TOP CHOICE ACDSee Photo Studio $89.95, Windows/macOS
RUNNER-UP Adobe Bridge CC Starting $9.99 per month, Windows/macOS
Every day, the world takes an incalculable number of photos. Instagram alone is responsible for roughly 95 million photos a day, and that doesn’t count all the images that are sent to different services, shot with DSLRs, or never uploaded. If you love your smartphone or digital camera, you’re probably taking hundreds (if not thousands) of photos all by yourself each year, and if you’re a professional photographer that photo collection will grow much faster.
As a result, many photographers find themselves stuck with a huge number of images and no good way to sort through them. Your computer’s operating system includes a very basic program for organizing your images, such as the macOS Photos app, but it’s often hard for a simple program to keep up with the incredible number of images created in the modern world. So what’s a photographer to do? Choose a dedicated photo management program, of course!
After some careful testing using my own roughly-organized photo collection, I’ve selected ACDSee Photo Studio as the best photo management program, no matter whether you’ve got a few images to sort through or thousands. It has a solid set of filters and tags, it’s easy to use, and it’s quite responsive when handling photo collections with tens of thousands of images. It even provides statistics about the images you’ve got in your collection, and we all love Big Data. I’m going to be using it for my personal collection moving forwards, and I refuse to compromise on quality when it comes to the software I choose.
If you’re a casual photographer looking for a great photo manager on a budget, you may want to look at the free alternatives I tested. They provide more basic flagging and filtering of your collection, but you can’t argue with the price. The interfaces take a bit of time to get used to, and are not nearly as capable as ACDSee, but they can still help you bring order to the chaos of an unsorted “Photos” folder.