Currently there are three Android apps that I developed to make life easier for photographers and cinematographers:
Visual DOF is a depth-of-field calculator at first glance, but it is much more than that. The app generates a preview of how (non) sharp any objects will look, that happen to be (or not) near the point of focus. More than that, the app measures the blurriness for you, and makes a huge sense from these values.
Magic ViewFinder is Director’s ViewFinder simulator. This app generates view that will be seen through your camera. It is NOT an external viewfinder for any camera. It is designed to be used in a stand-alone smartphone / tablet.
Magic ViewFinder is actually a range of apps, each supporting a system, among which are: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Lumix, Red, ARRI and, last but not least, Black Magic Design. These apps are free, as opposed to the Magic Universal ViewFinder app, which is paid, ad-free and has some nice additional features.
Magic Light Master is a tool for those who want to master exposure of light. This app takes the data from measuring by professional tools, like Sekonik light meter, and graphically displays them on characteristic curves. Also this app has White Balance meter which is handy at shooting, and some technical references for different cameras.
Magic Light Master is yet in pre-release version 0.9.9.
THIS PAGE WILL BE FILLED WITH LINKS AND MORE INFO SOON, PLEASE COME BACK LATER.
Android Software Developer
PS If you want to sell your images and video footage via stocks, I do recommend Shutterstock. Time means a lot there, so the sooner you upload your works, the sooner they start bringing you some coins.
Magic ViewFinder – Specifications
Black Magic cinema cameras:
Production 4K, Micro Cinema, Pocket, URSA 4.6K / URSA Mini, URSA
Canon DSLR and video cameras:
Full frame cameras: 1DC, 5D Mark II/III, 6D (16:9 HD and 3:2 photo modes)
Cameras with cropped APS-C sensor: All Rebels / 750D, 600D, etc / 70D, 60D, 50D, etc (16:9 HD and 3:2 photo modes)
Nikon DSLR cameras:
Full frame camera: D4s (16:9 HD and 3:2 photo modes)
Full frame cameras DXX0: D810, D750, etc.(16:9 HD and 3:2 photo modes)
Cameras DXX00 with cropped APS-C sensor: D7200, D5500, D3300. etc. (16:9 HD and 3:2 photo modes)
Panasonic Lumix cameras:
GH4 HD (16:9 HD / 4:3 photo / Cinema 4K modes)
Other 4/3 cameras (GH3, G7, GF7, etc)
1″ sensor cameras (for example, FZ1000)
Alpha R7II (16:9 HD and 3:2 photo modes)
Alpha 7II, 7S, 7, 7R (16:9 HD and 3:2 photo modes)
Alpha 77, 5100, 6000 (16:9 HD and 3:2 photo modes)
Should you feel other cameras should be supported, please feel to contact me at: my email
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Calibrating your Android device
So you will need to calibrate the camera in your Android device if:
1. You bought a wide lens adapter for your camera, something looking like one of these:
2. Or you want to make sure that the Magic ViewFinder app has the most precise data about your built-in camera.
Calibration is a very simple process that will take 3 minutes. So do it, and it will be good for you.
1. Place your Android smartphone or tablet vertically on a flat surface, the floor or a table. The camera should be aimed horizontally, not down or up. I usually just squeeze my smartphone in between heavy books.
2. Launch your standard Camera app in the device and make sure it is producing the image in 16:9 full screen ratio, not 4:3. (Also, if your Camera app has zooming function, zoom out as wide as you can).
3. Now place 2 objects on the surface in front of the camera so that they come close to the left and right edge of the frame on the device screen respectively.
4. Measure the distances between them, and also between the lens of the built-in camera and each of the objects (you get three values). You are almost done.
5. Switch to Magic ViewFinder app, go to Menu > Calibrate device > Calibration Guide. After 2 slides with explanation about the calibration process, you will get to the page where you must enter the measured distances. The page pretty obviously tells you to do that. Having entered the distances (in centimeters or inches), press Calculate the angle. Done! You can see the angle in degrees now. Press Set.
Now Magic ViewFinder will keep this angle value until you decide to change it.
Please note that it is a simulator of the device called Director’s Viewfinder that helps the Director see exactly what will be shot, without making the camera man give the place to the Director at the real camera.
The Magic ViewFinder app is by no means designed to be an external viewfinder for your camera. Don’t try connect your phone to the camera, it won’t work. I warned you 🙂
The main screen of the app is pretty simple: it’s a view that you would see in the specific camera through a specific lens.
You can change the camera through menu. You change the focal length of the lens by rotating the wheel on the right.
Also available are various optical adapters (tele converters or wide ‘boosters’) frame guides, anamorphic indexes that you can change through the menu. The on-the-screen controls include exposure lock and auto focus on/off switch. This video (though for an older user interface) demonstrates the operation:
If you are planning future shoot on a location, you may want to capture all the important image references as a planning process. You can use ‘Capture’ button to store exact framing with the metadata burnt into the image. All shots will be stored in the folder Pictures > Magic, immediately available from within your Gallery app. The captured image will look like this:
Free / Paid Versions
All Magic ViewFinder apps are free, except for the one called Magic Universal ViewFinder. When you buy the paid version you will get:
– ad-free interface
– all cameras in one app: ARRI, Red, Blackmagic, Sony, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic
– all optical adapters (wide and tele)
– all frame guides (like 1.85:1, 1.66:1, etc)
– all anamorphic indexes, enabling you to preview anamorphic lenses
– all sticky values on the rotating wheel will be kept after you leave the app
– additional settings (like vibration on/off, large/small size of the image, etc).
I also carefully listen to the feedback / suggestions regarding your needs, so your purchase of the app (not huge amount of money) will encourage me to keep improving it.
Please note one potential issue with an Android device. Usually the camera in your Android device is not producing extremely wide views, usually the horizontal view angle is about 60-70 degrees wide. So, when the view must be wider than that of your Android device, you will see pink margins around the image, representing the margins that the Android camera cannot capture:
To improve your experience with Magic ViewFinder app on your device, I recommend that you buy a wide lens adapter for your smartphone. It will make the lens significantly wider, and may be one looking like these lenses:
When you have bought it and applied to the your phone, you basically changed the focal length of your built-in lens. So now you will need to calibrate your phone / tablet. You also need to calibrate your built-in camera if you feel that your device gives mistaken information to Magic ViewFinder app, making it produce a wrong view. Well, welcome to Calibration process…