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Thread: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

  1. #1
    dje's Avatar
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    Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    No no no no no no no (with apologies to Jim from the Vicar of Dibley).

    This answer is fairly obvious in regard to functionality and user interface but I'm really referring to viewing quality. I've tried quite a few over the years but the one I'm currenty using is FastStone Image Viewer which was suggested by a fellow CiC member. I think it's pretty good in terms of viewing quality and functionality. I do believe that not all viewers are equal when it comes to viewing quality.

    I guess I've had this sort of intuitive feeling in the past that displaying an image is a fairly straight-forward task in software - decompress the jpeg and "map" the pixel details to the screen. But I think there's more to it than that (eg image scaling, filtering and whatever else is done inside the bowels of the software).

    I wondered what others thought about this subject.

    Dave

  2. #2
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    Displaying an image at 100% shouldn't make a difference but once interpolation kicks in, there is.
    Faststone is my weapon of choice too, by the way.
    I even do some RAW editing with it when I'm at work where I don't have proper tools and want to share a shot quickly.

  3. #3
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguyfromvienna View Post
    Faststone is my weapon of choice too, by the way.
    I even do some RAW editing with it when I'm at work where I don't have proper tools and want to share a shot quickly.
    Yes the edit functionality is quite good for a free viewer. It can even view Photoshop PSD files.

  4. #4
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    Hi guys I'm glad i looked at this thread.
    Just downloaded it and at 1st glance it looks good.Thanks

  5. #5
    gaijin's Avatar
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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    Fast Picture Viewer is PDG (pretty d*** good) - I think - and there is a 64 bit version for a 64 bit OS. It's not free however...

    http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/

  6. #6
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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    I LOVE FastStone and use it for quick conversions between RAW and the type of image I need for a particular purpose. I also use it to make adjustments to tone curves, rotation when the person driving the camera has imbibed, and cropping after rotation. I especially like their rotation function because you can rotate it by fractional degrees as you get better at estimating the angle by which to rotate.

    After 30 days, they request a donation of $15US payable by Plimus or Paypal. But, if you're a non-commercial user you can get a registration code. Not clear whether you have to donate something if you're non-commercial. I like it so much that I figured $15US was no big whoop.

    I'm jes' sayin'....

    v

  7. #7
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    I LOVE FastStone and use it for quick conversions between RAW and the type of image I need for a particular purpose. I also use it to make adjustments to tone curves, rotation when the person driving the camera has imbibed, and cropping after rotation. I especially like their rotation function because you can rotate it by fractional degrees as you get better at estimating the angle by which to rotate.

    After 30 days, they request a donation of $15US payable by Plimus or Paypal. But, if you're a non-commercial user you can get a registration code. Not clear whether you have to donate something if you're non-commercial. I like it so much that I figured $15US was no big whoop.

    I'm jes' sayin'....

    v
    Yes it's pretty good for "the price". I like it's contrast adjustment too.

  8. #8

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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    The only way you could really say if they were any better than others is by viewing simulanteously on identical kit.

    My viewer of choice, for the past 15 years, is one I wrote using the Delphi JPeg unit. It was designed as a cataloguing tool and has done that job as I wanted it to.

    The other one I use most of the time is IrfanView, which is truly free. It will deal with an extremely wide range of file formats, including Canon and Nikon Raw, converts to any other formats, has a host of tools including a fine rotation tool. It is quick and easy to use.

    I have downloaded the FastStone Image Viewer and I think, on my monitor the image looks about the same in this and the other two programs I mention above. The Compare up to 4 images is a useful feature. The next thing is to consider if the difference in cost beween these and the Creative Suite is value for money?

  9. #9
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    Quote Originally Posted by KCBrecks View Post
    The only way you could really say if they were any better than others is by viewing simulanteously on identical kit.
    Keith we cant let objectivity get in the way of a good story !! I agree identical viewing conditions would give the best comparison but I still feel I have noticed some difference between at least certain viewers (eg Windows Photo Viewer doesn't seem to have the same punch to me as FastStone, although there's not a lot in it).


    My viewer of choice, for the past 15 years, is one I wrote using the Delphi JPeg unit. It was designed as a cataloguing tool and has done that job as I wanted it to.
    I wish I could write software like that, maybe 40 years ago ??

    The other one I use most of the time is IrfanView, which is truly free. It will deal with an extremely wide range of file formats, including Canon and Nikon Raw, converts to any other formats, has a host of tools including a fine rotation tool. It is quick and easy to use.
    I have used this in the past and found it good.

    The next thing is to consider if the difference in cost beween these and the Creative Suite is value for money?
    I would always use CS for serious editing but the editing capabilities of the free ones can be handy at times for a quick fix.

    Thanks for your comments

    Dave

  10. #10

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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    I tried this FastStone, Dave. It looks OK but there was one 'little' problem I found with it when wanting to make a print of something for my wife this afternoon. I was wanting to use the borderless print capability of my Canon Pixma iP4500 and found that the FastStone print routines all overrode this and produced a white bordered print, no matter which route I took, unlike the others I use which pass the print file over to the Canon print handler and let that do the printing.

  11. #11
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Are All Image Viewers Equal ?

    Quote Originally Posted by KCBrecks View Post
    I tried this FastStone, Dave. It looks OK but there was one 'little' problem I found with it when wanting to make a print of something for my wife this afternoon. I was wanting to use the borderless print capability of my Canon Pixma iP4500 and found that the FastStone print routines all overrode this and produced a white bordered print, no matter which route I took, unlike the others I use which pass the print file over to the Canon print handler and let that do the printing.
    Keith I hadn't tried printing from FastStone before but I've just tried a borderless print on my Canon MX885 and it worked OK. I set all 4 margins to 0 in FastStone and set the Canon printer setup to borderless. I'm not sure what the problem might be with your ip4500.

    Dave

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