PhotoReviewer 2.2.2 : Fast reviews

Price: $15 (PayPal) (other)

PhotoReviewer is an image handling utility for people who juggle a lot of photos. If you have a digital camera, it's not uncommon to have hundreds or even thousands of images coming into your "inbox". You need to rename them, toss the bad ones, sort the good ones, email thumbnails to friends... you need an app that can help you with your photo workflow. Apple's iPhoto is a good long-term repository, but it isn't so good at that first stage of simply coping with the flood of incoming photos. Other apps tend to be overpriced, poorly designed, cluttered, and above all, slow.

A better tool needed to be written, and so we wrote it! And here it is. (You can click on any of the screenshots below to see a full-size version.)

The snapshot above shows a typical review in PhotoReviewer. Thumbnails of all the images are shown on the left; one of them is selected, and so that image is displayed on the right (because we're in "Image View"). A magnifying glass is showing the full-size image in one area, so that the sharpness of the flower petals can be checked. A histogram, showing brightness, contrast, and over- or under-exposure is shown in the upper left of the image. Information about the image, including EXIF data such as shutter speed and f-stop, is shown in the lower left. PhotoReviewer's toolbar at the top has buttons for the most commonly used commands.

Above you can see PhotoReviewer's "Thumbnail View". You can change the size of the thumbnails displayed, using the little button below the scrollbar on the right. You can reorder your images here, as well as doing almost everything else you can do in Image View in terms of sorting, renaming, and so forth. And you can select as many thumbnails as you like, to perform bulk operations on them.

The snapshot above shows side-by-side image viewing, a feature of Image Mode. Up to 36 images can be viewed simultaneously this way, to help you decided which ones are "keepers" and which are not. The magnifier and histogram were turned off in this snapshot for clarity, but you can use them in this mode as well. By the way, the little widget in the upper right of each photo shows your decision on that photo: your vote, whether you have renamed the image, and whether you have moved it to a sorting folder.

That's a quick overview, without getting into the details of how voting, sorting and renaming work. But it glosses over PhotoReviewer's number 1 feature: speed. Blazing, blinding speed. PhotoReviewer will preload images that you haven't even looked at yet, so when you get to them in your review, they display instantly. Even reviews of raw images from digital cameras, which are glacial in other photo apps if they are supported at all, are lightning-fast in PhotoReviewer: just go get a cup of coffee while PhotoReviewer loads, scales, computes histograms, and gets itself all ready to go, and then review your raw images at top speed as if they were little jpegs. No more spending half your day looking through your images!

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, 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.

There is an online manual to help you out. But PhotoReviewer really couldn't be easier to use; just point it at a folder of images, and away you go!

PhotoReviewer 2.2 requires OS X 10.6 or later, and a machine that can run 64-bit apps (all recent machines; see Apple's support page); for previous OS X versions, see our software archive. Version 2.2 adds several new features:

PhotoReviewer relies upon Apple's built-in raw image reading code. This means that some digital cameras are not supported until Apple adds support for them (for their raw images; every camera's TIFF and JPEG images work fine, of course).

PhotoReviewer is shareware (which means we rely on you to pay for it if you use it). It costs $15. Feel free to try it out for a little while before paying, but please don't forget that it is ultimately your responsibility to pay for it if you use it. For details on how we handle payments, see our main software page. Thanks!