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Photo Mechanic for Mac improves EOS-1D support  
Saturday, January 26, 2002 | by
The latest release of Photo Mechanic is all about the EOS-1D. Version 2.0r18 of both Photo Mechanic Lite and Pro for Mac offer faster JPEG previewing, expanded and simplified display of EXIF shooting information and more.

Faster JPEG previewing comes about as a result of the EOS-1D writing a 288 x 192 pixel large thumbnail into each file. When Photo Mechanic encounters an EOS-1D file, it builds its thumbnail from that large thumbnail, plus uses the same large thumbnail to quickly show a fuzzy preview in its Preview window. EOS-1D raw TIF files have been supported in this manner for several Photo Mechanic releases; 2.0r18 adds this support for EOS-1D JPEGs too.

Now, when previewing an EOS-1D JPEG, a pixelated version of the photo appears first, but is replaced in short order by a clear version generated from the full resolution photo. It isn't necessary to wait for the clear version to appear before moving on to the next or previous photo. Photo Mechanic developer Dennis Walker calls this feature "fast-and-fuzzy" previews. It's an apt description.

Coolpix cameras get in on the fast-and-fuzzy preview action now too; as of this release, Photo Mechanic offers fast-and-fuzzy previewing for the Canon EOS-1D, Nikon D1X, Nikon D1H, Nikon Coolpix 885, Nikon Coolpix 995 and Nikon Coolpix 5000. All of these cameras write a large thumbnail into at least some of the formats they support, which making this previewing trick possible. One exception is worth noting, however: when the EOS-1D is set to to RAW+JPEG, the camera does not write a large thumbnail into the JPEG, only the raw TIFF file. That translates into no fast-and-fuzzy previews for EOS-1D JPEGs generated by the camera on the RAW+JPEG setting.

Photo Mechanic 2.0r18's Preview window

Photo Mechanic 2.0r18's Preview window has been overhauled to show key shooting information in a single screen, instead of in three separate panes. It also displays more shooting information from the EOS-1D than before, including values for sharpening and the frame number.

Other changes include:

  • Any photos that are marked as read-only (locked, in Mac-speak), regardless of the camera used to shoot them, will be unlocked, then marked as tagged by Photo Mechanic. This is a great feature, as it allows a photographer to do an initial edit in the camera, protecting/tagging possible keepers (if the camera supports such a function, which most do). Doing so marks the photos in most current cameras as read-only, which Photo Mechanic is then able to convert to its own tagging scheme. From there, it's possible to winnow down the edit by previewing just the tagged photos.

  • Additional shooting information for Coolpix cameras is now displayed in the preview window.

  • Two new variables, {owner} and {user}, extract and place into the IPTC text or file name the camera owner's name as stored in the EOS-1D or D30. The owner name can be set in the camera through Canon's software.

  • By default, Photo Mechanic preserves EXIF shooting information when a photo is saved out of the program directly. Now, by toggling a preference, the EXIF information can be discarded during saves. This feature was introduced to solve a problem at a major US newspaper with the AP Preserver archiving system corrupting EOS-1D photos that were not stripped of the EXIF info before being imported.

  • A bug introduced in 2.0r17 related to missing Kodak DCS sound files has been fixed.

Photo Mechanic Lite and Pro 2.0r18 for Mac are free updates to licensed users of previous versions of any v2.0 release. Trial demos of each are available. Earlier this month, the Windows version of Photo Mechanic Pro was revved to 2.0r5.

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