Professional Photographers

Learn how FastPictureViewer can help you streamline your workflow.

FastPictureViewer was created from the start with pro photographers workflows in mind. This product was actually inspired by a 2004 article by Eamon Hickey, published on Rob Galbraith's renowned DPI website, about Sports Illustrated's unbelievable digital workflow. The article is an amazing read for sports photographers and photo enthusiasts alike, it also helps understand the motivation behind the creation of FastPictureViewer Professional and some of its design choices. Very recommended.
The purpose of this page is to highlight FastPictureViewer Professional's major features and benefits, from a pro photographer's point of view, and to expand a little on their use and unique abilities.
FastPictureViewer Professional, or FPV Pro for short, was created to complement your software toolbox. It's aim is to facilitate the first review pass (culling or rating) that you typically have to make when coming back from assignment with thousands of new images. With FPV Pro, this usually painful task becomes quick and enjoyable.
FastPictureViewer Professional's typical workflow
The program does not create previews or 'thumbnails' of all your images, hogging your computer for hours doing so, before letting you see them. You just point FPV Pro at the folder containing the pictures and the program will show your images nearly instantly: you can start working within seconds.

FastPictureViewer Professional knows your cameras and image formats.

It uses software decoders provided by camera manufacturers to extract preview images and metadata from Nikon NEF, Canon CR2 and Adobe DNG raw files, without any guessing and without the delay of several months typically incurred by most 3rd party raw viewers every time some new gear gets released. New cameras and raw formats are supported as soon as the manufacturers updates the corresponding image decoder. For example FPV Pro was able to support Nikon D3, Canon EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III, Nikon D300, then later Nikon D700, D5000 and D3X files immediately, as Nikon and Canon kept their respective decoders perfectly up to date. Moreover, FPV Pro is built on ultra-modern foundations like WIC, Direct3D and WCS and is ready for upcoming technology improvements such as  HDR file formats and high bit depth, wide gamut displays. See the formats compatibility chart for current image formats support details. We also provide our own 32/64-bit FastPictureViewer Codec Pack which adds full platform support to Windows for more than 320 digital cameras and some specialized image formats.

FastPictureViewer Professional knows your computer.

GPU Logo The program uses your computer's resources to intelligently pre-load the next image(s) in memory, so advancing through the image list is essentially an instantaneous experience. No more lengthily "Loading..." intervals between each and every images! FPV Pro knows all about multi-processing and the advanced architecture of today's 32 and 64-bit machines, it also takes full advantage of modern multi-core processors to perform tasks in parallel.
It also knows about powerful display adapters and can use some of them to further accelerate your viewing experience with full 3D graphic processor (GPU) acceleration, providing truly instantaneous in and out magnification & panning, along with zero-penalty high quality filtered downscaling for smooth image rendering at absolute maximum speed.

FastPictureViewer Professional knows your custom-profiled monitor.

ICC v4 Logo FastPictureViewer is one of the few image viewing applications, besides the well known professional products, that truly supports color management, including full support for custom-profiled monitors and ICC v2 and v4 profile formats. The program will convert the pixels from the source color space (image), for example Adobe RGB, to the target color space (monitor) in one single step, without an intermediate (and destructive) step through the narrower sRGB color space in between. The color conversion is highly optimized and has a negligible impact on viewing speed.
The result is one of the most accurate and faithful color reproduction available in any viewer, especially on high-end wide gamut display monitors, with the smoothest possible gradients and no artificial banding effect introduced by less exacting software applications. As a matter of fact the on-screen rendition of FPV Pro has been found to be undistinguishable from the images displayed by top-end professional image editing packages such as Adobe Photoshop CS4.

FastPictureViewer Professional knows industry metadata standards.

Metadata Working Group Logo The program supports image rating and labeling so you can quickly tag images on the fly as you view them. FPV Pro uses the industry-standard Adobe XMP metadata format, endorsed by the Metadata Working Group, either embedded within image files for supported formats, or as external "XMP sidecar" files sitting next to the pictures. You can also tag images with a color label according to conventions set by Adobe Lightroom, IDimager, Nikon ViewNX2 or Microsoft Expression Media.
The rating and labels can later be read and understood by all major digital asset management software suites and image organizers such as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Bridge. FastPictureViewer can also embed your rating according to the Microsoft Photo Rating standard, so Windows Vista Explorer and Windows 7 will show you the "stars" that you have set right into normal Explorer windows and Photo Gallery, moreover Windows Search will let you search and sort on the rating you have set. FPV Pro is fully compliant and inter-operable with your other XMP aware applications.

Key FastPictureViewer Professional features in detail:

Full Color Management with Profiled Monitor Support...

"FPV Pro let you enable color management, i.e. recognition of any color profile embedded within images, along with custom monitor profiles" Color Management
When color management is enabled the image pixels are converted from whatever source color space they live in, for example Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB, into the default sRGB color space supported by most common display monitors. If you have an advanced computer display, or if you went through the effort of custom-profiling your display for best color rendering accuracy, the program also let you specify the custom monitor profile that you might have created and installed. When both options are enabled the program performs a direct conversion from the source color space (image) to the target color space (monitor) in one single step, avoiding rounding errors and color space clamping typically occurring when converting in two steps, with sRGB as the intermediate color space. If you only display uncalibrated pictures on an uncalibrated monitor, then it's best to turn color management OFF for maximum load and display speed.

By default the program uses the static ICM 2.0 color engine built into Windows since 1998. This color management engine was provided to Microsoft by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, a German "color giant". This CMS replaced the Kodak system that was introduced in Windows 95 and offers excellent performance. Starting with Windows Vista in late 2006, Microsoft introduced a new high-precision color engine based on Canon's Kyuanos technology. This new engine is part of Windows Color System (WCS) 1.0 and is available on Windows Vista and later operating systems. It is said to use "greater then 16-bit per channel" floating point arithmetic's for better gamut-mapping models that are meant to provide superior color space conversions than ICC rendering intents.

FastPictureViewer Professional offers the option to use the new WCS 1.0 color engine instead of the old ICM 2.0. The drawback of using the new Kyuanos-based WCS 1.0 is that it takes more time to create color transforms, which may noticeably slows down the display of the first image, but among the benefits is a potentially better and more accurate color rendition, for critical viewing on calibrated and profiled displays.

Plug and Play Tethered Shooting...

Tethered Shooting with MTP/PTP "FPV Pro connected to a Nikon D3 shooting in JPEG+RAW mode and Adobe RGB color space. The program could display the images in 100% full-screen mode, or on an external LCD projector, to broadcast images on a big screen as they are shot"
Tethered shooting is one of the distinctive features of FastPictureViewer Professional. The program supports any camera compliant with the industry standard MTP/PTP transfer modes over USB 2.0. Most if not all recent Nikon and Canon "prosumer" or professional cameras offers this mode either as an option or, in the case of the Nikon D700 DSLR, as the default communication mode.

FPV Pro fully supports the Media Transfer Protocol / Picture Transfer Protocol in the Camera->PC direction and it able to detect the camera's arrival in a true plug-and-play fashion. There are absolutely no options to configure, just set the camera to the proper PTP communication mode if needed, activate the tethering mode in FPV Pro by pressing Ctrl+T, plug the cable in any available USB 2.0 port and you are ready to go!

FPV Pro even supports multiple cameras connected simultaneously and, last but not least, it will show you color managed instant previews even when shooting in RAW-only mode, so you can shoot in Adobe RGB and be confident that FPV Pro will display gorgeous and well saturated colors as you expect. FastPictureViewer Professional's built-in color management system also let you specify the destination color space to be used to display the images, for example you can select a PAL/SECAM output color space when broadcasting on an external analog projector or a custom color profile created for a calibrated wide-gamut professional display, for perfect color rendition.

See the tethered shooting tutorial on the help page for more information.

Adobe XMP Rating, Microsoft Photo Rating...

"FastPictureViewer Professional supports industry-standard Adobe XMP and Microsoft Photo rating functions, interoperable with Windows Vista and Windows 7 Explorer, and all major digital asset managements software suites" Adobe XMP and Microsoft Photo Rating
FPV Pro let you quickly rate any image on the fly, merely by pressing a key. The program will act according to the configuration options and write your rating within the file, in an external XMP sidecar, or both, depending on the file format and the options selected. The rating operation is instantaneous from the user point of view. Just press '5' to give five stars to an image and move on to the next image, without any waiting time. The program will take care of the details in the background without impacting your viewing experience

Adobe Lightroom and IDimager, Nikon ViewNX2 and Microsoft Expression Media color labeling conventions are also supported, tag an image as "Red", "Yellow" or "Blue" then search and sort on labels later on with your digital asset manager of choice: you could later extract, say, all the five-stars, red-labeled images in no time at all using the search and sort features of Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Bridge, IDimager and others. FastPictureViewer also supports the Adobe Photoshop "Urgency" convention, recognized and used by some professional IPTC-compliant image organizers.

Histogram and EXIF Info...

Histogram and Exif Information "FPV Pro has all the tools that you need to quickly evaluate your images."
The program computes the RGB histogram instantaneously and displays it in a semi transparent "shy little window" that partially fades out when the mouse cursor moves away, so it does not completely block the view and allows you to see through. By default FPV Pro shows you a true, linear histogram where everything is in proportion, but the program options let you select individual channel normalization (that is, the red, green and blue channels will be scaled independently of each others) and histogram compression, to make flat histograms look a little less flat. The histogram can be left open at all times, it has no impact on viewing performance and updates itself on-the-fly as you breeze through your images.

FPV Pro also extract essential shooting data (from the embedded EXIF information and, to some extent, from the proprietary MakerNotes for some formats) and presents the information in a crystal-clear way, with an emphasis on the most important parameters, namely the shutter speed, F-stop, ISO speed and exposure compensation, displayed prominently in large, bold characters, instead of being buried in a long list of mostly useless EXIF details... Just like the histogram, the shooting data window can be left open at all times, it does not get in the way and updates itself automatically as you scroll through the photos.

Color-Managed Raw Preview...

"FastPictureViewer's color management system also works with Nikon NEF and Canon CR2 instant JPEG previews."
FPV Pro relies on the JPEG preview embedded in Nikon NEF, Canon CR2 and Panasonic RW2 files for instant raw preview. When shooting RAW in Adobe RGB color space, the camera records the color profile along with the sensor data in the file, but the JPEG preview typically does not contain any meta-data, in particular color space information is missing. Extracted "instant JPEGs" and most applications relying on embedded preview JPEGs just displays the pixels as-is, even if you shoot in Adobe RGB. Result: washed out colors. FPV Pro, on the other hand, knows your raw files and goes an extra mile to color-correct the previews and display accurate colors. Custom-profiled monitors are also fully taken into account for the most faithful colors you will see in any image viewers.

Instant Zoom & Pan...

"Just click the left mouse button to instantly switch to 100% view mode, or use the right-click magnifier to blow up pixels instantly."
FPV Pro never let you wait in front of a blurry image while it "optimizes" or "refines" the display. Zooming is, quite simply, instantaneous. Just click a mouse button to activate either the 100% view mode or the configurable magnifier (up to 6400%, so FastPictureViewer is ready for ultra-high resolution displays) and the program will instantly zoom to the preset value, regardless of the image size no matter how huge.

From there, just drag the mouse to pan the image in any direction and simply release the mouse button when you are done. The program will instantly revert to the default "fit-to-window" mode, where large pictures are downscaled to match the program's window. When using the Direct3D hardware acceleration, FPV Pro uses advanced techniques to produce perfectly smooth, highest quality downscaled images without any speed reduction. Truly instant zoom (and back) with super-fluid hardware accelerated panning has to be experienced to be believed!

Sort on Date or GPS Time...

"Merge images taken by multiple cameras in one seamless chronological sequence, even across multiple sub-folders."
FastPictureViewer Professional's default sort order is alphabetical, by folder and picture name. For those situations where you need to sort images according to the date/time they were taken, for example when browsing photos taken by multiple cameras on the same event, FPV Pro offers four distinct time-based sort modes:
  • By file creation date
  • By file last modification date (default time-based sort mode)
  • By EXIF "Date Taken" embedded timestamp
  • By GPS Time Stamp
The first two modes are straightforward and based on the file's date and time, while the later two are based on data embedded directly within the files by the camera itself. Recent Nikon DSLR can optionally be connected to a small matchbox-size GPS receiver to records the precise location of the shot, along with an atomic-clock-accurate time stamp in Universal Time (UTC), received directly from GPS satellites anywhere around the world. Sorting on GPS time stamps allows to browse images in correct time sequence, even if they come from a number of different cameras and from different places.

Watched / Monitored Folder Mode...

"FastPictureViewer Professional features a 100% robust, reliable folder watching mode that never, ever misses a file."
Another distinctive FPV Pro feature is automatic directory watching. First, the current image folder is constantly monitored and any file(s) added to (or any of its sub-folders), no matter how many at a time, will be instantly detected and added to the list of images internally maintained by the program, according to the sort mode in effect.

You could be in the middle of a huge browsing session when new images arrives and gets added to the hard-disk. FPV Pro will seamlessly detect and catch new files on-the-fly and let you view them, in order, without interrupting your work session (it is never necessary to "exit and start over" because newly added files are not readily "seen" by the program).

FastPictureViewer Professional uses industrial technology provided by our partners at to monitor the image folder tree with absolutely perfect reliability: it will never miss a file arrival, no matter how busy the computer is or how many files are added at the same time.

Next, on top of the built-in automatic folder watching function, FastPictureViewer Professional supports a folder tracking mode, simply activated by pressing the T key on the keyboard and which, when active, automatically displays the last image on-screen with minimal time lag. This mode is invaluable in some scenarios, for example when used in conjunction with wireless (WI-FI) cameras that can automatically send images to a PC over the air. Think of it as a "tethered mode without wires". Image can also be dropped from another application, a network feed, anything... The folder watching and tracking functions relies on low-level notifications from the operating system and only works on local devices like internal or external hard-disks.

RAW and RAW+JPG...

"FPV Pro handles your shooting preferences seamlessly, RAW, RAW+JPG, JPEG-only or TIFF."
Some photographers shoot in JPEG+RAW mode, where the camera writes both file formats simultaneously on the memory card(s). The obvious benefits is to have both a RAW file retaining all information for utmost post-processing freedom, and an easy-to-deal-with full resolution JPEG, complete with EXIF metadata and color profile information. FastPictureViewer Professional was designed to handle this particular situation seamlessly. The program will recognize JPEG+RAW pairs in the image folder and "stack" them as if they were a single file. As a result, FPV Pro does not show you all images twice, once in JPEG, then in RAW. Instead the program moves directly to the next photo in the list when you are ready to move on - another time saver! Of course the JPEG+RAW stacks are handled perfectly throughout the program, in particular the rating, copy, move and delete functions will handle both files at once as if they were one, and in tethered shooting mode the program will pull both files from the camera.

When only RAW files are available, FastPictureViewer Professional uses the embedded preview JPEG for near instant viewing (the display speed is comparable to the JPEG-only mode). The program goes an extra mile and shows you color-managed previews if the camera was set to Adobe RGB while shooting RAW in Nikon NEF and Canon CR2 formats, including in tethered shooting mode. All image pre-loading and caching functions works seamlessly with RAW files too, so FPV Pro let you breeze through thousands of RAWs almost like nothing!

Native 64-bit support...

"FastPictureViewer works with the latest 64-bit multi-core microprocessors."
Modern high-resolution digital cameras like the Nikon D3X of the Canon EOS-1Ds MkIII raise the bar in terms of computing power as well as memory space requirements for image viewing and processing. Everyday, more photographers switch to native 64-bit platforms such as Windows Vista 64 and Windows 7 to run native 64-bit software like Adobe Photoshop CS4 or Photoshop Lightroom 64-bit faster than ever before. FastPictureViewer 64-bit edition also takes advantage of the large memory space and increased computing power of 64-bit operating systems and microprocessors and helps photographers aiming towards a full 64-bit digital workflow achieve their performance and productivity goals by tapping into the full potential of their computer systems, without compromises.

Check out our video demos and tutorials:

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