Previously, I’ve been using IrfanView to view all my JPEG formatted photos for quite a long time without bothering to use any other photo editing software. Everything changes when I first picked up my first Nikon digital SLR, snapped a few photos, copied all the images to my computer and suddenly realized that the photo format is in NEF format! And it was only then that I realized that my old, reliable, lightweight IrfanView does not support NEF (Nikon’s RAW image extension).
Not to waste any time, I googled the Internet for the ultimate photo editing software / photo viewer that can read and display all image formats, and I wonder if there is any. After some intense downloading and trying out a few programs, I fell in love with one – FastStone Image Viewer.
One thing that I love about FastStone Image Viewer is that it does not only function as an image viewer. This free software can do image conversion and image editing too! Oh my, that is already 3-in-1!
Features of FastStone Image Viewer
FastStone offers lightning speed image viewing for both beginners and professionals. Here they are in details:
Basic Beginner Features:
- Supports for popular image formats: JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PSD, BMP, ICO. etc.
- Image browser with familiar Windows user interface
- Full screen viewer with zoom function
- Neat red eye removal tool that produces natural results
- Image modification tools – resize, rotate, flip, crop, sharpen, blur, brightness etc.
- Image color effects – grayscale, sepia, negative, RGB adjustment
- Best fit or actual image display support
- Image management support – photo tagging capability, drag & drop, copy or move to folder support.
- Supports RAW image formats from various SLR camera manufacturers – Nikon (NEF), Canon (CR2,CRW), Pentax (PEF), Olympus (ORF) and more.
- Eleven image resize resampling algorithm to choose from
- Special effects – watermark – text or image, annotation, drop shadow, framing, bump map, lens, morph, waves
- Multi level undo and redo
- Histogram with color counter feature
- Image comparison capability for sorting the best photo from the rest (max 4 at a time)
- Batch image processing – convert, rename, and more.
- EXIF metadata support.
- Professional contact sheet creation.
- Save As interface that can compare image quality output before you start saving.
- Portable no-install support to USB disk drive.
- Dual monitor configuration support.
Extra Cool Features:
- Slideshow creator with music + 150 transition effects, useful for presentation.
- Print images with full page-layout control.
- Wallpaper creator.
- Screen capture.
- Acquire image from a scanner support.
- Skinnable interface with 9 default skins.
As you can see, it is hard not fall in love with FastStone free photo editing software. It boasts wonderful features that mostly available in commercial paid software, for example – batch image editing and RAW image support. With all the heavyweight features above, FastStone still performs well in my low end computer and has quickly established itself as one of my all time, favorite free software. Now I feel so relieved that I can view all image formats with ease from one single viewer. Try FastStone today – you are eligible to use it free for personal and educational use!