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!

Kuuvik Capture 2.5 with 5D IV Support Available

The latest update to Kuuvik Capture is now available on the Mac App Store. It brings complete Canon EOS 5D Mark IV support, including the ability to shoot and display Dual Pixel RAW files. I’d recommend to check out my former notes on 5D Mark IV RAW files.

This release also boosts RAW decoding and camera communication performance – you can find more details on these improvements in my previous post.

A new preference

As a first step toward JPG support, you can now shoot RAW+JPG (Large/Fine) in the camera. Since Kuuvik Capture works from the RAW file only to display the histogram and highlight/shadow warnings, just the RAW files are downloaded even if you shoot RAW+JPG. JPG files are saved to the memory card.

The new "Image quality" preference

The new “Image quality” preference

You can switch between RAW (the default) and RAW+JPG Large/Fine in Preferences.

Notes on macOS 10.12 Sierra

Usually I’m not doing this, but this time I highly recommend NOT to upgrade to macOS 10.12. At the time of writing the new OS has way too many bugs, two of which affecting Kuuvik Capture users specifically.

1) Connecting the 5D Mark IV via USB to an app, and then quitting the app will leave the camera in an inconsistent state, and no app will be able to connect to the camera until the USB cable is disconnected and plugged in, or the camera is turned off and back on, or the memory card door opened and closed.

This only happens with the 5D Mark IV and on macOS 10.12 with the USB connection. The same camera on 10.11 works fine, all other cameras we’ve tried on 10.12 work fine. Even the Wi-Fi connection works fine – well, it’s not a surprise since it doesn’t use the flaky macOS PTP/IP stack.

It seems that macOS forgets to close the session with the camera. There is no workaround to the issue, other than the things mentioned above that actually break the session on the camera side.

2) On some computers (MacBook Pro 15″ Retina Mid-2012 for example) 5DS/R files are not displayed at all.

This is due to a bug in the macOS video driver, and thus happens only on some machines. There’s a workaround, however. Kuuvik Capture can downsize there files to be just 24 megapixels for display. Just open the Terminal app, and enter the following command:

defaults write com.direstudio.KuuvikCapture forceLargeImageDownsizing 1

Once Apple fixes the bug, you can turn downsizing off by the following command:

defaults write com.direstudio.KuuvikCapture forceLargeImageDownsizing 0

Of course we are working on to get these issues fixed, but until then the best remedy is to avoid upgrading.

Update 10/26/2016: macOS 10.12.1 does not resolve these issues.

Availablity

The update is free for existing Kuuvik Capture 2 customers. New users can download Kuuvik Capture 2 from the Mac App Store for $79.99 / €79.99 / £59.99.

For more information about the app, please visit it’s microsite, or check out my posts.

Performance is a Key Kuuvik Capture Feature

Since I took over Kuuvik Capture last year, one of my top priorities is to provide the fastest, highest performance tool possible. While the original company arrangement did not allow for costly, time consuming optimizations required to reach the speed I wanted, now I can spend all my spare time on it. And the results are stunning. Just think the brutal improvements version 2 brought to the table…

These days I’m doing some groundwork that will make exciting new features possible in Kuuvik Capture (and also serve as a base for upcoming products). And improving performance along the way.

Kuuvik Capture 2.5 Beta

Kuuvik Capture 2.5 Beta

No more Windows leftover

Originally Kuuvik Capture was designed to be able to run on both OS X and Windows, and we used a bunch of readily available software components (Canon’s own SDK and libraw for example), which turned out to be a bag of ugly worms. I had spent several long days on wrapping those components to make them usable and reliable.

This “wrapper” was able to run on both operating systems. On top of this, the operating system specific “engine” connected the “wrapper” to the user interface and provided services to the “wrapper” (such as proper asynchronous camera communication – something that Windows completely lacks).

With version 2 I had already replaced these problematic components with my own code, but parts of the “wrapper” and the “engine” were still present. Since we decided to drop any and all Windows plans, there was no need for them – my Digital Camera Library and the user interface could talk directly. So I started to gradually remove them, which task is finished by now.

During the removal I had not just eliminated several thousand lines of code, but since there’s less machinery involved, camera communication became faster and consumes less battery. Image download from the 5DS R is 1% faster compared to version 2.4, and overall communication is up to 5% faster compared to 2.0 (measured on my mid-2012 15″ Retina MacBook Pro). This seems a small number, but think about it this way: you can take 1-5% more shots on a charge.

Even faster RAW decoding

I’m using a lossless jpeg decoder based on dcraw‘s routines to open the RAW files. This had one drawback: dcraw was not designed to be able to work on multiple images simultaneously – something I need for my future plans. Not to mention that I also had to work around this limitation in Kuuvik Capture.

Fortunately I found and fixed the issue, and my decoder not just works parallel on multiple processor cores, but also crunching numbers faster. I measured 5-6% faster file opens (with 50 megapixel files on my MacBook Pro).

When?

These improvements will be available in Kuuvik Capture 2.5 later this fall.

Preventing Photos Auto-Start

If you are a photographer using anything but an iPhone for your work, chances are that the Photos app drives you nuts. I mean its aggressive nature to jump on any media or camera connected. Although you can disable this auto-start for cameras one by one, CF and SD cards are still an issue, as there’s no way to disable the auto-start for them on the user interface.

So here’s the trick: disable it globally. Open Terminal and copy & paste the following commands:

On OS X 10.10 (Yosemite):

defaults -currentHost write com.apple.ImageCapture2 HotPlugActionPath -string ""

defaults -currentHost write com.apple.ImageCapture2 LastHotPlugActionPath -string ""

On OS X 10.11 (El Capitan):

defaults -currentHost write com.apple.ImageCapture disableHotPlug -bool YES

You may need to log out and back on for the changes to take effect.