iMatch 2020 is out -- one of the best DAM combinations with PhotoLab

I have been on the fence to purchase a separate DAM package for like 2 years and iMatch 2020 seems to be it. I know many PhotoLab users already work with it for a while. New features are mighty impressive and I am amazed how well they focus on “average consumer” user experience design for such a highly complex product (which DAM is period).

Major Enhancements in IMatch 2020:

  • Face Recognition - On your PC. No Cloud. No Privacy Issues
  • IMatch Events - Organize Files Using Events
  • AutoTagger - Automatically Add Keywords using AI Services
  • TimeWiz - Modify File Dates and Times Easily
  • Over 50 New Features, Apps and Enhancements
  • Improved Performance, Stability and Security

Downloading the trial now and will report back my findings.

This is also why I believe DxO should stay away from trying to be comprehensive DAM and focus on integration with these type of packages trough top notch interoperability. It is just too complex.

For the sake of balance: Photo Supreme V5 is a great alternative for Mac and Windows users. I have worked with it and generally liked it but I also had some issues with stability and it isn’t as feature rich as IMatch.

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Does iMatch 2020 recognize DxO sidecar files? One of the things I like about Photo Supreme is that it will associate .dop files with the image file and use some of the adjustments in the sidecar (rotation, cropping, etc.) when generating a thumbnail. It also deletes the sidecar if you delete the image.

Good question. I think it does, as you can define buddy files. Not sure about the previews, but I do know it will rename buddy files.

I just upgraded to IMatch 2020, so far, so good…

In short, as Floris said, for each file format, you can manually define buddy files, so yes, deleting the raw file will also get ridd of any associated sidecar files.

Regarding the previews, those are generated by the WIC codecs installed on your system, and if unavailable it falls back to LibRaw for raw decoding - but in both cases, the previews don’t take into account any adjustments made in PhotoLab (or Lightroom, for that matter, from what I have observed).
From the IMatch help site (

This is an alternative for processing RAW files using WIC Codecs which is used by IMatch as a fall-back when the WIC codecs installed on your system fail to process a RAW file. IMatch uses the awesome LibRaw software for this purpose. It supports hundreds of cameras and RAW variants.

As long as your raw files’ format is supported by either on of these options, you’re good. If it isn’t, you’ll only see the (very) low resolution jpeg thumbnails embedded in the raw files, as was the case for my CR3 raws until the release of IMatch 2020 (which included an update to the latest LibRaw release, now supporting CR3 files).

Thanks for including that. It is far more feature rich than iMatch for Mac users. :wink:

It does look fairly comprehensive but boy, I am not keen on spending another $129 just to manage my photos, especially if it has stability issues. I know this has been discussed elsewhere, but I wish PL3’s nascent DAM could be enhanced to address its basic shortcomings (like not locking metadata in the database).

I have been using Photo Supreme on mac, Mojave for almost a year now and it works very smoothly and without and stability issues.

It generally is stable. However, some operations often crashed the app (large metadata write backs) and especially the Google Vision integration was wonky for me (not a critical element but still, if you do it on a large set of images the app will crash both on Mac and Windows. IMatch has similar integration and so far I haven’t had a single crash and also way less spinning beachballs during large operations. I don’t like it when apps make the whole system unresponsive when they are doing operations, they should have load balancing so there is still some responsiveness at any point.

But I wholeheartedly recommend both IMatch and Photo Supreme. Best DAMs in town… and on the Mac Photo Supreme is your only good option.

I agree that they are not cheap but on the other hand you buy a perpetual license and I think you can easily use them for 2-3 years without a real need to upgrade. They are so much more efficient in handling and managing your photos that you quickly earn the money back with time saved. But it also depends on what workflow you want… if you want to edit in DXO, Photoshop or Affinity Photo I really recommend getting separate DAM software, with Lightroom and Capture One you need to see for yourself if you need all the extra bells and whistles. I can’t stand the Capture One DAM part for example.

Used IMatch for a year, but did not like it. Especially the metadata writeback times were awful. I also did not like the dependency on ExifTool, WIC and LibRaw. It also has frozen multiple times during writeback.

Returned to Lightroom for that task again, because I like simpler DAMs , that just work out of the box and use Adobe’s XMP way of storing hierarchical keywords (which is also true for IMatch). Lightroom never crashed here and saves metadata much faster.

Long term user of IMatch here. It’s an extremely powerful DAM and is designed to keep your metadata non-proprietary. Too many capabilities to list here including new additions with IMatch 2020, so see for more details. “With great power comes great responsibility.” So there’s some complexity along with the power. Depending on your needs, IMatch may be an excellent fit, but some users may prefer a simpler metadata management solution.

I think imatch is a great and feature rich DAM for those on windows.

But for us on macOS the Photo Supreme is outstanding and even if I have both the single user and server version of Photo Supreme, I tend to use the server version the most.
Single user version is mostly used while I’m traveling.

Both IMatch and Photo Supreme have a server edition.

The main differentiator is Mac vs Win (vs Multi-platform). Photo Supreme is the clear winner her. However, if you’re on Windows… I think IMatch is the most capable (and therefore also complex) solution. It has more features and is also more stable (based on my experience) testing out the latest version of each application.

But you can’t go wrong with either really and both are miles ahead of any editor integrated DAM solution.

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I’m another long-time IMatch user. 2020 has some big updates that make it all the more powerful. It can be complex to get set up, but that comes from the flexibility it affords you in setting up your database. It’s been rock-solid stable for me for over a decade.

I do have my database set up with DxO .dop files as buddy files that are automatically associated with my raw files. Once I set it up years ago when using Optics Pro it’s been running fine. I haven’t thought about that in years–it’s just worked.

Large operations can take some time. Either I set it & go do something else, or throw smaller batches of operations at it. The program does try to run as much as it can in the background while allowing you to keep on with other tasks.