Compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 in both 32- and 64-bit flavors, FastPictureViewer first launched in January 2008. Since then, programmer Axel Rietschin has offered up an impressive average of over one update per week, with last week's debut of FastPictureViewer 126.96.36.199 being the program's hundredth release.
FastPictureViewer is available in a free Home Basic version, which allows viewing of both JPEG and Microsoft HD Photo / JPEG-XR image formats, with the ability to recognize EXIF orientation tags, and no limitation on image size beyond the hardware capabilities of the machine on which it is installed. The program supports color management, supports high-res and multi-monitor setups, and allows rating of images, zooming and panning, histogram and EXIF viewing. allows pre-registered trial
Two upgraded, for-pay versions of the program are also offered. FastPicture Home Premium costs €9.99 / US$14.99, allows installation on up to five PCs with one license, and adds support for BMP, RLE, DIB, PNG, GIF and ICO image formats. FastPictureViewer Professional meanwhile adds support for TIFF, DjVu, PSD, TGA, EXR, DICOM, JPEG 2000 and a wide range of Raw image formats, although some do require either third-party codecs or Rietschin's own freely available WIC Codec Pack. The Pro version also adds tethered MTP / PTP shooting ability (where supported by the camera), persistent bookmarking, and allows installation on two PCs with a license fee of €19.90 / US$29.90.
The update to FastPictureViewer v188.8.131.52 allows a pre-registered trial of the Professional version, with the program reverting to the free Home Basic features at the end of the trial. (Previous versions had required the user to manually request a trial through the FastPictureViewer website). The trial runs to a set expiration date that's usually updated twice a week or so, meaning that the exact trial term will vary slightly between 1.5 to 2 weeks. A subsequent v184.108.40.206 release made available on Wednesday fixes a rare activation issue, and correct a problem with one preference setting not being saved.
The WIC Codec Pack mentioned previously is also a pretty interesting tool, available completely free of charge and functional even without FastPictureViewer installed. The pack provides support for TGA images and a variety of Raw image formats in WIC-enabled image viewers such as FastPictureViewer Professional, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows 7's Media Center, as well as in .NET 3.x and Windows Presentation Foundation-based applications. The pack also allows viewing image thumbnails in Windows Explorer for users of Windows 7 and Vista, and includes a thumbnail provider that also allows users of Windows XP SP3 to see thumbnails of all WIC Codec Pack formats in Explorer. First released on September 12th, the current version of the WIC Codec Pack is v1.23, released today and correcting an issue with Adobe DNG forced previews.
For more details on both FastPictureViewer and the WIC Codec Pack, visit the FastPictureViewer website!