With so many image viewers and editors available for the PC, it’s not easy for developers to make their product stand out. Some try to win you over with the sheer quantity of features, but Imagina is more about the quality: it doesn’t do much, but what you get works very well.
The thumbnail browser doesn’t just open with the usual JPGs and PNGs, for instance – dcraw support means it can handle many RAW formats, initially displaying them in an attractive photo collage-like “3D Desktop” view.
If you’re browsing RAW images or other photos then it’s vital they’re displayed accurately, so it’s great to see that Imagina gives you full control over colour management (rendering intent, quality, enable/ disable gamut checking, relative colorimetric etc).
The program also uses smoothing to improve image quality when zooming in and out, but this can be disabled when you need to see a picture as it really is.
Navigating around an image follows the usual pattern of spinning the mouse wheel to zoom in and out, clicking and dragging to pan, although hardware rendering support means this all works very smoothly. Click, drag and release, say, and the image gently decelerates rather than stopping immediately.
There are tools to rotate, flip, resize and crop an image, but again they deliver more than you might expect. You can tag selected images and resize them all in a single operation; the Crop tool supports fixed as well as custom aspect ratios, and you can straighten an image by rotating it to match a drawn line.
The Effects tab provides options to tweak brightness, contrast and colours, as well as custom filters to smooth your photo or reduce noise. Sounds very familiar, but most of these offer surprising levels of control. The “Brightness/ Contrast” dialog, for example, allows you to set the input brightness range, choose from two adjustment methods, tweak individual brightness and contrast levels, and set gamma, clarity level and clarity area size.
The Curves dialog is another highlight, offering plenty of manual control, as well as some preset curves for more standardised results.
Elsewhere, a “Period Style” option gives your image the look of an old photo (19th century sepia, monochrome, 70’s colour etc), a simple Properties view gives access to your image metadata and there’s the ability to view GPS locations on Bing or Google maps.
There are no drawing tools here, no paint options, few effects or filters (not even a “sharpen”). Help is limited and the program hasn’t been updated since 2014, so if you find a bug, you might have to live with it for quite some time.
Imagina’s viewer and correction tools work well, though; it’s much easier to use than some other photo processors, and there’s no adware or other penalty for trying it out. If your current image viewer/ editor doesn’t offer the corrective tools you need, check this one out.