Having written in glowing terms about Scott Kelby, who recommended the use of Nikon’s Camera Control Pro software, I now find I am going to speak less favourably about it.
OK, first, it almost works well and certainly I was able to shoot images and see them on my laptop screen, writing direct to hard drive. I could control the camera settings from the laptop and generally not have to touch the camera at all – good if you want to keep things still, certainly.
However, I have some gripes. Chief amongst them is that this software costs money, and it really isn’t all that good as an application on a Mac. In fact, it probably works better on a PC, since the layout of it was pretty counter intuitive. For example, when you use mac software you generally get a very logical experience. So when you take a photo and send it to your computer you’d expect it to appear on screen right away (or as soon as it ‘lands’), right? Well, no… you have to set a preference so that the image can be viewed. This just isn’t right, in my opinion.
Then you get the issue with speed. Resizing the window takes an age, whether you are viewing a RAW file of 15Mb or a JPEG of around 4Mb. There are only two size options pre-set – 100% (way too big for a laptop screen) and 50% – usable, but not great. At 100% you get scroll bars, which do not move. Where is the ability to set the scale exactly as you want it? Or do we rely on the infinitely slow resize the window and click the button that fits to the size you create?
Moving back and forth between images… ? Be prepared for a wait. A long, long wait.
It was excruciatingly slow and I thought there must be an update. There was – I had downloaded and installed version 1.3, and there was a version 2 ‘Pro’ application as a trial, too. The change og didn’t look impressive – basically added some functions for the D300 and D3 cameras. Fair enough, but I wanted to try it all the same. I downloaded it and ran the installer, which kindly informed me that it had to remove the earlier version before it could continue.
And that’s where it all stopped.
Version 2 wouldn’t even install on my system (OSX 10.5 ‘Leopard’) and just sat there eating resources as it did very little of any use. OK – it could be that it isn’t keen on the current flavour of OSX, and to be fair there is a suggestion on Nikon’s web site that hints this might be the case, but again – if it doesn’t work on Leopard, don’t let it start the installer (there’s plenty of apps that check the system before they install)!
So I am left with a great urge to shoot ‘tethered’ and no ability to do so. And the price for this is around $70, so I shan’t be parting with that money just yet, then.
This software really ought to be free. I can’t imagine anyone using this and thinking it was a good experience, and yet the potential for it is simply massive. As a free download I might live with it (and wouldn’t use it much). As a paid download I would feel absolutely cheated. Its a good job there is a trial period!
So come on Nikon – get your act together on this one. Give us the right functionality, get it working in an intuitive way, and get ALL of the features running at the right speed, please! I’d be happy to help you do this if you need someone to act as part of a focus group of testers – but until then I won’t be giving you any more money (well, for software at least).