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ACDSee Pro 4 Photo Management Software

acdsee pro 4ACDSee Sytems International recently released the newest version of their photo management and editing software, ACDSee Pro 4.

Like the previous versions, ACDSee 4.0 is a powerful photo management software program that allows photographers to import, organize, view, edit and backup their ever growing digital photo collections.

While powerful enough to meet the needs of the professional photographer, ACDSee Pro 4 is also user friendly enough for the newest novice.

One of the most important things for any photographer is having a good digital asset management (D.A.M.) plan so their photos are organized and backed up on a regular basis. ACDSee Pro 4 has all the tools needed for cataloging, organizing, backing up and editing your vast collection of photos in one easy to use but fast and powerful program.

Benefits of ACDSee Pro 4

Unlike some photo management software programs that require you to import your photos into a catalog before they are available to view or edit, ACDSee Pro lets you have access to all your photos right from the start. You are not limited to working with a single catalog of photos. Instead you have direct access to all your folders and photos at any time.

ACDSee Pro 4 folder viewRather than limit you to a particular workflow ACDSee really allows you to manage your workflow the way you want to. If you want to catalog your photos and work with specific catalogs you can. Prefer to see all your photos and choose a specific folder to work from…no problem…ACDSee can handle that as well.

Unlike some photo management software, ACDSee puts you in control of how you work rather than forcing you into their preferred method.

ACDSee Pro 4.0 features state of the art image editing algorithms. Their patented “Lighting and Contrast Enhancement” and “Single Exposure HDR” allow photographers to fix underexposed images, increase the contrast and saturation of dull, flat photos, correct uneven and backlit photos and selectively brighten dark areas while darkening light areas (automatic dodging and burning). effectively creating an HDR image from a single photo.

Key Features of ACDSee Pro 4

  • The advantage of having a single photo management software program that gives you the tools needed to import, process, edit and manage your photos.
  • An easy to use digital workflow software system built around four tabs…Manage, View, Process and Online. This allows you customize your complete digital workflow into the most efficient system for you.
  • ACDSee Pro 4 allows you to import your photos directly from your camera or memory card and quickly assign categories, keywords, IPTC data, etc. During the import process you can easily rename the files, create backup copies and file in metadata information such as location, copyright, etc.
  • It has flexible and powerful search tools allow you to find photos by date, event, location and other image metadata or properties.
  • The ability to import and process RAW images from a large variety of cameras. All editing in ACDPro 4.0 is done non-destructively. That means your original file remains unchanged and you can go back to the file and re-edit it again later. You can edit RAW images in full size with amazing speed.
  • Built in editing tools allow you to add watermarks, text, or special effects to your photo. It also has cloning and healing tools as well as red eye removal and other editing features. If additional editing is needed you can quickly open the photo in an external editor such as Adobe Photoshop or Coral PaintShop Pro.
  • Create single picture HDR images using ACDSee’s patented single exposure HDR algorithms. This allows you to bring out the full dynamic range of the photo and provides a realistic high dynamic range image from a single photo.
  • Easily boost the saturation of a color or increase or decrease the brightness of a color without affecting skin tones using the color sliders.
  • A fully customizable workspace. Change the color scheme, define workspace presets, setup keyboard shortcuts and customize toolbars to help you setup your digital workflow software to work the way you want it to.
  • Display your images online. You can easily publish your photos on the ACDSee online website or use one of the built in uploaders to load your photos to popular photo websties such as Flickr, Smugmug, Zenfolio or your own FTP account.
  • Compare up to four images side by side and easily tag the one best one.
  • Edit photos in real time directly from the original file. No need to import photos to a special folder or database to be worked on.
  • Fast and easy batch editing of multiple photos.

ACDSee Pro4 Workflow
Work faster with ACDSee Pro Photo Manager 4

What’s New in Version ACDSee 4

  • Enhanced metadata features allow you to edit important metadata information for a single photo or a group of photos by simply selecting the photos and opening the metadata pane. You can even customize the metadata fields that are displayed in that pane to allow you to quickly see and edit the fields that are important to you. You can also save metadata presets so that you can quickly apply the information to multiple images.
  • Quickly see the location of the photo using GPS information from GPS enabled cameras or assign location information to existing files. This is handy if you want to see or display your photos on Google Maps, etc.
  • Enhanced RAW processing. New non-destructive RAW processing technology allows you to quickly process RAW files.
  • Lens correction tools. New in ACDSee Pro 4 are tools that allow you to quickly correct lens vignetting and chromatic aberration and defringing.
  • Automatic uploading of photos. ACDSee Pro 4 allows you to designate specific folders to be automatically uploaded to your ACDSee Online storage space. This makes it quick and easy to share your photos with friends and family. Simply add the photos to one of the designated folders and ACDSee will automatically upload them for display online.

ACDSee Pro 4 Screenshot with MapSee the location of your photo on a map using GPS information from the camera.

Working with ACDSee Pro 4

No matter how many photos you have it is important to have them organized and to have a regular back up plan. ACDSee Pro helps you do just that.

Unlike some photo management software that require you to import photos to edit them, ACDSee Pro 4.0 gives you instant access to every photo on your computer. This allows you to quickly and easy browse or edit any photo without limiting you to working on just one catalog.

Rather than force you into a specific workflow method, ACDSee Pro 4.0 allows you to manage your photo collection the way you want. It can handle both catalog and browser based workflows which means you can work and organize your photos your way.

ACDSee Pro 4 Screenshot Manage TabThe view tab allows you to quickly review your photos in full screen mode.
After importing your photos you can quickly manage them and tag your favorites. Using ACDSee Pro you can tag, rate, or assign categories to single or multiple photos. This information is stored in the ACDSee database and allows you to quickly find your favorite photos.

Powerful batch editing tools help you quickly make changes to multiple files at once. From correcting exposure, adding metadata information, renaming a group of files or even adding a watermark, ACDPro has the tools and speed needed to get your photos processed and ready to show as quickly as possible.

ACDSee Pro 4 Lighting edit viewThe Lighting Panel allows you to adjust the luminance on a zone by zone setting.
ACDSee Pro has a robust set of built in editing tools plus the ability to quickly open a photo in your favorite external editor like Adobe Photoshop.

Using the lightning control you can adjust different luminance zones of the photo and quickly bring out the detail in shadow areas. When processing RAW images you can obtain HDR type results from a single image. Even on JPEG photos using the auto selection on the Lighting panel will often create an HDR type of image.

This feature alone makes the program invaluable to me as it can make such a change in the appearance of an image and sometimes can rescue an improperly exposed image.

ACDSee Pro 4 advanced color edit viewThe Advanced Color Mode allows you to adjust saturation and brightness by individual color.
Another of my favorite editing tools is the ability to boost saturation on a color by color basis as well adjust the brightness of a color or range of colors. This feature is very useful when your sky is a little washed as you can quickly boost the blue saturation resulting in a more please sky. Because you are working on a color by color basis you have more control and can dramatically improve a photo with a few quick adjustments.

Of course like other editing done in ACDSee Pro these adjustments are non-destructive which means you can easily revert back to the original image or make further adjustments later on.

ACDSee Pro 4 geometry edit viewThe Geometry Controls allow you to quickly straighten horizons and adjust perspective.
A third editing feature I love is the non-destructive geometric edits that you can do. ACDSee allows you to quickly straighten the horizon, adjust perspective and crop a photo.

You can quickly zoom in and out on all editing modes and see your finished results in real time to quickly adjust multiple photos making them the best they can possibly be.

My Experience with ACDSee Pro

Several years ago when I started doing more sports photography, I quickly learned that I needed to find a top-notch digital workflow program that would help me speed up the processing of the thousands of pictures I would take during a baseball, basketball or wrestling tournament.

The photo management software program I was looking for would have to be one that would help me organize, edit and catalog a large number of pictures as fast as possible. That need started me on a quest where I researched, evaluated and used multiple photography management software programs both commercial and free over a several month period.

After evaluating every program I could find from Picasa to Lightroom, I finally settled on and began using ACDSee Pro. I chose ACDSee Pro over all the other software I tried because I found it very easy to use, yet extremely powerful.

With Lightroom being the defacto standard that many if not most professional photographers used when running Windows, it was tough to choose between going with Lightroom or ACDSee Pro. But in the end ACDSee Pro won me over for two reasons:

  • it was much more user-friendly. Never in my years of using ACDSee Pro have I felt the need to buy a “Missing Manual” or take a class to learn to master its features and unleash its power. Lightroom on the other hand seems much less user friendly and like Adobe Photoshop supports a whole cottage industry selling training manuals and videos on how to use it. While Lightroom is a top-notch program I needed something equally as powerful with a much shorter learning curve.
  • I preferred ACDSee’s “windows explorer” browsing structure over Lightroom. In Lightroom you have to import photos into a catalog in order to see or edit them. This approach in how they handle files is one of the biggest differences between Lightroom and ACDSee Pro. To begin working on photos in Lightroom you have to import them to the catalog you want before they are available to organize and edit. On the other hand with ACDSee Pro you can organize, rate and edit any photo on your computer without having to catalog it or import it into the program. ACDSee has powerful cataloging abilities but it also has the more typical “windows explorer” file structure view that lets you quickly access photos in any folder on your hard drives as well as creating a new folder, copying and moving photos, etc. all from within the program.

After several years of using ACDSee as my digital asset management (D.A.M.) program I recently upgraded to ACDSee Pro 4 and cannot be more satisfied. In fact this latest version of ACDSee Pro moves this from simply being a program I use and highly recommended to being a “must have” program that really exceeded my already high expectations.