DAM. No its not the word uttered by thousands of Lightroom users when Adobe announced it was discontinuing it as standalone product. It is, in fact an acronym for Digital Asset Management, or in other words, managing your photo library. Since the demise of Aperture, Adobe’s Lightroom has been pretty much king of the castle in this field. There is competition but it has not really loosened Adobe’s grip on the market. However, Adobe may have scored an own goal with their recent announcement, alienating many Lightroom users who do not wish to opt in to subscription based services.
Adobe’s announcement may well be good timing for Macphun. The producers of the popular Mac based photo editor Luminar, they have been developing their own DAM software that integrates with it. Luminar is currently also under development for PC and this will include their DAM software.
The Macphun DAM software will run alongside Lightroom allowing Adobe users to compare the two products. It will work both with offline hard drive storage and cloud based platforms although which ones have not yet been specified. The company claim that “It’s going to be the perfect tool for organizing and managing images”
Macphun have released a teaser video, which shows a clean user interface. It appears to feature a Browse module and a Develop Module, similar to the Lightroom Library and Develop modules. The Browse module appears to have some comprehensive search and rating tools. The Develop module teases us with a layers tool, something that Lightroom does not yet have. The Develop module may be part of the Luminar integration or a standalone editor. It’s not clear yet which.
The DAM software will aded to Luminar next year and will be free to anyone that purchases Luminar 2018.
Given Adobe’s recent updates, and their backtracking on not making Lightroom subscription only, any new additions to the DAM software market must be welcomed. Many photographers are, with just cause, wary of putting their precious images up in the cloud. Although Lightroom Classic is still offline based, Adobe have signalled with Adobe Lightroom CC that they see that, in part at least, the future of DAM is online. There will be many that disagree with that idea.