A free tool, Fastpreview, gives you detailed information about your digital photographs – type of camera, ISO speed rating, resolution in pixels, file size.
Before we begin, let’s have a quick look at what Windows (in this case, Windows 10) has to offer, photo-wise.
Here we’ve copied a photo to the Windows Desktop, then right-clicked on it and chosen Properties from the pop-up menu.
When the dialogue box opens, click the Details tab and then scroll through the list to view all the available metadata: this will vary from image to image and camera to camera.
Fastpreview can do better than that. Launch a web browser and go to Fastpreview’s website.
When the site loads, scroll down to the Downloads section and choose the first one in the list (labelled as the 64-bit version).
Now locate and double-click the downloaded file, ignore any security warnings, agree to the licence, accept the defaults (unless you have reason to do otherwise) and at the end click Close to finish the installation.
Fastpreview is now ready to use. Try this, open a folder that contains some photos and then, from the View menu, choose List or Details view (if the menu bar isn’t visible, hold down the left Alt key).
Find a photo and left-click to select it (this important – if you just right-click you won’t see the new Fastpreview menu) and then, once it’s highlighted, right-click on the picture.
A pop-up menu – known as a context menu – appears showing a preview of the selected picture.
Depending on the size of your screen, the preview image in the context menu is too small or too big.
Fix it either way by opening the menu in the previous step and then clicking on the Info and Settings menu item.
When the dialogue box appears, use the up and down arrows alongside the Width and Height boxes to increase or decrease the size of the thumbnail. Click OK when done.
As the program’s name suggests, Fastpreview also includes an image viewer: by default this can display whichever photo is being viewed at its optimum size for the screen, automatically.
First, left-click on a photo to select it, then right-click and, when the context menu appears, left-click the thumbnail to see a preview of the image.
The photo can also be manipulated in various ways – for example, rotating or mirroring it without any loss of quality. Right-click on the photo to see a selection of editing options.
With that menu open, choose Show Properties and when the dialogue box appears, click the Fastpreview tab at the top.
From here you’ll be able to see the kind of information that keen photographers love. Scroll down to find the make and model of camera, details about the ISO speed rating, saturation, white balance, lens aperture and so on.
With Fastpreview installed, this is information is also available directly from Windows Explorer – just select the photo, right-click and choose Properties.