ImageBuddy 4 full review

With 98 per cent of the UK now broadband capable and photography an almost entirely digital pursuit, the days of photo albums and holiday slides seem numbered. Still, hobbyists and professional photographers need tools to help them make the best prints from their images – tools that are lacking even at the high end of the commercial market.

That’s why we like ImageBuddy 4, a program that adds grading and printing capabilities to your Mac. When used alongside iPhoto, it brings to mind the workflow we remember from days spent pouring over contact sheets and test prints under the glare of a red lightbulb.

At version 4 ImageBuddy is at the stage where the feature set feels complete. The View section allows you to browse through images, much like Adobe Bridge, with embedded metadata on display. Here you can grade images for later printing. Supporting RAW format images from over 100 cameras, there’s no need to convert before you view.

The contact sheet section is incredibly handy, automatically generating a page full of thumbnails and allowing you to sort them with drag and drop ease. Layout options are taken care of with embedded menus – so there’s no need to open a new dialog.

For our money the most useful section is the Page Layout tab. Enabling you to arrange prints to minimise wasted paper, it’s environmentally friendly and economically wise.

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