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If you're just talking about viewing an image you've already converted and saved, then I suggest you have a look at IrfanView, a freeware viewer program you can easily find with a web search. One of the nice things about IrfanView is that you can set the preview display to use high quality image resampling (e.g., Lanczos). I find it to be a very high quality preview. As a bonus, IrfanView can also be set to read embedded JPEGs from within raw files for a quick preview. But I think Windows Photo Viewer can do that too.
Keep in mind with IrfanView that if you need color-managed output from it you will need to install one of its optional plug-ins.
Last but not least, if you're viewing an image to try to get a feel for how it might print, I suggest viewing an image in Photoshop at exactly 50%. It may not all fit on the screen, but I always find that gives me the best idea how the detail of a print is going to come out.
Thank you for the answer.
I've installed the programm.
It seems to be like Firefox-quality.
I can also install an other language... nice.
.... but.... why there is a difference between those programm-display-quality?
...even Bridge... (in less quality)
Resampling / resizing an image was a challenging task to do in real time up until just a few years ago.
Many of the applications you're mentioning were designed in a time when doing serious math on individual pixels might mean taking many seconds to put up a display. Thus they may have been optimized for speed rather than quality.
Even Photoshop itself, with CS4 and newer, offers OpenGL and non-OpenGL operation. The non-OpenGL operation yields choppier-looking resampling that's optimized for speed while the GPU-based OpenGL operation offers a smoother experience.
It's only in the past half decade that computers / GPUs have gotten so fast as to be able to do even the highest quality resampling in the blink of an eye.
Noel Carboni wrote:
As a bonus, IrfanView can also be set to read embedded JPEGs from within raw files for a quick preview. But I think Windows Photo Viewer can do that too.
If you've found a way to enable Windows Photo Viewer to open embedded JPEGs I'd be very interested to learn the secret. I can't achieve this on my Win 7 x64 Ultimate system.
I purchased this to be able to see thumbnails and previews in Explorer and WPV on Windows 7 64-bit:
Canon's own codec works on 32-bit Windows but not 64-bit Windows.
Yes, but that's using additional software. Noel was saying that
Windows Photo Viewer itself could extract/view the JPEGs.
It can't without a codec from somewhere.
Oops, you may be right about that. I have installed the FastPictureViewer codec pack and never thought about it when I was testing opening files.
Sorry about that.
Looks like I'll have to investigate Fast Picture Viewer.
Any view about its efficacy? Does it interfere with other image viewers? Specifically, does it try to take over as the default viewer, and if so, can you prevent that from happening?
The codec pack can be purchased separately, and that's what I got.
I have seen ZERO downside to having it. It is one of the better-integrated products. You get thumbnails (and viewing capability) for raw files and PSD files. Just the PSD thumbnails alone is worth the $15 price.
I believe you can try it for free.
Think of the codec pack as a plug-in for Explorer and Windows Picture Viewer that allows it to show other filetypes. You are still using Explorer and WPV to see things. If you purchased the Fast Picture Viewer application, itself, it probably takes over for something things if you let it but I'm not sure since I've only ever purchased the codec pack.
As far as speed, the only machine I've tried it on is my Win 7 64-bit one, which is already fast, so I don't know if it is slower for other things like JPGs that WPV can show natively, but I haven't noticed any difference, other than I see more thumbnails, now, and can do full-screen previews of my RAW files in WPV. It's just showing the embedded preview so it's not as detailed as decoding the RAW file, directly, but I wouldn't want it to take the time, either.
Thanks ssprengel and Noel.
Your detailed comments, ssprengel, were especially helpful.
I've now purchased the codec pack. The website is very impressive due to the comprehensive explanations and help offered. Really a steal at under USD$15.