When many professional photographers complete a job, they go to a Mac and use the sophisticated, $ 150 Photo Mechanic to copy, review and shed pictures quickly. Unlike a tool like Adobe Lightroom, which manages a photo library for you, Photo Mechanic is a media browser that reads what Finder folders you point to.
It's overkill for people who simply want to manage their photos in Finder, or review the photos before importing them to the Apple Photos app. Even when you see items in a Finder window as icons, scale them to their largest size , they are still not big enough to really assess which shot is a keeper. Using the Finder's Quick Preview (press spacebar with one or more selected images) can be a slow process, especially with RAW formatted files.
As an alternative, I saw three simple tools that quickly evaluate the media in Finder and allow you to shop on the files: Spect, Full Frame, and Phiewer (and the Extended Sister Phiewer Pro).
Not everyone needs a full image library system like Apple's Photos or Lightroom, so it's great to have these slimmer alternatives. With a taste of these features, though, I want more. Instead of a binary retention / trash selection, I'd like to see the option of using a Finder label for selected images as a way to highlight higher priority images for later editing, for example. They do not have to be as extensive as Adobe Bridge or Photo Mechanic, but a few steps will be welcome.
Full Frame starts with the image import process, looks for an attached memory card or camera. Unless you copy each image to your hard drive first, this is the natural place to start, especially since neither app App or Apple's Image Capture tool gives you great previews to see what you import.
Full Frame can scale thumbnails up to 400 percent of their original size, which certainly lets you see what you're working on. If you need an even bigger preview, click the zoom button (+) in the top left of a thumbnail, fill the window with the image in slide show mode (which does not really play a slideshow ̵
Since the application is designed as a mechanism for importing images, the primary task involves inserting a target folder and clicking Import (or Copy if the source is another folder). If you use it to sort through existing folders of images, you can ignore that section and use the Delete button to throw the images you do not want to keep.
All preset metadata features only apply when importing or copying images. You can edit some fields manually in the Info window, but the fields displayed depend on the file format. JPEG files include an image description field, but iPhones HEIC format does not. You can not find a common Title or Description field that applies to each image.
If you edit the metadata, you can save the change, but not all file formats are supported. The app encountered an error reading fast .RAF images from my Fujifilm X-T1, a four year old camera, and said that the version of the format has not been tested yet. For those who work, the metadata are stored in the raw file, not to a sidecar file.
Full Frame is free to use for 100 images, after which purchase purchase options are kicked in: $ 4.99 for an additional set of 100 images, or $ 29.99 to remove the amount limit. As an alternative to Image Capture or Photos for importing images, the program provides a better way to review images on import.
The latest actor of this category of image browsers is Spect, a fast and easy tool for displaying images in folders. When you point it in a directory, large thumbnails appear. At the largest zoom level, Spect, four images (six when the navigation page is hidden) fits on my 15-inch MacBook Pro, which is large enough to assess the quality of the image. A slideshow mode expands image sizes to fit the application window (and switches automatically between images); You can also play a random slide show.
Spect quickly showed all the pictures I threw on it, including fast files from multiple camera providers. There is also an option to include PDF files, but the software ignores video files.
A challenge when saving images in Finder, relates to folder hierarchies. Some people crochet images based on date, place or event; Once you've shot for a while, a camera's callback will be reversed, which can give you more files titled "IMG_1234.JPG", for example. Spect deals with hierarchies by letting you specify how deeply it will scan a given folder. It shows what images it meets in the main window, so you do not have to manually navigate folders. You can also choose how to sort the images, regardless of where they are stored, by name, creation date, modification date or file size.
To sort through image collections, the only option Spect offers to send files to the Finder's garbage. If you want to do something else, you can reveal the image in the Finder window and shop on it. It includes renaming files or even displaying more information than just the filename. But drag and drop images between Spect and Finder moves files as you expect Finder to trade.
Spect is an image viewer that in this version will remain simple and do a task well. It's the perfect finishing touch for Photos if you're particularly picky about what ends up in that program. I respect this approach, even though I'm looking for just a few more options, such as setting Finder labels or even sending a photo to an image editing program.
Spekt costs $ 4.99 from the Mac App Store. A free trial, downloadable from the Spect site, allows unlimited browsing, but disables other features.
Phiewer and Phiewer Pro
The approach taken by free Phiewer and its paid version, Phiewer Pro, is to emphasize one photo at a time – no complaints about not being able to see a picture here! You can point the app to a folder and view the content and optionally delete the image you see.
A thumbnail appears in a sidebar and you can resize thumbnails to get a better idea of which image is which one. To make them more than stamp sizes, I found myself expanding the width of the side belts to show more than one thumbnail at a time.
Unfortunately, if you browse some raw files, Phiewer does not display a thumbnail. In the test, JPEG and Nikon .NEF raw files worked well, but remained empty for Canon .CR2 raw files, Fujifilm .RAF raw files, and even iPhone HEIC files.
You must select each thumbnail and wait for the program to read it and create a visible image in the main view area. If you're looking at an empty thumbnail grid, it's useless when you try to sort your photos.
According to Phiewer's documentation, a thumbnail image clicks, and then the empty thumbnail is replaced with a preview of the current image; There is yet another setting to save or delete the image buffer. However, this behavior only occurred when I considered images on an attached memory card, did not browse folders on my hard drive. So even after you've seen a picture, you will not see what pictures you've seen before.
Phiewer Pro adds a variety of editing controls, such as alignment and cropping, and apply filters for aspects like brightness, contrast, and the like. There are also several predefined effects, although you can not use an effect and then adjust the appearance using the filters. choose one tool or the other one.
Both Phiewer and Phiewer Pro include a basic slide show tool. Unless you have viewed each image in the current folder, wait for each non-JPEG image to reproduce, which makes the show stiff.
Phiewer is free. Phiewer Pro costs $ 4.99 on the Mac App Store.