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…

14 Comments for “Into the future – part 1”

says:

Great news! Maybe you could update the FAQ and support pages, maybe even the description in the App Store, with the problems on El Capitan. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong. I ended up at this blog post, actually by accident…

Keep it up!

says:

I am really starting to regret not buying canon instead. I was looking for a software to control my D700 from my mac, and I found out with surprise that Camera control pro 2 was not free.. (EOS utility is free..) Then I figured out there was an open source software called digicamcontrol, but only for windows… I finally found your software for my mac, having really good reviews from the community. BUT, of course, Nikon messed up with they SDK and now I already updated to El captain…. This is really ridiculous. Do you have any idea of when you guys will be able to release an update using the new SDK ?

Florian

says:

Thanks for your interest in Sofortbild. There’s no release date yet, but it will take a little while. Don’t hold your breath.

Stefan Sperlling

says:

Ok, then I am out. I love my D80 and there is fortunately no need to get something new. Thanx for the great work!

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