someone from our forum has integrated FastRawViewer into their workflow with PhotoLab 2?
I would like to read your opinion on the advantage of using it.

I use it and really like it. It is very fast, but still shows the RAW data. So it is easy to sort out the bad shots and mark the keepers. Star ratings are taken over to PL. Since the rejected files go to another folder it is easy to start PL and only deal with the remaining pictures.

The RAW histogram allows to judge e. g. how much of the highlights and shadows can be recovered. There are also previews of highlight/shadow recovery.

It is not usable to judge sharpness of the picture, though. All previews look soft and the built-in sharpening is useless. There is focus peaking but I find that not relevant for my pictures. But I think that is the price one has to pay for the speed, which is more important.

It is important to use FRV before even starting PL.

My complete workflow is:
Import -> Geotagging -> Culling with FRV -> Develop with PL -> Export to File or Apple Photos


Thank you so much my friend.

A simple and funcional app, in your opinion. Great.

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I’m an every day FastRawViewer and PhotoLab user. I’ve posted my step by step workflow with FastRawViewer. The core of it is to cull your files before moving to PhotoLab and to move only your selects to a subfolder. If you search for FastRawViewer, I’ve posted quite a bit on how FRV obviates any real need for a DAM on the front end within PhotoLab.

Personally I most often shoot RAW and jpeg and configure FRV to show the jpeg as preferred preview as I usually get exposure right and it’s faster to check focus on full size jpegs. RAW also works fine, it’s just the time switching between images can be felt while with jpeg previews switching is near instantaneous. I developed the RAW + JPEG workflow as I also shoot Fuji sometimes and FRV does a very poor job with Fuji RAW.

There’s a separate functionality in a DAM besides ingesting and culling: managing a photographic portfolio. For a catalogue of finished/portfolio TIFF or jpeg images and an export tool for web and print, Aperture or an old copy of Lightroom 4 work well. Almost every photographer owns one or the other of these or they can be acquired very inexpensively. I recommend keeping finished images in a parallel folder structure with the same naming structure as your RAW images.

DxO PhotoLab is the superlative RAW processor. SmartLighting, ClearView, auto Horizon/auto Crop, Prime Noise Reduction (set low to 10 or 12) allow a photographer to create better masters much faster than any other RAW processor. With FastRawViewer and PhotoLab you have the core of the most efficient and high quality photo post-production workflow known to man.


Indeed, FRV is the way to go if you have to step through a big amount of RAW pics for sorting. And I like that it is has the focus on to this and not more. Photo Mechanic has to many features for me. Same why I like PL2 and its focus on RAW processing and not on DAM feature or anything else.
But all depends on your workflow, if in the field needing sth more complete, because you have to wire fast results to your agency, or sitting at home and fiddling around getting best out of the photo, or whatever :wink:


Pretty much the same idea as you.

Import Raw files to FRV
Cull and Tag
Develop in PL2
Export to NIK/Affinity/Luminar depending on the job
Export to jpg for the finished image.

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Just got notice that the latest version 1.5 is now available - I was using the Beta 1.5 as it had tiff Tiff support.

The full version 1.5 is ready and has Tiff support built in.

Handy if you want to batch process a few images at once in PL2 and then select the next step after that from the PL2 Tiffs.

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Does FRV make changes to the raw images? Or does it create sidecars? Or does it do something else? The discussion here seems to imply that there are changes made to the EXIF (rating, geotagging, etc).

FRV uses standard XMP sidecars, compatible with Adobe software (exposure, white balance) with at least the ratings compatible with PhotoLab. I don’t use the FRV exposure controls (only use it to choose selects and to throw away rejects - very valuable way to save disk space) or metadata editing so I’m not sure how much of that transfers to PhotoLab. I believe I tested the IPTC data once and it did make it across.

Perhaps someone else has more detailed information oN what exposure and metadata PhotoLab accepts from FRV.

Based on what I have observed, the only thing that comes over from FRV is rating, which is read from the FRV created XMP file. However, there is no rating key in the “dop” file.

Instead, it seems it is recorded in the ZRANK field of the ZDOPITEM table of a database file at ~/Library/DxO PhotoLab v2/DOPDatabaseV2.dopdata. Once it is in the database, it can not be updated by changes made to an xmp file. Even deleting that value (or replacing with a null char) in the database will not cause the value to be reread from the xmp file. I had to delete the database to to get ratings in xmp files to reimport.

This behavior is unfortunate as once a file has been touched by DxO, its rating is only changed from there, and once changed, will not be updated in any other app you may be using for culling and DAM. In contrast, FRV and NeoFinder play nice together (seeing changes each other make to metadata). Because of this I choose to simply ignore ratings in DxO.

IMHO… unless I’m missing something, this should be fixed as it negates a big chunk of functionality from PhotoLab… but as I don’t use it as a DAM it is not that big a deal to me.