[KPhotoAlbum] KPhotoAlbum and digiKam comparisons

Murray Strome wmstrome at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 1 12:32:35 BST 2008

I have been trying several different photo organization tools over the
past few months. While Picasa2 from Google is definitely the fastest
and easiest for simply importing, simple image correction/manipulation
and uploading to the Google site, it really doesn't do the job of
organization of a huge photo collection. In my opinion, the two best
systems are digiKam and KPhotoAlbum. What I would REALLY like to see is
a merge of these two, having the best features of each.


The things I really like about digiKam 0.9.2-final (under KDE 3.5.8) in Kubuntu are the following:

It is very stable

It handles all my RAW photos

The image correction/manipulation is very nice and easy to use.

It has the ability to provide the kind of tagging and filtering that
should make it possible find the photos I want in the future, once the
huge job of annotating everything is complete.

The things that are not so good:

Image correction is quite slow (compared to picasa2, or even GIMP)

It does not permit off-line images to have their information stored in
the database. I think someone said this would be available in 10.x but
I cannot see if this is the case from the documentation I see on the
web site.

While it is POSSIBLE to tag images images in a manner to form a nice hierarchical structure, it is a LOT of work!

KPhotoAlbum 3.0.2 ((under KDE 3.5.8) in Kubuntu

The good:

The ability to have the thumbnails and metadata for images NOT on the
computer is terrific!  For example, if I have hundreds of images on a
CD, I load them onto my hard drive, annotate them all (including where
they reside) then delete them again. Now, in my Album, I have all the
thumbnails for those images (with top right corner cut off so I know
they are not on my hard drive) plus all the annotation, EXIF data, etc.

Annotating (i.e. tagging) images and creating a hierarchical structure
is very easy (once you get used to it).  It is much easier to create
the data base structure and to do the annotation than it is with

The bad:

It is not terribly stable.

It does NOT recognize my RAW photos (Pentax .pef)

There is no inherent image correction

In my version, invoking an external program (such as GIMP) to do the correction causes KPhotoAlbum to crash.


I am looking forward to upgrading my Kubuntu to 8.04 with KDE 4 in the
near future, and to trying digiKam 10.x to see what improvements have
been made, and also to try the newer version of KPhotoAlbum (3.1.1 and
the one planned for KDE 4).  

I would like to adopt one of these two for all my photo organization,
but am reluctant to invest the horrendous amount of time needed to
categorize all my photos until either one of these overcomes its
difficulties, or there is a new package combining the best features of
each of these.

Thanks to all the people who continue to work to improve both packages.

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