I’m looking for a program to organize and edit my photos on the Mac. The editing duties are light. Photoshop Elements fully meets my needs there, and I really don’t want something more complex. In particular I live by Auto Smart Fix and Auto Sharpen. However I’d like to not come out of one program just to edit a photo.
I like iPhoto’s organization, but it’s too buggy and has atrocious editing and previewing tools. Lightroom 1.4 doesn’t organize quite as nicely as iPhoto, but is a little more stable. Maybe 2.0 is better? What’s my best choice? Here are my desiderata:
- Must run on a Mac.
- Must support large RAW files.
- Must be able to handle tens of thousands, preferably hundreds of thousands of photos.
- Must have multiple levels of Undo
- Must have excellent user interface on a 20-inch widescreen monitor.
- Should have usable user interface on a 13-inch laptop screen.
- Should not have to store anything on my primary hard drive, which is already cramped.
- Should make this cycle very fast:
- Smart Fix
- Export and resize
(I really want one-button photo-optimization. I don’t want to spend a lot of time tweaking levels and hues and saturation and the like. On the rare occasion I need to do that, I can go to Photoshop. However this does mean the Smart Fix needs to be good. Photoshop Elements’ smart fix is. iPhoto’s isn’t. )
The one other editing task I sometimes do is split a photo into several: either zooming into to different parts of the image or showing the same image at different zoom levels.
- Reasonably fast on a 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook with 4GB of RAM.
- Should edit non-destructively.
- Should use minimal disk space beyond the photos’ themselves.
- Should be able to import a complete iPhoto library. Even better if it can integrate with one without copying everything.
- Should be able to backup library to DVD.
- Should have a fast and accurate “Actual Pixels” View.
- Nice if it integrates with Picasa, Flickr, and other web services. Great if it integrate swith WordPress.
- Nice to have a really nice slideshow capability, as good as Graphic Converters or better. Even better if I can tag, organize, and delete from within a running show.
Usability, stability, and performance are far more important to me than power user features. With a camera, I am a scientist and an explorer, not an artist. What do you think? What’s my best option here?