is Photolab slow?


I want to replace Lightroom, so I gave a try to photolab.
I’m impress by the raw engine of photolab and the quality.

But dealing with a lot of photo : I found Photolab really slow to move from a photo to another. It’s less fluid than CaptureOne or even Lightroom, when Im in the photolibrary.
Is there something I missed?
Is there a way to make the photo library really fast?

Thanks in advance.

you can use photo mechanic or fastrawviewer to look at pictures faster than PL library.

I suppose it all depends on your computer but having too many images in a single folder has long been advised against. Don’t forget, PL isn’t just showing the jpeg preview of an image, it is rendering a miniature version of the processed RAW image for each and every file.

Hello and welcome!

How many files do you have in your folder? If it’s 100’s or thousands then make a new folder and about 30 files at a time. This should speed thing up considerably.


Depends on computer but generally yes, because that’s the price you have to pay with all converters integrated with image archives. Converters are optimized for image quality and use high resolution previews and dedicated stand alone archive programs use lighter previews to be faster.

If you integrate and rigg Photolab and Photo Mechanic to co-work you can self decide how many images at the time you will work with to minimize wait states because you have too many images in one folder. In that case you just select say 10 or 15 images at the time in PM Plus and transfer/open them i Photolab instead of open a folder of say 500 images that Fotolab shall render high res images for at once. Both PL and PM Plus shall be open in parallell to get this work effectively and you need 8 GB RAM or more to get it to work smoothly.

Preview quality costs but I prefer heavy previews before the lousy preview quality I hated in Lightroom.

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No. DxO has no fast library and is reading the RAWs again and again…

If you don’t mind the extra costs of another app to (only) browse faster, you can just throw another 300$ at PM. For that you can also get Capture One, better catalogs (at least faster to access), just no DeepPrime or “Control Points or Lines” (but good masking tools anyway).

or get fastrawviewer for just over 20$, it’s not PM (lacking keywords and some stuff) but it’s better than photo software library.

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It’s $229 which you know very well, shifty.

Moreover, the reason to pay $229 is to have access to an incredibly robust and fast catalogue system (multiple catalogues open at the same time, search across multiple catalogues, search with filtering on search results). The triage and metadata editing part is $139 with the option to add the catalogue/library functions of plus later.

FastRawViewer is the better buy for just triage and I prefer it for rating photos over PhotoMechanic. FastRawViewer metadata tools on the other hand are extremely slow and very limited. If you wish to add any metadata or rename your files before or during rating, then PhotoMechanic would be the better choice. I don’t touch metadata during triage (only on selects) so I’m very happy with FastRawViewer for rating.

I’m still happy to have PhotoMechanic for mass review and editing of metadata and more particularly for its cataloguing abilities. Yes, $229 is not 50¢. On the other hand, if hiring a personal librarian to gather up all your photos for you and sort them all isn’t worth $229 to you, you either don’t give much value to your photos or your time.

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Another vote from me for combining PM and PL as a team of apps. I used it with LR too before I crossed over to PL.

PM is just incredibly fast and makes image culling as painless task as it can be. I don’t have the Plus version of PM, so can’t comment on the extra functionality it offers but others here seem to rate it highly. The PM interface is a bit weird imo, but that maybe just me!

I use this all for work so could easily justify the extra cost of PM - time is money as they say!

PM doesn’t get big updates that often, so buying it now could likely last you a very long time without additional cost.

PS. As with most software on this day, PM has a Black Friday discount for a short time.

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Camera Bits have fixed quite a few things in a number of new builds during the last year. They solved among that a key issue I had with the integration with Photolab. In the beginning there was a bug that just allowed us to open one image at the time with the edit-function in PM Plus with Photolab. Their really responsive support fixed this issue both with Photolab and PureRaw in just a few days and released a new version and telling us this fix will be incorporated in all future versions.

It’s a very complex software developed through tweny + years and still it’s version 6, so it gives a frequence of a version update every 4 years or so.

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