Jack Baty

Director of Unspecified Services

Photo Mechanic in 2024

Photo Mechanic is the fastest, most powerful tool for ingesting/browsing/exporting photos. It's always been a little expensive, but I've had a license for many years.

Before 2024, I could buy a license and use it until the next version came out. I paid $90 to upgrade Photo Mechanic Plus (the fancy version with catalogs) from version 5 to version 6 in 2020. That was four years ago. It's not cost me a nickel since then.

There's "a little expensive" and then there's "expensive". This year, Photo Mechanic has introduced subscription pricing, and it's now firmly in the latter category.

Photo Mechanic Plus is now a paid subscription of $249/year. Ouch. The "perpetual" license (good for one year of updates) is $399. That prices it well out of "hobbyist" territory.

A subscription to the standard version is $149/year. Still too expensive for non-professionals.

I've been trying to get by using cheaper alternatives. First, I tried FastRawViewer. It is fast and cheap, but it's also comparatively janky and I simply didn't enjoy it. Next, I tried ApolloOne. ApolloOne is a nice app. It comes close to being good enough as an image viewer. But it's not good enough to be a full-on Photo Mechanic replacement.

Thing is, I like the way Photo Mechanic works. It fits my brain. It's fast, complete, can be customized nicely, and has been solid for a couple of decades.

After failing to find a suitable replacement, I took the money returned from the Ghost theme I'd purchased, and used it for a one-year subscription to Photo Mechanic standard. It's expensive, but better, so it's worth it.