Kuuvik Capture 4 : Self-Timer(s)

Kuuvik Capture 4 supports two methods to achieve the self-timer functionality: one built right into the app, and another via the camera.

The app’s implementation is accessible through the intervalometer. In version 4 we’ve lowered the minimum for the Number of Shots field to 1 (it was 2 in previous versions). In this case Trigger Interval is ignored, and the app waits the time specified in Beginning Delay before capturing an image. It also works for brackets, and mirror-lock up (even in auto-release mode) just like the normal intervalometer functionality. Since this is an exposure sequence, you have to use the Run Sequence button (Cmd+R) instead of Capture. This is the method we recommend to use.

There’s one situation, however, in which the camera’s 2s and 10s self-timer drive modes come into play. In a rather awkward fashion, the RC-1/5/6 infrared remote control works only with self-timer drive modes. Kuuvik Capture manages the camera’s drive mode to avoid potential issues caused by some of those (for example continuous drive), and switches back to single frame capture when the camera is in an incompatible drive mode. Now the app accepts both the 2s and 10s self-timer as compatible, so you can use the IR remote to trigger the camera.

You need to set the self-timer/remote control drive mode directly on the camera. While mirror lock-up set in the app will work, auto-release will not.

Kuuvik Capture 4.0 is available on the Mac App Store. It is a free update for users who purchased the app earlier from there. You can see the complete list of new features and changes in the release notes.

Kuuvik Capture 4 : Image Display Enhancements

Kuuvik Capture 4.0 is now available on the Mac App Store. This is the first release in the version 4 series, and brings the first batch of enhancements to the app. The first batch, because instead of waiting for every single feature we planned for version 4 to be complete (and delaying the release significantly), we decided make new features available as they are ready, so you can enjoy their benefits as soon as possible.

Let’s begin discussing the new stuff with the display engine. My FastPath imaging engine, that provides highly optimized image decoding and display, debuted in Technical Camera. Later on the Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder received it. And now Kuuvik Capture joins the club. It provides up to 2x faster JPG display (including the JPG previews embedded into RAW files), plus massive memory savings: I had measured around 100 megabytes less GPU memory usage with 5DS R files, for example.

But the story doesn’t end here. In contrast to this lightning fast preview display, it seemed that RAW loading and decoding (that’s a prerequisite for the RAW histogram and RAW-based clipping warnings) takes forever. And we wanted that users could begin working on the images the instant they appear on the screen. So we made RAW data loading asynchronous, taking place in the background. There’s no more waiting for the “Loading” progress bar.

A circular progress indicator on the RAW histogram’s panel lets you know how the loading goes forward. With the exception of a few operations (such as image deletion and purging) you are allowed to do anything during RAW loading. If you move to another image or capture a new one, loading is automatically cancelled, so you don’t have to waste your time on waiting for something that will be instantly thrown away.

And there’s even more. RAW loading consumes a lot of energy, and there are situations when conserving battery is of paramount importance. Thus we added a new preference to be able to turn off automatic loading completely.

The default is to automatically load RAW data, so that both the RAW histogram and clipping warnings could work as expected. Well, there’s a little difference from previous versions: with the Prefer RAW clipping warning option you’ll see the processed warning layers until the ones generated from RAW data arrive. In previous versions these processed clipping warning layers were not displayed at all.

Should you need the histogram or the warning layers later on, you always have the option to load the RAW data manually. Just click the placeholder on the RAW histogram, or choose the Load RAW data command from the menu, or press Cmd+L.

Power efficiency and speed were always cornerstone features of Kuuvik Capture. This new release brings both to a completely new level.

The last on the list of image display enhancements is support for images in color spaces other than sRGB and Adobe RGB. While images produced by Canon cameras are always in one of these two, images from other sources can be in others as well. For example JPG files produced by Technical Camera can be in the Display P3 color space. ProPhoto RGB and Display P3 are supported on macOS 10.11.2 or later, and arbitrary profiles on macOS 10.12 or later.

Kuuvik Capture 4.0 is available on the Mac App Store. It is a free update for users who purchased the app earlier from there. You can see the complete list of new features and changes in the release notes.

Canon Wi-Fi Pairing for Beginners

This post is about what you need to do on the camera to pair it to my ShutterCount, ShutterCount Mobile and Kuuvik Capture apps over Wi-Fi.

Why? Because Canon’s cumbersome and ill-designed Wi-Fi user interface is accompanied with an equally bad user guide (the dreaded Wi-Fi Function Instruction Manual). People are struggling with the camera side of the process, and my goal is to help them to overcome the pairing hurdle.

Nevertheless, I recommend everyone to take a look on that manual. First, because some topics, such as entering passwords, are covered there, and second, because you’ll appreciate our simple pairing process (and this post) compared to what Canon has to offer.

Assumptions

  • I expect you to follow this guide step-by-step. If something is not clear, re-read. If still not clear, ask.
  • Your camera has Wi-Fi. You’d be surprised how many people want to connect a Wi-Fi-less camera over Wi-Fi… Newer models have a built-in transceiver, but the 5DS, 5DS R and 7D Mark II requires the optional W-E1 card. Similarly, the 5D Mark III and 7D Mark II will work with the WFT-E7 brick.
  • You have a local Wi-Fi network and your device running ShutterCount or Kuuvik Capture (iPhone, iPad or Mac) is connected to that Wi-Fi. While other configurations (such as camera-created network, and device-created network) are also possible, these are not for beginners. So I assume that both your device and camera will be connected to the same, existing network.
  • You read the camera’s user manual at least partly, and know how to enter a Wi-Fi password for example.
  • You know how your Wi-Fi network is configured, have a password for it, or have the person who manages your network at hand.
  • The camera must be paired directly to our apps. No Canon software should be running. You must quit all Canon apps (as well as others that may connect to your camera) before attempting a pairing, as they will almost certainly cause trouble.
  • If it does not work, you are doing something wrong. Or have a faulty hardware (unlikely, but happens). Not joking. Every single “does not work” case over the years boiled down to these causes. So read again and ask.

In the App

You have to do only one thing in the app: put it into pairing mode.

  • On iOS tap Connect and tap New Camera Pairing…
  • On a Mac click Wi-Fi and Ethernet Pairing… in the ShutterCount (or Kuuvik Capture) menu. Or press F2.

That’s it. The app will automatically come out of pairing mode once the camera is successfully connected.

On the Camera

Different Canons have different Wi-Fi configuration screens. Most new ones have a consistent user interface, but still, there are minor variations. To avoid a hundred page post detailing each camera model separately, I’ll describe the common process, pointing out differences (this is denoted by /a and /b after the step’s number).

The Wi-Fi menu is called either Wireless communication setting or Built-in wireless settings (and is tucked under Communication settings). Older models, and the W-E1 card doesn’t have a top-level Wi-Fi menu item, just Wi-Fi function.

The paring process have four phases: preparation, mode selection, network connection and finally the actual pairing.

Phase 1 : Preparation

This phase is about preparing the camera for using a Wi-Fi connection. Since I don’t want to deal with any previously created configuration mess, you’ll need to reset the camera’s Wi-Fi configuration to the factory default.

Step 1/a : Cameras having either a Wireless communication settings or Built-in wireless settings menu, the Clear settings item is on that menu.

Step 1/b : Older models hide the clear function in a different place: go into the Wi-Fi function menu and press the INFO key. The resulting General sett. screen will have it. Note that the camera’s network (MAC) address is also displayed here. If you use MAC address filtering on your Wi-Fi, you should enable access for this address.

After the reset you can begin setting up the camera: besides enabling Wi-Fi, you may need to give it a nickname.

Step 2 : First choose Wi-Fi settings (or Wi-Fi/NFC settings) from the menu.

Step 3 : Choose Enable to enable Wi-Fi support. Be aware that enabling Wi-Fi may disable the USB port on the camera, so if USB stops working after this, you need to come back here and disable Wi-Fi. NFC is not supported on Apple devices, so I recommend to turn it off when your camera has that option.

Step 4 : The camera may ask for a nickname. There’s no other option here, but to confirm that you will provide one. It doesn’t matter what the actual nickname is. Our apps does not use it for anything at the moment. I usually recommend to accept what the camera offers.

Phase 2 : Mode Selection

Canon cameras offer a bunch of different network communication modes, and only one of those is suitable for our apps. Choosing a wrong one is a recipe for connection failure.

Step 5 : Choose Wi-Fi function to begin. Note that the location of the Wi-Fi function menu differs from camera generation to generation.

Step 6 : You must choose Remote control (EOS Utility), even if the app is running on an iPhone or iPad. The camera will think it’s talking to EOS Utility, when in reality it will talk to our apps. Pressing the INFO button on this screen will show the network (MAC) address of your camera. If you use MAC address filtering on your Wi-Fi, you should enable access for this address.

Step 7 : Newer devices will show you this screen. Since you are connecting for the first time, choose Register a device for connection. Later on, you can recall specific settings here to quickly re-connect with different apps on different devices (but that’s a topic for another post). If the screen is skipped by the camera, don’t worry.

Phase 3 : Network Connection

Newer Canons create a Wi-Fi network by default. You should never ever use this one for anything. Really. It’s extremely slow, unreliable crap. You’ll want to select your good old, existing Wi-Fi network.

Step 8/a : On newer Canons, choose Switch network at this point.

Step 8/b : Older models will present the Connection method screen, where you should choose the Select a network option. Even more older ones will call the Select a network option as Infrastructure mode. On these more older cameras you will also need to choose Find network on the subsequent screen.

Step 9 : Choose your existing Wi-Fi in the next step. Forget about Camera access point mode (described just above) and WPS/PBC. Choose the network your iPhone, iPad or Mac is connected to. A word of caution though. Canon’s Wi-Fi implementation is unable to handle Wi-Fi roaming (that is when you have multiple Wi-Fi access points in the house). Each access point will appear as a different network here, and chances are that the camera will pick a wrong one even if you are selected the correct one. Try the pairing procedure close to each access point to see which one the camera sticks to if you experience connection issues.

Step 10 : Older models will bother you with a question about the key format. I’ve never seen a Wi-Fi network in my entire career that hasn’t used a textual password, and Canon also realized the uselessness of this option and eliminated it from newer cameras. But you should choose Enter 8-63 ASCII characters if the camera insists.

Step 11 : Enter the password for your Wi-Fi network. Again, if you use MAC address filtering, you will need to allow access for the camera’s MAC address, otherwise this screen will not appear or the password will not be accepted.

Step 12 : Choose Auto setting to get the IP address (and other basic networking parameters) from your router automatically. Just line your phone does.

Phase 4 : Pairing

If you made it this far, the camera is now successfully connected to the Wi-Fi network and can start communication with the app. If not, the problem is with your Wi-Fi network or camera, not our apps.

Step 13 :  This is a “this page is left blank intentionally” kind of screen… Choose OK.

Step 14 : The camera now entered pairing mode. If you haven’t done so, put ShutterCount or Kuuvik Capture into pairing mode. Don’t let the message fool you, do not start EOS Utility – it’s not needed, and would just cause trouble. The camera will think that it talks to EOS Utility when it talks to our apps.

Step 15 : This last screen confirms that the camera found the app. Choose OK and enjoy the app! Again, don’t let the message fool you. The camera seems to think that everything is a PC. If your camera prompts for saving the newly created Wi-Fi settings at this point, choose SET1.

Bob’s your uncle – as the British say. Normally the pairing process should be done once, and the next time you use the same app on the same device, it will re-connect to the camera (if Wi-Fi is active). Change the device or even the app, and a re-paring has to be done. But this is a topic for another day.