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Photo Mechanic Pro 2.0 released  
Wednesday, March 15, 2000 | by
D1-toting Mac users, take note: Photo Mechanic Pro 2.0 may be the D1 JPEG browser you've been waiting for. Released today, it features super-fast thumbnail display, single and batch image captioning, a great preview mode with full D1 EXIF information and strong integration with Photoshop. Photo Mechanic Pro 2.0 for Mac also supports Kodak/Canon pro digital cameras, making it an easy choice for news organizations with a mix of cameras. Upgrades from any previous version of Photo Mechanic, as well as any version of the now-defunct AP Viewer, to Photo Mechanic Pro 2.0 are US$100. Otherwise, the program is US$295, with quantity discounts available.

A JPEG-only version, suited to D1-only workflows, of Photo Mechanic will be released later this month. Called Photo Mechanic Lite 2.0 for Mac, it will mirror the Pro version feature for feature, except that Kodak/Canon pro digital cameras will not be supported. The Lite version will be US$150.

In an attempt to woo users from Fotoware's US$145 browser, registered users of FotoStation 4 for Mac are eligible for a US$50 rebate on either the Lite or Pro version of Photo Mechanic 2.0, through the end of March.

Contact Dennis Walker at Camera Bits Software for more information on purchasing or upgrading to Photo Mechanic 2.0, Pro or Lite version, as well as for details on the FotoStation 4 competitive rebate.

Neither version of Photo Mechanic 2.0 will match FotoStation 4 for sheer breadth of features. For speedy D1 JPEG browsing, editing, captioning, renaming, and transfer into Photoshop, however, Photo Mechanic 2.0 is hard to beat. A demo version of Photo Mechanic Pro 2.0 for Mac (no Windows version has been announced) is available for download (note that the Camera Bits website has not yet been updated; the link above is to the program installer itself). If you wish to compare Photo Mechanic Pro 2.0 with FotoStation, a demo of v4 is available for download too.

Photo Mechanic Pro 2.0 tips:

  • The program is tuned to first display the low-quality thumbnail present in each and every D1 file, so that browsing of a card full of images commences as fast as possible. When an image is previewed, copied, or the Generate Thumbnails command is invoked, a large, clear, sharpened thumbnail is displayed and added to the image. Ensure that the preference "Add high resolution preview resource to copied and saved photos" is checked to force the creation of the thumbnail when images are copied from one location to another.

  • To open an image in Photoshop from Photo Mechanic Pro, double-click on its thumbnail or type Command-E. Any images selected will open into Photoshop.

  • To select thumbnails row by row, click on a thumbnail to begin the selection, hold down the Option key, then select another thumbnail to end the selection.

  • Use the Next Photo and Previous Photo buttons to move between images in the Preview mode. Command-left arrow and Command-right arrow will do the same thing. Note that once an image has been previewed once in a session it will redisplay ultra-fast, making the Preview mode a great place to compare similar images for expression, etc.

  • To deselect a photo from within the Preview window, hold down the Option key and click Dismiss.

  • Both JPEGs and Kodak/Canon camera files may be tagged and untagged by checking and unchecking the checkbox in the lower right corner of each slide mount. If you've done an initial edit by tagging favourite images, press Command-T to select all tagged images, then press Command-R to preview those images, or Command-E to open those images into Photoshop.

  • Up to all the images in a folder may be batch captioned using Photo Mechanic's IPTC Stationery Pad (Image > IPTC Stationery Pad). Select the images to be captioned, open the IPTC Stationery Pad, fill it out with common caption info, then click Apply Stationery to Selected. Then, click the I button on the slide mount of particular images to refine the caption information for those images. The complete caption will transfer into Photoshop's File Info.
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