I’ve been reviewing iView’s Media Pro 3 for a couple months now. It’s fantastic, and it has done wonders for my digital work flow. But I’ve started to write the review at least a dozen times. There are a lot of things I want to cover, but stringing them all together has been ugly. So I’m just going to write a review in the form of a bunch of short posts. I think that’ll make things easiest for everyone.
So for my first segment I wanted to tell about how Media Pro 3 blew me away on a recent Engagement Photo Shoot I did.
While digital photography can be much quicker than film photography, there’s still a decent amount of workflow involved between shooting the photos and delivering a final product – whether that be in print or digital form. Streamlining that workflow has been a much debated topic, and seems to be forever evolving. Here is where Media Pro 3 made the biggest impression on me.
So I went out with a happy couple to take engagement photos on a recent saturday. I took a couple hundred pictures over 2 hours. That’s a lot of photos to sort through and pare down before something good can be delivered. (That’s assuming of course that any of the shots I took were worth a second look…)
We returned to my home and I loaded all the RAW images onto my PowerBook – which took about 20-30 minutes. Once they were on my computer I then launched Media Pro. I immediately created a catalog from the folder that contained my image files. Within a minute all the files had been indexed and had thumbnails generated.
I gave the couple my laptop, and showed them how to assign ratings (based on the 5 stars) in the Catalog View of Media Pro 3. iView’s software handles RAW files easily, setting them at the middle level on just about everything. So pre conversion, the images are viewable and a decision can be made by browsing through them. Once they were finished rating their favorite shots I could get back to work.
I easily reorganized the shots based on their ratings. I selected the 3-5 star rated photos and launched them into Adobe’s Camera Raw for post processing. Media Pro 3 allows you to set any Helper Applications that you desire. So selecting the images and right clicking (or CTRL clicking) brings up a list of your Helper Apps. Direct. Simple. From here it was simply a matter of applying the color and brightness adjustments and exporting the images into a new folder.
I created a new catalog in Media Pro for the exported jpgs. I burned a copy of the catalog of images that they could take with them – right from Media Pro. Then I launched and saved a slideshow of the images to publish to the web so they could easily show their family members or do whatever they wanted with.
Now I realize that a number of these features are also available in Apple’s iPhoto. But the difference comes in the form of ease of use. Adding ratings, adding metadata, and reorganizing based on a dozen different parameters is a SNAP. In iPhoto, it’s just not quite that simple – at least not when your needs are a bit more robust.
iView’s Media Pro 3 is definitely a more pro level app for managing your digital file catalogs. It’s a lot more than iPhoto, but then again it’s targeting a slightly more advanced audience. (I say ‘advanced’, meaning the needs of the user, not the user’s level of competence.) I’ll get into more of its capabilities in subsequent posts, so don’t worry. For now, this was the experience that really made Media Pro a staple in my digital photography workflow.
iView Media Pro 3 will set you back $200. You can check it out here.