It’s a pretty well known fact that if you want to capture the best photos you can with your fancy DSLR camera, you should switch your settings to shoot RAW images. These are the uncompressed images straight as they come into the camera, and the advantages of RAW are that you can see exactly what you’ve got stored, and you have many more options in terms of editing to get the image you really want at the end of the day. JPEG just doesn’t give you this flexibility and power.
The problem is, normal editing software won’t typically read RAW, and even if it does, it’s usually glacially slow because of the larger uncompressed file sizes. Now you can get around these limitations with FastRawViewer. This handy freeware program for Mac and Windows lets you scan your RAW images straight from the camera at ultra high speed, and gives you all the information you need to help you decide which images to work on and which to discard.
It also features a limited set of editing functions, so for example you can tweak and fiddle with exposure and white balance before saving for editing in more powerful programs like Adobe Lightroom. The program comes with a bunch of configuration settings to let you tune it for your particular computer (for instance if you want to downgrade the performance hit if you have a sluggish processor), and while the user interface is not really cutting edge, we suspect real RAW users won’t notice at all.
Definitely a must-have for the dedicated photographer types.