SetMyCamera Pro


Bluestone Pond, the developers of iOS app "SetMyCamera" provided me a review copy of SetMyCamera Pro. This is an excellent Universal iOS app compatible with iPhone, iPod, iPad and iPad Mini. For a photographer, this application helps remove the guessing game or trial-and-error of what camera settings are needed to get the depth of field you want, the field of view you want, conversion distance calculator, and many other useful tools. The "Pro" version of the application also includes Remote Control Trigger for specific cameras, but requires an IR accessory that plugs into the headset port of your device. The app has an excellent Info section that explains all of the features of the app and how to use them. And all of this is information is embedded inside the application so you don't have to be in a location with a data connection to use it.

When you first start the app, you select your camera make and model. The developers have included a very large selection of cameras, and with the tap of a button you can update the app's database to insure you always have the latest list of supported systems. Once you have selected your camera make a model, the app now knows what crop factor to apply to all of the other calculations the app performs. For example, depth of field and field of view both are affected by the crop factor. Full frame cameras have a crop factor of 1, meaning no crop factor at all. Different Canon bodies have different crop factors. All Nikon Dx format bodies have a 1.5x crop factor. Setting your specific camera's make and model tells the app what to apply for your calculations. The app supports over 1200 cameras from other 30 manufacturers.

Depth of Field Calculator

One of the most useful and well-designed features of the application is the depth of field calculator. Not only does it provide numeric feedback, but also a dynamic visual diagram that illustrates those numbers. You set the lens focal length, the aperture and the distance between the camera and the subject. The app calculates the minimum and maximum focus points (distance from the camera), and depth of field, and provides an illustration that reflects those numbers. On the left of the illustration is a photographer icon. On the right is a mountain range icon. In the middle is a people icon. The people icon is placed in a relative position between the photographer and mountain range to reflect the camera-to-subject distance. A rectangular box is then drawn around the people icon and extends in front of and behind the people icon to illustrate the depth of field. For people who have a difficult time visualizing numbers, this illustration provides the visualization they need to show them they have too much, too little, or just the right amound of depth of field to achieve the effect they desire.

Field of View Calculator

The Field of View calculator is also a very useful tool, especially for landscape and travel photographers. This screen of the app provides a live view using the mobile device's built-in camera. As you change the lens focal length setting in the app, the live view changes to provide you a visual of what will and will not be included in the frame. This view is based on the crop factor of the camera you selected and the focal length of the lens you have selected. An added benefit of this screen screen is that it lets you see a histogram of the scene, change the brightness to get the exposure you desire, and an image capture button letting you actually take the picture right there within the app. Imagine having your iPhone on a small travel tripod and using this to capture your image. No fussing with a larger camera and no dependence on the auto-exposure feature of the iOS built-in camera app. Get the exposure you want, and the field of view you want right there. You can even tell the app to use the built-in flash if you are capturing close-in photos in low light.

Remote Control Trigger

Of you spring for their Infrared remote accessory, you get an IR emitter that plugs into the iOS device's headphone plug. They support a number of cameras that respond to IR. I don't have a model like this so I could not test out this feature, but the screens for controlling this are intuitive and the Info screens built into the app make it ever more clear just how to use this feature. With RCT (Remote Control Trigger), you have four options: Instant Fire, Intervelometer, Bracketing, Mirror Lockup and Bulb.

Conclusion

This is a terrific application with lots of useful tools. And the developers are actively enhancing it with more features and continually adding more camera manufacturers and models. And the fact that it requires no data connection is a real plus for travel photographers who may find themselves in remote locations without wireless access for long periods of time. Get it in the iTunes Store for $5.99 (SetMyCamera Pro).

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