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Hello, I'd like to ask you for a recommendation of a photo management software. My photo collection is so far organized in directories, named by sortable date + keywords. Pretty neat and tidy but as it constantly grows since 2004, it became barely searchable and hardly possible to keep an overview.

Despite never using a photo manager, I think I have some ideas what I'd like to have. While setting up a new laptop for my grandmother, I checked what the included apps can do. Microsoft Photos from Windows 10 was an eye-opener here.

What the ideal program should be/can:

  • fully offline solution: photos stored offline (actually on a NAS in LAN), database stored offline
  • face recognition, really working one, Microsoft Photos is here just amazing
  • rating system (I mean, I can assign stars to mark best or worst photos)
  • tagging photos by keywords, also by browsing the underlaying directory structure and doing actions on directories, e.g. adding tags to all photos within a directory
  • possibility to view images on a timeline, like here:

    neat, tidy, space-saving, on the right you can slide to move between dates over whole collection
  • filtering and sorting options
    example 1: show only photos with tags "(Norway or Sweden) and Winter", sort by rating
    example 2: show only photos of my wife (by face recognition) with tag "ID card photo", sort by time
  • after selecting a certain photo from a collection I'd like to be able to either see it's physical location or open it in external program of my choice
  • it should look neat, work fast, Microsoft Photo could be a benchmark here
  • freeware/open-source of course best but a reasonable price for a private license is also ok, let's say... up to 100€ (?)

Nice to have details:

  • possibility to exclude directories or files by some filters (ideally regular expressions), e.g. exclude all .psd, exclude all RAW-* subdirectories, exclude all *work*.* and *small*.* files; but if not possible I could re-think the folder hierarchy... maybe completely split RAW+working dirs from the final ones
  • once the photos are scanned and tagged I'd still like to have a possibility to edit them (or rather replace, as this will be mostly newly developing from RAW to the same location as the previous file) with external program without loosing the tags
  • would be good if also moving or renaming a subdirectory could be tracked without loosing the assigned tags
  • the photo manager should not edit photo files, i.e. adding tags shouldn't be realized as adding data to EXIF -- this would screw up my whole backuping strategy

Too much? Ask Santa Claus or write yourself? It so, then I'll still happily hear about best what you can recommend.
Actually Microsoft Photos + tagging + rating + filtering would be already good enough. So it can't be that hard.

No editing options needed, have another tools for that. However, a nice simple full-screen browser would be nice. I use FastStone Viewer for that purpuse but I can imagine wanting to see all photos matching the filtering+sorting on a full screen.

I started looking for possibilities by checking which apps offer face recognition. Got a list, tried Fotobounce first. And it's such crap I can only imagine. Slow, screen-space-wasting, offers no better browsing options than just browsing my directory structure and face recognition is unusable. For face recognition they just simply compare 2D images, so only identical perspective, haircut, lighting conditions and so on lead to a match. There are much more advanced techniques already. Full 3D head projection, pose and expression neutralization... Microsoft Photos must use it.

Some background of my directory hierarchy: I split all photo sessions, holidays into separate directories named by a date (in a sortable form + some tags. Inside I put a subdirectories: all RAWs, selected best shots in RAW, selected best shots postprocessed, selected best shots postprocessed for showing to others (without too private stuff or limited to let's say 100 shots of a holiday). Naming of these directories is always consistent. If needed I could move all final images to another location.

For viewing I use FastStone Image Viewer: fast, nice to browse through directory trees, awesome full-screen viewer. I believe I'll keep it anyway as standard browser for many cases. However, it has problems when switching from viewer to browser mode, while being inside a directory on a network drive. It hangs up or crashes often. It is also problematic to browse directories fast, as FastStone always load photos new to show thumbnails. This includes all subdirectories, also with RAW photos, which takes some time. Keeping the collection on a NAS makes it even worse. I like that it doesn't create any files inside directories but that's the price to pay.
Updated on 01.03.2021

Latest download link:

- 1832x1024 resolution 24&25fps: works
- 720p 50fps: works
- full-frame mode: works
- 3x crop mode (this model has it available as option in the Canon menu): works
- audio: works
- Servo-AF: works
- Single-shot-AF (triggered with half-shutter): works (if small hacks disabled)
- 14-bit lossless: works
- 12-bit lossless: works
- 8..11-bit lossless: works
- focus stacking and related functions: works

All in all it looks very promising already. Here a build, so you can use and test it as well. Please feedback. :)

This build
- is based on crop_rec_4k_mlv_lite_snd
- lossless RAW video compression is enabled (thanks to a1ex for help)
- FPS override is enabled thanks to a finding of David_Hugh (there is still a small glitch)
- does include a custom variation of sd_uhs from theBilalFakhouri with selectable 160/192/240MHz presets
- focus stacking and related features are enabled, was a just a matter of activating the feature as all work was already done by a1ex
- uses #undef FEATURE_ARROW_SHORTCUTS, so this feature won't pop-up unexpectedly in LV
- does include a dualiso module with standard register addresses. For my cam I need alternative ones. You can get them here:

Disable AUDIO BEEP in Canon menu when using ML on 70D!
Hi, I'd came to an idea of a feature of automatic retracting the lenses on a clear power-down (switching the camera off).

Background: STM lenses can't be mechanically retracted using the focus ring without the supply and hard pushing the moving element back seems to not be the best idea (damage hazard). Having to turn the camera on and move the focus ring every time when when exchanging a lens is disturbing. There are also some certain lenses, like e.g. EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, which break easily when the front element is pushed without retracting it first. This can be easily forgotten when putting a camera to the bag in a hurry or just hitting against something. Personally I don't have problems with lenses with a mechanical ring (I always retract them manually when exchanging) but STM drive me crazy.

It would be great if it was possible to optionally retract such problematic lenses automatically -- the risk of damage would be nicely minimized.
Best case: the module would have a database of affected lenses with an information what is the safe position. Simpler: user would have per lens configuration if to retract and if to minimum focusing distance or infinity.