We’ve come a long way since the Beta 1, with some significant departures from how Kuuvik Capture worked in the past. I bet you’ll spot the single most important new feature on the screen shot below.
Graphical Image Browser
Session management has been completely rewritten for this beta. It became way simpler, as sessions are now just simple folders. And Kuuvik Capture now lets you quickly browse the contents of the session folder with the help of the Image Browser. You can rate the images with 1 to 5 stars, color label them, and sort according to your preference. Industry-standard XMP metadata files provide workflow integration with XMP-aware RAW converter apps, such as Adobe Lightroom and
Capture One. (Well, in theory it should work with Capture One, but my fellow colleagues at Phase One screwed up their XMP parser and 99% of the time can’t load a well-formed XMP. Either ours or Lightroom’s. Even worse, if you enable Full Sync in Capture One, it would corrupt the XMP file… So Capture One is declared incompatible until they fix this.)
As a side effect, Kuuvik Capture can now be used to quickly cull a large number of images. Actually, this was one of the motivations to create the Image Browser. I want Kuuvik Capture to fully and seamlessly support my workflow.
I usually have a mix of images taken with Kuuvik Capture and my cameras alone, so I needed the ability to work on them together. When I’m birding, it’s now uncommon that I return with 2000 images from a single afternoon shoot – 90% of which goes to the trash. But culling with full-featured RAW converters was slow and painful. Now I can sweep through those 2000 images in roughly 1.5 hours – with all the help of the usual Kuuvik Capture tools like sharpening and focus peaking!
Positive Selection Culling
Contrary to the usual “throw out the bad ones one-by-one”, Kuuvik Capture sports a “mark the best & ditch the rest” concept of image culling. During the years, I found the negative approach (throwing out the bad ones) impact my creative process in a very bad way: I’ve been concentrating on the bad images, instead of the standouts. It was a kind of mental torture for me (not surprisingly, I had a huge pile of un-culled or partly culled shoots).
With Kuuvik Capture, I just give stars to the best images, to those that I really like (and those whose technical properties are also good). Then ask the app to trash the others. You also have the option to decrease star rating of remaining images (and start the process all over again). It’s simple, intuitive, and fosters positive thinking about the good images.
This beta also introduces a host of multi-touch gestures. Besides the usual, standard zooming and panning of images, we now support 90 degree image rotation with the flick-rotate gesture (it’s like trying to quickly rotate the image, and Kuuvik Capture detects the direction and rotates the image by 90 degrees).
In live view you can also flick-zoom (both in and out).
Built for the Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R
The app has been designed and optimized to work with the huge images from the new 50-megapixel bodies. While it’s fast working with them, it became lightning fast on smaller (22 or less megapixel) images. The long delay between beta 1 and beta 2 is partly attributable to this process, as I had to replace a few slow, leaking and generally problematic frameworks with my own implementations. So the complete display engine is new, including the sharpening and peaking filters that now work properly on Retina displays.
Other New Features from the Beta 1
- Streamlined user interface to give more screen space to your images and to support the new MacBook.
- New raw decoding engine which is up to 5x faster than the open source library used previously. And consumes way less memory in the process.
- Improved image display quality.
- Improved focus peaking visibility in some situations.
- Exposure information for the currently displayed image below the histogram.
- RAW label to show when the histogram is generated from raw data (instead of white balanced ‘jpeg’ data).
- Session information can be overlaid on the displayed image.
- 11 new guide templates, including golden ratio, a dense 30×20 grid and several aspect ratio lines, such as 1:1, 5:4, 16:9.
- Selectable guideline color.
- Color pickers for both peaking and guides allow you to set the opacity.
- A new menu item and hot key to cycle peaking color presets (yellow, white, green, magenta). Cycling also include your chosen custom peaking color if there’s one.
- All panels (not just the Navigator) can be quickly revealed.
- Event Log to notify you about problems that may influence your shoot (such as inability to write to the download folder or interference with other concurrently running remote control apps).
What’s Not In There?
Due to the sheer amount of change in the most basic parts of the app (camera communication, display, sessions), we had to drop two features from version 2.0. First, testing revealed that OS X’s PTP-IP implementation (that was used to drive the cameras through WiFi and Ethernet after dropping Canon’s SDK) tends to corrupt data under heavy load. So I removed network camera support until I roll out my own PTP-IP code.
Second, support for the 1Ds Mark III has been removed as it needs to be operated completely different from modern cameras. We will re-add support as we can put our hands on a 1Ds Mark III for a few days, and only if there’s demand for it (given the limited feature set that camera supports).
Beta 2 will be released to registered beta testers during the next day. This beta represents the final feature set for version 2.0, and if everything goes as planned, it will be released in the Mac App Store as soon as Apple approves it.