Photo Mechanic is incredibly fast at cropping but has a user interface where the image stays put and the cropping rectangle turns. This makes it hard to get precise rotations.

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Lightroom has a better user interface where the cropping boundaries stay vertical/horizontal and the image is rotated underneath. This makes it much easier to dial in precise rotations. The problem is that it takes a few seconds longer for each crop. Compounded over a large shoot, that eats a lot of time.

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Is there a cropping tool that works with RAW images and has the speed of Photo Mechanic but the user interface of Lightroom?

  • 2
    I'd hazard that the extra processing time is likely a result of the transformation on the full image. It's far easier to change the angle you are drawing a rectangle than it is to apply and calculate the rotation of an image.
    – AJ Henderson
    Apr 30 '13 at 15:12

Note that in Photo Mechanic, you can go into the Crop tool settings and display a light grid in the crop area that can help a little bit in getting those crops straight faster.

Example of crop grid in Photo Mechanic


I've not used Photo Mechanic, but if you're shooting Canon the cropping tool in Digital Photo Professional works well for me. The rotation is similar to Lightroom's. The control panel options are extensive. You can directly key in dimensions and an exact angle, then click on the picture to apply those entries.

DPP screen shot

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