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Cisdem Duplicate Finder & Duplicate Cleaner Pro: A Comparison

Cisdem Duplicate Finder = Cisdem
Duplicate Cleaner Pro = DCP

A link to the corresponding video is at the end of this article.

Definitions

Cisdem

Duplicate – by content: Duplicate photos have the same file size, the same pixel dimensions, the histogram matches, and the content is identical.
Duplicate – by filename: Photo with the same filename. There are no other criteria.
Similar photos are any that are not Duplicate photos by content.

DCP

Exact Duplicates have an Image Similarity of ‘Exact match’, the histogram matches, photos have the same file size (with a few KB of tolerance), and the same pixel dimensions. DCP does not have a name for photos that are not Exact Duplicates, but I call them Duplicates.

Introduction

Duplicate Cleaner Pro is for PC only. Cisdem has both Mac and PC versions.

It is challenging to compare applications that are used for the same purpose, but which work very differently, have very different user interfaces, and have very different options for Scan Criteria and for selecting duplicates to remove.

This article and the corresponding video are an overview only and do not cover all aspects of the applications. I will attempt to offer as fair and equal a comparison as is possible.

Note to Readers

This section was written after I completed the accompanying video and the other parts of this article.

I aim to offer professional photo organizers unbiased information you can use to make decisions, yet I have failed in my first attempt to present an unbiased comparison between Cisdem Duplicate Finder and Duplicate Cleaner Pro.

The differences between the two applications are vast. Too vast for a completely unbiased comparison to be possible. The most important feature of any duplicate removal application is that it can look for image similarity. Both Cisdem and DCP can do that. But Cisdem lacks the second and third most important features of any duplicate removal application: The ability to consider photo date metadata and filenames when scanning for Duplicate and Similar photos. As a result, removing Similar photos accurately and thoroughly with Cisdem would take an unreasonable amount of time.

Photo Organizing stuff is a resource for professional photo organizer. To do professional level work requires using professional level tools, and in my opinion, Cisdem is not professional level tool. I fail to understand  why Cisdem is recommended by professional photo organizers to other professional photo organizers as a good application to use for duplicate photo removal.

Primary Differences

Dates in Scan Criteria

Cisdem cannot consider any photo date metadata or file dates when scanning for duplicate or similar photos.

DCP can be set to consider photo date metadata when scanning for Exact Duplicates or Duplicates. It can also consider file dates.

While it is rare for there to be Exact/Identical Duplicates with a different Snap Date, I do find such duplicate groups occasionally.

Once Exact Duplicates have been removed, and Scan Criteria in Duplicate Cleaner Pro is set to find Duplicates that have the same Snap Date and time down to the sub-second (if there is sub-second metadata) duplicate groups will always contain photos taken withing the same second or sub second. 

After Duplicates have been removed with Cisdem, groups of Similar photos may include numerous photos because no dates are considered. As more and more Similar photos are removed and histogram and similarity are lowered, Cisdem duplicate groups get bigger and may contain similar looking photos from different dates – even different years.

Added Metadata in Scan Criteria

Cisdem cannot consider any added metadata like Keywords, Ratings or Descriptions when scanning for duplicate or similar photos.

DCP Scan Criteria can be set to find Exact Duplicates or Duplicates with matching added metadata like Keywords, Ratings or Descriptions. Snap Date metadata can also be included in Scan Criteria.

Automatic Duplicate Marking by Date

Cisdem can be set to automatically mark photos for removal based on Date Created (file created). No EXIF, XMP, or IPTC date metadata is considered.

Because professional photo organizers copy, move, and export clients’ files and transfer them between devices and even between operating systems, Date Created will change and no longer be an indication of which photo is ‘original’ and which may have been modified in some way—edited or metadata added.  

DCP can be set to automatically mark photos for removal based on EXIF DateTimeOriginal, Date Taken, Date Created (file created), or Date Modified (file modified).

Duplicate Selection by Metadata

Cisdem cannot display added metadata or photo date metadata in results. There are no options in Cisdem to select duplicates to remove based on added metadata or photo date metadata.

DCP can display added metadata and photo date metadata in results. Duplicates can be marked for removal automatically or manually based on added metadata and/or photo date metadata.

File Size Tolerance

Cisdem has a lower file size tolerance for Duplicate photos than DCP has for Exact Duplicates photos (a few KB).

As a result, it is more likely for photos in groups of DCP Exact Duplicates to include photos with added metadata as compared to Cisdem Duplicate groups. For example, it is more likely with DCP for one photo in a group to have an added Keyword, the other no added Keyword.

Fortunately, DCP Scan Criteria can be set to find groups of Exact Duplicates or Duplicates with matching added Metadata.

Accuracy and Thoroughness Comments

It is possible to achieve very accurate and thorough duplicate removal using Cisdem.

If a client wants meaningful information in the form of folder names and filename preserved, they can be seen in Cisdem results and so photos can be marked individually based on the folder name and/or filename.

To remove Duplicate and Similar photos accurately with Cisdem, photos in results would need to be examined with another application that displays other information so that the photos could be selected for removal based on the Snap Date or added metadata, as they are not displayed in Cisdem.

Every digital photo collection I have ever organized has included Undated photos. An accurately and thoroughly organized collection should not include Undated photos. Because Cisdem does not consider or display any photo date metadata, another application would need to be used to ensure Undated photos were identified.

DCP’s Scan Criteria includes photo date metadata options, and displays selected dates in results, so Undated photos can be identified.

With DCP, the long list of available Scan Criteria and automated duplicate removal options ensures that one can achieve very accurate and thorough duplicate removal without having to look at the photos with another application. All important file properties and metadata fields can be viewed, sorted, and filtered in the results list.

Efficiency Comments

To remove duplicate photos efficiently, automation is necessary. The only automation available in Cisdem for removing duplicates is the option to mark duplicates for removal based on Created Date (file created), which is not recommended, as Created Date cannot be trusted to be the same as a photo’s Snap Date.

Accurate and thorough duplicate removal cannot be done efficiently with Cisdem.

When results are displayed in DCP, the ‘Selection Assistant’ features, filters, and search capabilities allow automation to be used to remove duplicates very efficiently—especially when one becomes skilled with using the powerful Selection Assistant to mark duplicates for removal. 

Conclusion

A professional photo organizer should be capable of removing duplicate photos accurately, thoroughly, and efficiently while preserving any added information and metadata the client wants preserved.

Can Cisdem be used to remove duplicate photos accurately and thoroughly? Yes, but only if the user takes the time to use another application to check Snap Date metadata and added metadata like Keywords.

Can DCP be used to remove duplicate photos accurately, thoroughly, and efficiently? Absolutely.

Doing any photo organizing task as efficiently as possible is critical if you want to organize digital photo collections profitably.

The choice is yours.

Comparison Chart

Cisdem Duplicate Cleaner Pro Comparison Chart

Watch the Video on the Photo Organizing Stuff YouTube Channel

Video: Cisdem Duplicate Finder & Duplicate Cleaner Pro: A Comparison

Cisdem Duplicate Cleaner Pro Comparison

© Meg Macintyre, Photo Organizing Stuff

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