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Camera Bits Releases Photo Mechanic 4.5
By Mike Pasini, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, April 9, 2007 - 20:09 EDT)

The new version adds preliminary Vista supported.

Camera Bits has released Photo Mechanic 4.5, its $150 image browser featuring batch processing, metadata editing, scalable contact sheets, Spotlight support, CD/DVD burning and more.

According to Camera Bits, highlights of the new version include:

• Optimized for Mac OS X and Windows XP/2000

• Smart color management, which chooses and sets the correct profile for supported cameras

• Works ahead of you in the background

• Dual processor support

Photo Mechanic is designed to manage groups of photos, taking the monotony out of common editing tasks like copying, renaming and captioning. It works ahead of you by generating thumbnails and previews in the background, so you can quickly browse through hundreds or thousands of photos in order to separate out the "keepers." It all adds up to an efficient imaging workflow for those facing a deluge of photos.

The new version can be downloaded from the company's download page.

New Version Details

Full details of the new features follow:

• Added full support for Unicode (UTF-8) IPTC editing. Also added the ability to specify the IPTC character encoding (e.g. Mac Roman, Microsoft Latin1 + Euro) when Unicode is not used.

• Added a new Structured Keywords panel for applying terms from a hierarchical keyword database such as the Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog (sold separately at http://www.controlledvocabulary.com). The keyword database is customizable and ships with a sample database of animals and world regions from the CVKC.

• Added a separate Keyword pane (floating window).

• The HTML Exporter now uses templates that are written in Ruby, a powerful scripting language. You can create your own templates or use third party templates that are compatible with Photo Mechanic.

• The IPTC dialogs are now resizable and include the additional IPTC and XMP fields for Location, Scene, Subject Code, Intellectual Genre, Rights Usage and Contact Info fields.

• Photos can now be arranged in an arbitrary order with the Arrangement sort type. A multi-folder arrangement can also be saved as a favorite.

• Added a five star rating system, compatible with other applications such as Adobe Bridge, in addition to the existing color class labels (XMP must be enabled for other applications to read the star rating). The star rating also transfers to PhotoShelter when uploading photos. Also added a Remap command to convert color class labels to star ratings or vice-versa.

• Added a new Live Slide Show feature that watches a folder for incoming photos (e.g. from wireless transmission) and displays these in a slide show.

• Added optional sharpening of thumbnails and previews within Photo Mechanic and for JPEGs exported with HTML.

• (Mac) Added a new Show Map command to plot a photo with embedded GPS coordinates in a window using Google maps.

• (Mac) The contact sheet windows now use tabs so that a single window can contain multiple contact sheets. The tabs can be re-arranged and moved between windows.

• Added the ability to recursively open subfolders from the Navigator and Favorites.

• Thumbnail labels in the contact sheet can now be customized with multiple lines of information using variables.

• Added variable substring extraction by using index and length qualifiers inside of variables. For example, {filenamebase:0,5} returns the first 5 characters of the filename and {filenamebase:-5,5} extracts the last five characters of the filename (ignoring the extension).

• IPTC Snapshots taken are now added to a "stack" of snapshots. This stack can be accessed when pasting an IPTC Snapshot via the contextual menu.

• The Ingest Progress window now combines the progress from multiple ingest processes into a single window.

• The thumbnail gallery in the Preview window now scrolls horizontally instead of vertically.

• File types that aren't recognized as photos by Photo Mechanic can be viewed as a proxy in the contact sheet so they can be renamed, copied, deleted, etc.

• Added preliminary support for Microsoft Windows Vista.

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