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Camera Bits' logo. Click here to visit the Camera Bits website! Photo Mechanic 4.6.4 released
(Monday, May 24, 2010 - 22:33 EDT)

Camera Bits Inc. has released an updated version of its workflow tool, Photo Mechanic, for both the Windows and Macintosh platforms.

Photo Mechanic v4.6.4 adds support for Raw files from Olympus' E-PL1 and E-P2 PEN-series cameras, as well as a plugin that allows Phase One TIFF files to be treated similarly to Raw files.

The new version also includes a wide variety of feature changes and bug fixes for both platforms. Notable changes include improved XMP loading speed courtesy of multithreading, improved core replacement parsing, and proper detection of Nikon's extended ISO sensitivities, as well as fixes for various issues when loading files greater than 2GB, and for uploading images to ZenFolio or SmugMug. Photo Mechanic also now saves its preferences more often to prevent loss of preferences during unexpected shutdowns.

There are also quite a range of updates specific to either the Windows or Macintosh platforms. On Windows, these include improved speed and scrolling control in the contact sheet, and a fix for launching photos into Photoshop CS5. On the Mac, changes include optimization for image scanning and loading, the ability to handle some extended characters in file paths, and fixes for bugs that caused slow ingests when applying IPTC stationery to JPEGs, as well as for loading Raw files from Raw+JPEG pairs.

Photo Mechanic 4.6.4 is a free update forcustomers who've purchased the program through February 2009. More details and the program itself can be found on the Camera Bits website.

Courtesy of Camera Bits, a full list of changes made in the new release is as follows. Updates specific to one or other operating system are listed separately at the end:

  • Added a plugin for PhaseOne TIFF (RAW) files so that they are treated as RAW files and will allow the use of XMP sidecar files.

  • Added support for RAW files from the Olympus E-P2 and E-PL1.

  • PM Classic Exporter template now can generate hierarchical galleries with an index page. Just open a single contact sheet with multiple folders and each folder will be represented in a separate gallery.

  • Variables and Code Replacements now support multiple levels of indirection. You can now create a code that maps to a replacement that includes variables, which expand to another code, etc.

  • Ingest's Folder Name field now supports using variables as codes for Code Replacement where the replacements contain folder hierarchies. For example, by using {mediatype} as a code, one can cause video files to be copied to a different path than the path for still photos (e.g. videos go into a separate folder with DCIM folder hierarchy needed by some software like Canon's E-1 plug-in for Final Cut).

  • When using the "Revert TIFF-based RAW to original" command, if the option to backup to an XMP sidecar file is checked then the end-of-file preferences added by Photo Mechanic will also be removed from the RAW file and stored in the XMP sidecar. This end-of-file data was causing checksums (such as MD5) to fail when compared to the checksum of the original RAW file.

  • To be consistent, Photo Mechanic no longer loads ACR crops in XMP for RAW files (it used to only load these if the crop angle was 0). Photo Mechanic now uses its own namespace for loading and saving crops in XMP.

  • Fixed various issues when handling images with file sizes greater than 2GB.

  • Fixed an issue in the Zenfolio uploader that made it impossible to upload photos to galleries containing the '&' character.

  • Added an interim fix for SmugMug uploading issues.

  • Improved speed of loading XMP during scanning by allowing multiple threads to access XMP simultaneously.

  • Renaming files without using renaming variables like {seqn} is now allowed as long as all renamed files will have unique names.

  • Fixed an issue when renaming with {variables} that evaluate to invalid filename characters.

  • Code Replacement code parsing is now more intelligent.

  • Codes in Code Replacement are now trimmed of whitespace before being loaded for evaluation.

  • Fixed an issue with very large files (>2GB) and the use of the {filesize} variable.

  • Fixed an issue in the HTML Template Exporter where the last selected image's variables would be expanded as if it were the first selected image.

  • Extended range ISO values (Lo and Hi) for Nikon cameras such as the D3S are now recognized to derive high (and low) {iso} values such as 102,400.

  • Inline renaming on Contact Sheet thumbnails now accepts the use of {variables}.

  • Corrected an issue where the Ingest sequence variable would not be evaluated correctly for unknown file types during Ingest. Now other variables like date-related variables can also be used with unknown file types during Ingest.

  • Using variables in the form of {variable:N,M} in the Keywords field no longer causes the variable to be interpreted incorrectly when the comma character is used as the keyword separator.

  • Photo Mechanic Preferences are now saved far more often to correct issues where improper shutdown would cause a loss of preferences.

  • Photo Mechanic Disk Cache parent path is no longer created if it does not already exist. This is now an error condition and the user will be prompted to choose a new valid path.

Windows-specific changes:

  • Improved speed and control of scrolling while drag-selecting images or arranging photos in the contact sheet.

  • Launching photos into Photoshop CS5 on Windows now works properly.

  • Added code to retry renaming to workaround virus scanning applications that temporarily take exclusive control of files while they scan them.

  • Fixed an issue where a message box would appear warning that "A parameter is incorrect" when interacting with the Ingest dialog's 'Folder sequence' value if Autocomplete was enabled.

  • It is no longer possible to leave the modal state of a copy operation.

  • In the Structured Keywords windows, creating a new item now preselects it for editing.

Macintosh-specific changes:

  • Added some optimizations for scanning and loading images.

  • Applying IPTC Stationery to JPEGs during Ingest on Snow Leopard Macs no longer causes slow Ingests to occur (added workaround for Apple OS X bug).

  • Paths with various characters handled by the terminal are now handled properly. This issue affected ingesting and copying of images when paths contained characters like: " ' \ * ! ~ ` $ ( ) [ ] { } ?: & ; | % ^ <>#

  • Spotlight searches are now limited to 10,000 search results.

  • Made changes to rescanning code to provide somewhat better performance when large numbers of images are found in a Spotlight search. You can now scroll around in the Contact Sheet as the items are being sorted.

  • A warning dialog now appears when attempting to close a top-level window containing multiple Contact Sheet tabs.

  • Drag and drop copying now checks for multiple files with the same name before the copy starts and considers this an error condition.

  • Launching for editing the RAW file of a RAW+JPEG pair when the RAW and JPEG files reside in different folders now works correctly.

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