|FastPictureViewer Professional has always been a part of the Christmas Giveaway here at Ghacks, and deservedly so. Back in 2008 when it was first released it was more of a fast but basic image viewer that was fully color managed. Today, the program is a full blown tool for professionals and enthusiasts that can “process files in batch (copy, move, rename, export, FTP upload, delete…), write IPTC metadata, write XMP rating, has histogram/EXIF gadgets, can tether digital cameras, play slideshows and supports its own RAW codecs in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.
The program uses a modular approach giving the user the option to enable or disable modules during installation. The program interface has not changed that much over the years which becomes apparent if you look at previous reviews of the program here on Ghacks. But that is not necessarily a disadvantage as it worked and works quite well for the tasks it can be used for.
FastPictureViewer Pro has three core audiences. Professional photographers, imaging professionals and photo enthusiasts. Photographers often have to quickly sift through a folder of photos that they have taken, and FastPictureViewer allows them to do just that. The application can be used to facilitate the first review pass that usually consists of culling or rating. The program uses software decoders provided by camera manufacturers to always stay on top when it comes to image format support.
Additional features worth noting are intelligent preloading of images in memory for faster loading times, full color management and profiled monitor support, as well as plug and play tethered shooting (connecting the camera via USB to a computer or screen to display them in full screen automatically), Adobe XMP rating and Microsoft photo rating support, color-managed Raw previews and metadata support.
Speed and performance are important to all users, but especially so for imaging professionals. The program supports modern technologies such as multi-processing and multiple-cpu cores, hardware accelerated display adapters and advanced memory management. It sets new limits as far as image quantities and sizes go. FastPictureViewer Professional supports very large images, the developers have for instance tested it with a 466 Megapixel images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The program can be used to go through hundreds of thousands of images without noticeable drop in performance.
The bookmark feature allows imaging professionals to save folder specific image bookmarks, for instance to mark interesting images or to save the current review location to continue going through the images at a later point in time.
FastPictureViewer Professional’s support for XMP can be put to use to quickly add rating tags to images. This way images could receive accepted, undecided and rejected ratings with a single key stroke.
What’s New in 2011
When you look at the modifications that Axel implemented in the last year, you will notice some high caliber additions. FastPictureviewer Professional now features a View Filter which can be used to restrict viewing to images of a specific rating or tag (e.g. only five-star photos or photos marked as undecided).
The program’s GPS Metadata support has been improved. A photos GPS location can now be displayed on screen, and users have options to launch Google Maps, Bing Maps, Flickr or Panoramio. Photos can be sorted by GPS timestamps and GPS data can be used in the program’s batch file processing module.
The new IPTC Metadata Editor plugin adds support to write IPTC fields within files or external XMP sidecars.
Raw format support for new camera modiles have been added, as well as support for Photoshop PSD files and CGI formats.
Here is a selection of links that new users and prospect buyers may find useful.
I’m an enthusiast when it comes to photography. I recently bought a new Canon EOS DSLR and use FastPictureViewer to quickly go through the photos that I have taken. While I could do the same with other image viewers, they usually come with delays in opening new photos. I leave most of the features of the program to professionals though who will make good use of the features.
Continuous support by the program’s developer, Axel Rietschin, ensures that it stays cutting edge.
We have 20 FastPictureviewer Professional licenses to give away. Please leave a comment below to take part in the drawing. If you like, tell us a bit about why you’d like a license for the program.
FastPictureViewer Professional 1.6 Review Giveaway