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Photo Mechanic 4.2.1 released  
Friday, September 17, 2004 | by Rob Galbraith

Camera Bits has released v4.2.1 of Photo Mechanic for Mac and Windows.

The release is primarily to tweak features and stomp out bugs introduced in v4.2.

Selecting and navigating among photos in a contact sheet using the arrow keys should now work properly, regardless of how the pictures are sorted, JPEG quality has been improved for compression settings 5-10 and a rudimentary Find function has been added that can search either the file names, IPTC information or both of the photos in the frontmost contact sheet. The keyboard shortcut for activating FTP has also been modified: it's now Command-U (Mac)/Control-U (Windows).

These and many other changes in v.4.2.1 are detailed in an excerpt from the Read Me below. The new version is available for download from the Camera Bits web site, or through the Software Download function of recent versions of the program itself. Enabling a 20 day trial of Photo Mechanic requires a demo code.

Photo Mechanic v4.2.1 Read Me 
Version Information

Version 4.2.1

  • Added a simple Find command to select photos in the current contact sheet that contain the search text.
  • Fixed problems with “single selection navigation” mode not working properly when not sorting by filename or when additional photos are added to an open contact sheet. Also changed the up and down arrow keys to move the selected photo up or down (instead of scrolling the contact sheet).
  • Added a new mechanism to handle conflicting filenames during renaming. You can choose to stick with the existing method which appends ‘A’, ‘B’, etc only if the filename already exists, or choose to append “1”, “2”, etc (or “01”, “02”) for every photo or only for those whose filenames conflict (e.g. using {timesort} variable for shots taken in same second).
  • Added 20 new variables relating to times: 7 for capture time, 7 for current time, and 6 for IPTC time. For hour, there are {hour}, {hour0}, {hour24}, {ampm}, {nowhour}{nowhour0}, {nowhour24} , {nowampm}, {iptchour}, {iptchour0}, {iptchour24}, and{iptcampm}. For minute, there are {minute}, {nowminute}, and {iptcminute}. For second, there are {second}, {nowsecond}, and {iptcsecond}. For subsecond there are{subsecond} and {nowsubsecond}. There are 3 or 4 character abbreviations for all of these variables.
  • Added a shuffle (random) mode for the slide show.
  • In the IPTC Info dialog, holding down the Shift (Windows) or Option (Mac) key reveals new options. The OK button becomes Eval (to evaluate any variables without closing the dialog), the Copy from Stationery button becomes Apply to Selection (to apply the current IPTC info to the selected photos), and the Clear button becomes Options (to display the dialog with the clear options).
  • Changed JPEG compressor to not sub-sample chrominance (resulting in slightly larger file sizes but better quality) for quality levels 5 – 10. Quality levels 0 – 4 are still subsampled in their chrominance by 2:2.
  • Fixed problems displaying Nikon NEF files modified by Nikon Transfer or Nikon PictureProject.
  • Fixed problem drawing initial thumbnails of TIFF files saved by Canon’s EOS Viewer Utility.
  • (Win) Fixed problem with various RAW formats not being displayed when QuickTime isn’t installed.
  • Fixed slow-down problem when running Photo Mechanic with low memory cache settings (e.g. less than 32 MB) and lots of photos.
  • Changed FTP As keyboard shortcut to Control (Windows) or Command (Mac) U (think of “Upload”) in order to simplify keyboard access. In the preview dialog, the ‘U’ key can be typed without a Control or Command key.
  • Spaces in FTP paths are no longer replaced with underscore characters. This was causing confusion about FTP not working when directory names contained space characters (e.g. FTP to a folder called “Test 1” would instead go into a “Test_1” folder).
  • (Mac) Fixed problem with the contact sheet not being rescanned (this only happened if all contact sheets were closed and then another contact sheet was opened).
  • The selection is no longer cleared in the contact sheet when clicking in-between cells while one of the selection extension or toggle keys are held down. Also changed the toggle selection operation to update the anchor for extending the selection.
  • Fixed jerky scrolling in the contact sheet while photos are still initially being loaded.
  • (Mac) Fixed IPTC character encoding problem with characters greater than 127 ASCII, depending on the region / language setting. All characters are now converted into Mac-Roman (used by nearly all Mac computers and Photoshop).
  • (Win) FTP Progress window position and size are now saved and restored, and resizing the window will cause both the queue and log sections to resize proportionately.
  • FTP Progress window now shows additional transfer statistics (e.g. number transferred files / number to transfer).
  • (Win) File modification times are now updated when modifying IPTC info in JPEG and Photoshop PSD files.
  • (Mac) Fixed crashing problem when trying to edit photos that Photo Mechanic cannot display.
  • Fixed problems with ingest source selection changing when the secondary destination is on a volume that could be selected as a source and the secondary ingest checkbox is toggled on and off.
  • (Mac) Fixed problem with date and time controls in IPTC Info using current date and time instead of IPTC date and time when changing the values.
  • (Win) Fixed problem with navigator panel going blank when exiting the preview dialog with the Esc key.
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