ShutterCount 3.4 Supports the EOS R

We did it again! Canon introduced a new shutter actuation counter method for its mirrorless cameras, starting with the M50. The just released version of ShutterCount supports this new method, as you can see on the following screen shot.

ShutterCount is the first and only app that can do it.

The new mirrorless counter for my EOS R.

Instead of giving a shot-by-shot counter, the M50 (Kiss M in some markets) and the EOS R will give a value measured in thousands. ShutterCount displays it similar to the 1-series cameras do it in their menu: <= 2000 means the counter is between 1000 and 2000, <= 15000 means the counter is between 14000 and 15000, etc.

The Distribution Chart and live view counters are not available for mirrorless cameras, since all photos are taken in live view mode.

Being Wi-Fi capable, both the EOR R and the M50 are also supported in the iOS version of the app.

Speaking of mirrorless, we also certified the app with the Nikon Z 7. Just like all other Nikons, the Mac version supports this camera via image files.

The Mac version adapts to Dark Mode in macOS 10.14, and the iOS version supports the large screen size of iPhone XS Max and XR.

Version 3.4 is a free update for existing users on both operating systems. New users can purchase the app in the respective App Store. Live View Pack and Plus Pack are available as in-app purchases.

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.

ShutterCount 3.3 Released

The latest release of my ShutterCount app is now available on the App Store. Version 3.3 brings Wi-Fi pairing enhancements, updates the camera firmware version database for the Plus Pack and adds home screen quick action support. Let’s begin with this one.

The app provides the three shortcuts you see on the screen shot.

Camera Pairing brings up the pairing screen immediately, no need to go though the usual “tap Connect”, “tap New Camera Pairing” steps.

History and Graph will open the corresponding tab with the camera list.

You may also have a fourth element for sharing (spreading the word about) the app, which iOS places automatically to the shortcut list.

These shortcuts are available on iPhone models having 3D Touch capability.

Regarding Wi-Fi and Ethernet connected cameras, we’ve made enhancements and the app now recognizes cameras up to 2x faster. It is especially noticeable when you connect the same camera regularly.

These enhancements are also allow us to detect when someone attempts pairing in the wrong pairing mode.

ShutterCount requires the EOS Utility connection mode, as the Smartphone Connect mode is rather limited and doesn’t provide a way to query the counters.

But this is different from what people are used to do on their mobile devices, and despite the guidance in the app and the Getting Started Guide, we had several cases where users unsuccessfully wrestled with the unsuitable connection mode. Now you’ll know immediately if you mis-selected the mode.

Both enhancements (faster connection and the warning) are also available in the Mac version.

Version 3.3 is a free update for existing users on both operating systems. New users can purchase the app in the respective App Store. Live View Pack and Plus Pack are available as in-app purchases.

ShutterCount 3.2 Released

Version 3.2 of my ShutterCount app for both macOS and iOS was released yesterday. This version adds a few new features and improves others. Camera makers were quiet recently, so the only new camera we certified the app with is the Nikon D850 (for the Mac version).

From the new features, let’s discuss the Usage Meter first. For several cameras the manufacturer publishes an “official” shutter durability rating. Sometimes these are key selling points for the camera, in other cases the numbers are buried deep in a web page or document. We’ve gathered these ratings for all supported Canons, and most Nikon and Pentax models. Both the percentage display after the count and the Usage Meter bar are relative to these ratings.

Usage Meter showing still photo and live view counts

The dark blue part indicates still photos, the light blue live view actuations (the latter is available when you purchased the Live View Pack). Percentage display was formerly available in the Plus Pack, but now it’s in the base app.

Of course these ratings are not hard limits, so your camera may go well over 100% – I’ve seen several ones with 300% or more. If yours is over 100%, an orange indicator will appear on the Usage Meter marking the 100% position.

We’ve received quite a few requests to allow photo count only display even if you have the Live View Pack, and to separate these values. So now you can toggle between photo only and photo + live view display via the menu (as well as the More tab in the iOS version), by clicking/tapping the “Shutter Count” title on the Camera Summary tab and via a dedicated check box/switch on the Graph tab.

Just like the Usage Meter (and the Distribution Chart), the Graph now displays live view actuations in light blue.

New live view count graphing

In case you have live view counts for part of your history data – just like on the above screen shot showing my 7D Mark II – the live view count graph will only appear for the respective part. And forecasting will only take into account history entries having both counters. The trend line also indicates this: with a dashed section marking ignored history data and a dot showing the forecasting start date.

Speaking of history data, that tab was also beefed up. Gray text indicates entries with no live view count (in case you have the Live View Pack) and red text indicating entries with a lower value than a previous one.

The above features are available on both macOS and iOS, but now let’s talk about something that’s Mac only: File Mode changes.

Due to a bug in OS X 10.7 and 10.8 we had to disable automatic memory card scanning on these operating systems. Apple corrected it in 10.9, so contemporary versions are not affected. And while I was working on this, added a preference to turn automatic scanning off if you don’t like it.

New is the Eject after scan preference – which is a huge time saver. With this and automatic scanning on, just pop a memory card into your reader while the app is running, and it will scan the card, do the reading from the latest image and also eject the card properly. The fastest way to get the counter from your Nikon or Pentax. Automatic scanning is on, while ejecting is off by default.

Memory card scanning preferences

Version 3.2 is a free update for existing users on both operating systems. New users can purchase the app in the respective App Store. Live View Pack and Plus Pack are available as in-app purchases.