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Phase have just released their latest version of their Raw Processing software. I was fortunate enough, as were many others no doubt, to have a good bit play with this during the Beta stages to get a feel of the software and report problems.

 

If you are considering upgrading and use/like the keyword system on version 7 (i.e. being able to manually order you keywords) I would suggest trying the trial first before buying the upgrade.

 

Version 8 has a new Hierarchal Keyword system which is great for grouping keywords together but..... and for easy use with Alamy it's a BIG but, you can no longer manually order keywords. The only way to ensure one keyword follows another is to make it a child of the one above. This is doable but is not great if you want to move one word from the end to the beginning as it will move all of it's "Child" keywords along with it. Also, if you delete a keyword, it will delete all "Child" keywords it has.

 

As it stands, I haven't found an easy workaround for this issue, other than writing keywords in a text editor and using either < or > instead of a , to to create child / parent lists. A bit of a mess considering all they needed to do is switch off auto text on it.

 

If anyone else has used it and does know of a easy way to manually re-order keywords within this package I would love to hear as the other changes are good..... I just don't want to triple my workload by having to manually adjusting the keywords in the 3 agencies I submit to that like Keyword Ranking.

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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Phase One have consistently failed to understand the need for good metadata management. Even dropped it in some versions (5, I think) - they come from an assignment/ social photography background where it doesn't matter. I have used PhotoMechanic for many years although the linkage with with C1 is awkward. Hopefully the new commitment to IPTC may resolve that and might address the keyword ordering issue, one of the reasons I dropped LR. Do you know if C1v8 reorders externally created keywords (like LR).

 

I will give version 8 a try over the next few days (it might solve my Fuji CA issue as well - I have support case with them).

 

BTW PhotoMechanic is wonderful for sports events and the like as you can easily set up code replacement. For instance at the powerboats I typed up the entry lists before the event so that I only had to enter short codes (class & boat number) to caption images with name, country and other details . PM also has powerful structured keywords with synonyms.Most press photographers seem to use  it. I wish it were avilable as a plug-in to C1 (I have suggested it in the past!).

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Phase One have consistently failed to understand the need for good metadata management. Even dropped it in some versions (5, I think) - they come from an assignment/ social photography background where it doesn't matter. I have used PhotoMechanic for many years although the linkage with with C1 is awkward. Hopefully the new commitment to IPTC may resolve that and might address the keyword ordering issue, one of the reasons I dropped LR. Do you know if C1v8 reorders externally created keywords (like LR).

 

I will give version 8 a try over the next few days (it might solve my Fuji CA issue as well - I have support case with them).

 

BTW PhotoMechanic is wonderful for sports events and the like as you can easily set up code replacement. For instance at the powerboats I typed up the entry lists before the event so that I only had to enter short codes (class & boat number) to caption images with name, country and other details . PM also has powerful structured keywords with synonyms.Most press photographers seem to use  it. I wish it were avilable as a plug-in to C1 (I have suggested it in the past!).

 

I'll give this a go later along with Photo Mechanic. Really disappointed in Phase's handling of Keywords..... they have taken one of their unique selling points and flushed it! ah well. C1 v7 still works fine so I guess I will stay on that. I confirmed this to the guys who managed the Beta testing..... I told them about the problems during the Beta Test but as yet, no notice as to whether they will look at this. I'll let you know.

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Got Version 8 installed and I quite like the interface it is a bit cleaner/larger on  a high res screen..

 

  • Externally created keywords do not appear to get reordered, at least on import. Not checked save.
  • Fuji CA correction seems to be much the same so my support case still stands.
  • Found a bug, if you use the Focus Tool the label remains whichever tool tab you open. It even remains on the desktop when you minimise the application. When I have some time I will notify Phase One but that should have been picked up in testing; or does no one really use the focus tool?

 

I will experiment more when I have more time but jury is still out. My instinct is to wait until at least 8.1 is released.

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Got Version 8 installed and I quite like the interface it is a bit cleaner/larger on  a high res screen..

 

  • Externally created keywords do not appear to get reordered, at least on import. Not checked save.
  • Fuji CA correction seems to be much the same so my support case still stands.
  • Found a bug, if you use the Focus Tool the label remains whichever tool tab you open. It even remains on the desktop when you minimise the application. When I have some time I will notify Phase One but that should have been picked up in testing; or does no one really use the focus tool?

 

I will experiment more when I have more time but jury is still out. My instinct is to wait until at least 8.1 is released.

 

That would be wise, these are their words not mine...

 

"We know, there are still bugs in the software, and our development team is still hard at work at fixing the issues you have been reporting in the last couple of months."

 

They've improved the layers system and added a few new features but the benefits of them are sort of out weighed by the negitives of the keyword and metadata system.

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I will have to upgrade at some point because I will probably update my Canon dslrs by the spring and version 7 won't support new equipment.

 

Russell, I haven't seen any mention of plug ins. I wish they would because then they might get a PhotoMechanic plug-in and provide industry standard, integrated metadata management. Perhaps they are avoiding it to try and drive sales of Media Pro 1 which I am currently looking at (and am pretty unsure about it).

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I will have to upgrade at some point because I will probably update my Canon dslrs by the spring and version 7 won't support new equipment.

 

Russell, I haven't seen any mention of plug ins. I wish they would because then they might get a PhotoMechanic plug-in and provide industry standard, integrated metadata management. Perhaps they are avoiding it to try and drive sales of Media Pro 1 which I am currently looking at (and am pretty unsure about it).

 

I just tried Media Pro and deleted it. Same forced Alphabetical listing of keywords and seems very slow compared to Photo Mechanic.

 

I've found that you can use PM with C1 in sessions. Set the metadata to load with preference for XMP sidecar files. It will write metadata to the raw files and be available to see in C1. It also works with C1 v8 however, it will display the keywords alphabetically but when you export the file, it will keep the same ordering that was created in PM.

 

Why are they so dammed keen to force alphabetical ordering for keywords....., they allow you to change ordering of images by name, rating etc. It's looking like I will have to v8 at some point which means buying PM...... unless someone knows of a different Keyword Editor for a Mac!

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I agree about the keyword alphabetization - even LR does it. Adobe say there is no sequencing defined for IPTC - TRUE so why the **** force one! I think the software engineers must have OCD and want it all nice and tidy.

 

I look at Media Pro every couple of years as a possibility for a DAM tool. Then I delete it!

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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I agree about the keyword alphabetization - even LR does it. Adobe say there is no sequencing defined for IPTC - TRUE so why the **** force one! I think the software engineers must have OCD and want it all nice and tidy.

 

I look at Media Pro every couple of years as a possibility for a DAM tool. Then I delete it!

 

Haha.... yeah. I'm going to give v8 a try in the trial version to see if I can make use of the keyword system and find out whether all the other tweaks they've added are worth it. I'd prefer to have just one piece of software to process and manage my images. If it proves to much of a pain, then I could always use PM as a keywording tool.

 

Incidentally, my X-T1 eyecup turned up the other day.... the one that protects the eye sensor more from sunlight. Seems rather nice!

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I won't get chance to try V8 and PM until next week but then I will have a good go at getting them working together. I do all my initial selection, renaming, keywording and copyright notice etc in PM before I even import into the C1 catalogue. Occasionally go back to refine keywords and reload the metadata (sometimes seems a bit flaky in V7) before processing. It brings rating across OK but colour tags seem not to (but I am sure they once did so I may have reset something). I only really use rating to indicate where they are in the edit process:

1: candidates (in PM, also tagged) with keywords

2: exposure, crop and related adhustments

3: cleaned and ready to upload.

 

So if they have a rating they are selected images.

 

I use albums to bring stuff together from several shoots into a work queue.

 

It does mean that I am not really jumping between two applications except on odd occasions I go back to keywords during post-prod. Do everything in PM for news including ftp upload, then use the above process to add others to stock or for other libraries like my own web site. PM keeps metadata for jpeg and raw in synch which is valuable.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Thanks for the info, Duncan and Martin.

 

Is there any plug-in functionality yet (i.e. Nik)?

 

They confirmed not on the Phase One Forums....

 

Also, the healing / clone is not up to much. You can only use one reference point per layer when cloning/healing. This effectively means one layer per alteration with a max of 10 layers. A couple of others have already pointed this out and that it is not really effective compared to LR5 and PS.

 

I've processed the same file with both versions and exported  it to Tiff. Zero difference between them. I'm going to stick with v7 until either

 

a) They stop supporting it for updated OS's.

b ) I add a new / additional camera and it's not supported in v7.

 

I'm still going to look further into PM as this may end up being a requirement in the future, looks a fairly solid application.

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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Now if CameraBits could plug ACR in to PM. Just thinkin ... ;)

 

I use PM for everything except raw conversion for stock libraries and prints. My web images are usually created straight from PM. The beauty of PM is that it does a few, fairly basic things, extremely well. It does not try to be all things to all users. (They have been working on a new product, a cataloguing system, for ever and have even stopped talking about it!)

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Now if CameraBits could plug ACR in to PM. Just thinkin ... ;)

 

I use PM for everything except raw conversion for stock libraries and prints. My web images are usually created straight from PM. The beauty of PM is that it does a few, fairly basic things, extremely well. It does not try to be all things to all users. (They have been working on a new product, a cataloguing system, for ever and have even stopped talking about it!)

 

Do you know whether you can create presets for groups of keywords? For instance, one group could be mountains and associated words, click/select mountains and all the associated words are added as well?

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In PM you can create structured keywords with synonyms, easiest to do in a text editor like Wordpad or Notepad. You can do it entriely within PM: http://wiki.camerabits.com/en/index.php?title=Working_With_IPTC_Metadata

 

Amongst others I created all the UK counties and French Departments  with their major cities, regions etc in a text file and uploaded it. Here is an article about keywords. And an example from top of my file:

Art,
    Public,
        Mural,
            Graffiti
                {graffito}
                    political
                    tag
                Trompe l'oeil
                    {realism}
                    {realistic}
 

In structured keywords if I choose Trompe l'oeil I get the synonyms (realism, realistic) then all those in the hierarchy above (graffiti, mural ... art. if I choose) including their synonyms. It is smart as well so if you select two or more from different places in the same hierarchy PM does not duplicate common parents. You can make multiple selections - say geographical location and topography. Beauty is you get consistent keywords. Mistake I made was to get too clever and try to be too comprehensive, I am about to rationalise it to the parts I use frequently, e.g. my home town.

 

But you could also use code replacement but the structured keyword is the intended way of creating a taxonomy of keywords. I use code replacement for sports by setting up competitors from the entry list/ programme in advance then enter \code\ and get event and/or name, team, country, ... in which ever field, usually caption instantly. Invaluable when under time pressure to get news stuff unloaded and with minimal errors.

 

Oh forgot to add you can create pull down lists for many of the fields such as photographer, category, location fields - I have the counties of my stamping ground predefined. They are usually single valued but you could set it up as "North Yorkshire, North Riding" for example

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Thanks again, both.

 

I have used PM5 in the past but I rely heavily on a catalogue so I dropped it, in spite of PM5's strengths with metadata. 

 

As a workaround though, I use an app called TextExpander that makes it easy to do "Code Replacement" type actions for captioning and keywords and it works whether I use LR or Aperture or whatever.

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In PM you can create structured keywords with synonyms, easiest to do in a text editor like Wordpad or Notepad. You can do it entriely within PM: http://wiki.camerabits.com/en/index.php?title=Working_With_IPTC_Metadata

 

Amongst others I created all the UK counties and French Departments  with their major cities, regions etc in a text file and uploaded it. Here is an article about keywords. And an example from top of my file:

Art,

    Public,

        Mural,

            Graffiti

                {graffito}

                    political

                    tag

                Trompe l'oeil

                    {realism}

                    {realistic}

 

In structured keywords if I choose Trompe l'oeil I get the synonyms (realism, realistic) then all those in the hierarchy above (graffiti, mural ... art. if I choose) including their synonyms. It is smart as well so if you select two or more from different places in the same hierarchy PM does not duplicate common parents. You can make multiple selections - say geographical location and topography. Beauty is you get consistent keywords. Mistake I made was to get too clever and try to be too comprehensive, I am about to rationalise it to the parts I use frequently, e.g. my home town.

 

But you could also use code replacement but the structured keyword is the intended way of creating a taxonomy of keywords. I use code replacement for sports by setting up competitors from the entry list/ programme in advance then enter \code\ and get event and/or name, team, country, ... in which ever field, usually caption instantly. Invaluable when under time pressure to get news stuff unloaded and with minimal errors.

 

Oh forgot to add you can create pull down lists for many of the fields such as photographer, category, location fields - I have the counties of my stamping ground predefined. They are usually single valued but you could set it up as "North Yorkshire, North Riding" for example

 

Excellent info, thanks for this. I need to sit down and work out a potential new workflow and Photo Mechanic could well deal with the Keyword side of things!

 

Edit. If I could give 100 greenies I would. Really like this software, very powerful. I will continue playing with it for the next week or so but I will probably buy it!

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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Thanks again, both.

 

I have used PM5 in the past but I rely heavily on a catalogue so I dropped it, in spite of PM5's strengths with metadata. 

 

As a workaround though, I use an app called TextExpander that makes it easy to do "Code Replacement" type actions for captioning and keywords and it works whether I use LR or Aperture or whatever.

 

I'll take a look at that as well. If I go down the route of a separate keywording tool, it does mean I can then use any Raw Processing application. My gut feeling is I will stick with C1 as they do do a lot of things right..... just not withe metadata :-(

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