Viewfinder Handbook Updated for Version 6.0

Just a quick notice, as promised: The Artist’s Viewfinder Handbook is updated to cover all the new features introduced in version 6.0 of the Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder.

As usual, it is available free of charge for existing as well as prospective Artist’s Viewfinder users from the app’s web site.


Artist’s Viewfinder 6.0 Released

The latest update to the Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder is now available on the App Store. There’s a lot that changed under the hood, while the time-tested user interface remains the same.

Familiar on the surface, new beneath.

Version 6.0 inherits the FastPath imaging engine from my Technical Camera app. It handles live view, capture, encoding, decoding and display – with higher performance, less memory consumption, and extended metadata capabilities, like copyright information and GPS altitude. Previews embedded into RAW captures are now full resolution, as well as black & white and distortion corrected when you use those settings. And the DNG files support wide color and comply with the TIFF/EP specification (that is, have a full resolution preview and a low resolution thumbnail) for better integration into professional workflows.

Similarly, protective metering and our own auto-exposure calculation component makes an appearance here. The latter is responsible for the Auto ISO feature, which makes the Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder way more usable in low light conditions, landscape photographers usually find themselves in. Just flip the Allow Slower Speeds switch on.

Lastly from display related things, selectable frame rate (20/25/30Hz) is also available in the Mark II (it’s in the Advanced sub-menu). This replaces the former Power Saver display processing mode, 20Hz being recommended for power saving. 25Hz is here to avoid interference artifacts with indoor lighting running on 50Hz mains frequency.

On the usability and convenience front, Smart Function Key assignment is now available via a long tap on the button you want to assign. The album for auto-export can be selected from a list of existing albums, and the Catalog Viewer displays the last captured view. Haptic feedback (on devices having this feature) and sounds can be turned off, so that you can operate the app in complete silence. All these bring Artist’s Viewfinder in parity with the advancements we made in Technical Camera.

As usual, this release is full of new cameras, backs and wide converter profiles. You can find the complete lists in the release notes.

Version 6.0 is a free update for existing Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder owners. New user can purchase the app from the App Store. The app is also available in the Photographer’s Toolkit bundle, which contains the Mark II, Technical Camera and ShutterCount Mobile, for a price less than Artist’s Viewfinder and Technical Camera would cost purchased separately.

The updated Viewfinder Handbook is also available now.

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.

Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder 5.1 Released

Version 5.1 of my Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder app is available on the App Store. Besides the usual camera database, wide angle converter profile and device support additions (which you can check out in the release notes), there are two things I’d like to mention here.

First is the new sharing and action screen in the Catalog (both in the browser and inspector). The screen shot below from my iPhone shows it.

You could email up to five views in the past. Now it’s 20 on 64-bit devices and 10 on 32-bit devices. This limit also applies to most other sharing services and actions (like printing or copying), but some sharing services impose their own (usually lower) limit. There is no limit on the number of views when sharing via AirDrop or exporting to Photos.

AirDrop support is new (my personal favorite to get views off of my iPhone onto my Mac), and the app works better with 3rd party sharing services in general.

You can also choose which view component you want to use for sharing by long tapping the export button. This, and other aspects are discussed in detail in the updated Handbook.

The other thing is the removal of direct Dropbox support. Dropbox had changed their programming interface at the end of June (and turned off the old version). Since virtually nobody used direct Dropbox support in the Mark II, we decided to say farewell to this feature. Users needing to upload files to Dropbox may use the sharing service (once the Dropbox app is installed) or auto-export view components to Photos and upload with the Dropbox app from there.

Version 5.1 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.