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|| News Item: Posted 2003-05-31

The Mechanic Is In! PM For The PC.
By Bob Deutsch, USA TODAY

Photo by
I've always said that Photo Mechanic is the fastest and best image browser for digital photos out there. If you need to edit, caption, crop and save/ rename photos in a hurry on deadline, that's what you want. But until now, there was a caveat…you needed a Mac. Windows users were stuck with a lesser version from Camera Bits, the maker of PM, or other combinations of software to almost do what PM did on the Mac.

However, that is changing, as Camera Bits has introduced Photo Mechanic for Windows, version 4 (for Win 2000 and Win XP only). It will do what the Mac version does, and more.

The current release is v4.01, and is almost "complete", though Camera Bits adds features and tweaks the software constantly. Missing for now are several features, including "save as JPG", cropping, support for editing most camera raw files, and color management. This hinders its use for now, but they are expected shortly.

A new version, 4.0.2, will be released today (5/31), that will include support for browsing Nikon NEF files, the ability to load/save IPTC data in an XMP file in addition to the normal binary .IPT file, and improvements in the fuzzy-looking thumbnails and preview display.

The beta 4.0.2 that I tested works beautifully. The thumbnails are sizeable and can be very large, and you can quickly scroll through the large thumbs or even the previews, so it is not necessary to try to do the first edit on the tiny thumbs that I'm used to.

You can even quickly scroll through full screen previews!

This is very cool!

Photo by
So is a spellchecker in the caption field of the IPTC headers. And the system of using variables in most header fields allows for some very flexible captioning. For example, my name, camera serial number, and the date can be automatically imported from my camera, as well as all the meta-data like exposure, color balance, time, and lens, etc. and put into the appropriate caption fields.

When ingesting disks, you can choose to ingest only tagged (locked) files, allowing you do an edit in the camera and speed the ingesting to copy only selected photos.

When all the features are added, I think this browser will make photo editing by PC users on deadline much easier. The Mac version is scheduled to be updated as well to a Version 4 later this year to incorporate some of these new features.

For pricing information or to download a demo, see

(Bob Deutsch is a staff photographer with USA TODAY based in New York. He is a regular contributor to the Sports Shooter Newsletter.)

Related Links:
Camera Bits

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