Autumn is almost over and, as always, we’re working hard on new features here at Cascable! However, there hasn’t been an update for a little while, so what’s going on?
First, we’ll be releasing a minor update in the next week or so that will add full support for the new iPhone X, and fix a few minor bugs. However, as noted on our roadmap, we’re due to release some improvements to Shutter Robot round about now, and I’d like to give you a sneak peek on what we’ve been working on — and invite you to test it out!
Shutter Robot Recipes!
Shutter Robot’s Recipes feature is the most powerful automation tool available for photographers on the go, allowing you to create and share powerful automations for your photography.
Recipes are an extension to our Shutter Robot feature that allow you to automate your camera in exactly the way you want. Recipes will be available on both iPhone and iPad, and will require iOS 11 or higher (the rest of Cascable still supports iOS 10). On the camera side, Recipes will work with all cameras supported by Cascable, subject to the usual limitations (for instance, Fujifilm cameras are unable to perform bulb exposures while being controlled via WiFi).
IMPORTANT: The screenshots that follow are from a pre-release version of Recipes, and don’t represent the final product we’ll ship in Cascable.
Recipes works by giving you “blocks” that you can assemble together to build your automation. Blocks come in three categories — Action blocks trigger the shutter or perform bulb exposures, Variable Manipulation blocks change camera settings or adjust duration variables, and Program Flow blocks wait a certain amount of time or repeat enclosed blocks. For example, the screenshot below shows a recipe that takes five bursts of three shots, with 10 seconds and an exposure bump between each burst.
Powerful Testing Tools
When building Recipes, we quickly found that building and running recipes isn’t enough — it’s also important to be able to test your creations before using them for a real photoshoot. Nothing would be worse than running a multiple hour timelapse only to find afterwards that you made a mistake.
For example, the recipe above won’t actually work correctly with my camera - it increases the exposure compensation by one stop five times, but my camera tops out at +3 EV. If the camera is set to 0 EV when the recipe is run, the last two bursts will be no different from the third one.
To help with this sort of problem, we’ve built a camera simulator right into Recipes. Recipes will take your recipe and run it against a simulated camera, outputting the results once it’s complete. The simulator will also shortcut your recipe’s “wait” blocks, meaning the simulation will only take a few seconds even if it’d take hours when run on a real camera.
And, the simulator confirms the bug in our recipe — it’s unable to increase the exposure compensation past +3 EV.
Advanced Feature: Variables
As our final example, we’ll show off Recipes’ variables. Variables are an advanced feature of Recipes that let you change durations in your recipe while it’s running. The example below takes a bracketed set of bulb exposures, starting at one minute and doubling the exposure time of each successive shot.
We Need Your Help!
While Recipes isn’t ready for public release just yet, we’d love to gather feedback from photographers, particularly those who already use Shutter Robot or use other photography automation tools. We’ve built a preview app in the form of a standalone editor that will let you build and run recipes in the Recipes simulator.
If you’re interested in taking part in the Recipes preview, please get in touch at email@example.com and we’ll get you set up. You’ll need an iOS device running iOS 11 or higher to take part.
When Can I Use It For Real?
We hope to be able to make our initial target of “October – November” by releasing Recipes towards the end of November. However, if we need to delay it a week or two to add that final layer of polish, we will — we’d rather release a little bit late than release broken.
Keep In Touch!
If you’d like to keep in touch with us, you can do so in a number of ways:
We’ll be posting handy tips and tricks on this blog, and you can subscribe to our RSS feed here.
You can subscribe to our email newsletter. It’s very low-volume, and we’ll use it to send you the occasional email about Cascable updates and new features.