Photo Mechanic Review

August 2, 2010 | Jon Canfield | Software Reviews |

As I mentioned earlier, Photo Mechanic is not an image editor. Editing functions are limited to rotating and cropping. For everything else, you'll go to an external editor. Photo Mechanic lets you select both a generic editor for all photo or movie types, or you can assign editors based on each supported file type. You can also use Photoshop Droplets directly from the application.

For photographers that shoot as part of a team, the Photo Mechanic preferences can be exported and shared to ensure that everyone is using the same settings, reducing work time after the ingestion process. Taking this a step further, if you're an AP photographer, you can enable specific features for AP compliance from within the program.

There is also support for color management with a default profile to be assigned, and the ability to turn color management on or off. If a profile is not associated with a file when it is ingested, Photo Mechanic can assign one to the image.


Photo Mechanic isn't for everyone. At $150 it's expensive if you're just looking for an image browser and importer. But, if you shoot hundreds of images at a time, or you work with other photographers and a standard workflow is important, Photo Mechanic can quickly pay for itself.

Personally, I prefer the ingesting process and flexibility over that found in Lightroom, which is my main workflow application. The ability to add IPTC stationary to images, assign variables, and to create automatic backups of my files is a welcome feature and reduces the chance that I'll forget to do this on my own.

It's not the most intuitive program to learn completely. While you can install and start using immediately, to really learn the features and to take full advantage of the program you'll need to spend some time with the documentation.

Still, Photo Mechanic is far and away the fastest way to ingest and browse images that I've come across. When working with large numbers of images from a shoot, this is the first application I turn to for initial workflow.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 3.5
Value for money 4

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