Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post Reply
Henry-In-Florida
Posts: 10
Joined: 22 Apr 18 12:41

Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by Henry-In-Florida » 30 Apr 18 16:55

This app admittedly hasn't been around as long as LR, it has support, a good, enthusiastic following and lately, a newly introduced/released 64 bit version (really?). That led me to check it out.

I've been attempting to transition from LR (purchase version 6) to PSu where now I have a working 64-bit app that fully supports dual screen operations including: filing (DAM), editing (a la Photoshop-compatible basic editing), more processing, output. So, color me spoiled, but that's what I would expect in this app and what clearly (despite my unfamiliarity with some aspects of the PSu methods) desire to migrate to. And yes, the pickings aren't plentiful. In rating numbers, I'd give it a 3/10 in my trial. Read on to see why.

Notably, 64 bit has been on MacOS for many years, so why was the app upgrade to 64 bit just recently, so late to the game? While PSu has aspirations to greatness, in the DAM side particularly, the developers and commenters here have been pro-active hoping for the best, it's just not delivering a complete user experience either in 32 or 64 bit on a day-to day basis.

I have several issues with the new version (filed bug reports on those I found). I have had a chance to experience both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and there are issues which transcend the newer system upgrade and look like the new version is simply a porting of an old version into a new 64 bit finish.

What follows are my impressions as a newbie, 10 days into the trial, generally speaking and why I believe this is not the product for me:
PRO
  1. 64-bit is faster. Start there and build a better app.
  2. Seems more efficient. See below for problems with MM (Memory Management) in the app, since by quitting apps, the responsiveness improves (but still not perfect). There is no slowdown at the OS level, so maybe the developers need to assess this further.
  3. A bit more responsive than previous versions, when in importing, filing operations.
  4. I agree with Mike Naylor and some others here, that the under-pinnings of the app (whether 32 or 64 bit) are a much bigger issue, one that's not been addressed. That's hardly a PRO. So I list it in both PRO and CON.
CON
  1. Still slower than it should be to load the program, change from Preview to Adjust mode, especially with dual hi-res screen displays that are fully supported by the OS.
  2. Slows down with other apps open to a great extent (bug?). Occurs to the point where several operations are unresponsive, notably adjustment. I can watch Activity Monitor to confirm the slowdown is Memory management. This is based on getting the program to be unresponsive and then looking at RAM load (Pressure, Compressed memory). When in situations like editing an image, the memory tends to exceed 1.5-2GB RAM in the app, forces sluggishness. You might want to look at this as a cause if you have a problem. To me, that's a big red flag, one I did not know existed before 64 bit.
  3. Adjust mode has several operational issues (see separate reports), some are bugs. This is a release version, right? There seem to be too many bugs perhaps of long standing in 32 bit or not, for a release version. Do not know if there was a rush to release but some testing in real world conditions seems to have gone by the wayside.
  4. Crashes when using MacOS shortcut(s) to Quit the app (bug).
  5. I agree with Mike Naylor that the under-pinnings of the app (whether 32 or 64 bit) are a much bigger issue, one that's not been addressed. That's hardly a PRO. So I list it in both PRO and CON.
  6. Poor access to documentation both help within program and/or elsewhere. In the program there are Quick Help topics, but no way to get extensive help as to how it should work. Try it and learn-as-you-go needs an extended Trial mode, some online videos and only just barely gets by with the help on this list!
Apologize if my being frank upsets the many fine users who have contributed greatly (it seems from these pages) to program development here. I feel the basics to actually use for ALL-IN-ONE operations needs to be (not can be) rock solid in every aspect- importing, cataloging, editing and processing (day-to-day basics). I don't want to be slowed down by a app's sluggish-ness or unresponsiveness as was the case here.

Good luck, y'all!
Last edited by Henry-In-Florida on 30 Apr 18 17:40, edited 4 times in total.
PSu4 Trial mode, 4.1.0 (1448), 64 bit  MacOS 10.13.4  MacBookPro 2017, external RAID storage; Photographer with Canon equipment, shooting RAW [.cr2] Lightroom 6 User.

Hert
Posts: 20988
Joined: 13 Sep 03 7:24

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by Hert » 30 Apr 18 17:23

Please do not post the same content in different topics. The other one will be deleted.
This is a User-to-User forum which means that users post questions here for other users.
Feature requests, change suggestions, or bugs can be logged in the ticketing system

Hert
Posts: 20988
Joined: 13 Sep 03 7:24

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by Hert » 30 Apr 18 18:03

I've been attempting to transition from LR (purchase version 6)
Photo Supreme is supplementary to Lightroom. Photo Supreme is DAM software and any other RAW converter can be used as your RAW developer of choice.
This is a User-to-User forum which means that users post questions here for other users.
Feature requests, change suggestions, or bugs can be logged in the ticketing system

User avatar
fbungarz
Posts: 3163
Joined: 08 Dec 06 5:03
Location: Galapagos, Ecuador

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by fbungarz » 01 May 18 1:33

Dear Henry,
I believe your review is biased. You expect this cataloging software to outperform in tasks that it never was designed for.

PhotoSupreme has never been intended to be a Lightroom competitor and it does not claim to be! Lightroom is primarily a raw-editor with some (very) basic cataloging and metadata management capabilities (I am using it occasionally for raw adjustments, but in my experience it's catalog is too much of a pain; I much prefer using a standalone raw editor and a standalone catalog; I guess you can call this my personal "bias";admittedly Lightroom does a fairly good job for raw adjustments, I just don't like that one is forced to use its catalog, which is clearly redundant when using a much better one like PhotoSupreme ...).

Photo Supreme on the other hand is primarily a cataloging software with extremely powerful metadata management options. Reading your criticism it seems you have not even "scratched the hood" yet. You are not mentioning any advanced metadata management capabilities at all. And that is actually where the application truly shines and outperforms any other image cataloging software currently on the market! Clearly, the raw adjustments are simply a "quick fix" and by no means intended with any full-fledged raw editor like DxO, PhaseOne or even Lightroom.

If you are not using PSu for what it actually was designed for your criticism seems hardly fair.

Cheers,
Frank
Last edited by fbungarz on 01 May 18 16:25, edited 2 times in total.

Henry-In-Florida
Posts: 10
Joined: 22 Apr 18 12:41

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by Henry-In-Florida » 01 May 18 13:31

My hope was admittedly for an all-in-one product. As you agreed, PSu isn't such. I don't want to ingest in one app, do basic adjustment in another, advanced finishing in a third and output from the library in a fourth. As you say the others (besides DAM) are add-ons and not very good at it.
PSu4 Trial mode, 4.1.0 (1448), 64 bit  MacOS 10.13.4  MacBookPro 2017, external RAID storage; Photographer with Canon equipment, shooting RAW [.cr2] Lightroom 6 User.

jtk
Posts: 33
Joined: 21 Feb 18 17:57
Location: Germany

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by jtk » 01 May 18 16:32

Hello,

I think also, that Henry had the wrong expectations using it as an RAW-converter.
What Frank wrote:
Photo Supreme on the other hand is primarily a cataloging software with extremely powerful metadata management options. Reading your criticism it seems you have not even "scratched the hood" yet. You are not mentioning any advanced metadata management capabilities at all. And that is actually where the application truly shines and outperforms any other image cataloging software currently on the market! Clearly, the raw adjustments are simply a "quick fix" and by no means intended with any full-fledged raw editor like DxO, PhaseOne or even Lightroom.
might be true, but how should you know this if Henry it totally right with
Poor access to documentation both help within program and/or elsewhere. In the program there are Quick Help topics, but no way to get extensive help as to how it should work. Try it and learn-as-you-go needs an extended Trial mode, some online videos and only just barely gets by with the help on this list!
!!!

I've came here with the search for a DAM and may be found one, but of the very poor documentation I can't use it right! And I think that I'm not alone with this thoughts. I know from one private contact who gave up PSU about this as a major reason. It is not everybody's intention to learn how to use a software by searching through a forum! Even if the people here are always friendly and helpful. There are so many functions in sub-menues which are not documented and might be very helpful, but how should you know.

It's not everybody's intention to test these functions with a production system and setting up a test system is to time consuming. Imagine 100 persons set up a test system taking 5 hours, how much informations could be written in a documentation using these 500 hours. I would pay 15 to 20 Euro for a good and complete documentation.

Greetings from Germany
Thomas
Photo Supreme beginner, former Aperture User
MacBook Pro with macOS High Sierra

User avatar
fbungarz
Posts: 3163
Joined: 08 Dec 06 5:03
Location: Galapagos, Ecuador

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by fbungarz » 01 May 18 16:46

Dear Henry (sorry I called you Harry, I fixed that ;-),
we have an expression in German called "eierlegende Wollmilchsau", which translates into something like "a pig that gives milk and wool and can lay eggs as well". I agree that in a perfect world there would be just one such perfect product that does it all. Personally, I made the experience that if you want to use just one single piece of software you necessarily have to make sacrifices somewhere in your workflow. Either culling and ingesting your images is sluggish and slow, or the cataloging is not up to scratch, or the editing sucks. Nothing excels equally well at it all...
Therefore, I use Fast Picture Viewer to quickly cull my images, Photo Supreme for efficiently cataloging them, DxO for powerful and fast raw adjustments (that occasionally need fine tuning) and Affinity Photo for superb final edits (previously I used Photoshop, but their "subscription-only" model sucks and they are way over-priced).
Sadly, we don't live in a perfect world...
Cheers,
Frank

RE - Thomas: I agree. Documentation for Photo Supreme is exceptionally poor and (sadly) it always has been. I believe Hert's strategy here (being essentially a one-man-team) has been to focus mainly on product development and largely ignoring the documentation. In recent versions he increasingly added quite elaborate tool-tips, but that is no good remedy for a beginner. A contributor to the user forum once wrote an excellent workbook for a previous version of the software. The workbook unfortunately is now long out-of-date [I wish anybody here on the forum would have the time to do this again...]. There used to be a Wiki, but I guess contribution to it from the users was only moderate and thus Hert took it down.
There is a difficult balance here to strike as well insofar as product development goes. Photo Supreme simplistic user-interface was a radical shift from the previous feature-rich but overwhelmingly complex user interface of IDimager. The much simpler, more elegant and more efficient user interface that characterizes PSu now has one drawback: it somewhat hides an enormously powerful functionality under its surface. Things like label mapping, metadata templates, etc. etc. are somewhat obscure to any novice and since there is no thorough documentation these powerful features are sadly much overlooked and thus under-utilized. Ironically that creates a bit of a negative feedback loop. When Hert ever so often asks on this forum what people use the software for, these highly versatile functionality rarely features at the top of the list and as a result there is little incentive to make these functions a bit more "visible"...

User avatar
snowman1
Posts: 332
Joined: 01 Jan 07 3:13
Location: UK

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by snowman1 » 02 May 18 0:39

A minor point, but worth making, is that PSU does handle the run-of-mill edits easily enough (and in a non-destructive way), even though it is not a raw developer or image editor product.

On the subject of documentation:

Whilst I agree a proper set of full documentation is needed I do think the existing documents, accessible from the PSU menu*, are good as a series of mini-tutorials each covering an area of the PSU fundamentals in an approachable way. Henry, have you gone through these, because they should give you a good grounding in the basics. And the "tooltips" is handy as a quick reminder/reference, even if it probably wouldn't be needed if a good help system was in place. So I don't think there's much wrong with what's there - it's just that PSU does also need an in-depth, full, and organised manual or help system and this is lacking. I think the very fact that it is so often asked for means it is a de facto necessity.

One big question, though, is what format should this take? I have just started using GnuCash to handle my personal finances, and the existence of extensive and accessible help was absolutely key in my being to get off the ground with it, so I understand what people are saying here. In the case if GnuCash it takes the form of two "traditional Windows-style" help systems - one covering concepts (both GnuCash concepts and the wider financial concepts like double-entry book keeping and reconciliation) and the other being specifically how to accomplish things in that program. This works well, but effectively means it's down to one person or small core team to write and maintain it. I don't think that would work with PSU (at least not unless we collectively want development to stop for a year - and I don't think we do). Perhaps a Wiki, that experienced users could contribute to, but under the editorial control of the developers and forum admins? That could work, and would spread the load, but has the drawback of not being especially accessible in the way that an in-program help system is; and wikis also tend to suffer from a lack of structure and patchy quality.

I would say the qualities a help system needs are accessibility, structure, depth of coverage. I would also say a program as big as PSU needs a starter document, equivalent to the GnuCash concepts help - here we do have a head start with the existing PDFs.

What do people think - how best, pragmatically, can documentation be put in place? What sort of help system should it be?

Heck, I could probably have a stab myself sometime, though even after years of using it there are still many areas I dont know - it's that big a product! I actually think it's pretty impressive how so much functionality is crammed in to it and it's still very usable - no mean feat.

*I haven't installed V4 yet but I'm assuming the help and tooltips are similar to V3.
Snowman1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snowman-1/
--------------------------------------

space
Posts: 69
Joined: 06 Feb 08 5:47
Location: Hong Kong
Contact:

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by space » 03 May 18 3:38

@ Henry-In-Florida: Its been a while since showing up on these pages. For the most, I'm in agreement with fbungarz and snowman1 comments specifically those regarding PhotoSupreme's documentation. But then, for me at least, this has never really been an issue per se. In terms of memory management and the like, yes and no, things like this come and go. Like they say, there's always room for improvement. Even behemoths like Adobe have issues - as per LR and Adobe having just had to "re-release" it's latest update to LR Classic, kind of leaves one wondering - given Adobe's resources, etc.

But, and I had to smile at your comment "this app admittedly hasn't been around as long as LR". To some extent, you may be right. That said, IDImager [as a forebear to PhotoSupreme] was around before LR as far as I can recall.

More to the the point though, looking at PhotoSupreme as an all-in-one kind of photo editing/DAM/image transportation package is, maybe, asking a bit much. It's not likely to happen. Seems like even Adobe has given up on that one - this as Adobe "encourages" us mere mortals to move on from LR Classic to LR CC. In this regard, I wish Adobe the best of luck - as well as all those who follow on in Adobe's wake.

As a KISS proposition, for what this is worth [and this from someone whose be around the block a few times], I now use Capture One for all my RAW and master image preparation. And, if you're having an issue with PhotoSupreme's documentation, try Capture One. Capture One takes both the cake and the first prize in this regard. But still, even with Capture One's own issues and idiosyncrasies, I prefer this app to anything Adobe has to offer. To be frank, about the only occasion I use PS is when I apply my NikSoftware mods in order to finish off my images.

Next in the my work flow, is PhotoSupreme. That I use PhotoSupreme to catalogue my whole digital image archive is one thing. The main reason I use PhotoSupreme is to apply all the necessary metadata to my images. I've yet to find another application that can do this better. It's most certainly not LR.

About the only thing I use LR for is "image transportation" - as in helping me convert and resize my 16-bit master image TIFF's into JPEG's that get uploaded to websites, picture agencies, Instagram and the like. LR does a pretty decent job here in tracking all this stuff.

Is this all something of an "overkill"? Quite probably. Do I use all these applications to their full potential? Quite probably not. And, all of this for good reason. Core to my DAM work flow is my filing system and my images - as in RAW, master images and deliverables . Everything else is secondary. I'll use whatever gets the job. Capture One, PhotoSupreme and Adobe and its various products are here today. Will they be around tomorrow - read Aperture and DxO? As it is , with PhotoSupreme, I manage around 130,000 digital images. Elsewhere, I have over 3 decades of worth of work filed away in one form or other. Just saying.

Back to your supposition about, "Why PhotoSupreme "isn't-ready-for-prime-time". Besides the "baiting" part, there's this other thing about "instant gratification", the one about, "while the coffee might be instant these days, it still takes a while for the water to boil". The point, perhaps spend what precious little time you have eschewing the prefect and looking for the good. I've spent a heck of lot of time seeking the prefect while overlooking the good and for all that, that's got me no where, believe me.

Take care and take heart

Rogan

rfcat
Posts: 33
Joined: 21 Feb 07 11:38
Location: Australia

Re: Why Photo Supreme isn't 'ready-for-prime-time' [OPINION]

Post by rfcat » 04 May 18 6:45

I came to PSu from another application that dropped the feature I was using. I find PSu very good at cataloging which is what I bought it for. The v64 bit version is way quicker in deleting photos I no longer want (bad shot, out of focus etc).
I use C1 for photo adjustments and output and if I really want a good print qImage though I think C1 does just as good a job on a simple print.
Getting things fixed is usually very quick, nutlike LR which I did use but rationalised the number of convertors because most now have similar functions.
As a number of posters have said horses for courses.
Ian
Ian M
Photography, understanding how to catalogue so I can find my photos. :D .

Post Reply