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Lightroom catalogue vs On1 non-catalogue

Discussion in 'Lightroom Classic CC for Windows & Mac (folders)' started by bradbort, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. bradbort

    bradbort New Member

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    I’d be interested in a discussion about the benefits and negatives of using a catalogue (with LR) vs a product that does not use a catalogue (On1 raw). I’m not interested in any of the other issues, just the advantages and disadvantages of using a catalogue. Thanks!
     
  2. Cerianthus

    Cerianthus Active Member

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    Image organisation
     
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  3. LRList001

    LRList001 Active Member

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    Is On1 RAW non-catalogue?
    If no catalogue, edits are stored in side-cars. Excluding virtual copies, there can only be one per original file, catalogues allow different edits per image and a simple backup approach, backup the single catalogue and all edits are swept up. Of course, a catalogue gets bigger and bigger, whereas a backup regimen that only copies changed files (the side-cars) will not have that feature.
    If the catalogue is corrupted then there could be trouble ahead.
    A catalogue enables the editing history to be kept, a side-car is the final state.
     
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  4. Conrad Chavez

    Conrad Chavez Active Member

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    One advantage of a catalog is being able to keep track of images stored on any drive, even if they’re not currently connected to the computer. For example, my Lightroom catalog not only shows me the images on the photo hard drive in my computer, it also catalogs images on several other external drives that aren't plugged in, as well images on my laptop. (I have Lightroom catalog the images on my laptop when it’s mounted as a network volume, because there are some projects that are only on the laptop.)

    I can search, organize, and preview all of those images across all of those drives and computers from a single catalog, and none of those drives has to be connected unless I need to work with the original image files. (And if I wanted to edit them when they aren't online, I could generate Smart Previews.) So a catalog makes it possible to record and organize all your images on any drive or computer you have, in one database.

    When you don't have a catalog, you can only browse images on currently mounted volumes.
     
  5. bradbort

    bradbort New Member

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    Thanks. That is really helpful
     
  6. PhilBurton

    PhilBurton Active Member

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    Without a catalog, the burden of organizing images falls on one or both of the folder/subfolder naming scheme and the file naming scheme. Things get complicated when a photo could fit into two categories, e.g. "family occasions" and "travel."

    With the LR catalog, you can (but don't have to) use a simple YYYY/MM or YYYY/MM/DD folder organization, with or without renaming the individual files. You organize images into one or more categories using "collections," and collections can be nested in folders. LR also has "smart collections," which are really preset searches based on a variety of criteria that you can set. Any pictures matching all the criteria, as defined, automatically are included in that smart collection.
     
  7. johnbeardy

    johnbeardy Senior Member Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    This aspect of recording the images is important. Because a catalogue records what you should have, it helps safeguard your picture collection. As you can see what should be there, you can recover from any problem at the OS level - eg a drive crashes, folders are accidentally moved or deleted, you move computer - without just relying on human memory.

    Another benefit is often forgotten - when you manage images in a catalogue like LR/Aperture/C1, you see their adjusted appearance. That's a big advantage over seeing raw files in Finder/Explorer where you only see the straight out of camera look.

    John
     
  8. davidedric

    davidedric Active Member

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    A quick read of On1's web site shows that RAW does include a catalogue, though I'm not interested enough to investigate further.

    Dave
     
  9. Roelof Moorlag

    Roelof Moorlag Active Member

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    Another benefit of the Lightroom catalog is the 'DNG Validation' option (if you use DNG's of course), no other DAM or Browser does provide this. From the perspective of managing assets it's very valuable to me.
     
  10. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra Active Member

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    Indeed ON1 does have a database catalogue. Much better workflow IMHO, no need to import photos as ON1 works as a file browser and adds to the catalogue in the background without any need to import, just start browsing the folder, no need to wait for the import to complete before you can see your photos. Not had time to compare raw develop capabilities yet.
     
  11. johnbeardy

    johnbeardy Senior Member Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    That sounds like it's only a cache rather than a catalogue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017 at 12:09 PM
  12. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Although you've still got to get the photos off the card and into the folder first, right? I used to do it that way a long time ago, manually create a sub-folder, manually copy the images from the card to that sub-folder, then do an "Add" import. Turns out it was way quicker, easier, and more reliable to have Lightroom do that for me....so all I do now is insert the card, select the import process, confirm my Import Preset is selected, click Import. And with the new embedded preview capability I can be culling some 10 seconds after clicking on import.
     
  13. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra Active Member

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  14. johnbeardy

    johnbeardy Senior Member Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Simply storing its cache in a database doesn't make it a catalogue. It's also what Bridge does, but it's still just a browser and can only show what happens to be in folders to which it can browse.
     
  15. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra Active Member

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    Looks like we will have to disagree on this one John. On1 is not like Bridge.

    E.g. "Once the metadata is in the database you can filter within the current folder or album you are browsing, or you can search across your Indexed Folders (previously known as favorites) instantly."
     
  16. LRList001

    LRList001 Active Member

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    Happy to be corrected on this. So far as I am aware, the On1 RAW catalogue stores metadata, including edits (making side-cars optional). Included are keywords to the extent those are in EXIF data. On1 does not store a detailed edit history. This information could well be incomplete or wrong.
     
  17. johnbeardy

    johnbeardy Senior Member Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Bridge is like that too. The point is not whether ON1 has a database or is like Bridge, but whether it is a catalogue. Can it find files in folders which it indexed, if the folders are no longer available to the OS?
     
  18. PhilBurton

    PhilBurton Active Member

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    You had better hope that On1 does support sidecar files, for both import and export involving RAW files.
     
  19. LRList001

    LRList001 Active Member

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    On1 RAW side car files are optional. An On1 sidecar is not going to work the same as a LR sidecar or a Photo Lab side car though, ie although they do the same job (define a list of edits etc.) side cars are not going to be compatible between different products.
     
  20. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Side car files do not only contain the (non-compatible) edits, but also keywords, ratings and other metadata.
     
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  21. PhilBurton

    PhilBurton Active Member

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    I have used XMP sidecars successfully for two-way exchange of metadata between LR and various DAM systems I was trialing.

    Agreed that editing info won't be exchangeable. However, if you do work with another app that modifies XMP, make sure that the other app does not corrupt metadata. However, between LR and various DAM apps, in some combinzations, the order of specific metadata elements would be changed but not the contents.

    Phil
     

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