This guide showcases the best photo culling software available for professional and amateur photographers in 2022 for speeding up their workflow.
We all agree that photo culling is a wearisome task. The whole process is sluggish and takes away a big chunk of time from a photographer’s workflow. Culling images is not only time-consuming but also tedious & tiring.
If you are looking for the best photo culling software that can save your time, here is a list that can help you find a culling solution:
TOP 9 PHOTO CULLING SOFTWARE FOR 2022
Now let’s look into Photo Culling Apps that are powered by AI.
AI-based Software is most effective and advantageous in an environment where the job is monotonous and time is of real essence. It’s efficient, super-fast, and helps automate your photography workflow.
However, some might wonder how Artificial Intelligence works in Professional Photography.
Would you trust an AI to make creative decisions for you?
Well, it sure has its advantages and disadvantages! However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages by a long stretch, and the drawbacks are so minute in comparison that it’s almost negligible.
AI-Based Photo Culling Software
FilterPixel is an AI-based photo culling software that culls thousands of photos in a click.
Unlike other culling software, which tries to automate the entire culling process, Filterpixel believes that photography is an art and does not impose AI decisions over photographers’.
Instead, FilterPixel is designed with features where the photographer saves 70% of culling time without losing control over their artistic style.
You can start your free 14-day trial to experience all the AI features.
Compatibility: MAC and Windows
Pricing Information: Manual Culling is free; AI culling starts from $9.99/month.
File Support: CR2, CR3, DNG, NEF, JPEG, ARW, DCR, ORF, RW2, RAW, PEF, RAF, etc
You can ask for your file support request in the community
- The free & fastest culling engine to ingest any camera RAW files.
- AI Smart Filters quickly segregates images into 3 different categories as Accepted, Rejected( major eye quality and out-of-focus issues), and Unlabelled (photos without any issues)
- AI Sliders to drag & get your high-quality photos
- Automatically select your best photos from a set of similar photos using AutoSelect.
- Find similar photos and group them into a stack of cards
- Face view feature to check errors without zooming in and out quickly.
- Easy keyboard shortcuts to apply star ratings, color ratings, clear the ratings, and tag/untag images.
- Syncs photos to Lightroom seamlessly with a single click.
- Take your final images after culling to any photo editing software like CaptureOne, Bridge, etc.
- Culling happens off the machine, hence no load on the storage and RAM of your machine.
- The AI works great for portraits, events, wedding photographers, etc but does not work well for wildlife and nature photography.
What’s new? Release of FilterPixel 2.0, Download for free here
Optyx is a photo culling software that selects your best shots by using AI technology.
Compatibility: Mac and Windows (also compatible with Apple’s latest MacBook with M1 chip)
Pricing Information: Subscription of $6.99 per month
- Culls images and segregates them into different groups according to their similarities.
- Auto group feature picks up the best shot from a series from the same timestamp or very similar.
- Auto Cull Feature has different culling profiles like rating, color, picks, and portraits. It auto-culls and assigns star ratings to the sharpest faces or happy faces.
- Also, pick the best photo that has a combination of people. Finally, picks and rates images according to their sharpness, overall best and solo images, etc
- Fast previews in case you want to cull your images manually.
- Focus detection: Highlight faces that are out of focus by marking them
- Selective condition feature that helps select photos in a group. (Ex: Picks up the least blurry among a group of blurry photos)
- Cluttered user interface
- Huge Learning curve
- Fewer updates
- Culling happens on Machine but is less resource-intensive
- Star Rating and Color Ratings are controlled by the AI which provides less flexibility
What’s New: Release of Optyx v1.5 version promises sharpness labels with higher accuracy.
Cull AI software by Dope AI is an AI assistant to select final photos.
Compatibility: MAC (Windows version coming soon)
Pricing Information: 19.99$
- Detects important faces that appear more often while selecting the best photo in the group and flags it as ‘Picked.’
- Face Capture quality: Chooses a photo from a group of photos with the best overall quality of each person that is present in the image
- Filters bad quality photos from the good ones from a group of similar images
- Filters like Face Capture quality help weeding out photos with bad lighting quality, camera shake, closed eyes, etc.
- It groups all the photos that are similar and selects the best of the lot.
- Can also adjust the grouping sensitivity by higher or lower sensitivity groups. The higher the sensitivity, groups more photos together which could be less similar
What to look out for: (windows version coming soon)
- No Update after March 2021
- No Live Support
- Less Documentation on support & features
- Only available for Mac Users
- Have to wait for the year to see AI accuracy improvements
Narrative Select is a photo-culling app powered by AI that quickly culls images by eliminating out-of-focus, blurred, and blinking eye images.
Compatibility: Mac (No Windows version yet, but on its way)
Pricing Information: $18/monthly
- It has an interesting Close-up feature that gives you a closer look at all the faces from an image and makes it easier to rate them quickly.
- AI Assessment tool that assesses images and shows color-coded warnings on the image based on the quality.
- Features like “standard zoom” and “zoom to face” make zooming in and out of faces easy with one quick tap on your spacebar
- One-click import to Lightroom by using the Ship button
- Color-coded segregations like Green, Red (full eyes closed), and Yellow (partial blinking)
Great for portrait and wedding photography culling.
Supports CR2 CR3 CRW NEF NRW RAF JPG JPEG DNG Files.
- Difficult and confusing Keyboard shortcuts.
- Fewer time savings as you still have to check every photo manually.
- Not available for Windows.
- Culling happens on the machine and hence is very resource-intensive, i.e., it might not allow you to work with programs like Lightroom parallelly.
FilterLR is a photo culling plugin powered by AI that quickly culls images inside Lightroom by tagging out-of-focus, blurry, and blinking or closed eyes images as rejects.
It also picks one best out of similar photos & marks it as picked.
You can signup for the beta list by joining their slack community to get free access for three months.
Compatibility: Works inside Lightroom
Price Information: Not Revealed Yet
- Works inside Lightroom so need to learn anything new
- Automatically tags all your undesired photos as rejects
- Automatically selects the best one in every similar set and marks it as selected
- Culling happens on the cloud, so you can still use Lightroom while it’s culling.
- Limited by Lightroom Capabilities
- Will not be able to provide features like FaceViews, Similar photos auto group like FilterPixel
NON-AI Photo Culling Software
One of the most used platforms for culling photos, PhotoMechanic helps process bulk images and gets them ready to be exported to Lightroom.
Compatibility: Mac OS and Windows (64-bit edition of 8, 9, 10) are not compatible with Windows Vista, XP, NT, 2000, ME, 98 or 95
Pricing: Free Trial period for 30 days, $139 one-time payment
- Quickly ingests images from your memory card or your drive with utmost ease.
- Solely used for culling photos, Photo Mechanic doesn’t offer many editing options except for basic features like crop and tag/untag.
- A great platform for image tagging and browsing. Their IPTC metadata feature is pervasive and helps in sorting your images for further use, especially when you want them copyrighted for selling.
- ·Code replacement feature to caption or use shortcodes to names in the image. Especially useful when you are a Sports Photographer. You can add codes instead of the player’s name that are often long and complicated to remember, making your keywording process faster.
- You still have to check every photo for culling
ACDSee Ultimate is a versatile tool used for photo culling, cataloging, and photo editing. It also has customizable keyboard shortcuts to increase your culling and editing process.
Compatibility: Microsoft 2010 or above
Pricing: Subscription Plan at $8.90 or $89 per year (Lifetime License at a discounted rate of $109.95)
- Its ‘Multiple Layers’ feature lets you use histograms to add layers and adjust different aspects of the photo (great for portraits)
- “Colour tonewheel” feature to adjust the color tone of the image and a slider section along with it to make changes for that chosen color scheme.
- You can create customized pre-sets using various options and use batches to apply these pre-sets to all your images.
- The “Automatic focus stacking” feature is pretty good, especially if you are photographing still lifes. It blends similar images, picks up the sharpest element from each image, and creates a new image with the best combination to enhance the focus and sharpness.
Compatibility: Windows 10 (64-bit version) and mac os Mojave (version 10.14 or later)
Lightroom, like Photoshop, is one of the best photo editing platforms used by almost every professional photographer in the world. Though culling with speed is not Lightroom’s best feature, most still use it extensively to process and edit photos.
- Library Module to cull images faster to increase speed and organization.
- Render previews directly from your import dialogue box
- Can use the “build smart previews” tool to increase the speed of culling while importing 1000s of images
- Use the “use smart previews” option instead of the original preview to immediately edit your photos.
- Keyboard shortcuts to clear clutter like background and information overlay above the image.
- Lights out mode to darken or blackout the surroundings outside the image for better concentration
Compatibility: Windows (7, 8, 8.1, 10) and Mac os (10.12 +)
Pricing: Free 30-day trial period (Introductory price at $14.99 and 19.99 thereafter)
If you are looking for a platform that handles raw files like a pro, Fastraw viewer is the tool. It not only reads embedded JPEG images+ Raw images but also reads and ingests its original raw file along with its raw histogram.
- It ingests every kind of raw file with speed and efficiency. This eases decision-making with a quick preview of real raw data and statistics.
- The “Highlights inspection tool” increases the contrast in the image’s highlights to determine what can or cannot be corrected. This quickly helps in deciding if you want to keep the image or get rid of it.
- The “Display fine details” feature shows the finer details and the sharpness degree in a raw image.
While some might argue that human intelligence is far more capable of handling situations based on past experiences, abstract ideas, and self-derived creative insights, adapting an AI solution into a tedious workflow is far more practical and rational at most times.
An AI-based Photo Culling Software can be your perfect solution if you are looking at automating your workflow with speed and efficiency while still owning complete control over your final selections.