Image Expert 2000

Isn't it great to be a part of the digital world when dealing with photographs and images? Digital cameras produce instant photos. The Internet distributes them to family and friends in the blink of an eye. It's great fun, but the party starts to wind down when the photos and images accumulate on various disks in a myriad of different folders. Managing and storing your images can easily become an overwhelming chore. Enter Image Expert, a personal image organizer that will help you arrange, retrieve, share, and edit all your digital images.

Whether you accumulate images from the Internet, scan them into your computer, or use a digital camera, Image Expert will be a useful program. Image Expert provides not only basic ways of grouping and organizing photos and images but also has advanced search and cataloging features. It remembers where your images are stored, whether they are on a hard disk, floppy, CD ROM or computer network. This software allows each image to have a label and description, a very useful feature when trying to find images.

With its Windows Explorer-like interface, Image Expert is easy to use. Windows users will find navigating the program simple. (Sorry Mac users this is a Windows-only program.) Yet, somehow, I didn't find the program to be terribly intuitive. Some users, no doubt, will be able to plunge right in but most will benefit from taking the included Quick Tour. While the Quick Tour is not really quick, it is an excellent tutorial worth the time investment.

Image Expert works with most digital cameras to transfer photos to the computer. When I tested it with an Epson 3000Z, which also captures audio and short video clips, the Image Expert program worked like a charm, handling the audio and video as well as my photographs.

This program also includes basic image editing capabilities. Functions are limited, but they are extremely useful, including all of the necessary tools such as rotate, flip, and resize. An improved cropping tool keeps the image's aspect ratio in perspective as you crop pictures. Retouching tools have easy-to-use sliders that let you adjust brightness, contrast, color balance, hue, saturation, sharpness, and equalization. The screen is divided into two; one half shows the original, and the other half shows your proposed change. If you don't trust your judgment, there is a Quick Fix button that will adjust brightness, contrast, etc., to what the computer thinks are the proper corrections. Unlike other programs that I've tried, I find this Quick Fix button is on target more often than not.

Image Expert is great at sharing images. The on-screen slide show is easy to configure, and you can even include audio. E-mail any image or an album of images to friends or family. Use any of the seventeen predefined Web Layouts and post your images to the Internet. The print functions are sure to impress. Print layouts can be changed and customized with the print preview, which allows you to see exactly how your full page of wallets or your 8 x 10 photo will look.

If you received a limited version of Image Expert with your digital camera, you will find the upgrade to this full version worth the price. If you are not happy with the software that came with your camera, Image Expert 2000 is worth a look. The program supports digital cameras from Agfa, Epson, Nikon, Olympus, Polaroid, Sanyo, and Toshiba.

 If, like me, you need some help to organize your photos, this program is sure to please. Try the 30-day trial version available at the manufacturer's Web site. You simply can't go wrong!

Image Expert 2000
Manufacturer: Sierra Imaging
Company URL: www.sierraimaging.com www.sierraimaging.com
Specifications: 32MB RAM; 15 MB hard drive space (download version), 28MB space (CD version) (92MB hard drive space recommended);Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000, or NT 4.0 (Service Pack 3)
Price: Download $49.95; CD $69.9
Date of Review: May 23, 2001