I hope I’m not the only person who does this, but up until recently, I had not used any of the cataloging features from any image editing software. This isn’t because I thought any of them were particularly bad; instead, I just have my own way of managing files and their locations. However, ACDSee has changed my mind about this.
Organizing your images is crucial. This is something that I struggled with when I first started in photography, and it caused a few problems. After shooting for a whole day, it can be tedious and tiresome to have to transfer all of your files to a computer and then back up all of the images too. Creating all the folders and having to sort through all the files is probably one of the more boring things to do. Fortunately, ACDSee does make this process a little easier.
As with most image editors, ACDSee offers the ability to import directly from your storage media. The UI and interface of ACDSee Photo Studio do appear to be more intuitive and easy to manage than some other image editors I’ve used. For one, the dialog box is very reminiscent of how popular operating systems manage file saving and importing. Familiarity is a valuable feature, because not only does it make the process easier, but it’s just one less thing you have to get your head around.
The software also automatically detects your storage media and is able to locate all the files you may want to import, which saves a little time having to go through folders. Once you have selected the files you require, it’s a simple matter of choosing an appropriate location. With ACDSee, importing approximately 10 GB of data took less than 2 minutes; of course, this is also dependent on the hardware your using. The interface is super clear, and all of your folders remain on the left side of the UI. Once again, the folder’s color and structure is very similar to the Windows operating system, and this helps to not confuse anything. I just find it easier to spot folders and files due to the color and how they’re structured. One of the things I’m not particularly a fan of in some other image editors is that they have their own design of how folders appear, and although it’s not a major point, it does put me off a little. Each file that you import is also clearly marked as either raw or JPEG without the need to select any image to see that information. Not having this information in clear view has always annoyed me a little in some other image editors, and personally, I find this to be quite useful.
The zoom feature allows you to quickly expand or minimize your view of all the images. This helps you get a clear view of all your images, and I find this allows you to select files more effectively. On the right-hand side, you’ll notice all of the useful EXIF data like camera and lens information. This information doesn’t appear as an overlay on the image, so it doesn’t obstruct your view. Finally, you also have the IPTC section on the right, which allows you to fill in any relevant information.
One of my favorite things about ACDSee Photo Studio is the sheer speed of the software. Importing files into the software is very fast, and even though none of the files go through an embedding process, everything loads extremely quickly. Scrolling through images is extremely fast, and even zooming in and out of images to quickly check focus is super quick. This is something I really like, and I wish some other image editors were even half as quick as ACDSee. Double-clicking on any file allows you to view the image, and the tap-to-zoom feature is instant. I’ve tried ACDSee on various high-resolution files from the Canon 5DS R and even some medium format cameras. Loading some 100-megapixel files from the Hasselblad H6D 100c was almost instant. Even zooming in 1:1 was pretty much done instantly, and I wasn’t stuck waiting for each file to load before I could see it properly. The speed of this software is very impressive and gives it that professional feel that some other software suites are lacking.
Some other features I found to be pretty useful were the methods in which you could search for and manage your files. The search bar, for instance, is my most used tool when it comes to locating images. This is such a useful thing to have, because it allows you to quickly locate images and folders that you want to work on. If I want to quickly edit some images I took in Turkey, I can search for “Istanbul,” and all of the relevant folders appear for me to choose from. The interface is just such a joy to use and so easy to navigate. The second feature I think is quite useful is the Calendar feature.
I enjoy using this feature quite a lot because not only does it allow me to access my files quickly, it allows me to see what kind of work I’ve been doing over the months and years. I can see how I’ve progressed, which months are the busiest, and which months can be a little slow. Aside from just being able to find your files and images, this is great from a marketing perspective. If you can see which months are a little slow or which months are busy, you can plan far more effectively. You can also see precisely the kind of work you’re doing most over a yearly or monthly period and focus on your strengths and weaknesses. You can determine what kind of marketing plan you can develop for the next year and how to overcome the slow months. Honestly, I think this feature is incredible and massively underrated. I really can’t stress enough how valuable this kind of information is, and I think something like this needs to be a highlight and not hidden away from the software description. Just this feature alone makes ACDSee an incredible piece of software, and I think professionals really need to utilize this as much as they possibly can.
Ultimately, managing and organizing your files is extremely important, and ACDSee offers quite possibly the best tools in the industry. I’m genuinely impressed by how intuitive this software is and fast it is. The speed of the software makes using ACDSee a complete joy, because I’m not waiting around for long periods of time waiting for files to import or load. The user interface is simple, and this is a valuable feature. I can’t tell you how much some image editors annoy me because certain features are overcomplicated. Finally, the calendar feature is simply gold, and I can’t recommend it enough.