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The 7 best photo organizing software programs

by Casey Schmidt  |  April 16, 2020

6 min. read
Photo software animated.

Team members are sharing, storing and downloading digital photos all the time, which means storage space is shrinking. Advances in technology have allowed digital images to retain immense resolution. This makes photos larger in file size.

Because of this, it’s important to implement a photo organizing software system. However, all photo organizers are not created equal. What works well for someone storing family albums won’t cut it for large enterprises. Modern businesses need photo software that goes beyond traditional organization.

Fortunately, there are a lot of different photo organizing software programs to choose from, many of which are designed for companies in need of advanced storage.

Below are 7 of the most unique photo organization tools available, as well as key details that help you navigate each system to determine if it’s compatible with your company.

1. Zoner Photo Studio

Zoner Photo Studio is, above all else, a simple system to use. This benefits anyone who struggles with technical issues during projects. Zoner’s features and tools are labeled and easy to find, even for the least tech savvy users. Although Zoner is simplistic, it remains a strong photo organizing software because of its many features and tools. It especially helps in labeling and keywording images, an important task for all photo-heavy projects and campaigns.

The Zoner interface.
Zoner is a simple program that organizes photos.

Another powerful benefit is its update and upgrade consistency. Each year Zoner adds different features, tools and upgrades to existing systems. These constant updates and changes keep it current as technology changes. This is an important aspect for digital image tools in our current climate, where all different types of improvements alter the way our photos exist.

Though Zoner is great for users working with their private photos, it doesn’t meet the needs of a company. Another place it falters is its lack of complex photo organizing potential. It unfortunately doesn’t have the necessary tools for advanced team members looking to store images. Though its simplicity may help certain companies with basic photo storage, many will find fault in its limitations.

2. Canto DAM

Canto digital asset management (DAM) is a comprehensive photo organizing software with advanced enterprise features. If you’re in need of photo software tools designed specifically for companies, DAM is the right choice for you. It offers breakthrough security features to protect sensitive image files from unauthorized use. DAM even automatically applies watermarks to stored and uploaded images.

The Canto interface.
Digital asset management is photo organizing software for businesses.

A big reason DAM is so useful to companies is its metadata management tools, allowing users to locate stored images based on photo keywords. For example, if thousands of Atlantic Ocean pictures were stored in the DAM database, your teams could search ‘ocean’ to locate them. The metadata searches can be broad or specific, depending on the needs of your project.

Canto digital asset management also uses automatic tagging and facial recognition technology to make it easier to locate images in the system. And as a bonus, Canto integrates directly with Adobe Lightroom Classic. Ultimately, DAM is the most comprehensive photo organizing software for enterprises. Consider DAM when you need a system designed to save teams important time and increase workflows.

3. digiKam

digiKam is designed for anyone in need of advanced-level photo organizing software. This typically includes technical users who have programming and editing experience. The first standout feature of digiKam is it’s completely free. This is great for users on a budget who need an advanced system. Another plus is digiKam doesn’t mandate a lot of upgrades or updates. This saves a lot of time and hassle.

The digiKam interface.
digiKam is open source and is great for advanced users.

digiKam is open source software, which empowers users to navigate within the system. With digiKam, users finish image-based projects quickly. Furthermore, changing a photos’ organizational structure is possible without outside support. Even though digiKam has a lot of amazing features, it’s not for everyone. Make sure it’s within the range of your technical capabilities before using it.

4. Magix Photo Manager

Magix Photo Manager is ideal for users in need of basic image organizing software as part of a comprehensive video, music and media package. It’s a great solution that fulfills different storage needs and minimizes support requests. It organizes photos quickly using image library software and allows importing from popular cloud storage services. This ensures users are able to take pictures from their currently-used cloud systems.

The Magix Photo interface.
Users can upload directly from the cloud with Magix.

Even though Magix Photo Manager is basic compared to other systems, there are some favorable qualities that make it the right choice for some users. First, it’s very fast and accurately handles fundamental organization tasks. It also automatically seeks and points out error-ridden photos with problems such as blurred graphics. These features keep the system competitive with more advanced organizing systems.

5. Google Photos

Google Photos is a free image service that offers users unlimited cloud drive space for pictures. This entire process is completed on Google’s familiar website. It also lets users search for specific features such as items within a photograph. Google Photos has a built-in editing tool, enhancing editing possibilities without the need for third-party software. These features make it a simple, effective program.

Google Photos interface.
Google Photos offers a familiar interface.

Google’s compression system makes it easy to store and share images. If an image is too large, sharing it is slow – especially with large quantities of recipients. Compression also keeps images manageable, speeding up the different processes. This saves drive space, which is a big reason why Google Photos is able to stay free. The only thing it isn’t good at is tackling complex photo storage tasks, typically needed by large enterprises.

6. Faststone Image Viewer

Faststone is a reliable photo organizing software with enough features and capabilities to work with most major image file types. It’s great for photographers and users with complex graphic design needs. One feature to consider is the way Faststone allows users to view stored photos in great detail. It provides superior picture vision, which saves time and avoids any hassles opening and closing files while searching.

The FastStone Image Viewer interface.
FastStone is for graphic-based companies.

Faststone allows users to import images from cameras directly onto the software. It supports the image file extensions from most major cameras – a huge plus for photographers. Many popular camera brands have their own flagship photo software, which limits FastStone usefulness. However, it’s the key software to consider for cameras without their own personal software system.

7. SmugMug

SmugMug is an online photo storage system designed for professional and aspiring photographers. It offers unique photography features inspired by industry professionals. SmugMug provides a secure system to store images and presents portfolios in a business-professional manner. The SmugMug layout is representative of how a physical art gallery or show might take place.

The SmugMug interface in action.
Some software programs are aimed at professional photographers.

SmugMug helps photographers create websites, presentations and logos within a simple interface. Its attention to detail is crucial for photographers. Use SmugMug if you need to store and manage high resolution images. Even though this tool has a limited purpose, it’s perfect if you’re an aspiring or professional photographer.

Put your new photo tool to work

There’s no shortage of different photo organizing software systems to choose from. Keep in mind that each tool has unique complexities and features that aren’t for everyone.

Consider your specific digital image requirements, for now and the foreseeable future. This should guide you to select the right program for your company.

Begin your path to success today. We’re certain whichever program you select will boost your business!

Here is our video wrap-up where we compare the different programs: