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Review – Kuuvik Capture beta preview

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Review – Kuuvik Capture beta preview

Software to control tethered Canon cameras


Although Canon supply software (EOS Utility) with their cameras, it does lack some more advanced features that may be of help when you’re working in the studio or on location.

Keith has been looking at new software – currently in beta testing that offers some interesting features.

Kuuvik sharpen

This is a fairly short review, since as a beta product, there will be changes in the V1.0 version, and it wouldn’t be fair to pick out minor issues.

Currently Apple Mac only, but available as a download from Kuuvik Capture

Tethered capture

I recently wrote about some of the photographic issues when working on a large product photography shoot, where seemingly trivial differences in workflow and software function can make a big difference to the efficiency of the job (with many thousands of items over a week or so, you really do notice)

Kuuvik Capture software offers a number of interesting features, such as multiple image viewpoints in Liveview, and focus peaking – all in realtime.

I’ve not looked at all of these features, since camera limitations with my EOS 1Ds Mk3 affect some of the functionality.

Using Kuuvik Capture

My first reminder was that I’d not updated my camera firmware for some time. I eventually found the version requested on the main Canon Japan web site – UK and US sites didn’t have a new enough version.

latest firmware required

The display offers the main setting to one side.

This is a ‘preview’ shot – it’s a Manfrotto ball head I just had near to the camera area.

main window of software

The icons along the top access the various functions such as focus peaking and application of grid lines and movable guides.

The main photographic controls.

photographic controls

Most functions have keyboard short-cuts.

One issue with liveview, is that it may not be at the camera’s best resolution, so with my old 1Ds3, I’ve disabled the live view display area from being enlarged too much, which can give a noticeable loss in image quality.

menu controls

Even so, it may be of benefit to apply some sharpening to the display.

adding liveview image sharpening

If you want to specify camera style and white balance, you can select any of the normal camera options.

Altering camera settings

As well as a RAW histogram, you can check for clipping (mouse over image to see)

Original ImageHover Image

A very interesting feature is the focus peaking – I’ve set it to show red here, where there is detail in the image.

If you move your mouse over the image, you can see the effect of moving the focus point backwards

Original ImageHover Image

A alternative view, of just the detail peaking. Once again, move your mouse over the image to see the change as I move the focus point backwards.

Original ImageHover Image

Beta conclusions

The software still shows some rough edges, but this is beta software.

I should note that when I submitted a feature suggestion and a potential bug, both were addressed very quickly. The developers are looking for feedback and really are trying to make a tool that is genuinely useful for photographers.

The focus peaking is interesting, but don’t expect it to do all the work for you. Interpretation of the display takes some degree of understanding what it is you are looking at.

One area where the split and magnified live view functionality would be of use, is if you were focusing a tilted lens – I’ve written up details of the iterative focus technique I use for such lenses in the studio, which would be easy to set up with a laptop next to the camera (since such lenses are strictly manual focus).

My own testing was a bit limited by my choice of a 2007 vintage camera, but as I’ve said elsewhere, there is currently no better camera from Canon for my own professional work (see here for why, for me, the 1D X doesn’t count)

For software that’s not yet at V1.0, this shows promise. More info at Kuuvik Capture

Summary

Software for controlling selected Canon cameras, and provided tethered shooting.

Camera functionality

The functionality available does depend to some extent on your camera age – this is Canon’s doing, so there are no simple workarounds.

  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 2,3,4,5, EOS-1D Mark IV 6, EOS-1D X 1,6
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II 6, EOS 5D Mark III 1, EOS 6D 1, EOS 7D 6
  • Canon EOS 60D 6
  • Canon EOS 550D 6, EOS 600D 6, EOS 650D
  • Canon EOS 1100D 4,6
  • (1) Split view is available and fully supported.
    (2) Live mode AF is not supported.
    (3) Picking white balance from the live image is not supported.
    (4) Remote mirror lock-up is not available or not supported.
    (5) Displaying exposure metering result is not supported.
    (6) Displaying exposure metering result is not supported in manual mode.
Systems requirements
  • Apple Mac or MacBook computer with a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or better processor.
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB is highly recommended).
  • 100 MB free disk space for the application, and gigabytes for your photos.
  • Calibrated monitor with minimum 1280 x 800 pixels resolution.
  • OS X 10.6.8, 10.7.5, 10.8.3 or later.

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