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Excire Foto Software Review

Excire Foto is a new tool for photo management that has some clever AI to help you sort, browse and label images and we've been putting it to the test to find out how well it can organise our photo collections.


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Excire Foto Software
 

 

Quick Verdict

Excire Foto is a really easy to use photo management system that has some very clever AI which makes sorting and finding images a breeze. Its keyword search function and 'find faces' are really useful and are just a couple of examples of how good the AI is. You can't edit photos or create photo books with Excire Foto as you can with Lightroom but if you're simply looking for a piece of software to help you organise your photos, you won't go far wrong with Excire Foto. 

+ Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Smart AI
  • Simple User Interface
  • No subscription
  • Great value

- Cons

  • Doesn't have all of the 'bells and whistles' other photo management tools, such as Lightroom, has 
  • Some may find it too basic

 

Excire Foto is an inexpensive tool designed to be used for photo management and content-based browsing. It's got numerous smart features, powered by AI, to help you organise and find photos quickly/easily so we've been putting it to the test to find out how much time it can save us and to see if it's a tool we all need on our computers.

Excire Foto is available now for Mac and Windows priced at around £60 (69 Euros). You can also purchase Excire Foto along with Excire Search 2 (Lightroom Classic plug-in) for around £85 (99 Euros). Plus, for a limited time, ePHOTOzine members can save an extra 15% by using the code: EXCIRE-EP.

 

Excire Foto Software Features

Excire Foto Software
 

Excire Foto is a standalone piece of software you can download to your PC or Mac (there's also a plug-in available for Lightroom Classic called 'Excire Search 2') and with it, you get a comprehensive tool for organising and finding photos. Features include image/face recognition technology so the AI can automatically tag and find specific images, metadata/keyword editing, a quick search function, easy navigation, a simple user interface and exporting functions. You can also add star ratings and colour coding to images as well as organise them into Folders and Collections.  

Excire Foto Software Key Features:

  • AI Tool that will automatically analyse and tag images
  • Quick search tool 
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Add/Remove/Edit Keywords and Metadata
  • Rate Images with stars and colours
  • Add images to Folders and Collections
  • 'Find Faces', 'Find People' and 'Find Similar Photos' AI search options 
  • Easy to share/export images

 

Excire Foto Software Handling & Performance

Excire Foto Software
 

Downloading and installing Excire Foto is simple and straightforward but you will be asked to enter a valid license key or select a 14-day free trial before you can use the software. 

Once done, the user interface opens up and it's very simple, uncomplicated and quite refreshing to see actually. Sometimes, seeing too many tools at once can be overwhelming, particularly for those just starting out with photo management, so the simple UI is great. 

Towards the top of the screen is where you find the menus and below this is a status area that shows you what processes are currently running. On the same bar is a slider for adjusting the thumbnail sizes of the images presented in the photo grid and below this are tools for filtering images by ratings, colours, flags, metadata and date. 

To the right is a column with the AI tools in you can use to search by keywords, look for faces etc. and below these is where you find information about the file name you have open, the histogram of a photo, the keywords section, the keyword hierarchy and the metadata section.

To the left is where information about the Excire Foto database can be viewed, folders can be added along with collections and groups. There's also a tab that shows you the results of different searches you've made. This is a handy feature but it could be made even better if you could rename the search results as the date/time don't give you much information in terms of what you searched for.   

All of these columns and bars can be expanded/collapsed as needed to make the UI less cluttered.

In the centre is where your images will appear either as a photo grid when displayed as folders/collections or as an individual photo when you click to open one.  Selected photos are marked with a blue frame so you know what's selected and what isn't. You can also see the number of stars etc. a photo has as these appear below each image. The AI tools can be quickly accessed here, too, as they appear in the corner of each photo preview when you hover your mouse over them. 

Excire Foto Software

 

As you do with Lightroom, you first need to add images/image folders to Excire Foto and to do this, you just click the 'add' button in the left column which opens a dialogue box. The instructions couldn't be any easier to follow and uploading 73 images, which includes the software analysing them, took 2 minutes and 53 seconds. If you want to copy photos from an external storage device, such as an SD card there's a 'copy and add' option. 

If you allow the software to analyse your photos, the AI will automatically assign keywords to images which is a big time saver and it also means you'll be able to see the Excire AI functions to browse and find specific images in your collections. 

Before we take a look at the AI options in more detail, it's worth noting that, so far, Excire Foto has behaved like any other type of photo management tool; presenting all the images uploaded as thumbnails in a grid and displaying information such as metadata and a histogram. It also provides an easy way to navigate between folders and you can easily create collections/groups from images, too. The folders are the exact folders you have on your computer so do remember any changes you make to them will also change the folders on your computer whereas the database is a virtual collection of your images.

 

Excire Foto Software
 

You can think of Collections as albums that you can use to group-specific images together while Groups are Collections you want to put together in one place. So you might have a Group titled 'Scotland' then within this group have Collections that are 'waterfalls', 'landscapes', 'mountains' etc. Those who love to be really organised will have a great time categorising everything with these tools. 

The tools that pop up when you hover over an image or click to open are very similar to those seen in other photo management software with options for adding ratings, colours and flags. You need to do this manually to all of your images to be able to filter them but you can add labels etc. to multiple images at once which does save time.

To edit/add information to the metadata and to add keywords to images, you have to use the right-hand column where these options are displayed. Adding Metadata is a straightforward procedure as is adding keywords as some will already be added for you. 

Keyword information appears in the right column and if you allowed the software to analyse your images on upload, you'll see that some have already been added. You can also add your own by typing in the 'add keywords here' box. As you type, the AI will fill in the keyword you are looking for speeding up the process but you'll probably also find you need to remove some of the keywords the AI added as they're not always accurate. For example, a photo of a lobster pot had the keywords 'bird' and 'parrot' added by the AI as, I presume, it picked up on the colours in the image and presumed it was a parrot. It did accurately establish there was bokeh in the shot and that it was a landscape image. There were, also, times when the AI was spot-on so you get a mixed bag of results. However, having the software add these elements is still impressive and quickens the photo management process (even if sometimes it thinks a parrot is in your shot). 

With keywords in place, you can use the 'find by keyword' search function which you can find by clicking the key icon top right (it also appears on images in the grid view if you hover over a particular one). 

 

Excire Foto Software
 

A pop-up window will open with various options that are pretty self-explanatory. You can type a particular keyword you want to look for or you can select from the ones the AI has said are relevant to your photo collection. You get two types: photography, which is more about photography techniques, and content, which is subject-based. A custom list will also be there if you have added any more of your keywords. The keywords you select appear in a list and you can adjust how many images are presented in the search result along with where the software should look for the images that fit the keywords selected. 

When you start adding keywords, the 'selected keywords' list will start a tally that tells you how many images it has found. Oddly, you can also search by colours here, too, which aren't really keywords but some might find it useful if they're looking for black and white images specifically, for example. 

If you click on the keywords that have arrows on them it opens up sub-categories linked to that particular keyword and to add a keyword to your search list, you click the 'plus' symbol. 

The keyword search tool is impressive and most of the time created accurate results. On the odd occasion, an image slipt through which didn't quite match the search query but on the whole, it was pretty spot-on. Obviously, if you go through your photos and add your own keywords/check what the AI has added you will improve the accuracy of your search results but for those who don't have much time, the AI is a great tool that makes life easier and speeds up the search process.

 

Excire Foto Software
 

 

Another search option you can use is 'find faces' which, as the name suggests, finds images in your collection that have faces in them. A new window opens with various options for refining the search including how many faces are in the photo, what age the person/people are, their gender and if they're smiling. As with the keyword search, you can adjust how many images are presented in the search result along with where the software should look for the images that fit the keywords selected. 

Again, the AI does a good job of pulling out portraits from the full collection of images, recognising faces easily but it did miss a couple I know are in the collection when more search options were added such as asking the software to only find faces that are smiling (even though the keyword 'smile' was on the photo as well) but overall, it's another great feature that speeds up the search process. 

The 'find people' search works in the same way but this time, the AI looks for images where a particular person appears. Again, there are filter options such as 'smile' and 'eyes open', you can add keywords to look for and adjust how many images are presented in the search result along with where the software should look.

Excire Foto Software

 

This search function is useful but not as accurate as the other two options but the fact it can recognise individuals is pretty cool even if it didn't manage to find every photo I was featured in. 

The final search option is 'find similar photos' which looks for particular key aspects it sees in an image to see if any other images have those features. The results that come back from this search are much wider and you have more images to look through but when using an image of a castle as the search parameter, the AI did pick out other castle shots but amongst them were images of lighthouses, rock faces, bridges and other brick/stone-based structures. It doesn't hone in on images quite as well but it's still useful for narrowing a collection down from 700 to 100 images. 

One thing you will notice is that Excire Foto is just a photo management tool which isn't a bad thing but compared to Lightroom, for example, it is lacking in features. There are no development tools etc. which some find useful but others will like the simplicity of Excire Foto in that it's literally a great tool for organising images and nothing else. 

You can export images to use in Photoshop etc. but the method for doing this is a bit clunky as you have to go to the Photo menu and select 'Export selected photos' which you then save and open up in your chosen software. Keywords and metadata do remain in the image data, though.

As for performance, there were no issues with load time or lag when scrolling at any point and the fact that the software tells you how long is left when uploading and analysing images is a nice touch. 

Overall, it's a great photo management tool with AI functions that's fast and easy to use but those who already use Lightroom will stick with Lightroom simply for the expansion of tools it offers. However, if you don't use Lightroom or any other editing app that doesn't have photo management built-in, you'll probably find Excire Foto really useful. 

If you do use Lightroom, you can install the Excire Search 2 plug-in that's similar to the standalone product but it works within Lightroom. It only works when you're in Libary mode so ensure you're in the right persona and before you can use the tools Excire provide, you have to initialise the analysis process which can take some time if you have a large collection of photos. 

 

Excire Search 2
 

Once completed, you can go to Library>Plug-In Methods and choose what actions from Excire Foto you want to use. 

The AI search function is the main reason for installing the plug-in in Lightroom as its ability to automatically add keywords and the search function it provides are very useful. Plus, by using the plug-in you get the best of both worlds as you get access to the AI functions/search abilities Excire offers as well as all of the bells and whistles Lightroom has built-in. The interface isn't as modern looking as it is in the standalone version of Excire Foto but it does the job you want it to do. 

 

Excire Search 2

 

Value For Money

Excire Foto is available now for Mac and Windows priced at around £60 (69 Euros). You can also purchase Excire Foto along with Excire Search 2 (Lightroom Classic plug-in) for around £85 (99 Euros). Plus, for a limited time, ePHOTOzine members can save an extra 15% by using the code: EXCIRE-EP.

Other photo management software available includes the Photography package from Adobe which includes Photoshop and Lightroom for £9.98 per month which is more expensive but you do get access to a lot more tools. There's also Adobe Bridge which is a good photo organiser for those working across different Adobe apps. Away from Adobe, there's ACDSee Photo Studio Professional priced at $99.99 for a lifetime license, Corel Aftershot 3 priced at just under £70 and Zone Photo Studio X available for $4.99 a month. 

When you compare the price of Excire Foto with other software available, it offers good value for money.  

To read more opinions on photo editing software, have a look at our software reviews

 

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Excire Foto Software Verdict

Excire Foto is a really easy to use photo management system that has some very clever AI which makes sorting and finding images a breeze. Its keyword search function and 'find faces' are really useful and are just a couple of examples of how good the AI is. Yes, the AI didn't produce 100% accurate results all of the time but it did a good enough job that we were very impressed with its performance and with your own input, you'll soon be searching for images at lightning speed. 

Those who already use Lightroom won't be switching to Excire Foto any time soon as it simply doesn't offer enough to attract them but they may be tempted with the Excire Search 2 plug-in that brings the AI functions from Excire Foto into Lightroom. 

If you don't use Lightroom and the photo editing software you use doesn't offer a photo management option, you should definitely take a look at Excire Foto as we think you'll be impressed. Plus, you can 'try before you buy' so even if you decide it's not for you, it won't have cost you anything to find out. 

Overall, if you're simply looking for a piece of software to help you organise your photos, you won't go far wrong with Excire Foto. 

Excire Foto Software Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Smart AI
  • Simple User Interface
  • No subscription
  • Great value

 

Excire Foto Software Cons

  • Doesn't have all of the 'bells and whistles' other photo management tools, such as Lightroom, has 
  • Some may find it too basic

Features4.5/5
Handling4.5/5
Performance5/5
Value5/5
Overall Verdict

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Comments


JenniR 3 South Africa
14 Oct 2021 11:50AM
Thank you for the discount, worked well. I just want to use the programme for indexing all my old photos, that sit on external hard drives.
Any suggestions welcome

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