It always amazes me that manufacturers sometimes miss the most obvious things. A digital camera like the Canon EOS D30 needs to provide the photographer with the ability to quickly and conveniently review what has been shot. Zoombrowser, Canon's provided software, simply isn't up to the task because the thumbnails that it presents are far to small for serious evaluation.
If one is shooting in RAW mode there really are few choices. Using the provided video cable to preview images directly from the camera on a TV monitor is one solution, and in the field use of an accessory device called the Belkin USB VideoBus along with a notebook computer is another. Each approach has its drawbacks.
Now, a nifty little shareware utility called CRW Bridge, written by Marten Dalfors, does the trick very nicely.
Click here if you're interested in viewing this photograph after post processing.
The user interface is simple. A directory window at the upper left helps navigate and below it is a list of RAW files in the selected directory. Simply clicking on a file name causes an almost full-screen version of the file to be displayed, essentially instantly. I know of no other program that can display a D30 RAW file this large, this quickly. This is the program's greatest strength.
Initial Conclusions & Recommendation
The program has a number of other features which I have not yet reviewed since none are of greater interest to me than being able to view large images on-screen quickly. This is part of the reason that this is such a brief review. It's what this program does best. The other reason is that this is a very early version of the software (May, 2001) and it's quite buggy. A number of features don't work as advertised and even basic functions can crash it. As the program matures (and I very much hope that it does) I'll review its capabilities in greater detail.