- Every photographer knows how tedious photo culling can be, especially if you have to sort a batch of hundreds of photos.
- That is why software was created that can help you speed up the process, sometimes to great effect.
- For example, Adobe Lightroom in conjunction with Adobe Bridge are an excellent pair of programs that you can use for photo culling.
- For more great lists like the one below, check out our Digital Photo page.
Do you need a reliable photo culling software for your PC? This article has got you covered! In this piece, we’ll be looking at the best photo culling software, any of which can easily be employed to expedite your photographic workflow to save time and improve productivity.
Photo culling is an important process in photography. It involves organizing or sorting a collection of images or photographs, with the primary aim of separating the top quality photos from the low-quality ones.
Specifically, photo culling seeks to eliminate duplicates, remove unclear or badly taken photos, arrange photos in desired folders and ultimately save time.
While photo culling could be carried out manually, the process would be highly exhausting and time-consuming. Hence, to facilitate the process and speed up workflow, photo culling software was developed.
In the next section of this article, we are going to reviewing five of the best photo culling software in the market, specifically those supported on Windows PC.
As a general note, Adobe Lightroom is the tool that you need when you want to perform minor photo doctoring without wrapping your head around more complicated tasks.
In the case of Photo culling, Adobe Lightroom is perfectly capable of sorting out your photos, and the UI will allow you to perform the task as fast as possible.
Normally, Adobe Lightroom is a subscription-based program, but you can now test it from free if you apply for teh 7-day trial period.
Here are some of the benefits of using Adobe Lightroom:
- Great for those used to using Adobe Photoshop
- The toolset makes it an excellent choice for those that want to perform minor photo tweaks
- Great at culling photos
- Works in great synergy with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
- You can batch process images using the Quick Develop panel
Of course, While Adobe Lightroom may be used to sort the high-quality photos from the bad ones, you will need a tool to better organize the folders afterward. That is where a tool like Adobe Bridge can definitely come in handy.
While not as popular as the other products from the Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Bridge was a mandatory component of it.
However, that all changed with the introduction of the Creative Cloud and the appearance of Adobe Bridge CC, when it became an optional component.
All in all, as far as photo sorting is concerned, regardless of what the criteria may be, Adobe Bridge is an excellent top choice.
Here are some of the benefits of using Adobe Lightroom:
- It can organize files by renaming a group of them at once
- It is great at assigning colored labels or star ratings assigned to files
- You can use it to edit embedded or associated XMP and IPTC Information Interchange Model metadata
- Sort or categorizing files based on their metadata is also supported
- Works well with resources imported from other Adobe products
ACDSee offers you the opportunity to speed up your image processing and management workflow, as you are afforded the opportunity to spend as little time as possible on post-shot image processes.
The software basically offers a 1:1 Raw file editing, which makes it very ideal for fine-tuning photographs taken by digital cameras, without having to worry about quality loss.
Some of the key features of ACDSee Ultimate include swift image culling, batch processing, EXIF & IPTC editing, layered editing, keywords, image caching, photo manager, tree view mode, image (RAW) viewer & editor, one-click toggling, DAM (Digital Asset Management), geo-tagging, lossless editing, facial recognition, LUT coloring, HEIF decoding, luminance masks, mobile synchronization, free trial and many more.
ACDSee Ultimate is available at a discount price at the moment on the official website.Amazing savings
FastStone Image Viewer tops our list of best photo culling software. The software is a popular image browser, image converter (from one format to another) and photo editor. It is exclusively designed to run on Windows PC.
FastStone Image Viewer hosts a familiar, highly intuitive, user interface, which is a subtle imitation of Windows Explorer’s UI.
Furthermore, as the name implies, FastStone Image Viewer is optimized to cull and sort images with unparalleled speed. And you are offered every tool needed to fine-tune and finish the culled photos.
The software is designed to support all known digital camera brands, notably Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Olympus, and many more. Also, it houses support for all image file formats, including PNG, JPEG, BMP, PSD, TIFF, GIF, RAW formats (NEF, CRW, RAF etc.) and lots more.
Other notable features of FastStone Image Viewer include image retouching, color adjustment, JPEG transition, scanner support, image annotation, drop shadow effects, slideshow transitional effects (150+), image sharing (via email), RAW format library and many more.
FastStone Image Viewer is available for free, albeit for personal and educational uses. However, for commercial or business purposes, a commercial license, which is offered at $34.95 (lifetime license), is required.
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The software is exclusively designed for Microsoft Windows PC, with support for Windows 7/8/8.1/10.
BreezeBrowser Pro is specially designed to speed up the workflow of professional creative artists or photographers. However, its interface is simple enough for beginners or amateur photographers to get a hold on.
As such, it is ideal for all classes of people, whether you are a professional photographer or just a lover of photography.
BreezeBrowser Pro supports all known digital camera brands, including Fuji, Panasonic, Sony, Canon, and others. It is one of the best photo culling software for sorting and managing RAW image files taken with these cameras.
Some of the noteworthy features of BreezeBrowser Pro include thumbnail view, image comparison, RAW image conversion, multiple camera support, multi-format image file support, lens correction, noise filter, image organization, and folder management, keyword editor, image printing and many more.
BreezeBrowser Pro is offered at a starting price of $95.00. There is, however, a limited free trial version on offer (for new users).
It is one of the most widely used software for culling photos taken via digital cameras, before sorting/managing them on PCs or Macbooks.
The software is an essential tool, which is widely used by professional photographers to create top-quality pictures. It basically saves you quality man-hour, which could have been wasted on manual image organization and management.
This way, you are able to deliver your work quickly time and consequently improve productivity.
Notable features of Photo Mechanic include:
- Swift photo culling
- Contact sheet printing
- Image comparison
- Image sharing
- Batch editing
- and more…
Photo Mechanic’s latest edition – Version 5 – is available at a fixed license fee of $150 (single user), with support for up to 3 PCs.
FastRawViewer is a special purpose RAW file viewer and manager, specially designed for culling RAW images from digital cameras and fine-tuning them on PCs. It hosts cross-platform support for Windows 7/8/8.1/10 PC and MacOS computers.
The software currently supports more than 1000 different types of digital cameras (including Sony, Canon, Fuji and so on), mobile phones and tablets.
Furthermore, as an exclusive RAW image viewer/manager, it houses support for all RAW formats, notably RAF, CRW, and NEF among others.
Unlike other image viewers/cullers, FastRawViewer previews raw images in their original RAW formats. This is what makes it stand out, as one of the best photo culling software for RAW photographs.
Other key features of FastRawViewer include: optimized browsing speed, focus peaking, shadow boost, white balance, black and white previews, and more.
FastRawViewer is available for purchase at a license fee of $19.99 (with support for 2 PCs).
Note: You can enjoy the software for free, for a period of 30 days (on trial), before buying the licensed package.
The solutions reviewed herein are some of the best photo culling software in the market. They have been ranked on the bases of speed, compatibility, image manipulation, photo management, digital cameras support, versatility, affordability, and so on.
Therefore, if you are looking for a tested and trusted photo culling software, to speed up your workflow, the above-outlined applications are the recommended ones for you.
FAQ: Learn more about photo culling
Photo culling simply means selecting the best photos from a batch. This is usually done easily with a good image editor.
- What does culling photos mean?
- What are the best tools for photo culling?
If you want to swiftly cull photos, you should use a program like Adobe Lightroom for the selection phase, and Adobe Bridge for the sorting phase.
- What are the criteria for photo culling?
Criteria for photo culling are subjective, but one common consensus is the blurry photos or those with bad lighting or when the subject wasn’t posing accordingly are the first to go.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.