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|| News Item: Posted 2005-11-30

New & Notable: Photo Mechanic 4.4 Update
By Bob Deutsch, USA TODAY

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Photo Mechanic 4.4
Camera Bits has released a new update to its Photo Mechanic editing program, version 4.4. It is a terrific upgrade, in that on the surface it looks and works just like the previous versions, but it incorporates many small changes that together added up make for a must have upgrade. Always the finest program for quickly editing, captioning and sending photos, it is now faster, easier, and more reliable. Upgrades, if still within your one-year license, are free.

Much of the update deals with improving the captioning choices available, with the ability to add and update both IPTC and XMP data to files. RAW captioning is improved, adding "Caption-Safe" that can undo any caption changes safely, leaving the original RAW file untouched. It is, as Rob Galbraith says in his (always) complete preview, "Captioning on Steroids". Users can now utilize many more options in captioning and organizing their files.

But aside from the beefing up of the caption options, my favorite touches are:

• The IPTC dialog now has a thumbnail display, so you can see what photo you are captioning (and what player is on the right, something that I forget as soon as I click on the "I" to edit the caption). Also, copy and paste buttons are added here, so one can paste a caption to a previous or later photo easily.

• Snapshots: you can save a "snapshot" of all settings in most PM dialogs. They are displayed in a new button, with drop down list of all saved Snapshots. This lets you select from a list of saved "Photographers", for example, to switch caption info between multiple shooters at an event. All the appropriate data will be pre filled in. Or one could make captions for several subjects appearing at an event (like both players in a tennis match) and quickly insert the correct data into the caption. Same for settings in "FTP Photos As", or "Ingest" for example, where you can save a set of settings and send to all users if needed. This is a very powerful tool.

Photo by

Photo Mechanic 4.4
• Lossless JPG rotation... so the rotation state of an image can now "stick" in all applications.

• A JPG size estimator in "save photos as" and "ftp photos as". This gives you the ability to see what the estimated file size will be for a given JPG quality setting, important when trying to keep file sizes managed in less than optimal connections, like when using a slow dial-up or sat phone.

• Double clicking a browser image opened a preview, but now double clicking the preview now toggles back to the browser.

• Ingesting can be done from folders as well as external disk now. Incremental ingest is added as well, where you can just ingest new photos added to a card of folder since the last ingest.

• Multiple folders can be viewed in one browser window, and new folders can be added to that window.

• The option to not wrap around to the beginning/ end when advancing to the next/previous photo. I can't tell you how many times I've re-edited the first few files in a disk before I realized that it had wrapped around and started to view the same files again. I love this one!

• The IPTC info dialog now has a "Play" button for sound files, so you don't have to close the dialog to play the sound file for captions.

There are many other features added as well.

Photo by

Photo Mechanic 4.4
• You can "sync" capture times of different browser windows, so two cameras with different clocks can be adjusted to be in sync.

• New color class filters are added to the filter bar, like "hide color class 'none' ", that gives great flexibility in showing certain images in a browser window.

• The Zoom function in the preview is now improved.
And for Mac only:

• Burning cd's and dvd's directly from the browser window. (For now, all photos are added to one folder, but maintaining the parent directories should be added soon, and hopefully PC burning also). The burner will automatically split the data over multiple cd's/dvd's if needed.

• Spotlight searching using OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

When you add up all these improvements in Photo Mechanic 4.4, it is a major upgrade to an already fine program.

(Bob Deutsch is a staff photographer with USA TODAY. He is a frequent contributor to the Sports Shooter Newsletter and despite his ribbing of Bert Hanashiro he is one of his best friends. Allegedly.)

Related Links:
Deutsch's member page

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