View, edit and batch process your photos with Photoimp

If you’ve tried a few free photo managers then you’ll know that the vast majority are, well, disappointing. Most have absolutely no original ideas. And some don’t even match up to the basic functionality you get with Explorer, all on its own.

We didn’t expect very much from the image viewer Photoimp, then -- but it turned out to be a real surprise.

The program has a clean, uncluttered interface, with a single toolbar containing just a few buttons. And that’s fine, as it gives you the maximum amount of space for your image browsing: just click a folder and scroll through its thumbnails.

There’s support for viewing a wide range of formats, including PSD and various RAW formats (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica).

Photoimp can automatically import images from cameras or other devices as they’re connected. And capable batch processing tools are on hand to resize them, add a simple "lines" watermark or save them in another format.

The built-in editor is simple, but still delivered more than we expected. There are tools to automatically enhance an image or set the best white balance, while you get manual control over gamma, brightness, contrast, luminance, saturation, temperature, tint or sharpness.

You’re also able to rotate images, colorize them, convert them to black and white or sepia, view any EXIF tags, or apply lines, text or image-based watermarks. There are some useful settings, too: add a text watermark and you can set its position, font, size, style, color, opacity, blur and blending mode. Even the optional shadow can be tweaked via six individual settings.

None of this is going to compete with Photoshop Lightroom, of course, but then Photoimp isn’t just another feeble me-too image viewer, either. Its clean interface, PSD and RAW support and time-saving batch processing tools all help the program stand out from the crowd, and we’ll be very interested to see how it develops.

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