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Full Version: Downloading image files to the computer - what do you use?
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Just wondering what you use ... I'm about to plop down some cash on the latest version of Breeze Downloader Pro, but curious if there's something else that's as good or better.
Hello Slejhamer. Lightroom will do it + more. New version out is quite powerful not only as a downloader but as editing software. A lot more money, but a lot more capability. If you are not batch renaming, you do not need downloader. Describe your situation and you will get more meaningful answer. Pavel
I don't use anything but the Windows Explorer. What is the downloader supposed to do?
The most important difference I think is that it can globally rename the files, I think. This is important to many, as it helps find photos. Different people use different naming strategy. I use the custom text up front concatenated to the original name created by the camera concatenated to the date the photo was taken. Lightroom will do that for me and many other different naming strategies.
The other important feature for some is indexing of all files for fast easy retrieval using the file name, EXIF info, GPS info if in EXIF, keywords or rating you may assign etc. I do not use the index, because when the index crashes, yu loose all that effort. You can have backup, but sometimes both crash and I do not know why. Matthew swares by this feature and many other do, but it does not work for me. The good thing is a very quick review of photos.
I would look at the list of features of the Breeze downloader and Lightroom for better info. Lightroom of course is a powerfull editor and not just a downloader. I hope this helps. Pavel
Dreamingpixels Wrote:If you are not batch renaming, you do not need downloader. Describe your situation and you will get more meaningful answer. Pavel
Batch renaming is very important to me.

As I see it, Downloader will:

1. allow me to enter a "job code" (sometimes important, sometimes not - I'll just use it for keywords like "Vacation")
2. automatically create folders and subfolders by criteria I determine - in my case, by year and month (and job code if assigned)
3. batch rename according to my preferences, which are pretty simple: camera model and date stamp

So for example IMG_4561.raw automatically gets renamed 10D-4561_04Aug2008.raw (camera model-image#_DDMonthYYYY; I could add the job code to the file name too, which I imagine would be helpful for a pro with clients.) Said file then gets placed in the automatically-created Aug-2008-Vacation subfolder in the automatically-created 2008 folder of my photos drive.

I would not likely use the GPS and other EXIF data as part of the download process, so that capability isn't necessary for me.

I have not looked at Lightroom since the original public beta ... my post-download RAW workflow has become very simple using CaptureOne, and those bozos still owe me a major upgrade so I've been hesitant to try anything new. I'm all about simplicity! Smile

Is there someplace that lists the download/categorizing capabilities of Lightroom? I looked at Adobe's website, but it is geared to editing, not organizing.
Whatever weakneses Lightroom may have, complexity and steep learning curve are not among them. If you are about simplicity, you could use Lightroom with consistent interface to do the job of Capture One and a downloader. I would suggest that you try a tutorial on the "library" module of the Lightroom or perhaps just download a free demo. I expect that you will be quite comfortable with it in 1/2 hour. A detailed tutorial is here http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2007/07/...ealed.html and check the Adobe tutorial titled "Importing photographs" here http://pictureflow.fileburst.com/_Tutori...index.html. Pavel
Don.. Windows takes a bit of time with the wizard, before you can download. I have Canon Zoom browser which downloads from Canon, Fuji, whatever. It saves to My Pictures Folder (or wherever you wish it to save to) in a date oriented folder. I then save the masters to folders on my ext hard drive under Year/ Month/Special trips. etc
Renaming or batch renaming still takes time if every shot in the batch requires a different filename.
Irfanview does batch renaming among other things, and it is pretty quick and free.
And it will add prefixes /suffixes to the renumbering.
Hmmm - Have Infran but use it as a viewer. Never checked other functions. Bought Lightroom for its editing. Now I use it mostly as a downloader.
If you have the memory and speed for all the extras, fair enough. I don't at the moment. Every new program slows me up and every program deleted adds to my problems. (The little extras they leave behind.)
When you say download, you mean take thephotos off the camera? I just put the card into my reader and cut and past. I have a new photos folder. When I process the photos I put them into a Finished Photos folder. After a while I archive them into a slide show. Here's the shocker. I discard all the photos I didnt process.
If you don't like them there is no point keeping them.
All mine are perfect Rolleyes so I don't discard any. Big Grin

I think what the guys are saying is that you don't have to cut and paste and put them into a folder etc. The program does it for you. Drags them straight from the camera or media card and 'Voila'
Have a cup of tea.
But I think like you, I believe Don. Don't waste money on the easiest way, save for a rainy day.
If I was making money at it, then maybe.
If I've got 200 photos taken over a 4-month period, I don't really want to waste time categorizing them. I want to plug in and let a program do its thing. Dumping them into a single folder isn't an option for me - that many thumbnails takes way too long to generate, and while I'm religious about deleting bad shots in-camera, there are plenty that can't be adequately critiqued for things like near-miss focus on a 2" lcd screen.

Waste money on the easiest way? What's your spare time worth? A lot more than the one-time $30 software cost, hopefully. Wink

Anyway, it's not about money, my question is simply about what other programs are available that do what I want. Sounds like only Downloader (+ an editor) or Lightroom. Actually CaptureOne has a built-in downloader as Lightroom does, but it's not very functional.

Too bad; not much to choose from.
There may be other options, I just do not know them, as I did not look. I maintain directories/subdirectories in Windows, but I let Lightroom to do the moving and batch renaming and indexing. Once in Lightroom, you can also batch enter keywords as well. New version of LR is just out and it is very powerful, yet simple and easy to learn, although no match for CS3 raw (no pun intended) power.
Do not consider the response you got here as definitive, because we do not know all the software (sorry the rest of you, may be you do). Check on other sites, like DPreview.com. There are more eyeballs glued to equipment and you may get a more definitive feedback. Pavel
I dont dump to a single folder. Canon software makes a folder for each day. I can then use Iv to renumber and rename if required. Canon may do that, but I have not over-studied it. And your priorities may be different to mine. I am retired, so I have all the time the Lord gives me. Smile
Most of the more robust-yet-simple alternatives I've been able to uncover are fairly pricey stand-alones, like Photo Mechanic and iView (now a Microsoft product under a different name?)

As I'm not likely to switch over to Lightroom at this time (unless the next version of CaptureOne is a clunker), I guess I'll plop down the $30 for Downloader when the free trial expires.

Thanks for the helpful thoughts!
slejhamer Wrote:1. allow me to enter a "job code" (sometimes important, sometimes not - I'll just use it for keywords like "Vacation")
2. automatically create folders and subfolders by criteria I determine - in my case, by year and month (and job code if assigned)
3. batch rename according to my preferences, which are pretty simple: camera model and date stamp
Lightroom will do all of this. My convention is to append the same custom text to each file - my business name and the year - along with the original file name, but choosing different custom text is as simple as typing it in. It automatically (because I've told it to) puts my images into folders according to the date they were taken, in the date format that I prefer. It also has the ability to assign keywords to the files as they're imported, which is more flexible and powerful than building it into the file name or folder. I also have lightroom set to add my name, contact information, and copyright to each photo. While it does all of that it's also converting each file to DNG, writing it to my raid drive, and writing the original .orf file to a separate hard drive.