Windows photo reviewer?
June 26, 2007 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a photo reviewer for Windows that will let me cull my bad photos quickly and efficiently.

When I import a batch of new photos from my camera, I want to be able to quickly go through all of them and delete all the crummy shots (obviously out of focus, etc) that are just wasting disk space. I'd like a program that's pretty much specifically designed for this purpose.

There's a Mac program that does precisely this (PhotoReviewer) but I have yet to find a Windows equivalent. I don't need anything fancy or a whole photo management suite, just a simple tool for browsing and deleting. Quick IPTC/EXIF tagging and "star" rating capabilities would be a plus as well. Being able to scroll through a folder quickly and use keyboard shortcuts to mark for deletion, rating, etc would be fantastic.

Desired criteria:
- Windows based
- Handle NEF (Nikon RAW) files - big one!
- Free (willing to look at pay software but prefer free)
- Fast and simple - the goal is to speed up my workflow.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
posted by sprocket87 to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: FYI, here's a description from that Mac PhotoReviewer software page that pretty much sums up what I'm looking for:

PhotoReviewer doesn't try to be all things to all people. It won't remove red-eye, or crop your photos. It won't make HTML pages for you, or put your photos into albums. It does only one thing, really; but it does it well. It helps you wade through the stream of incoming images that you get from your digital camera or your internet connection, quickly and efficiently. It belongs between your digital camera and iPhoto. Between your scanner software and iPhoto. In the middle of your digital life, as Apple might say.

Except in my case it's between my camera and Nikon Capture/Photoshop CS3.
posted by sprocket87 at 7:41 AM on June 26, 2007

It appears that Google's Picasa can handle .nefs but the image quality will appear to be lower. The description makes it just seem like a display issue and nothing that will impact the actual files. If you're not deleting crummy shots on the basis of color balance and contrast, this may work for you.

Picasa allows for starring, etc...
posted by at 7:44 AM on June 26, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestion I'm already familiar with Picasa (use it for the wife/her P&S digicam JPEGs), but I don't think it's quite what I'm looking for. Picasa has frustrated me by trying to be my photo manager, which is something I do NOT want. Further, it is not especially efficient (keyboard shortcuts, etc) for this purpose - not that I'm aware of, anyway. Picasa is great for JPEGs but not so much for RAW, and I already have my processing workflow down to a science - aside from culling bad photos out of the gate.

Really I just want something that can go through a selected folder on my drive (I don't want to "import" my photos into some app's database, etc) and let me rate/tag/delete as fast as possible. I don't want something that takes ownership of the pics or folders.
posted by sprocket87 at 7:54 AM on June 26, 2007

Response by poster: Oh, and Breeze Broswer sounds great but it's a steep $70 minimum.
posted by sprocket87 at 8:03 AM on June 26, 2007

You don't have to import photos into Picasa to use can watch a directory (and all its subdirectories) and silently do its thing in the background (well i suppose it does throw up a little dialog in the bottom right hand screen showing you it is doing something). It's hardly intrusive. I also like its keyboard shortcuts for bringing up the keyword dialog and the fact that the keyword dialog has typeahead for previously entered items. Unless I am tagging multiple photos with the same keywords or I star a photo, I do all my captioning and tagging in Picasa without touching the mouse. I can't offer any advice for the RAW capabilities however.
posted by mmascolino at 8:10 AM on June 26, 2007

I'm not sure Irfanview, a very fast, light image viewer, will do everything you want to do, but it's free, and very good software, and might be worth looking into.
posted by box at 8:17 AM on June 26, 2007

I'm on OS X and use iView MediaPro ($150 on Amazon), which I believe is also available on the PC. I'll download a folder of images to my hard disk, and create a "catalog" using iView MediaPro. I doesn't take ownership of photographs or folders unless you want it do.

The "catalog" will generate thumbnails to my desired size (this might take a while since I use a 1024x768 resolution, but want to view photos 3 to a row which is larger than the default thumbnail generated by the camera). I also like to have the catalog display filename, aperture, exposure compensation, and shutter speed alongside the thumbnail, which is helpful.

I can quickly "star" rate my photos using Ctrl + 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 or assign "labels" using the keyboard. Editing IPTC fields en masse is also pretty easy, and I can save templates of fields like copyright, usage, etc. that can be applied from the Info menu.

It's not cheap, but I'm a pro-am/freelancer/whatever photographer and it's saved me from headaches many times.
posted by kathryn at 8:18 AM on June 26, 2007

I like Picasa because though it takes a few minutes to boot up, it browses through photographs more quickly than the native Windows viewer. When you have a photo you want to delete, you can just hit delete, and it will put it in the recycling bin.

Picasa also has some good simple photo-manipulation tools - nothing great if you are used to do proper editting with an image program, but for noobs like me it does nice contrast/exposure correction, cropping, etc. And it does nothing to the original photo - you do all of your fixes as just data in the program, and then export a new file with your changes.
posted by jb at 9:03 AM on June 26, 2007

Picasa can handle big files - I work with 10MB jpgs sometimes, and can still move around them.
posted by jb at 9:05 AM on June 26, 2007

Probably more than you need/want to spend, but it sounds like that's what part of Adobe's Lightroom is supposed to do. There is a 30 day free trial version.
posted by FreezBoy at 9:40 AM on June 26, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions all. I appreciate the plugs for Picasa but I've used it quite extensively and I'm sure it's NOT what I'm looking for.

Lightroom is cool but definitely overkill. I want something fast, light and simple. Really, I just want to run that danged PhotoReviewer tool! Any good ways to run a Mac app on Windows? :)

Hmm, maybe this will push me over the edge and motivate me to buy a MacBook...
posted by sprocket87 at 10:40 AM on June 26, 2007

ThumbsPlus will do what you're asking, but it isn't free. It is worth the price, however; I've been using it for years.

There's a free trial version; give it a shot.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:18 AM on June 26, 2007

I whole-heartedly, without-reservation, recommend RawShooter Essentials. It's free.

I will go on benders of 500+ photos (RAW), and never has culling and fixing them been quicker than when I started using RSE. It seems that the company was bought up by Adobe, but there are still some places where you can download it on the web.

I would try this place.

I'm fairly certain that it will handle your filetype, but not 100% sure. Give it a look.
posted by toomuchpete at 12:19 PM on June 26, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestion toomuchpete. I've actually used RSE but it was a couple years ago when I was shooting Konica Minolta and before I had a strong workflow like I do now. I had tried to use it as a primary RAW editor and wasn't too fond of it - I liked certain parts of the interface but it didn't work well with my Minolta RAW files.

Now that I'm reminded of those rating and review features, it looks like a really strong contender. Heck, maybe it will be a decent RAW editor too, though I've yet to find anything that will replace Nikon Capture for me (not just because of quality output, but the interface and techniques I use with it).

I'll give it a shot, thanks again!
posted by sprocket87 at 12:35 PM on June 26, 2007

Response by poster: Update: I just realized the new Adobe Bridge in CS3 is fantastic, and offers exactly what I'm looking for. A little bit of an overhead but it's much, much improved over previous versions. I think this may do just the trick!
posted by sprocket87 at 1:00 PM on June 26, 2007

I'm a professional, my slightly unorthodox way of dealing with this issue is to immediately batch process all my photos using IrfanView into a new folder having 400 pixels as the longest side. IfranView is already lightning fast at viewing files, but at 400pixels I can look through all the photos VERY quickly.
posted by BobsterLobster at 2:40 AM on June 27, 2007

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