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Review: Photo Mechanic photo browser

updated 04:05 pm EST, Wed November 18, 2009

Browser ingests, renames, geotags photos

MacNN has reviewed Photo Mechanic, a professional photo browser that offers options for renaming, captioning and geocoding groups of photos. Photos can also be rotated, watermarked and given new metadata, as well as saved to backup. When browsing, images can be displayed in a contact sheet or else zoomed in for detail.

Photo Mechanic requires Mac OS 10.4.11 or higher, and is Snow Leopard-ready. The app is described as less powerful than the combination of Photoshop and Bridge CS4, but substantially cheaper at $150 instead of $700. It is nevertheless more expensive than Photoshop Elements 8, which also includes Bridge at a price of $99.

by MacNN Staff



  1. trevj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's it?!?

    that's MacNN's review?!?

  1. toddbuchanan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not much of a review...

    for a great app that I use every day in my professional life as a's the gold standard for any serious PJ and Kirk, it's creator, is fantastic at quick response.

    It has so many capabilities buried under the hood for sophisticated captioning, file renaming and image file handling. I had to use it in a heavy duty situation recently with a team of a dozen photographers covering the 2009 Breeders' Cup horse races in which we ingested (copied files to disk from camera CF cards), renamed files into specific folders with all the caption information and photo credits - over 30,000 images in a few hours. (Only one restart due to a bad file on a card). We then edited on the fly and were uploading and e-mailing images to the clients website and other outside clients as cards were being ingested. Only a truly amazing application like Photo Mechanic can handle that!

    Too bad you didn't have time to tell people about what is only scratching the surface of this powerful program can do...

  1. northland5

    Joined: Dec 1969


    High speed flyover

    I too use Photo Mechanic daily and can attest to its success as a capable image manager. The price vs. performance ratio is way in favor of the photographer. Given today's tight budgets for photogs (both camera and computer) it's a nice application. The review is right to compare PM to CS Bridge since both apps are file system based versus the database driven RAW workflow managers such as Lightroom and Aperture.

  1. trenchcoat77

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Review link

    Here's the actual review:

  1. umijin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fast, but...

    First - shame on MacNN for not providing a link to the actual review in the RSS feed blurb. Or not having the review pop up when we click on the story link in the RSS feed.

    Second - I've been futzing with the trial version of PhotoMechanic - it is wicked fast. However, it's interface is awkward (for me). For example - I couldn’t figure out how to enter keywords w/o opening another menu or window. I'd like to do it from the viewing pane, not open a separate IPTC info box every time, ala LightRoom (which isn't perfect). I also dislike the export functions - which seem limited to me. I use Picasa for most of my uploads, and there doesn't seem to be a way to export to Picasa. Is there a plug-in architecture for exporting? Perhaps spending more time using PM would clear up some of my frustrations, but the demo will run out by then. :-)

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