I’ve been trying many workflows to find the right one for myself which would make it possible for me to sort and manage my images fast and easily. Finally, I settled on switching my cameras to the X3F + JPG mode. Right after inserting the memory card and before copying on to the hard drive I could go through the JPGs and delete the ones I didn’t like along with the corresponding X3Fs. For some photographers for whom free space on the card or in the buffer is particularly important as, for example, they often use the burst mode, RAW + JPG is not an option. Usually programs like Lightroom, which try to combine the functionality of a photo archiving/management application with that of a RAW converter, are too slow for this task and therefore not a solution.
The application FastStone Image Viewer is an excellent solution. It isn’t complicated to use, it works incredibly fast even on slow hardware, plus it’s free of charge. More than that, it’s not particularly choosy and it can, for instance, even display embedded JPGs with exotic file formats such as X3F.
However, displaying images incredibly fast and zooming them in isn’t the only thing it can do. There are also basic image editing functions, such as the possibility to change lights, shadows, contrast and saturation, and to minimize, cut or turn images. But I should admit that I’ve never used it for these kinds of things because I prefer doing these editing steps in Lightroom. I’ve installed it and tested it out, but due to the file size of Foveon images and the long copying processes, the described X3F + JPG workflow turned out to be even faster. Still I’d recommend everyone who faces difficulties in dealing with the huge amount of images to give it a try and test out FastStone Image Viewer. 🙂