This is for Wade (Commodorefirst) and others that participated in a thread that Wade originated in the Birds & Animal forum. This thread started out with some pictures, and as often happens, changed directions completely to discuss photo organization, review, and cataloging applications. Wade and several others had some good things to say about such a package called Photo Mechanic. They were so persuasive that I ended up downloading the trial version. I also am a registered owner of ThumbsPlus v7. I'm certainly not an expert on either of these packages, but I thought it would be useful to post some of my first impressions. One of the neat things that Wade mentioned about Photo Mechanic (let's just call them PM and TP for ThumbsPlus), was that it allows you to preview RAW (.NEF) files without the need for a .JPG file. This means that, if you just shoot RAW (not RAW + Basic JPG), that you can get about 15-20% more shots on a card (my typical .NEF from the D2H is about 3MB, and the associated basic .JPG is about 540K). That appealed to me, so I downloaded the PM trial version. The very first thing that grabbed my attention was the cost of PM ($150 new, $90 for each upgrade). Yikes!! That's a lot of $$$$ for a preview and cataloging package. I could probably handle the cost if it was a great app otherwise, but the next thing that I noticed was that .NEF files displayed in PM were fairly poor quality. I thought to myself, 'heck, TP is better than this', so I quickly opened TP, and selected the same folder that I was looking at in PM. Well, this immediately reminded me why I was still using basic .JPG's to review my shots. The images from a .NEF using TP were very small, and pretty much useless for deciding whether an image should be in the keeper or throw-away category. So, I decided that PM wasn't good enough to use for image preview, and neither was TP, so I decided just to stay with my current process of shooting RAW + Basic .JPG, and just losing the extra CF card space. Well, today I got an email from Cerious Software (the maker of TP) offering me a great price on TP v7. Since I already have TP v7, I wasn't too impressed. I did notice though, that they were also offering a free TP plug-in (for TP v7 Pro owners), called DCRaw, that supposedly allows viewing of RAW files from a variety of camera manufacturers (including Nikon). I though, what the heck, and downloaded it. It works great!! I can get the same quality image previews from my .NEF files alone that I have been getting with RAW + Basic .JPG. I still have some evaluation to do, to see what other strengths and limitations that I might encounter if I change my process, but at a first glance, shooting in RAW, and doing my culling using TP + DCRaw looks like a very viable option. I know that this has been long-winded, but I thought it might be of interest. Just FYI, you can get the TP Standard version (doesn't support DCRaw) for $49.95 and the Professional version (does support DCRaw) for $89.95. As a disclaimer, I still haven't fully evaluated the other tools and capabilities of TP versus PM, but for my primary use, I think TP Pro + DCRaw will fit the bill nicely.