File Mode in ShutterCount 3

We had received numerous requests to support non-Canon (mostly Nikon) cameras with the app. I thought that since Nikons store the shutter counter in image files it’s easy to get the current value and postponed the project a couple of times. Well, I was wrong.

As soon as I started researching the subject I had to realize that existing methods either require you to install some non-digitally-signed software on the Mac (a major no go in these days), or wants you to upload image files with a host of potentially personally identifying information, such as the camera’s serial number, onto web a site with no privacy and/or data handling policies at all. Even digging out the information with a safe solution (the Mac’s built-in Preview app) is far from being fast and easy – and Nikon only.

Now I totally understand the need for a simple and quick solution.

Enter ShutterCount File Mode

Take a picture with your camera. Pull the memory card and place it into a card reader connected to your Mac (the built-in SD card slot will do). Once the memory card icon appears on your desktop, drag and drop it onto ShutterCount (either the running app or onto its icon). The app automatically scans the card, finds the latest image on it (by date) and displays the result.

The result for my rarely used Nikon D7100. Note that the shutter count and the file number differs – that’s why you can’t use the file number as an “odometer”.

Or if you don’t want to drag & drop, just use File > Scan Memory Card in the menu. Or drop an image file onto the app. Or open an image file with File > Open. ShutterCount adapts to your preferred way of bringing the file into the app.

And you can use any image format your camera can record: NEF or JPG for Nikons, and PEF or DNG or JPG for Pentax models.

Pretty fast and simple, isn’t it?

Nikon and Pentax cameras do not store the owner’s name. So the display changes to “Artist Name”. But other that this, the app behaves exactly as is does for USB or Wi-Fi connected Canons. Even the Plus Pack‘s graphing is available (forecasting is not available only with some models, please consult the Tech Specs for details).

An added bonus: older 1-series Canons

Once I had an improved metadata parser with shutter count reading capability for Nikon and Pentax cameras, it was minimal effort to also add older Canon 1-series models. Actually I had been using a 1D Mark II for 8 years, and became curious…

The very last show made with my Canon EOS-1D Mark II.

There are a few caveats, though. The 1D II (N) and 1Ds II might ruin the counter when restoring camera settings from a memory card (I never did that for my 1D II). And the 1D II and 1Ds III may reset the counter when using auto-reset image numbering (or even under some other circumstances – I’m not surprised since these cameras have Canon’s worst-ever firmware).

So if it works for your oldie 1D, be happy. If it doesn’t, then sorry, we haven’t got the powers to go back in time and fix what Canon messed up in the past.

A fun experiment

My curiosity with the good old 1D II didn’t stop there. So I’ve read the first image of every month during the camera’s service period. Don’t even had to do it in order of taking, since ShutterCount automatically sorts the history by date in File Mode.

8 years of shooting with the 1D Mark II.

Availability

File Mode is included in the base ShutterCount 3 app on macOS. So it is free for existing users. New users can purchase the app in the Mac App Store for $2.99 / €3.49. For the complete list of certified cameras please refer to the Tech Specs page. File Mode is not available yet on iOS and Windows.

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