What to use to quickly and efficiently sort out and rate the images before processing them in DxO PL?


I have the problem that I can photograph rather rarely. But when I do, it’s usually for 1 week wildlife photo trip. I end up with a good 10-12,000 images that need to be reviewed and sorted out. I find the browser in DxO PL unsuitable for this, as it is much too slow. Support could not give me a tip so far. How do you sort out such a large number of images before they are processed in DxO PL?

Welcome to the forum, @RobiWann
Rating and culling has been talked about in the forum, a search might help to find the respective posts. In short, people use other apps like photo mechanic, lightroom or bridge, fast raw viewer, acdsee and the other usual suspects. Try to find out what the apps can do and which one suits you best. Devise a test plan and download the respective trials after having read or viewed comments here or out there.

1 Like


Remember that you can use Lightroom as a DAM even if you don’t pay the subscription (unless something has changed recently ?). In that case the Library features remain enabled. This should be enough for your needs.

1 Like

same goes for Adobe Bridge, which is a more light “free” solution … not to mention free software like XnView/XnViewMP, etc, etc… or cheap FastRawViewer…


I tend to shoot raw+jpeg and I use XnViewMP for a first pass - amongst other skills, it has the ability to compare side by side images with which I’m comparing composition and focus using the jpegs. After culling the worst raw/jpeg pairs, I go into FastRawViewer which has a better focus on Raw files allowing quick exposure evaluation. Though I don’t use the facility, I believe either of the above can be used for rating.
For me, amongst other solutions, this was the most affordable.

A brief shout out to FastStone Image Viewer (Windows only) which is an excellent free viewer also capable of side by side image comparison.


I have been using Fast Raw viewer for years now for culling and then PL for processing. This is what I do:

  1. I set up FRV to move rejected/deleted files to a subdirectory called _Rejected (I think this is FRV default)
  2. Reject/delete photos I don’t want.
  3. Rate my photos with stars

I also use Sharpness and Detail mask view to evaluate the photos which is super useful.

Then I go to PL and filter to show only photos with stars which I then develop. If I reject any starred photos I use the reject (red) button.

This works extremely well and I can always see un-starred photos and rejected photos by setting the filters appropriately. You can also go and see your deleted/rejected photos from FRV by going to the _Rejected folder.

Once you are happy with what you have selected and developed you can delete all un-starred, rejected and _Rejected folder if you want to cleanup.

FRV is super fast, shows actual raw data, is cheap and has many other features such as 2 & 4 photo comparison view, highlight and shadow recovery preview and more.

Hope this helps.


Yes I know, but unfortunately it’s not my preferred DAM system.

I have FRV some years but I have very often problems with sharpness

??? Where do you see the sharpness and detail mask?
I see only “Screen Sharpening”

Or do you mean - keys “p” and/ or “e” by default?

Here is a screenshot of the relevant pages from the manual. I use the E & D keys.

1 Like

My recommendations for image culling are Fast Raw Viewer, Narrative Select, or Photo Mechanic.

My personal favourite is Photo Mechanic, but I’ve used it fur years and very comfortable with its use.

Prior to that I did use Fast Raw Viewer.

I have trialled Narrative Select and really liked it. Much more modern interface than the other two, and very easy to start using for the first time. It also has a free price option for a limited number of shoots per month, so this may meet your needs nicely? The free option has all the features of the paid option.

All the above work on Windows and Mac.

1 Like

If you still have any non-subscription-model Adobe software installed, beware uninstalling the subscription-model Bridge. Yes it’s free. Yes it works fine. But if you decide you don’t want it, don’t uninstall it on a day when Adobe support is unlikely to be on hand to help with licensing issues. Their last non-subsn PS doesn’t do well with 4K (menus the size of ant tracks) so I don’t expect this matters to anyone here, but still…
Oh, and yes, I bought Affinity Photo that day. Sometimes you just need a pixel editor (e.g. combining on-tracker (sharp stars) night shots with off-tracker foreground).

I personally prefer to stick to old fashion Folder structure, because its independent of any one propitiatory tagging solution and when I switch between software, I want my database to be independent and not hostage to that particular system. If I had to work with a lot of images, for example 5000 or more, for many years I used folder structure to sort and ACDSee on Windows to view and pick. ACDSee has one advantage which is that its able to preview RAW files quickly and without importing into separate database. Saving me time on avoiding import and saving me disk space of avoiding duplicate database. Anyway, that is my quick and efficient method. I don’t know how it works on Mac. But I’m sure there has to be some similar application for it. Anyway, that’s just my version. Also I think ACDSee also comes in free viewer version so it there should be no extra cost. Its a great file bowers and photo viewer, but not good photo editor, so its best to stick to bare bone free image viewer and use other software for editing files.

And why somebody who is not Adobe’s paid customer needs something from Adobe’s support for paid customers ?

If you have a licensed product from before they imposed their SAAS model, you bought it. If you bought it, they got your money and you still are a customer - just not a currently-paying-rent SAAS customer. I had no issues getting help from them, once they were in the office.
Reading comprehension?
I’d made the mistake of installing the latest Bridge to see if it was any better than the one that came with CS6. It was IMO different, but not spectacularly better, so I uninstalled it. Big mistake on a 3 day holiday.

ok, I see the point you try to make … I do not have any “product from before” left, so I missed it

No worries. I got bit (some years ago, no more Adobe anything left here either), was looking to warn anyone - if there even is anyone - with an old license.
BTW, if you’ve been using PS long enough that the key combinations are ‘automatic’ for you, Affinity Photo keeps those combos. Very easy transition. I don’t need a pixel/layer editor all that often, but when I do, I use that.

I’m using Fastrawviewer
Cheap one but does the job for me (just for initial culling)

  • Let’s you compare few similar images
  • Can display sharp areas on each image
  • Can highlights darken areas to view if there’s details.
  • Can darken highlights areas to view if there’s details
    *stars and color tags could be reflected in PL, but I don’t use it, I use the option of selected files will be moved into “_selected” folder
  • Wait for Black Friday there will be a sale probably.


or find a lot of errors in it and get a free license… that I way to got a free license ( but I still purchased , as it was/is cheap ) for FRV way back in Nov 2014 before they started to sell it !

1 Like

Exactly, cheap but does a good job. Cost me 17.99$ last year
Not to mention that it displays the raw file itself, not the embedded jpg as some others do.

As I mentioned before, I have had FRV for many years, but very often I have problems with sharpness. I’ll check tips from @KeithRJ