Microsoft Pro Photo Tools 2: A review

30Sep08

Just over 4 months ago, I wrote a short review about the Microsoft Pro Photo Tools and concluded that it didn’t serve my needs because it didn’t support RAW geotagging.

Well, Microsoft apparently were in tuned to some people as their second version supports RAW! This is excellent news!

Microsoft Pro Photo Tools

Microsoft Pro Photo Tools

I had the opportunity to put the new software through its paces, and I’d say “I’m loving it”.

In particular, it now supports direct encoding of GPS data into NEFs, among other formats. It also supports Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony and ArdFry???! All this is done through codecs provided by the camera manufacturers, which should ensure compatibility, as long as they keep the codecs up to date. It can also write to XMP sidecar files as well.

It also improves the user interface a little for geotagging, and the help menu now works!

It wasn’t clear to me if it used interpolation to determine GPS location if your photo was not taken exactly when the GPS data was snapshot in the track route file, so I tested it. Well, it does use interpolation rather than just picking the closest time point after all. This is my preferred method for higher accuracy locating.

I see myself using this together with GPicSync GPS geotagging software. GPicSync is great if I have a whole directory of images that require geotagging, and I have either GPX or NMEA track route files. But if I only want to tag specific images in a directory, or I want to manually geotag images by placing them on a map or entering an address, Pro Photo Tools will do that for me, and GPicSync can’t. These two tools should cover most of my geotagging needs.

I’ve looked at a few different solutions for geotagging in the past, but with RAW support, I think Microsoft has a winner here.

Read Microsoft’s write up and download the software here. Then get the appropriate codec for your camera here.

Cheers!

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