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Faster Alternatives to Bridge CC

Jul 30, 2013 11:11 AM

I only use Bridge as a photo browser--I use Lightroom/Photoshop for any real work.

 

But sometimes I just want to browse a folder and be able to zoom and/or open in Photoshop.

 

So I do use Bridge in this very limited way.

 

But CC is so slow as to be non-functional. [running Mountain Lion on Core i7 with 16GB RAM]

 

I use a lot of CC software--Lightroom, InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Audition--none of it crawls like this.

 

So, my question is--is there a faster, professional [i.e. NOT Picassa] photo browser that I can replace Bridge with?

 

[I have a lot of photos on archived on several drives]

 

Obviously, there's Photo Mechanic...which I may go to if I have to, especially on location. But for now I was hoping for something a little less expensive. Plus it duplicates a lot of Lightroom does, which is my main workhorse.

 

I just want a photo browser.

 

Thanks,

 

Margot

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2013 12:29 PM   in reply to VaughnByrd21

    VaughnByrd21 wrote:

     

    I only use Bridge as a photo browser…

     

     

    That's all it really is, nothing more and nothing less than a file browser.

     

    In its first iterations it was called just Photoshop's File Browser.

     

    Folks wanting a robust DAM (Digital Assets Manager) should look at applications like Canto Cumulus.  http://www.canto.com/

     
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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2013 1:27 PM   in reply to VaughnByrd21

    So, my question is--is there a faster, professional Re: Faster Alternatives to Bridge CC photo browser that I can replace Bridge with?

     

     

    Re: Faster Alternatives to Bridge CC

     

    ===============

     

    While Canto Cumulus is the professional solution for use over a network and a lot of options it is often custom build and not cheap in this state (several thousands dollars)

     

    So if you look for a fast and useful DAM that is affordable try the Single User version of Canto Cumulus. I did get my copy from Data Basics in Australia. If you keep the different time zone in mind they have good and fast support.

     

    http://www.databasics.com.au/csu8.html

     

    Or like Station-Two already stated, Bridge is a browser but it needs time to build the cache. Canto Cumulus SU also but lightning fast compared to Bridge.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2013 5:45 PM   in reply to VaughnByrd21

    It should be as fast or faster than CS6.  If not something wrong with computer setup.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 1, 2013 1:57 AM   in reply to VaughnByrd21

    This is a late reply but hopefully it might help you or someone else.

     

    For those who don't want to read my mammoth post this is the condensed version:

     

    Bridge/Lightroom = good but painfully slow.

     

    Alternatives for PC:

    ACDSee Pro ( I use Pro 6.0)

    Faststone - Free and fast.

     

    Alternatives for Mac:

    ACDSee Pro ( I use 2.0)

    Xee - Free and fast, but few features

     

    On to the full version.

     

    First, my experience with Bridge/Lightroom then further down my solution:

     

    Bridge/lightroom both have good file management tools and lots of other features but as you've discovered they are slow.

     

    I've used Lightroom (sparingly) since 3.0 up to 5.0. Only reason I have the latest version now is because i'm subscribing to Adobe CC and I hoped for some improvements regarding speed and workflow but was disappointed. Still slow image to image rendering and still no way to simply browse files without importing them. (or have I missed something?)

    Main thing is still that it's slow.

     

    Bridge has been around for a long time now and I've tried using it since my first version which shipped with Adobe Master Collection CS3. I've jumped on every single update Adobe has thrown at it but it is still painfully slow when browsing/viewing images and forget about selecting images based on sharpness as it simply cannot handle proper scaling to screen size on the fly. It has to create preview files first, which I have still not managed to set up in spite of an excess of 100 hours research/re-install/cache purging/mucking with settings etc..

    My experience tells me that the only way to accurately gauge focus in Bridge is to zoom in 100%, something that also takes extra time especially with raw files.

     

    I really want to love Bridge since that would mean my Adobe CC subscription would handle everything I need, but no, I simply cannot get around the fact that Bridge is too slow to be efficient.

     

    For the record my systems are not slow, the specs are:

    PC:

    QuadCore i7 2.8GHz

    12GB RAM

    120GB SSD system drive

    Seagate 3TB 7200rpm photo drives

    Eizo 24" flat monitor (don't have the model nr right now but it's a S-PVA panel with good colors)

     

    Mac:

    Macbook Pro Retina 15"

    2.6 GHz i7

    16 GB Ram

    256GB SSD

     

    3:rd party solutions I use/used that you might give a try:

     

    My first choice is ACDSEE - I currently own ACDSEE Pro 6.0 for PC and 2.0 for Mac. I mainly use it to go through my memory cards during import and for that it is MILES AHEAD Lightroom/Bridge.

     

    There is a decent Categories feature that I sometimes use to keep track of where certain types of images are. For example I've created sets of categories for different clients to keep track of my best images for each client.

     

    I usually go through my memory cards and simply hit CTRL+B to save to save selected photos into the image basket, this gives me a virtual selection that I can choose to copy elsewhere or perhaps open in Photoshop straight from the memory card.

     

    It also serves as a blazing fast image viewer, it handles most image formats including jpg/png/gif/psd etc. Best of all, it's REALLY FAST compared to Lightroom and Bridge. It even handles quite big .PSD's however the bigger they get the longer it takes obviously.

     

    There are key differences between the PC version and Mac version with the PC version being better according to me. One example: The PC version uses two different keyboard shortcuts for the virtual "Image Basket", CTRL+B to add images, ALT+X to remove them from the basket. The Mac version(2.0) only has a "Tag" function where adding/removing images from the tagged list is done with the same shortcut which means you have to exit fullscreen in order to be 100% sure you have added/removed the tag. Also I had to reassign the shortcut because the standard one did nothing.

     

    I've used ACDSee on the PC about 7 years, it's been really buggy at times, most notably known for "ragequitting" on you while browsing images but the last 3 versions or so have behaved really well. I have still experienced errors forcing me to shut it down but it is now a rare problem and I prefer that risk over the inexcusable slow Bridge/Lightroom. Pro 2.0 is my first experience with it on Mac and it still needs some tweaks but some of my gripes are partly related to getting used to the Mac interface.

     

    Free alternatives that I've used and recommend:

     

    For PC I would say Faststone is a really good option, it's fast, reads most image formats, has a tagging function which gives a graphic que wether or not the image is tagged (small pink square appears in the upper left corner if I remember correctly). It has lots of features easily accessed in fullscreen by simply moving the cursor to either side of the screen. Oh and it displays the images way sharper than Bridge/Lightroom without the need to zoom in 100%. Just as with ACDSee it's often possible to determine the sharpness of an image with the image fitted to the screen size, without going 100%.

     

    For Mac I initially wanted a Faststone alternative since ACDSee wasn't available at first. My research led me to "Xee", a free image viewer that works well although lacks thumbnail view and has nothing equivalent of the Image Basket or tag function for ACDSee.

     

    Ok, I think I've done my share of typing today, I hope someone finds this information useful.

     

    If you read this Adobe; C'mon... shape up Bridge and Lightroom already, you've had many years to get it right but alot of users still see poor performance in those otherwise great programs.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2013 2:29 AM   in reply to Dynamedia

    Dynamedia wrote:

     

    Bridge has been around for a long time now and I've tried using it since my first version which shipped with Adobe Master Collection CS3. I've jumped on every single update Adobe has thrown at it but it is still painfully slow when browsing/viewing images and forget about selecting images based on sharpness as it simply cannot handle proper scaling to screen size on the fly. It has to create preview files first, which I have still not managed to set up in spite of an excess of 100 hours research/re-install/cache purging/mucking with settings etc..

    My experience tells me that the only way to accurately gauge focus in Bridge is to zoom in 100%, something that also takes extra time especially with raw files.

    Amen to that (as they say in the USA).

     

    I recently discovered that Bridge is faster if you don't use crops in Camera Raw 6 and later. An Adobe employee said that this is being addressed in the latest version, 8.2, which is due out any day now. Oh well, better late than never.

     

    I also discovered that full screen preview sharpness very much depends on both the dimensions of the image and the dimensions of your display, as well as the type of graphics card (just checking: you are using 'Monitor Size Previews', right?). Previews are sharper with my latest camera, presumably because of the different ratio of image pixels to screen size. You can disable hardware rendering in Bridge Preferences to improve the sharpness of resizing the cached preview to fit, but it slows down the display quite a lot. I don't know if this has been changed in Bridge CC, but I somehow doubt it.

     
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