Into the future – part 2

Into the future – part 2

In the last post we announced that we are indeed actively working on a new version of Sofortbild and why it’s taking us so long. Today we’ll share a few more details about that upcoming version.

Supported Cameras

As outlined in part 1 and elsewhere, Sofortbild relies on a component provided by Nikon to talk to cameras, called an SDK. Sofortbild can only support models for which Nikon provides that component. This means we will be able to support the following models going forward, as only those SDKs are compatible with OS X El Capitan:


  • D3
  • D300/D300S
  • D3S/D3X
  • D4/D4S
  • D5*
  • D500
  • D5000/D5100/D5200/D5300/D5500
  • D600/D610
  • D700
  • D7000/D7100/D7200
  • D750
  • D800/D800E
  • D810/D810A
  • D90
  • Df
  • Nikon 1 V3

This also means that all other/older camera models are no longer supported, even if they used to work in earlier versions of Sofortbild. We are very sorry about this, but there’s simply no other possibility. Read on for potential workarounds.

We may be able to support future Nikon cameras as we did in the past. We’ll share details once new cameras and SDKs become available.

As we keep getting lots of requests: Nikon has never released an SDK for the D3xxx series, so it’s doubtful that this will change in the future. Most likely you’ll always need at least a D5xx series camera.

OS X Compatibility

imagesRight now Sofortbild does not at all work on OS X El Capitan, as of this writing the most recent version of the Mac operating system. Obviously our most important goal is to offer a solution for the latest and greatest OS.

Mac OS X updates have been available free of charge for a several years, and most Macs that were able to run Mac OS X Lion (v 10.8) are still able to run OS X El Capitan today.

These facts and our limited time for implementation and testing mean that going forward Sofortbild will require at least OS X El Capitan (v 10.11.x).


What to do if you can’t run the lastest Mac OS X or you have a camera that’s no longer supported in the upcoming version?

We will try to offer Sofortbild version 1.3.x as direct download, free for everyone. This version works all the way back to Mac OS X Leopard (v 10.6.x) and runs fine on older Macs.

This version will continue to use the old SDKs, so it supports all older camera models including the old legacy supported ones that are listed in the FAQs.

As long as you have a combination of older camera and older Mac, you will be good to go. However, if you have a fairly new camera, you’ll need a modern Mac and likewise, if you have a Mac running El Capitan you need one of the cameras listed above.

Next steps

We still have to figure out a number of things that are now broken since the move to El Capitan and 64-bit. Once most functionality is back, we will most likely do some kind of beta testing, as we don’t have access all supported hardware. We’ll share more details as that approaches.

There will be also at least one more post on the future version soon. Keep checking back…

* While Nikon has provided an SDK for the D5, it unfortunately is incomplete and does not work. We are hoping for an update soon.

Into the future – part 1

Into the future – part 1

A lot of you trying to use Sofortbild are suffering right now. Read on for some good news below…

Sofortbild hasn’t been updated in a long time. It does not support the Nikon cameras that have been released in the last 1+ years. Even more frustrating, it doesn’t work at all on OS X El Capitan. Let’s cover the latter part first, as this is the prerequisite for everything else.

When OS X El Capitan launched in fall of 2015, we had to learn that Sofortbild was no longer working – at all. The app launches fine and looks OK, but no camera shows up when you connect it. The problem is not in Sofortbild itself but in something called SDK (software development kit) that Nikon provides to developers like us to interact with their cameras. It’s a module that is included in Sofortbild.

We investigated, but basically there was no reasonable solution available to us. It would be technically possible to not use that SDK and go the long way by “talking” to the camera directly, but the extra effort required to implement that for each single camera is not an option for 2 people working on a fun project in their spare time.

Nikon, in their SDK, relied on older technology in Mac OS X to talk to cameras. Apple had pointed out that this technology would go away — and this year it indeed happened. Result was that all apps using that technology stopped working. Not just Sofortbild was hit by that change.

Many have written emails to support or tweeted telling us that their cameras are no longer showing up when running Sofortbild on El Capitan. Sorry if not each one of you has received a personal response from us! The situation was even more frustrating for us than it was for you, as weren’t able to fix the problem.

Our choices were to either discontinue Sofortbild immediately or wait for a while and hope for news from Nikon.

In mid December 2015, Nikon released a new SDK for a number of cameras that were now once again supposedly compatible with OS X El Capitan. While that new SDK looks almost unchanged at first glance, the changes needed on our side to support the new SDK are not exactly trivial.

Good news is that we have finally succeeded! Our own D7100 is working just fine in the tests we have done so far. And while we are by far not done with all changes needed, we are comfortable enough with what we have achieved to announce:

There will be a future for Sofortbild.

Please be patient, we still have to figure out many details, like issues with changes in the Mac App Store that prevented us from submitting a new version last time we tried. Watch this blog for more news soon…