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Kuuvik Capture V3.1 review update

  |   Articles and reviews, Canon 5Ds, Macro, Software review, Software update, Tilt / Shift   |   No comment

Kuuvik Capture V3.1 review update

Updated Canon camera tethering software for the Mac


We’ve made use of Kuuvik Capture software for some time and Keith has reviewed it several times in the past.

The latest version V3.1 add quite a few changes to improve the functionality and usability of the software.

This short review update shows one of the ways its multi-point live view option makes close-up/macro photography a bit easier when you tilt a lens to move the focal plane.

If you’d like to know much more detail, there is a free e-book about the software

See more general details in Keith’s Kuuvik V2 review

kuuvik capture

Using Kuuvik Capture for Canon EOS cameras

Kuuvik Capture has a few features, such as focus peaking and especially its multi-point live view option that still make it something I use for some tethered capture work with my Canon 5Ds, even as the free EOS Utility improves (I’d note it uses a lot less power than the Canon software – useful for times I’m using my MacBook Pro in the middle of a factory floor and can’t reach a power outlet).

With the latest version I thought it good to show an example of why I still use it, rather than just a huge list of changes (that list is at the foot of this review). The example I’ve picked is photographing an old broken disk drive from an oblique angle.

If you try and do this with a normal lens, you’ll quickly find that you run into a lack of depth of field.

lens setup

You might notice that the camera is on a motorised rail – I use this for some of my small macro work, including the Gummi Bear photo produced for a trade show, and actually shot on the missing top plate of the disk drive above.

The software is quite picky about you having the latest firmware in your camera, and I had to update my Canon 5Ds.

update firmware

This is a simple process, but unless it fixes something I know is wrong, or adds new features, I’ll generally avoid doing it – All those dire warnings about not powering off the camera or touching any buttons put people off – I know I’m not alone in this ;-)

I connected the camera via USB and have the computer about 10 feet away.

An initial liveview view of the scene. I use these lights often enough that I know the right settings to start with (fully manual settings and no AF with the TS-E24mm f3.5L Mk2 lens I’m using).

initial live view

The camera settings are all down the right side.

zoomed view and settings

I don’t need the bracketing here, but I’d note that you can step focus as well (with an AF lens) to capture images for stacking.

focus stack

When using tilt/shift lenses close up, I use an iterative focus technique that relies on looking at near and far points of the subject.

Kuuvik Capture allows me to set up to three points to display at full magnification (multi-point live view), making for much simpler adjustment of lens tilt and focus.

[click to see enlarged view]

multiple live view

If you look carefully you can see the small red dots indicating sharp edges (focus peaking).

Here’s a larger view [click to enlarge] with the r/g/b view marker dots showing.

focus peaking

Remember that tilting a lens does not give you more depth of field, it just moves the plane of sharp focus, so with an object with thickness, you still need to decide where to place the plane of optimal sharpness.

I’m shooting at f/6.3 here, but moving to f/8 or even f/11 might look better. I know people worry about diffraction softening with high MP sensors like the 50MP 5Ds, but sometimes the extra DOF easily beats the slightly higher maximum sharpness at wider apertures (with good lenses).

As you can see, I needed a fair bit of tilt.

lens with tilt

The photo I’ve taken shows plenty of dust [click to enlarge]

disk drive

What I’ve shown here is a small subset of what the software can do – if you’re curious, do read the e-book as well as my previous reviews.

Updates since our V2 review

Version 3.1 

New features:

Added support for Canon EOS 77D/9000D, 800D/Rebel T7i/Kiss X9i via USB and Wi-Fi connections. Movie recording and multi-point live view are supported with these cameras.
Added movie recording support with EOS 6D, 80D. Movies are recorded only to the card in the camera.
Added multi-point live view support with EOS 80D.
Automatic camera date, time and time zone synchronization option. It can be enabled in Preferences.
Revamped Preferences window for better fit on small displays.
FlexiZone Single AF mode is automatically set before operations that require it (multi-point live view, zooming, Point of Operation repositioning).

Changes:

Increased minimum required firmware version for EOS 6D (1.1.7), 80D (1.0.2).
The Move tool (represented by the hand icon) has been renamed to Pan.

Fixes:

Picture Style and White Balance controls are now enabled before live view is started for the first time.


Version 3.0

New features:

Added movie recording support for EOS-1D X Mark II, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, 5D Mark IV, 5DS, 5DS R, 7D Mark II, 70D, 100D/Rebel SL1/Kiss X7. Movies are recorded only to the card in the camera.
Added Wi-Fi connection support through the W-E1 adapter for EOS 5DS, 5DS R.
New Multi-Point Live View algorithm enables the feature on EOS-1D X Mark II, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark IV.
Added Point of Operation indicator to show the point on the live view image that zooming, metering and focusing operations use.
Clicking the live view image with the Pan tool in “Fit” zoom level moves the Point of Operation to the clicked point.
Cursor keys during live view in “Fit” zoom level can be used to reposition the Point of Operation.
The mouse wheel (and its equivalent scroll gesture on the trackpad) can be configured in Preferences to drive focus. Holding down the Command key will drive the lens in larger steps.
The space bar can be configured in Preferences to mirror the functionality of Cmd+K (initiate capture and start/stop movie recording).
Improved USB camera detection on macOS 10.12.

Changes:

Increased minimum required firmware version for EOS-1D X Mark II (1.1.3), 5DS/5DS R (1.1.0), 7D Mark II (1.1.0), 100D/Rebel SL1/Kiss X7 (1.0.1).
The Move tool (represented by the hand icon) has been renamed to Pan.
The EOS-1Ds Mark III is considered obsolete. Kuuvik Capture may continue to work with this camera, but we no longer validate compatibility and no longer provide bug fixes or technical support for obsolete cameras.

Fixes:

The white balance picker icon and menu item are now disabled after exiting live view.
The cursor is now correctly restored after a capture is initiated while the white balance picker was active.
Corrected a problem with the Focus tool remaining active when exiting live view.
Corrected a problem where the camera could remain locked after some Image Browser operations.
Mask mode activated with the Alt/Option key is now correctly deactivated when switching away from the app or opening a dialog box.
The progress bar is now properly cleared when a camera is disconnected during sequence execution.
Corrected a problem where an extra vertical line appeared at the right side of the 30×20 grid template.
Corrected a typo in the Live View button’s tooltip.
The free eBook Kuuvik Capture Inside Out is available now.


Version 2.5

New features:

Added support for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV over both USB and Wi-Fi(1) connections.
Capturing RAW+JPG Large/Fine files is now supported. JPG files are saved to the camera’s memory card only.
Performance improvements: up to 6% faster RAW decoding, slightly faster image downloads, up to 5% faster camera communication.
(1) The Easy Connection option creates an EXTREMELY slow network and thus not recommended. Select an existing network instead.


Version 2.4

New features:

Added support for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II over USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections.
Improved shadow and highlight clipping warnings. The hatch pattern had been replaced with solid colors, which are less susceptible to moiré and aliasing when you zoom in and out. The warning layer is now semi-transparent for single channel clipping and gets more opaque as the clipping affects more channels.
Under-the-hood performance improvements.
Fixes:

Event Log entries were not recorded when the log folder was deleted. The folder is now re-created automatically.


Version 2.3

New features:

Added support for the Canon EOS 80D over both USB and Wi-Fi(1) connections.
Improved interference detection of other apps using a camera connected to Kuuvik Capture.
Split View has been renamed to Multi-Point Live View for better clarity and to avoid confusion with OS X’s split view feature.
(1) The Easy Connection option creates an EXTREMELY slow network and thus not recommended. Select an existing network instead.


Version 2.2

New features:

WiFi and/or Ethernet connection support for Canon EOS-1D X, 1D C, 5D Mark III, 5DS, 5DS R, 6D, 7D Mark II, 70D. Network connection may require the optional Canon Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E6 (for WiFi on 1D X, 1D C) or WFT-E7 (5D series, 7D Mark II).
Added 8s, 10s and 15s options to mirror lock-up auto-release times.
Added support for the White Priority auto white balance mode on the 5DS and 5DS R.

Fixes:

If either end of an ISO bracketed exposure series were outside of the camera’s base ISO range (marked as yellow or red on the bracketing monitor), then these leading or trailing images could erroneously use the current ISO instead of the lowest and highest ISO of the camera’s base ISO range.


Version 2.1.1

New features: Improved OS X El Capitan compatibility.

Fixes: Corrected detection of Canon EOS Rebel T6i and T6s cameras.


Version 2.1

New features:

Added a preference to control whether the camera’s LCD is turned on during computer initiated live view.
Added hot keys for Purge Unrated Images commands.
The maximum number of focus bracketing steps increased to 100 from 30.

Fixes:

Live view is now automatically stopped when changing lenses or when the camera is disconnected.
Live view navigator zoom labels now display “6x” and “16x” for the EOS 5DS and 5DS R. The navigator frame’s size is also corrected to reflect these zoom levels.
ISO 16000 now can be set from Kuuvik Capture on the EOS 7D Mark II, even if using full stop ISOs is set on the camera. This is in line with the camera’s behavior.

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