Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Software Review: FastPictureViewer Professional

I recently scored a nice Black Friday deal on a shiny, new Acer Aspire One A0722 netbook, in part to be used for image storage/backup on photo trips. An important piece of functionality I wanted this netbook to have was the ability to quickly browse any raw images stored on it. After much research of both free and not-so-free software packages, I settled on the FastPictureViewer Professional image viewer. It isn't free...it isn't even cheap, but it really excels in the areas I need it to. That is, it speedily allows me to flip through images stored on my not-so-high-powered netbook. So far, this combination has been so much better than my Epson Viewer (my current storage/backup device in the field) that I doubt I'll utilize that much anymore.

FastPictureViewer Profession v1.6 screen snapshot

For those looking for both a fast viewer combined with at least a basic image processing component...your search continues. I wasn't, as I don't have any desire to process images on a uncalibrated netbook screen anyway. That's a task that's always reserved for my workhorse desktop PC back in the office where Lightroom and Photoshop reign supreme. FastPictureViewer is special purposed as a speedy viewer that I find extremely useful for the following reasons...

1. It views most major raw formats (important because I own more than one manufacturer's camera)
2. One can quickly check for critical sharpness at 100% view.
3. There's full time access to histogram and exif information (which can be quickly toggled on and off).
4. It shows images in all subfolders when a folder is opened.
5. There's easy culling out of rejects or copying of keepers to a separate folder.
6. Quick rating and adding IPTC data to images (I don't know if I'll utilize this personally, but it's there).