Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder 5.2 Released

The latest update to my Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder app is available on the App Store. The big news are iPhone X optimization and Smart Function Keys, so I’ll begin with discussing these.

iPhone X

The irregular shaped screen of iPhone X presented quite a design challenge. We wanted to maximize image display without unnecessary obstructions (think the home indicator in landscape orientation), but also keep the display’s aspect ratio as close as possible to the simulated cameras. From several concepts the following one made into the app.

The image area is slightly wider than with rectangular screens, but not too wide to be unusable with 3:2 and 4:3 aspect ratios. The “horns” next to the sensor notch became home for additional user-assignable function keys.

While I don’t use the X personally, I liked the concept of these additional keys so much that ported it to Plus sized iPhone and all iPad models. The only difference is that on these devices the additional keys are located in the toolbar.

Speaking of the function keys, there’s a departure from the lone Fn Key found in previous versions. So much, that they deserved a new name.

Smart Function Keys

In the original Viewfinder app there were four functions keys, each labeled with the abbreviation of the assigned function. In the Mark II these abbreviations were lost as there were only a single Fn Key, and memorizing what’s assigned to it wasn’t difficult. Then we added the ability to override the EL and FL keys. And now two additional function keys. Memorizing five keys assignments, especially if you use the app sporadically, is basically impossible.

Smart Function Keys are not only labeled with the abbreviation of the assigned function, but also show the state of the function. Wide Mode is on? The W key will indicate it. Using a non-native aspect ratio for the active virtual camera? The A key will show it (just like on the above illustration).

There’s another trick the FL key learned in this release. When continuous AF is turned off, the key starts a single AF operation, and now it’s labeled appropriately.

Catalog Restore

While it was possible to back up views via iTunes File Sharing, we observed a growing need to be able to also restore views into the app. Moving to a new device, reinstalling the app, whatever the reason.

Now you can safely restore views via iTunes, as the app gained a new function to rebuild the Catalog after such an operation. It’s available from the menu.

Odds and Ends

The usual camera database updates, workarounds for iOS 11 peculiarities and a few bug fixes complete this release. For the exhaustive list of what’s new, please refer to the Release Notes.

Version 5.2 is a free update for existing Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder owners. New user can purchase the app from the App Store.

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

Change Your Canon’s Daylight Saving Time Easily

I prefer to keep the clock in my cameras set correctly, so I have to go through all of them twice a year to set and reset the daylight saving time setting (which they don’t do automatically for some strange reason). At this time I manage five Canon DSLRs we use exclusively for software development and testing in addition to my three cameras that I also use for my photography – and updating this setting was always a royal pain for me. This is why the Synchronize Date/Time function was born in my apps.

It is available in Kuuvik Capture as well as the Plus Pack add-on for ShutterCount (both the Mac and iOS versions). Just turn the synchronization on in Preferences, and the next time you connect a camera all time-related settings will be updated to reflect that of your Mac (or iPhone/iPad).

My previous posts (here and here) discuss time synchronization for both apps.

Introducing the ShutterCount Plus Pack

Last night we released a substantial update to my ShutterCount app in the form of the Plus Pack add-on. Let me go through all its features.

Graphing and forecasting

This is the most eye-catching addition, and I think the following screen shot speaks for itself.

A few words on how it works, though. The source of the graphs (as well as for the forecast) is your existing history logs. The horizontal axis is time, in month/year format. Vertical axis is the number of shutter actuations in thousands (k) or millions (M). Grid lines are placed automatically. There’s also a thick horizontal red line, representing the camera’s shutter durability rating, which is visible only if you are nearing it.

You have the option to display the trendline calculated from the data. This trendline is also the base for the forecast, which looks for the intersection of the trendline and the durability rating’s line. The app needs at least four measurements in a 30-day or longer interval to make a forecast. But be aware: this is just a forecast, and not future cast in stone. Your shutter may work much longer, but might even die at half of the rating. It helps you plan preventive maintenance before a long and/or important trip, though.

Date/time synchronization

This is the exact same feature we’ve introduced with the latest Kuuvik Capture update, so I’d recommend to read my post on that.

Outdated firmware warning

There are people who go to great lengths to keep their cameras’ firmware up-to-date, but there’s also quite a huge crowd who do not even know that it should be updated from time to time. This feature helps both camps.

Since Canon’s firmware updates aren’t frequent, the app contains a database of current firmware versions at release time. This database is updated with each new ShutterCount version.

History duplicate removal

If you happen to use a camera less frequently, your history logs may fill up with identical readings. At least mine did. It bothered me quite a lot, so the duplicate removal feature was born.

You have two options: manually initiate a cleanup from the history window, or flip the auto-removal preference and let the app do it for you. In case a manually initiated removal, a backup is created from the log (in the same folder as the original).


The Plus Pack is an optional add-on, and can be purchased from within the Mac and iOS versions of ShutterCount. On a Mac, click the ShutterCount > Store menu item, on an iPhone or iPad tap More on the tab bar and tap Store in the menu.

In both cases the in-app Store will be displayed, where you can make the purchase. If you have the app on more than one device, then make the purchase on one and use the Restore Previous Purchases button to get it on others. Just like with the app itself, the Mac and iOS versions has to be purchased separately.

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.


This is a free update for existing Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder owners. New user can purchase the app from the App Store.

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

The Viewfinder Handbook was also updated to cover all the new features.