I'm pretty sure that my ideas are not unique, so many of you may share this minor annoyance with RAW files and Windows: You cannot preview them in Windows Explorer. I like to copy the contents of the CF card to a new folder on my computer and then just look through them quickly, deleting the obvious throwaways, accidental shutter presses, focus errors, etc. The Canon FileViewer utility is slow and won't show full screen. Capture One Rebel Edition is also slow and has display limitations, too. So I end up just converting everything and then paging through the TIFFs in Explorer.

Until now, that is. I don't recall in which forum I found this (not this one--I just did a search) but there is a little program called DP Magic Picture Viewer for $9.95 for the full version for free for the limited one. It integrates with Windows Explorer to allow RAW files to display just like regular image files. It also shows (right click...properties) EXIF including some data I haven't seen in FVU or C1--actual numbers associated with sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone. It also displays a histogram. Here is the file data displayed:

Dimensions: 3152 x 2068
Capture Time: Sat Mar 20 09:38:56 2004
Camera Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
Type: CRW Image
Size: 5.5 MB
ISO speed: 100
Aperture: f 5.6
Flash mode: Off
Shutter speed: 1/400
Bulb duration: 0 (sec)
Exposure compensation: 0 EV
Focused distance, lower: 11.000 (m)
Focused distance, upper: 7.100 (m)
Zoom range, lower: 0 (mm)
Zoom range, upper: 2 (mm)
Flash compensation: 0 EV
Contrast: -1
Saturation: -1
Sharpness: 92
Color tone: 320
Shutter delay: 0.00
Autofocus mode: Single shot
Driver mode: Single shot
White point mode: Auto

Note there is no lens or focal length info, as displayed in FVU. Notice also the settings shown for Contrast, etc. above. In the Canon FVU those four settings display simply as "Normal". The histogram shows all three color channels. But all this is a bonus, as far as I'm concerned. The ability to preview the RAW files full screen or actual size is well worth the $10 and then some. Only possible drawback...you have to pay through PayPal.

Anyone interested, the full version is also available for evaluation: