There are many digital photography software programs today that help you organize your digital pictures. Some are called image viewers while others are called digital asset management programs. They can be free of charge or can cost hundreds of dollars to buy. How can one make sense of all these options? It is actually pretty simple because there are essentially three categories of image management programs. Read on to find out what they are.
Introduction or what is digital photo software?
Let me start by saying that digital photography software in its broadest sense can be broken down in two large categories. The first category of digital photo software is image creation and editing software. This category contains software programs like: Gimp, Adobe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro.
The main purpose of digital creation software is to create images or greatly alter existing images. They have sophisticated and efficient pixel altering algorithms.
Do you understand how to manage your digital pictures?
On the other hand, you have digital photo management software that helps you manage and edit your existing photo collection.
While digital photo management software can have great image editing capabilities, the focus of these tools is on managing your photo collection.
It is digital photo management software that I want to explore more in this article.
First category of digital photo management software: Image browsers are simple and fast.
These are the simplest digital photo management programs, sometimes called image viewers or image browsers.
They provide a direct view of the image folders you have on your hard drive. Image viewers allow you to quickly view and manipulate your digital photo folders and files. Some more sophisticated image viewers give you basic image editing tools such as: brightness and contrast, saturation, color levels and other simple tools. However, these editing tools will apply changes to your entire image and use only simple algorithms.
In addition, these image viewers assist you with transferring pictures from your digital camera to your computer. This feature is extremely useful if you want to rename your image files during the transfer and create specific folders based on values in the EXIF metadata portion of your image files. For example, you can quickly rename your image files based on the date when the picture was taken and you can also create a sub folder for each date when you took the pictures on your camera. All these transformations can be done while transferring the pictures.
The main advantages of image browsers are speed and simplicity. They are fast to load and navigate through your digital photo folders.
The main disadvantage is the lack of image metadata management capability. They can provide EXIF information but that’s about it. They don’t usually provide any access to IPTC and XMP metadata elements.
The best example of this class is FastStone Image Viewer which is still free for personal use. This is my favorite image viewer and I use it quite extensively for transferring my pictures and doing quick edits and manipulation of images. Nothing fancy here, just fast and easy to use.
Next page: Image metadata enabled image viewers.
Tags: ACDSee, Image Viewer, iMatch, Lightroom, Metadata, XnView Comments: No Comments