Meta35 is developed as a Canon ES-E1 alternative, but it doesn’t stop there! It also replaces Nikon and Minolta equivalent systems. I’ll base my review on the Canon part since I own a 1V, but other supported cameras work the same.
What is Meta35?
Well first of all, let’s talk about Canon ES-E1 and what it’s based on. Back in the days when the 1V was released it had a lot of new technology put into it, one of what was exif memory. Basically it remembers all of your metadata as you shoot and saves it in its memory. Every film roll is marked with a number before the first frame, under that number you can find all of its metadata. To get access the memory you needed to buy a small kit called ES-E1 which included a adapter cable and software utility, you connected the 1V to your PC imported the scanned files into the utility and the software done the rest. You could also access custom / personal functions and change them in the utility since changing C.Fn. on the camera is a pain in the ass and you couldn’t even get to the P.Fn. without the utility. It was a nice kit to have with your 1V. So why develop Meta35 if Canon has its ES-E1? First, you can’t buy the ES-E1 kit in a shop, you can find some second hand ones on e-bay but they have a hefty price tag – around 600$ as of this review. The second thing is that the utility was made for Windows 95 and no it doesn’t work on new operating systems. That’s where Meta35 comes in, basically doing a better job than the Canon version and it works on new Windows and OS X systems.
I must say that the Promote Systems team did in fact surprised me, the kit worked very well and I was thrilled to see that they managed to replace the ES-E1 entirely. They didn’t stop there and started adding more features like function settings profiles and more metadata entry. As I talked to the team they were super exited about feedback and said that they will add new features if people will need them. Please keep in mind that I had a development version of the software and told about a few improvements, some of which are already live in the current versions and some will come with future updates. The kit can be bought on their site for 149$. Please consider that the Canon version was 200$ from the store and now sells for triple the amount second hand, if you use a 10 year old PC that you can use it on. Promote Systems has my respect on developing this for a selected user base who still use top of the line SLR cameras. Big thumbs up!