For working with IPTC you really can't compare Photo Mechanic with Photoshop. PM is made exactly for this, while PS is everything else then this. With PM workflow is much much faster and more optimized then with PS. Of course when it comes to ingesting cards, adding IPTC, selecting photos and sending them. PS is still needed for everything else (cropping, levels...).
Basic and most important features of PM for me are following:
- ingesting from cards. It renames photos, puts them into proper directory, applies template IPTC to them.
- preview and selection. With 5 start rating system and 8 class colors (9 if you count no color) system, you can optimize your workflow when selecting photos to send quite good. Not to mention preview (thumbnails or big photos, even side by side comparison of two photos) is fastest of all programs I ever tried.
- IPTC. I'm shooting sport, so code replacement is one of best things you can find. Instead of writing names, you import start list, and you write just number while PM changes it to proper name. Since I'm shooting whole bunch of international sport, writing mistakes in athletes names are history. You might think it's not that bad, but when you have whole bunch of, let's say Spanish names, and all you know from Spanish is "Una cerveza, por favor", such things comes really handy Another thing is copy and paste of IPTC between photos. It speeds up process quite a bit.
- sending. With embedded ftp client (and pretty good working one), it's really easy to send photos straight from PM. Once they will add some tagging of successfully sent photos (I hope it will be done once in next version or two), it will be really perfect option.
And for editing, you can still send selected photos straight from PM to PS. To be honest, I can't even imagine how I was doing all this before PM. PM might not be cheapest thing around, even though $150 is not all that bad, but for me personally, it's worth every $. And their support and especially their willingness to listen their clients, is really great. I asked Kirk if it would be possible to add multiple IPTC paste, and in next version it was there. So yes, I'm probably like walking billboard for PM, but they really are good