Affordable photo management: Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 review

Digital camera owners typically have thousands of photos to manage and edit and that’s where programs such as Photo Commander fit in.

It uses the familiar hierarchical folder view with the ability to select multiple folders for simultaneous browsing as well as a convenient view by date. The thumbnails were slightly cropped until we adjusted their size to match the camera’s 4:3 aspect ratio.

The Optimize button did a good job of correcting under-exposed shots and the other tools include rotate crop straighten and redeye removal. Photos can be dressed up with shapes lines text and clipart. Get in the habit of using Save As because the Photo Commander won’t always warn that you’re about to overwrite the file. We believe programs should always preserve the original photo.

Batch processing allows bulk resizing rotation optimisation (including metadata removal) and the application of certain effects to multiple files at once. Batch renaming and IPTC metadata editing is also supported.

Lossless JPEG rotation and the ability to find identical or similar photos are both useful though the latter is a time-consuming exercise and we found that loose tolerances were needed to match similar images – for example only two of the three scans of the same image were considered a match and at only 14 per cent similarity.

Photo Commander offers plenty of ways to put images to use including slideshows relatively plain – though functional – web albums panoramas picture frames and vignettes calendars (a chance to adjust the cropping would be a big improvement) greeting cards and animated GIFs.

Other new features include the ability to show the original and modified images side by side (welcome where a preview isn’t otherwise available but it’s a shame the view changes to ‘actual pixels’ each time an operation is applied) and the management and playback of audio and video files.

Available from Ashampoo retailing for $49.99.
APC rating: 7/10