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Photo Mechanic 2.0r11 improves D30 support  
Wednesday, December 6, 2000 | by
The latest release of Photo Mechanic Lite and Pro 2.0r11 for Mac fixes a bug that prevented the display of IPTC text information of files saved in Photoshop 6, and adds support for both the browsing and previewing of Canon EOS D30 RAW files.

Photoshop 6 made minor changes to the way it saves files - the program now preserves EXIF information from digital camera photos, as well as the addition of an internal Caption label - changes that have hung up several browsing and image processing programs. Photo Mechanic 2.0r11 should handle the IPTC information in Photoshop 6 files correctly.

The new versions' handling of D30's RAW files is a great start. Software author Dennis Walker took advantage of the fact that the RAW file includes within it a fully-finished, 4MB, JPEG-compressed version of the photo. Walker draws on this JPEG to create a high-quality thumbnail and large preview, making the editing of D30 RAW files markedly easier than Canon's own software. Other standard features in Photo Mechanic Lite and Pro, including the tagging, copying, moving, IPTC captioning, renaming and ingesting of photos, have been tuned to work with D30 RAW files.

Previewing D30 RAW file in Photo Mechanic 2.0r11

Processing D30 RAW photos into finished files, however, can still be done only through Canon's own software, as Canon has not released a Mac-savvy software development kit to 3rd party developers.

Photo Mechanic 2.0r11 also displays key EXIF shooting information from both D30 RAW and JPEG photos. In addition to the usual fields, such as shutter speed and aperture, the program displays the camera serial number and flash exposure compensation. The display of EXIF info in the Preview window is now divided into three separate views, accessible from a popup menu.

Also new in 2.0r11:

  • Support for LZW-compressed TIFF files, and a fix for a bug that prevented the display of IPTC info in some TIFF files.

  • Thumbnails for the Nikon E2N camera are now generated correctly.

  • IPTC menus are saved immediately after editing to prevent corruption during a crash.

Both 2.0r11 Lite and Pro are free updates from previous versions of 2.0. Two week demos of the US$150 Photo Mechanic Lite for Mac and the US$295 Photo Mechanic Pro for Mac are available from the Camera Bits web site. Contact Dennis Walker for information on purchasing and quantity discounts. Windows versions of Photo Mechanic Lite and Pro 2.0 are in development, and an earlier Photo Mechanic v1.3 for Windows is available. Update, December 7: Dennis Walker has posted v2.0r12 to stomp out a renaming bug that appeared in 2.0r11.

Version 2.0r11 and D30 RAW file tips

  • Both the D30 RAW file and its separate thumbnail file are copied, moved and renamed together, so that the two files stay united as they're handled by Photo Mechanic.

  • The Mac version of the Canon Digital Camera acquire plug-in for Photoshop requires that RAW files reside within the same folder hierarchy that the camera creates. This bit of silliness makes it necessary for RAW files destined for processing through Photoshop that have been moved outside of this hierarchy (DCIM>100CANON, DCIM>101CANON, etc.) to be moved back in. Point the plug-in at some other folder containing legit RAW files and it will incorrectly report that there are no images in the folder. Canon's ZoomBrowser for Mac does not share this same frustrating limitation.

  • If D30 RAW files are renamed by Photo Mechanic, any ones to be processed through the Mac version of the Canon Digital Camera plug-in must be renamed back to CRW_XXXX.CRW (CRW_1000.CRW, for example). Associated thumbnails need to have a matching name, but with a .THM extension (CRW_1000.THM, for example). I've been writing renamed D30 RAW files into my CD archive, in the hopes that Canon will see fit to change the behaviour of their plug-in in the near future. I've got my fingers crossed...

File naming convention and folder structure required
for viewing and processing with Canon Digital Camera plug-in

  • To quickly flip between the three EXIF information views in Photo Mechanic's Preview window, type Command-1, Command-2 and Command-3.
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