Here are my thoughts on some features in ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac 6 after a few weeks use. The new version contains no significant changes in the Develop module, but important improvements in performance and the Management module. This suggests to me that ACDSee views this app as a digital asset manager for Mac with no plans to add the powerful Develop features found in its Windows product to the Mac version. Only time will tell.

My comments here are a response to some features -- some old -- important to my workflow.

1. Renders images with transparent backgrounds correctly: thumbnails show the color of the background through the transparency in Manage, conventional checkerboard in View and the color of the background in Develop. Some DAMs and/or browsers fill this transparency with white and some do not support the transparency in PNGs. Thanks for doing it right, ACDSee.

2. On my 2017 iMac, version 6 is extremely fast, opening quickly, ingesting imported images rapidly and performing fast searches on external drives where my 40,000+ images are stored.

3. Rename is extremely logical, bring up a box to type in a new name, unlike competitors that require the rename to be typed under the thumbnail. A small feature, but helpful to all of us using this app.

4. Supports the native format of Serif Affinity Photo, enabling rendering of the thumbnail embedded in the .afphoto files. For many of us who moved out of the world dominated by a competitor, this is an extremely valuable feature because Affinity Photo is now the external editor we use with Photo Studio for Mac 6.

5. It's now easy to process multiple images with the new Batch workflow:
  • Adjust the time stamp
  • Save to another format
  • Copy each selected image
  • Develop each image
  • Rename
  • Resize
  • Add image information
6. The Batch workflow dropdown also reveals two other choices at the bottom. Even though the headers for the windows opened by selecting these options are labeled Batch Watermark and Batch Border, they cannot be run in a batch function. Perhaps the location and header names suggest they eventually will be part of batch operations. Nonetheless, Watermark and Border are welcome additions that will be helpful to some photographers.

There are many preset choices for Batch Border, which appear to be pixel-not-percentage-based. From the pre-defined border options you can alter the size, color, edge and add a texture if desired. For some photographers, an important feature.

The watermark in Batch Watermark requires an external file ? a transparent PNG, for example. You can drag the watermark to the desired location and resize it by dragging one of the corners. Positioning can also be done via the Horizontal and Vertical position boxes. There?s even a Center button to quickly set the watermark in the desired center if you like. Except for the Center function, location is based on percentage from the edge. A text-entry watermark is not supported.

To me, Watermark and Border features are excellent.

7. Not new, but significant in my opinion is the Map function found in Photo Studio for Mac. I assign GPS locations to my images to be uploaded to a photo-sharing site using the Photo Studio 6 map. Type in an address or the name of a location plus city and state. Then drag the image onto the map and save the setting. It?s simple, fast and accurate. A competitor DAM I once had used Google mapping, which was extremely unreliable. Another allowed map lookup and location assignment, but often put the image in China when uploaded to a sharing site.

8. Keyboard shortcuts: nobody does it better than ACDSee. Customize the keyboard shortcuts to meet your individual needs. Even add keyboard shortcuts for external editors you choose to assign.

9. The Develop function provides the tools for producing great images from raw or jpg files, but it will take longer than some competitors. Photographers processing many images will prefer a raw converter with presets for camera and lenses along with creative options found in the ACDSee Windows apps but not Photo Studio 6 for Mac.

So, if you?re looking for the best digital asset manager for a Mac at the best price, this is the product for you. For those processing only jpgs, ACDSee Photo Studio 6 may be the only app you?ll need. Others will need an external editor and a more robust raw converter to use with ACDSee Photo Studio 6.

Bob