Over the past 4 years or so, I have been using iView Media Pro for cataloging, sorting, and organizing my images...upon the final release of Adobe Lightroom 1.0 though, I have taken the leap and am now planning to use Lightroom in place of iView for all my DAM needs. Having taken this leap of faith as quickly as I have, I obviously have a number of questions about how others have been utilizing some of the features that Lightroom...
First of all, I wanted to know how others have gone about utilizing all of the various methods of labeling and rating their images in Lightroom. Lightroom and iView Media Pro both offer color labels and a rating system based on 1-5 stars, but one really cool feature that I think I might wind up using in Lightroom is the ability to also flag images as pick, rejected or unflagged. Initially I thought this might just be overkill, as it seemed to offer a similar functionality to both color labels and star ratings, but there are apparently some advantages (such as using the "refine photos" command found under the Library menu)...I guess I just wanted to know if anyone has found that flagging images in addition to color labeling and starring them has advantages...
More so than that, I would love to hear how some of my peers out there go about sorting/organizing/etc using all of the capabilities of Lightroom...kind of like a general poll to hear how others are doing things so that perhaps I might be able to get some ideas that I might not have thought of otherwise.
Another question I had, totally unrelated to DAM capabilities, involves zooming in and out of images in Lightroom...I read in the user guide about the Navigation panel and about the four zoom levels listed on the top (one of which is customizable), and about how these affect the increments you zoom in and out by, but to be honest, I have played with it a bit and still find myself a bit confused by it...can someone help clarify (in more clear language than the user guide was able to) how to setup the zoom increments properly?
One other question...I obviously understand the Grid View vs. the Loupe View, and I understand the Compare View, but for the life of me, I cannot seem to understand when/why one would choose to use the Survey View? I get that you might use it to compare 'like' images to see which one is the best, but the fact that you apparently cannot zoom in on an image in survey view without switching to loupe view seems to me to be kind of strange...Is this view basically not as much for comparing images that are nearly identical to check which one is the sharpest (or something along those lines) as it is, for example, to hypothetically review 5 or so images of a headshot to see which one appears most flattering out of the bunch?
My final question has to do with rendering previews...I currently have Lightroom configured to render standard-sized previews when importing images...but I see that there is also an option for rendering 1:1 previews. I also noticed that in the Lightroom preferences, under the File Management tab, there is a 'preview cache' section that seems to allow you to configure precisely how the program defines 'standard sized' previews...My goal here with the previews is to have things configured so that there will be no waiting time needed when enlarging/shrinking image thumbnails, and particularly when zooming in and out of images...I probably had things configured incorrectly when I first started using the program, as I found a long delay when images had to be rendered when zooming in on them, which is obviously something I would like to avoid...Regarding the previews, if I setup the "Auto-Import" settings to automatically render standard-sized previews, and then I make sure to set the size of the standard previews to 2048px in the preferences, and also set the quality to 'high', and finally make sure that I have the program setup to 'never' discard these previews....would setting things up this way result in less wait time (obviously I know it will take up more room on my computer to generate previews this large, but if that's something I am willing to deal with, would it still be worth it)? iView Media Pro had issues when creating catalogs larger than a certain size, as doing so would cause huge delays and would often lead to catalogs that were unreadable and corrupt...is the same true with Lightroom and would configuring things as I've mentioned get me into hot water somewhere along the way with wait times and/or corrupt catalogs? One last questions regarding previews...If I set the preview cache settings to be the largest and best quality, and have the previews never deleted - what would the difference be between that option, and the alternative option of generating 1:1 previews instead?