Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder 5.0 Available

Version 5.0 of my Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder app is now available on the App Store. It took quite a bit longer than I first planned, but if you look at the sheer number of new stuff, you’ll understand why. More work went into this update than it took to develop the original version 1.

I wrote about the black & white mode and exposure compensation, and the question of RAW capture in former posts, now it’s time to reveal everything else. I’ll touch a few new things in this post, and highly recommend to take a look on the complete list in the release notes. And pay attention to the “Changes” section.

Quick Control Screen

The are a few subtle visual changes to make it less cluttered, and to make room for two new icons. The half dark/half light icon in the upper right toggles black & white mode. The 2x icon switches to the telephoto camera if you have an iPhone 7 Plus. The telephoto camera and wide converter use are mutually exclusive (as one would logically expect).

Icons for parallax correction/shift simulation and aspect ratio changing are now white when a non-default value is set for these (in the above example I set the 5DS R virtual camera to 16:9 aspect ratio).

Album -> Catalog

We had to rename the Album to Catalog to avoid a name clash with the thing that Apple calls an album in the Photos app. Now ours is named Catalog, since it would be extraordinarily hard to convince Apple that they should change…

And while we are talking about the Catalog, there are performance improvements here and there, meaning that an update may be required to the new format. The app automatically detects if this is the case, and will update the Catalog automatically.

Availability

This is a free update for existing Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder owners. New user can purchase the app for $26.99 / €26.99.

We offer upgrade bundles for former Viewfinder Basic/Pro/Cine edition owners, so they can upgrade for a reduced price.

I’m updating the Viewfinder Handbook to cover all the new features, and will let you know when it’s ready.

Rosette Nebula

Opportunities for astrophotography are few and far between: one needs clear, Moonless, windless nights; something interesting to shoot and a couple of hours spare time. I had no such opportunity for more than a year, and was keen to try a few new pieces of gear I got in the meantime.

Rosette Nebula

Rosette Nebula

The above image was the first light for my 5DS R (performed very well, it seems to be sensitive to hydrogen alpha wavelength range without the overly reddish appearance of astro converted cameras), 500mm f/4L IS II and the IDAS LPS-D1 light pollution suppression filter (did an admirable job – the above image was shot from our backyard in the countryside). Well, I would expect this level of performance from a filter costing over 250 Euros in 52mm size…

A stack of six exposures, 4 minutes each with another 4 minutes for the dark frame subtraction. 4m was the upper limit dictated by tracking precision that night (even 5m exposures were not skyfog limited). Had to throw away another four frames because of wind gusts. Shot at ISO 1600. The frames were converted in Capture One 10 (moved to C1 from DxO Optics Pro because I get much more details this way) and then processed in Photoshop.

All in all, I’m very satisfied with the result and looking forward for the next opportunity.

Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder 5.0 is Coming

The biggest update to my Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder app since its introduction three years ago is around the corner, so I’m going to post quite a lot about the new features. Let’s start with what I consider the most important: black & white mode.

The new black & white mode and exposure compensation in action.

The new black & white mode and exposure compensation in action. Click the image for larger view.

Luminance only black & white

The ability to view in black & white was the single most requested feature – so here it comes. It works by showing luminance information from the scene (just like when you convert to Lab in Photoshop and turn off the a and b channels leaving just L). There’s a new button on the Quick Control Screen to switch it on or off, and of course you can assign this function to the Fn Key (or to the EL/FL override). It’s that simple. But there’s more… The app now applies both the black & white conversion filter and wide converter distortion correction to the saved high resolution JPGs, not just to the preview image!

Exposure compensation

Since day one there was the EL key to cope with difficult lighting conditions, but now you can also set exposure compensation. Tap the main screen until the number right to the AF/AE point lights up, and then slide your finder up and down to set the actual compensation. You can set it in third stop increments. When you finished, the compensation number on the screen will become transparent. To quickly reset compensation back to 0, press and hold the screen for a second.

— ooo —

This is just two of the 18 new features version 5.0 will bring to the table – more on the remaining 16 in later posts 🙂

When and for how much?

Version 5.0 will be released soon. It’s feature complete at the moment, but needs to pass testing, validation and Apple’s review. It will be a free update for existing Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder users! But with the release we’ll increase the price slightly, so it’s worth buying it now and get the free update later on.

One Hundred Thousand

I’m extremely proud to announce that we had reached a major milestone in our app development business.

100k-downloads

One hundred thousand paid app downloads from 110 countries around the world. It’s hard to find the right words when so many people buy and use the stuff you make. It’s flattering. It’s a responsibility. It’s a great honor.

I know some of them personally and seeing how my apps changed their lives and improved their work is one of the most rewarding experiences one can wish for.

THANK YOU!