Well, I’ve been using iPhoto, Lightroom in it’s different beta stages and now I had a demo of Aperture. I’ve been shooting digital for quite some time now, and scanned lots of negatives from when I still shot film and my parents before me. My collection is about 35.000 pictures, spanned over many DVDs and CDs. Pictures that are virutally inaccessible because I don’t know where they are. So I decided a while back to throw them all into a harddrive and try out different programs.

First program I had to ditch was iPhoto. Even iPhoto 6 becomes unusable after about 5000 pictures. It’s just ghastly slow on my Macbook Pro 15” 2,33Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM. So that’s inexcusable.

Second program was Lightroom, after about 10.000 photos it was very slow. At 16.000 photos it grinded to a halt. Not even half way there. :-( A shame, really, as I really liked Lightroom and had high hopes for it, I have now abandoned it.

I grabbed a demo of aperture, and hit a very convenient limit. Where Lightroom and iPhoto just died more and more, Aperture said:
Aperture has max 10000 pictures
Aperture projects are limited to 10000 master images each. You should create new projects and import your images in batches of less than 10000.

Quite convenient, really

So, what do I do now? Shooting mainly RAW I don’t suppose changing to F-Spot is much of an alternative, especially since it’s proved quite inaccessible on OS X. I guess I’ll have to talk with the crowd that uses iView Media Pro and see how it fares. Do you have any other recommendations?

For a long while I have been recommending my mum to get the Panasonic DMC-FZ7, and now she was finally ready to take the plunge. Of course, when reading up I found that the Canon Powershot S3 IS was out as well and has close to identical features. The differences are: the Canon is twice as heavy, uses AA batteries rather than a propriatery lithium-ion battery, has a shorter minimum focus distance (good thing :) ) and zooms quicker. After much discussing, she ended up with the DMC-FZ7 as it was lighter and I’m quite confident it was a great choice even though I liked the lens of the S3 a bit better. Price difference? $1. ;-)

I’m planning on getting a filter system for my lenses, and I’m investigating the Cokin P system. I found this article that is really nice with lots of images and explanations on how to use such a system.

I recently bought a sensor cleaning kit with a blower and two brushes not very unlike the one featured here. Luminous Landscape has a great article on sensor cleaning that I followed. So here follow a few pictures from my cleaning session. It should be noted that I have tried cleaning it with a swab and some lens cleaning stuff before so rather than being nicely spread out, my dust was here and there collected in little stacks. Have a look at the changes. I did three sweeps and got to the point where I couldn’t quickly spot any dust. Bonus points to find dust I didn’t spot. :-) The entire thing took about 5 minutes:

Before the cleaningAfter the first sweepAfter the second sweepAfter the last sweep - no dust

The following two cleaning pages are also nice: photo.net and Rob Galbraith.

I might add a fisheye to my webcam having read The Aggregate’s article on creating a sub-$20 fisheye camera.