogue images I am using
    iPhoto, My question is whether iPhoto is powerful enough to store thousands of
    images over the years. Should I buy a third party software package to store and
    catalogue photos and if so which one? At the moment I find iPhoto very intuitive and
    easy to use. I just set up albums and use key words. I guess I'm asking whether I am
    overlooking functionality I will need down the road.
  2. I bought an eMac just for that purpose. I think it was a mistake. Mac designers just don't seem to think like photographers. iPhoto2 isn't much better than the original. Right now, Windows XP handles photos and cataloging them much better than OS-X. Maybe OS-11 will be improved.
  3. Just to clarify, I like iPhoto but am not sure what features I may be missing. At the
    moment my digital image library is small but it is growing rapidly and I want to be
    well equipped to find the images I want when I want them. In other words, what is
    iPhoto lacking that I might find uselful in another program? I plan to stick with Mac.
  4. iPhoto is powerful enough but doesn't seem to be able to handle catalogs
    with originals found on other volumes or virtual catalogs with originals on non
    mounted CDs.

    I use Cumulus, this is what the publishing world relies upon.
  5. >>>>>> Right now, Windows XP handles photos and cataloging them much
    better than OS-X. Maybe OS-11 will be improved.

    MacOS X wasn't intended to handle photos and catalogs. Softwares running
    ON IT are expected to do so :) Garnish your OS with what's necessary and
    the Mac becomes an unbeatable workflow powerhorse.
  6. >>>>>> Mac designers just don't seem to think like photographers.


    Yeah, not really :) Only as much as Ferraris are built from a racing viewpoint :)
  7. I have used Cumulus in the past, and sometimes it comes packaged with things in a light version thats better than iPhoto or most other things as well. I don't know the cost of it new.

    To an extent I agree, Mac doesn't think like photographers. Most of their systems come stock configured with too little RAM and then they overcharge to add more. Then again most companies do. :)

    Adobe doesn't understand photographers either, Photoshop should have had better 16 bit support long ago for one thing.
  8. David,

    Two recent articles that might be of interest are "How to Manage Large Image Libraries with iPhoto 2" at and "The Digital Shoebox: Organizing Images on Your Computer," that appeared in the Aug/Sep 2003 issue of Camera Arts.

    You might also want to get a copy of "iPhoto 2: The Missing Manual" by Derrick Story.

  9. Cumulus is $99. Check also Portfolio from Extensis.
  10. neat...
  11. The iPhoto database reportedl has scalability problems. You would be well advised to use Canto Cumulus or Extensis Portfolio.
  12. A couple of other programs to check out for Mac:

    Iview Media Pro

  13. Check out a trial version of iView Media Pro. I have thousands of images cataloged with it. You can also set up slide shows and generate very quick web page frameworks like this.
  14. I found iPhoto to be quite unstable with even moderately large (couple of
    thousand) sets of images.

    After trying several others (including Cumulus and Portfolio), I finally settled on
    ACDSee as the best tool for my relatively simple needs: it's pretty cheap, fast, offers
    convenient full-screen slideshows, allows images to be dragged around between
    folders easily, and doesn't crash. It doesn't do fancy cataloguing or searching.


  15. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I downloaded iView Media Pro to try it out.
    I'm not sure what a catalogue in iView Media compares to in iPhoto. Is it the same as
    an album. Or is each download a catalogue the way each download is a roll in iPhoto?
    Is there an instruction book if I buy the iView Media Pro? Couldn't find a help function
    in the software.

    Thanks for your help.
  16. Has anyone used FileMaker Pro for the purpose of cataloguing? While it's not a purpose-built software for photo-libraries, I've heard that, being a flixible database management tool, it can serve the purpose very well (including keyword search capabilities); no clue wheather it would allow to display images and to drag-and-drop them from one folder to another though. Any first-hand experience to verify its usefulness?
  17. Use iView Media Pro. It's simply the best-- all the features, plenty fast and flexible.
    Great support for all types of metadata, and they seem to issue updates and new
    versions on a regular basis, unlike iPhoto.
  18. Filemaker is a great database, but I vote for Portfolio for image management. I've used it since it was called 'aldus fetch'. It has all the cataloging and keyword capability you could ask for, and it has also great 'interactivity', you can easily drag and drop files between photoshop and an html editor like Golive or Dreamweaver or other graphics software. Plus manage files and folders, build web galleries etc.
  19. Do any of these software packages (Cumulus, Portfolio, iView
    Media Pro) have OS 9.X versions available? Or will the OS X
    versions function in 9.X as well? Some of us Mac users are still
    stuck comfortably in the past (I'm still using 9.1 - what the heck,
    it's doing what I need done, it isn't crashing, and Canon and its
    drivers can't seem to keep up with current Macintosh operating
    systems anyway).
  20. Bob, iView also works in OS-9 (which I use at home, OSX at
    work). It's rock solid, been using it for two years.
  21. Portfolio 6.01 works w/ OS 8.6-9.2.2, and Portfolio 6.12 is for OSX. I was just noticing on the Portfolio web site that they now have a 'photo raw' filter that lets you catalog raw camera files from high end DSLRs.

    Portfolio is pricy though, $200 -ouch! Which is why I haven't upgrade from vers 3 yet!
  22. I just wanted to thank everyone for your help. I bought iView Media Pro and I really
    like it. Just what I needed and their tech support is very helpful. A very powerful

Share This Page