If you want your images to look the best they can--but you don't have a professional photographer's budget--check out FastStone Image Viewer. This freebie lets you browse and view your images in a Windows-Explorer-like interface. FastStone image viewer supports all major image formats, including BMP, GIF, ICO, JPEG, JPEG2000, PCX, PNG, PSD, TAF, TIF, and WMF. It includes EXIF metadata support as well. You can crop, resize, flip, rotate, and adjust colors on your images and compare them side by side.
You can also convert your images from one format to another; in fact, you can even convert or resize your photos in batches. If you need to take a closer look without resizing, use the Full Screen image viewer to zoom in and size things up with the clear magnifier. Once you're done, you can apply over 150 transitional effects in a slideshow.
Note: FastStone Image Viewer is free for personal and educational use only. Commercial users must register the software. Enthusiastic personal or educational users may make donations through the vendor's site.