FotoStation is one of the leading image management workflow software programs, helping photographers all over the world to automate repetitive tasks and improve the organization of their images.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re already using FotoStation to quickly view, select, and cull images, add metadata like copyright information or make quick edits to your photos.
You may also have seen we recently announced that FotoStation 8.0 will no longer be for sale after 31st December 2020. This is to focus our efforts on FotoStation Pro, as we see that these features have become increasingly important for our incredible users worldwide.
If you’re unsure about whether you need the advanced features of FotoStation Pro, we’ve created this comparison so you can see exactly what the differences are between FotoStation 8.0 and FotoStation Pro, to help you decide whether upgrading suits your needs.
When it comes to searching and archiving, printing, processing and automating, or editing your images, there aren’t many differences between FotoStation 8.0 and FotoStation Pro. In fact, there are three extra features that you get with FotoStation Pro in this regard:
1. Archive content on offline media
This feature lets you add offline resources to an archive. Low-resolution copies of the files (thumbnails and previews) are added to an archive, are searchable, and to some extent modifiable.
At the same time, the high-resolution master files can be stored safely on removable media, such as CDs, DVDs, and other types.
Legacy Note: While it is still possible to use this feature, it is scheduled to be discontinued in July 2021.
2. Customizable print templates
When printing your pictures from FotoStation, a print layout template allows for very flexible customization of the page layout.
With FotoStation Pro, you can freely change the number of labels (placeholders for image and text) on a page, the position of the image within the label, add up to 256 text fields in a label with field values, and control the font properties individually for each label.
You can also add text outside the labels to give general information on the page that is printed.
The main differences between FotoStation 8.0 and FotoStation Pro can be seen in the advanced metadata and workflow features that you get with Pro, which will be of interest if you really want to take your image management efficiency to the next level!
3. Additional Workflow Features
When it comes to workflows, FotoStation 8.0 does enable you to configure workflow actions to automate repetitive tasks. For example, it could be that you want to resize several images and add new metadata before you upload the resized images to a web server using FTP.
However, with FotoStation Pro, you get even more control and can create incredible time-saving automations through the use of image markers, archive permissions, disable actions for workflows, and actions for launching external applications. So, what exactly are these?
These are visual, customizable indicators that can be used to draw a user’s attention to certain assets in an archive. For example, these can be used to indicate when an image is a RAW file, if it has been tagged or rejected, or if it has a usage license applied to it.
Archive permissions allow you to control what other users can do in your archives. There are seven different permissions that you can set, including whether or not users can delete files, edit metadata, or browse sub-folders.
Disable actions, when used for workflow control, means you can ensure correct file flow and avoid the possibility that files are sent to the wrong destination or processed incorrectly.
In FotoStation Pro, you can limit user access to one or more actions on an archive or panel basis, as well as request confirmation from a user before executing an action. These are ways of preventing the wrong action from being executed.
The Launch Application sub-action
It enables you to trigger third-party applications from FotoStation and is normally used to open applications such as Photoshop or Microsoft Word.
Now, let’s focus on another key differences between FotoStation 8.0 and FotoStation Pro.
Advanced Metadata Capabilities
The advanced metadata capabilities is another key difference between FotoStation 8.0 and FotoStation Pro.
Both versions support SmartReplace, our super-efficient feature that enables you to quickly input metadata through shortcodes, as well as metadata templates to help you save time when you need to add the same metadata to a selection of files.
In FotoStation 8.0, you can also make use of the customizable metadata editor designer and create up to 20 custom metadata fields, while FotoStation Pro enables an unlimited number of custom metadata fields.
FotoStation Pro gives you much greater control and flexibility over your setup, so you can make it look and feel exactly how you want, helping you to work with your files in the most efficient and productive way.
This is made possible thanks to the ability to make customizations to your metadata editor and metadata schema, as well as the option of using metadata macros in editors and actions.
The customizable metadata schema
It enables you to create additional namespaces and fields in your metadata configuration. If you need to create special fields and can’t find existing suitable fields to repurpose, you can simply create your own.
Metadata macros in editors and actions
These are clever metadata operations that can be used to switch the state of one or more fields for a single file or collection of files.
These are useful if you want to add metadata to files and also want to be able to control how text should be inserted (if the text field should be cleared or not, if any new content should replace previous content, etc.) – you will find that macros are more customizable than templates.
In addition to metadata customization, you also have the possibility to import and export your metadata to and from FotoStation.
You can export metadata from your assets to text files or a database, and import text records from the same sources to store them as metadata in your assets.
ODBC connections is also an available feature with FotoStation Pro in order to configure a database connection with FotoStation. The ability to import and export metadata is particularly useful if you need to exchange metadata with an external system, such as a database.
It should also be noted that there are some important differences between FotoStation 8.0 and FotoStation Pro with regards to configuration, licensing, and support.
With FotoStation 8.0, you receive automatic program update notifications, as you do with FotoStation Pro.
However, the FotoStation Pro configuration also provides you with advanced workflow-related options for archives. There are five advanced workflow options, including the aforementioned disable actions and file markers. The three other options are:
This feature makes FotoStation perform an automatic search every time the archive is opened. All subsequent searches will be performed within the search result of the original auto search.
You can use file filters to control which file types FotoStation should include or exclude in thumbnail view.
The filter can be turned off completely, or you can choose between three predefined filters in the dropdown menu: Default file filter, Basic image filter, or Images and media files filter.
Select metadata editor
This feature enables you to use the dropdown list to choose the default metadata editor to use when you work with files in an archive. The chosen editor will be used for all functions involving the use of the text editor in the archive.
Licensing and Support
Both FotoStation 8.0 and FotoStation Pro licenses permit installation and activation on two computers for a single named-user.
Volume license keys are available for FotoStation Pro to facilitate network deployment, meaning that if you’re buying licenses in bulk, you can activate them all with just one single key, simplifying deployment for large organizations instead of having many different license keys to activate on individual devices.
When it comes to support, both FotoStation 8.0 and FotoStation Pro users receive email support for 30 days after purchase, along with all updates for the version they have purchased.
However, with FotoWare Pro you also get a 1-year warranty included with purchase, with access to all minor and major updates, and 1-year email support via a partner.
Furthermore, FotoStation Pro users also have the opportunity to purchase an optional 1-year Software Maintenance Agreement with access to all minor and major updates and next business day email support.
As you can see, there are a number of ways in which FotoStation Pro can enhance your image management processes, particularly through the advanced metadata and workflow capabilities.
Plus, coming soon, we are launching a new and improved metadata editor for FotoStation Pro! The new editor will give users the ability to work more efficiently with selected files, using a filmstrip feature to edit sub-sets of the selection, identify common and differing values, and much more!