PhotoSnap's Viewer

key review info
application features
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I remember the time when ACDSee, or Irfan View, used to be top dog softwares for viewing images. Both of them allow you some editing of the image and converting from one format to another, but their main purpose is image viewing and that's what most people use them for.

With all the digital media frenzy going on, Nero did not miss the opportunity of including such an application in their suite. We've seen the image editor supplied in the suite (Nero PhotoSnap) and its ease of use but also its lack of more profound image editing features and the lack of notable changes regarding the options (cosmetics is the most visible modification).

Just like the previous release of the software collection, Nero 8 Ultra Edition also includes an image viewer, called Nero PhotoSnap Viewer. The application is as easy to use as breathing, and the options available won't pose any problem. As the name suggests, its main purpose is providing an interface to viewing the images on your computer. There is no management involved, so it'll load the pictures in a single folder only and render them one at a time.

Feature-wise there is absolutely no change at all and nothing new has been added. The single difference from this version and the one in Nero's 7th suite is the interface. There has been an improvement many users would appreciate, just like in the case of other applications provided by Nero Inc. All the lines are much smoother and Vista optimization has been a fruitful effort in this sense.

Options menu under File supplies little configuration and adjustments for the application. You can set for the images to be autosized by default allowing full view of larger pictures, enabling opening images in full screen when double clicking, displaying the name of the image when in full screen mode (you will actually be displayed the entire path to the opened file as well as its format). Enabling pixel interpolation will render the sharp edges of the pixels smooth and forming curves instead of creating that stair-step effect. The background color displayed when the image does not cover the entire area of the viewer can also be changed to one of your liking (default is black).

Taking a look under Tools menu one would think that Nero PhotoSnap Viewer is more than meets the eye as there is an image editing option available. However, that function is nothing but a mere shortcut to launching Nero PhotoSnap and automatically loading the image in Viewer. This way, you no longer have to waste time opening the image editing application and load the desired image in it. From this point of view, Nero PhotoSnap Viewer can function just like a browser for PhotoSnap.

Additional options included in the application allow rotating the image to the left or to the right by 90 degrees. There is no control over this option and it is useful only when bumping into rotated images. Information button in the interface displays all the details available in the metadata of the images, if available. The default details offered include image size (width and height), resolution (horizontal and vertical) and image format.

If metadata is available it'll be displayed in the lower part of the window. The user can choose to view the details either as a tree or select a plain view. I would rather go with the first choice as all the main categories are broken and you can clearly see EXIF specific information (exposure time, ISO speed ratings, number of compressed bits per pixel, maximum lens aperture digital zoom, contrast, saturation etc.), details about primary image (manufacturer of the camera the picture was taken with, model, orientation, resolution, last modification time etc.), compression used.

Navigating from one image to another is an easy task, which can be accomplished either by using the keyboard or by clicking "Previous" and "Next" buttons in the top right hand part of the screen. Unfortunately, keyboard shortcuts cannot be configured by the user and you can use Page Up and page Down to toggle back and forth the images or Backspace to go to the next file. Another easy way to move to a different picture in the folder is using mouse scroll wheel.

As I said before, editing the image can be done in Nero PhotoSnap and the viewer gives you fast access to the application. From Options menu, you can set the program to close whenever edit tool is launched, giving you less trouble with desktop and taskbar space.

Nero PhotoSnap Viewer is not an image manager and it has been built to serve one purpose only: image viewing. There is nothing complicated about it and the fact that it can display metadata of the pictures makes it suitable for more advanced computer users and photography aficionados.

The Good

The interface looks great and the looks are truly up to Vista standards. Extremely easy to handle, Nero PhotoSnap Viewer is able to collect and display metadata of the images in a comprehensive manner.

The users can view the images in full screen mode with the name of the file being displayed in the top left hand screen.

The Bad

The application is so simple that there would be little chance to find something bad about it. However, the latest version does not bring any novelty concerning the features and only the interface has been upgraded.

It would have been nice though to make it a bit more complicated this time and add a fully configurable slideshow option or image flipping or at least a „Set as wallpaper" function.

The Truth

All in all, the application does what it is intended to do and nothing more. If all you care is viewing an image and takeing a look at its metadata, Nero PhotoSnap Viewer will not fail your expectations. The software is too simple to disappoint, but there is plenty of room for making it more complicated and add some supplementary options.

Proceed to Nero BackItUp, Nero BurningROM, Nero CoverDesigner, Nero Express, Nero Home, Nero PhotoSnap, Nero Recode, Nero ShowTime, Nero Vision, Nero WaveEditor, Nero StartSmart, Nero Scout, Nero InfoTool, Nero RescueAgent, Nero DiscSpeed, Nero DriveSpeed, Nero BurnRights, Nero ControlCenter, Nero SoundTrax

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 4
features 3
ease of use 5
pricing / value 3

final rating 3
Editor's review
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