FastPictureViewer Professional is a commercial image viewer and editor for Windows designed specifically for photographers and large image collections.
FastPictureViewer Professional has been designed to speed up the image reviewing process of large images collections, for instance those taken after a photo shooting session.
While that's the program's main purpose, it it also one of the fastest image viewers available for Windows which increases its appeal to a wider audience.
If you ever tried to browse quickly through a collection of photos shot with modern digital cameras you have probably noticed limitations when it comes to flipping quickly between photos. Depending on the program you are using for that, you may notice that you can't flip through photos in rapid succession due to the time it takes to load an image.
What makes FastPictureViewer special in this regard is the program's support for technologies that improve the loading and rendering time of pictures that you view in the program.
Some of these technologies, like hardware acceleration that is making use of the graphics card to improve the performance of the program, are disabled by default as they do not work on all systems. You can enable hardware acceleration in the program settings.
To do so click on Menu > Options > Display and enable the "Enable graphic processor" option there. Note that it requires a restart of the program before it becomes active, and that you will receive a warning when you enable the feature.
The author of the program states that you will be able to go through 4000 images per hour using the program when reviewing photos, and that you will be able to evaluate composition, sharpness or exposure directly using it.
The program displays the menus and options in the system's default language. Sometimes that is not the language you want the program to be displayed in. You have options to select the language you want the program to use during setup, or, if you have already installed the application on your system, via the lang:EN command line parameter (this one sets the interface language to English).
You have a couple of options to use the program's image viewing capabilities. You can drop folders or images directly into the program interface, use Menu > Images Folder to load a folder with images or Open Image to load individual images, use the program's Windows Explorer integration, or use keyboard shortcuts while the program is active to do so.
The program displays the current image on the screen, and information about the image if available in four transparent overlay widgets that act independently from the program window. The widgets display the XMP rating, GPS data if available the Histogram and EXIF information
A left-click zooms in on the image at the location of the mouse pointer which is an excellent option to evaluate the photo's sharpness or check out details. Keyboard shortcuts are available that let you rate images with a tap on the 1 to 5 key (which will be reflected by the XMP module displayed on the screen) and perform other operations.
The developer has created a Cheat Sheet that you find in the start menu folder of the program and in the program installation folder that lists all shortcuts on a single sheet of paper.
It is a good idea to go through the selection and start using shortcuts that speed up your workflow even further when using FastPictureViewer Professional.
Here is a short selection of shortcuts that you may find useful:
- F4 displays a navigation slider
- F5 reload the image
- F10 toggle all floating windows on or off
- F11 or Alt-Enter toggle full-screen mode on or off
- F12 show or hide the taskbar
- P toggle publish flag
- X toggle delete flag
- Ctrl-X delete all images that are delete flagged
- Ctrl-q open a new image folder
- Ctrl 1-9 set Photoshop urgency
- Ctrl-W set as wallpaper
If you have read last year's review of FastPictureViewer Professional, you may be interested to find out what's new in the latest version of the program. Axel, the developer of the program, has published the list of changes on the official blog. Here is a short rundown of what's been added or improved:
- Web Publishing so that you can directly upload images to photo uploading sites and local devices. Photos can be converted / edited by the program before they are published.
- Black and White preview using the B keyboard shortcut
- EXIF Statistics plugin
- Geo-Clustering plugin to group images based on geographical or time proximity
- PNG Overlay can be used to display an overlay on top of the program window which acts like a watermark. May be useful for public presentations or KIOSK displays.
- Tethering Auto-Rename
- Lock command line option to lock-down the interface when it is used in public locations
- Subfolder Picker that lets you pick folders when you move and stop the mouse briefly at the left edge of the program window.
- Navigation History
- Support for Windows 8 and 10
- Camera RAW format support has been extended with new camera models like the Nikon D4 or the Canon EOS-1D X being supported now
- Support for Animated GIFs.
- Marks put on photos, e.g. X for delete, P for publishing, are persistent now.
FastPictureViewer Professional video
I'm not a professional photographer and can't really appreciate all the features that FastPictureViewer ships with. I do not really mind that as it supports all the features that I want in an image viewer. It is blazingly fast, probably the fastest program right now for image viewing, supports all the file formats that I throw at it, lets me rate and browse photos, and integrates well into Windows Explorer where it makes available thumbnails of image formats not supported by Windows by default.
If you are a professional photographer or photo reviewer, you will love the program even more as it will improve your current workflow significantly. Features like folder monitoring, folder tracking and the integration of external editors are just two of the many features that you may find useful in this regard.
Don't believe me? Try it out for yourself. A fully working trial version of FastPictureViewer Pro is available for download at the developer website.