FastStone Photo Resizer
The nice folks at FastStone have done it again, producing a free photo tool that just works. FastStone Phone Resizer doesn't have a fancy interface, and it's a bit rough around the edges. But if you have a bunch of photo or image files that you want to work on all at once, you'll find it tremendously useful.
Like its sibling Faststone Image Viewer (also free), FastStone Photo Resizer is modestly named: It does a lot more than just resize photos. Plug in a batch of image files and you can do any or all of the following: rename them, rotate them, convert them to different image formats, turn them all to black-and-white or sepia, add watermark images or text, add borders, tweak their colors, and of course resize them. I've probably missed some capabilities; the feature list is impressive.
How does it work? For the most part, great. I grabbed a bunch of files, turned them to black-and-white, resized them proportionally to 50 percent their original sizes, added spiffy drop shadows, and renamed them--in seconds. In all cases resizing downwards was entirely successful; the resulting images were crisp and clear. I could also quickly and easily rename files with a tab dedicated to that purpose. FastStone Photo Resizer is not as adept at making small pictures larger, but then many resizing tools have problems when enlarging images.
FastStone Photo Resizer does have a few little quirks. For example, the "preview" within the main window doesn't appear to work; it doesn't show you what your manipulated images will look like. There are usable preview options within most of the Advanced Options, however, so this isn't a serious issue. There's no tutorial, and the Help pages are a little to sparse for my taste. But heck, the developer is giving this nifty program away; my quibbles are insignificant given what this tool can do.
FastStone Photo Resizer is designed for anyone who wants to work with photos or digital images en masse. It's a great little program that works well on the whole; its few oddities may well be seen as lovable eccentricities.
Note: This program is free to for personal use, but the author accepts donations towards further development. A license for business use is $20; volume pricing is available.