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Outdated firmware warning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).

Availability

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.

The price is $1.99 / €2.29.

ShutterCount on iPhone and iPad

My ShutterCount app is now available on iOS!

It runs on 64-bit devices running iOS 9 or later (that is: iPhone 5s or later, iPod touch 6, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, iPad Pro).

Since Apple does not provide a way to control a camera via USB from an iOS device, ShutterCount Mobile relies on Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection and thus supports cameras having one of those. Either built-in, or utilizing an external Wireless File Transmitter.

So at the moment it will work with the following Canon EOS cameras: 6D, 70D (using built-in Wi-Fi); 5D Mark III, 7D Mark II (using WFT-E7 transmitter); 1D X, 1D C (using built-in Ethernet or WFT-E6 transmitter).

Feature-wise it is equal with the Mac version – besides a simple reading it sports history logging, with the ability to copy the logs into Apple’s Numbers or Microsoft Excel. Plus you can access these logs through iTunes file sharing.

Because of the network connection required to the camera, you’ll need to do an extra step before the reading – pair the app and the camera. ShutterCount relies on the camera’s more advanced EOS Utility connection mode (and thus will not work with the simple smartphone connection mode). Mind this when establishing the connection.

I’ve recorded a short video showing the entire pairing and reading procedure between an iPod touch and my EOS 7D Mark II. The camera is connected through a Canon WFT-E7 transmitter using an Ethernet cable to our office network, while the iPod is connected to the same network via Wi-Fi.

Towards the end of the video I make three test shots and power cycle the camera to show the updated shutter count. Note that the camera needs some time to register itself on the network, and that pairing needs to be done once – the next time the app will automatically recognize the camera.

This automatic connection remains in effect until you either pair the camera to another app (Kuuvik Capture for example), turn off the network connection on the camera, or quit (I mean force quit, pressing the Home button is not enough) the app on the iPhone/iPad.

You may want to read my previous post on Canon EOS camera pairing and the ShutterCount FAQ for additional pairing tips.

ShutterCount Mobile is available on the App Store for $2.99 / €2.99.

ShutterCount for Windows 1.2.1 Released

This is a minor release for addressing an activation issue on some Windows computers.

The issue is rooted in a fact that a few virtual private networking software manufacturers think that it’s fun to change the virtual adapters’s MAC address not on every installation, but on every boot. Why would one do this is beyond me.

But it breaks the hardware ID mechanism in ShutterCount. Well, if there would be a unique identifier on Windows machines, life would be much easier… Lacking this ID, we have to make up one using several sources. Including network cards.

When such MAC address change happened, ShutterCount used to think that it’s running on another machine, and thus initiated the activation process. And if this happened again, the user ran out of the two simultaneous activations that the license allows. Bummer. We had to manually reset the license. While this happened only with a handful of users, it was annoying for both parties.

In 1.2.1 we modified the activation logic to cope with this issue. The app now tells the activation server whether a hardware ID change rendered the activation invalid. The activation dialog still pops up, but this reactivation is not counted against the two computer limit. Please note that this method works only if you have a previous activation record on the given machine.

We now also store your license information, so you don’t have to enter it again and again for these reactivations.

You can update to version 1.2.1 by choosing the Check for Updates… item in the Help menu.

ShutterCount Update Available

ShutterCountIcon2x The latest version of ShutterCount is now available for both OS X and Windows.

The app now tries to retrieve shutter count information for non-certified Canon EOS digital cameras with a DIGIC III or newer processor (with the exception of the EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III).

You’ll get a warning message in these cases, but they should work (unless Canon chooses to change their PTP protocol extensions, of course). You can suppress these warning messages for each camera model separately.

Regarding the 1D Mark III and 1Ds Mark III – we get lots of requests to add support for these models. The bad news is that they do not provide shutter count information through the USB port, and thus cannot be supported. So please don’t ask for supporting them. It’s simply not possible. The same is true for pre-DIGIC III models, such as the original 5D, as well as everything else released before the 40D.

The latest Mac update is version 1.4 and is available on the Mac App Store. The latest Windows update is version 1.2, and you can update by choosing the Check for Updates… item in the Help menu.

This is a free update for existing users on both operating systems.