Using the Image Browser
Use the image browser to explore the images that you have captured. Viewing metadata, zooming in on the image and histograms are available for you to review your images.
The Metadata Database
Every time an image is captured, information such as folder, filename, extension, dimensions, EXIF and IPTC data along with a small thumbnail and slightly larger preview is added to the database. If you delete or edit an image, the database will be updated automatically. The actual captured image is not stored in the database: it remains in the folder in which you saved it. he database is a single file which can be moved to a different location if needed. To move it, refer to the Preferences help.
This is a FireBird v2.5.1 database. The advantage of this database is easy searching, reporting and good performance. The database is only locked when ControlMyNikon is running, so to back it up you just need to shut down ControlMyNikon. You can connect to this database and access it’s data with external applications by using the FireBird ODBC driver, which you can download from the Firebird website.
To connect to the database, use the default Firebird username of ‘SYSDBA’ with password ‘masterkey’. The database is UTF-8 and not encrypted and runs in local client mode (no database server is installed). Note: If you change the username or password of the database, ControlMyNikon can no longer connect to it.
File Types Displayed
The browser will show jpg, nef, mov and cr2 files. If you capture a tif file, it will saved to the folder, but it will not be added to the database or displayed in the browser.
Like the live view window, the image browser is embedded in the main ControlMyNikon window. However, this can be changed. This allows you to detach the image browser resize or put it on another monitor. To control this, go to the Tools menu and find at the top the following items:
- Browser – Attached – This is the default. If the browser is detached or hidden, click on this to reattach it.
- Browser – Detached – Click on this to detach the browser. You can then resize and drag it.
- Browser – Hidden – Click on this completely hide the browser. Metadata from subsequently captured images will be stored in the database.
By default, a medium quality thumbnail, preview and histogram is generated every time an image is captured. You can force it to use high-quality instead by using the settings in the Preferences screen. High-quality thumbnails take 2-3 times longer to create, especially from huge images from bodies like a D800.
This will be noticeably slow on slower computers. Even on the fastest computers, it is recommended to keep it at the medium quality setting and if needed, you can upgrade the quality on a per-thumbnail basis (right-click on the thumbnail, select ‘Convert to High Quality’. You ‘ll notice the biggest difference in the histogram, while the thumbnail and preview often don’t look much changed at all.
High-Quality Image Loading Delay
When you select an image, the browser will first show the thumbnail, then after a couple of seconds, load the full image into the browser. You can change the delay by going to the preferences screen/browser tab, and then adjust the High-Quality Image Loading Display (ms). On fast computers you can go as low as 50ms. On slower computers, keep it around 2000-3000 ms.
You will see vertical and horizontal resizing bars (3 vertical, 2 horizontal). If you click and drag the center of a bar, which has a small block of dots on it, you will resize a panel. If you double-click on it, the panel will become hidden. If you double-click on it again, the panel will again be visible. This is very usefull when you don’t have a lot of screen real-estate, such as on a laptop at 1024×768 resolution.
A Histogram is displayed in the upper-right hand corner of the browser window. By default, it shows a luminance histogram as white lines on a dark backgroun, but may also show as gray lines on a light background, depending on which theme you are using. To see the red-channel histogram, click on the histogram and the lines will turn red. Click again for the green-channel histogram. And click again for the blue-channel. Click one more time to return to the luminance histogram.
When you move the mouse over the preview image, a vertical line will appear on the histogram, showing where on the histogram the pixel under the mouse cursor would appear. The Luminosity, Red, Green, and Blue components of this pixel are shown at the top of the histogram.
On the right side of the window, you will see the EXIF and IPTC data blocks. These are read-only and any EXIF or ITPC editing must be done outside of ControlMyNikon. You can collapse the data blocks by clicking on the ‘EXIF’ or ‘IPTC’ headings.
You can view the movie by selecting it in the thumbstrip, then waiting several seconds for the playback controls to appear in the Preview Image area. Apple QuickTime (free) is required to play these movies, whch are in .MOV format.
When you select a thumbnail, a preview image of maximum size of 512 x 512 is displayed. After two seconds, the actual (large) captured image is displayed. So initially, the image will look pixelated as it shows the smaller preview image. Right-clicking on the image brings up a menu.
Main Image Menu Items
- Toggle Magnifier – Brings up a rectangularly-shaped loupe. Useful for checking focus and other small details. You can also show/hide the loupe by double-clicking on the image. This is only available once the main (huge) image has been loaded several seconds after you selected the thumbnail.
- Magnifier – Level 1 through 5 – Adjusts the loupe magnification. You can also zoom in and out with the mouse-wheel.
- Show in Viewer – Launches an viewer that only shows the image. You can click on the ‘Toggle’ button in the viewer to make it full screen. It also has a loupe, and is a great way to review your images fullscreen. You can even assign a keyboard shortcut for quick toggling of this window so you can brows your thumbnails, press a key for fullscreen, then press it again to hide the viewer and go back to your thumbnails.
- Edit in External Editor – This sends the current image to whatever application is associated with the image extension. So if you have .jpg images associated with PhotoShop, your jpg will be opened in Photoshop. You can set these associations in Windows Explorer. Your thumbnail info will be updated if you edit and save in another app.
On the left side of the browser window, you will see a list of folders. Only local drivers, folders and mapped drives are shown. By default, when you capture an image, the current folder will change to whatever folder your image was just saved in. This is called ‘Sync’ and can be turned on or off in the thumbnail menu. The folder list has a menu which is accessible through a right-click.
Folder Menu Items
- Refresh – Reloads the drive/folder list.
- Search – Shows/Hides a search panel located just below the folder list
- Explore – Opens the current folder in Windows Explorer.
- Add Folder – Adds a sub-folder to the current folder.
- Delete Folder – Deletes the current folder and it’s contents. All deleted items are sent to the Recycle Bin.
You can show or hide the search box using the folder list popup menu. You can search for text in the current folder, or in sub folders for all date ranges or for a particular date range. The search is done in the database, so only those images that are have been added to the database will be searched. You can add additional folders to the database by simply selecting the folder in the folder list, and waiting until all the thumbnails for that folder have been created.
This is a case-insensitive partial-search. So if you search for ‘store’, you will receive result for images whose metadata includes terms such as ‘STORE’, ‘Store’, ‘Restore’, ‘Restored’.
Near the bottom of the browser window, you will find the thumbstrip. This shows a max 100 x 100 representation of the image in date-captured order (Older images to the left, newer to the right). When you select a thumbnail, the high quality full-size image is shown after a delay that you can set in the Preferences screen, browser tab, High-Quality Image Loading Delay(ms). Small jpgs of less than 1000 x 1000 are shown in image browser immediately without first loading the low resolution version first.
Click on a thumbnail, then
- Mouse-Wheel – scrolls through the thumbnails
- Right-arrow key – scrolls right by one
- Left-arrow key – scrolls left by one
- Page-Down key – scrolls right by one page
- Page-Up key – scrolls left by one page
- Home key – goes to first thumbnail
- End key – goes to last thumbnail.
Configuring the Thumbstrip
By default, it shows the thumbnail with the filename. You can change this to include any combination or ordering of thumbnail image, histogram and metadata. For example, you may prefer to have the filename on top, follwed by the histogram, image and ISO.
You can set this up in the thumbstrip popup menu, under Configure. You can also set which file types to show. For example, If you are capturing JPG+NEF on each capture, you can set it to show the JPG only.
Thumbstrip Menu Items
- Flag – Check it to displays a red bar above the thumbnail. Uncheck it to remove the flag.
- Print – Create a printout of the selected image or a contact sheet.
- List – Shows a list of thumbnails and filenames.
- Detail – Shows a single image and it’s metadata, per page.
- Convert to High Quality – Increases the quality of the thumbnail, preview and histogram.
- Delete Current Image – Promplts you to move the image to the recycle bin.
- Sync – When checked, newly captured images will be immediately displayed. When unchecked, the image will be saved but not shown.
- Browse – Brings up a window where you can change the current folder displayed.
- Refresh – Reloads the thumbnail list.
- Run Batch File – Starts a user-defined batch file (setup in the Preferences screen) with the image folder, filename and extension as parameters. Great for post-processing. See the help on Post-Capture Batch File for more information.
- Configure – Brings up a window where you can set which data to show in the thumbstrip.
A status bar showing the current image/total images for the selected folder or search results are displayed, along with the full path of the image.