Not so Tethered Shooting…

A friend of mine has recently blogged about tools for tethered shooting, which is e.g. interesting for macro shootings. Even though he did not include the tool that I used to have for my 550D – DSLR controller (BETA) – you should definitely have a look at his post. There are meanwhile quite a number of tools available for android/iOS but this is not the point of this post.
Recent cameras (e.g. Canon 6D) have WiFi integrated which allows to shoot without a cable and not relying on additional tools (like Eye-Fi cards) and use your phone/tablet to do so. I will show some details with the official Canon EOS Remote app and a 6D as a sort of an extension to the tool test of Johannes. So in general this is a setup that we want to do:

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I will not give any details on the exact WLAN setup, this has been done before. I want to show the app and what you may do with it.

I have used a Nexus 7 tablet and a XPERIA T smartphone, but this should work with all android/iOS devices. First you should connect to the network of the camera (if you use the cam as hotspot, you can also use an existing network)

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The camera will ask a confirmation like the one below. And yes I named my Nexus 7 “Nexus 7”…

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When you start the EOS Remote app you can decide to take picture or view pictures on the camera (sry, screenshots are in German). Considering the features that Johannes used in his “Tethered Shooting for Macro Photography” post, which are live view, zoom, zoom position, camera control, focus and review, I can say that the EOS app supports all of them. There is a live view image and it is possible to zoom in to different parts of the screen. You can manually control the F-number, ISO and exposure compensation. However, it is not directly possible to manually focus to certain areas of the screen. You need to switch the focus mode on the camera to “AF live” (not AF Quick) which is a little slower. And you have to enable an additional AF button in the app menu that can only trigger AF without taking a picture. But the button is there – only not activated by default (and only Canon knows why…).

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The third option on the image above is for the AF button. I have seen people rating the EOS Remote app very badly because of a “missing AF button” on the app store. It IS there, you just have to find it. The rest is relatively easy to handle, you get rotating settings for ISO and such. Just keep in mind that you always hit the BACK button that is shown in the app (lower right on the image below) and NOT the system back button (bottom left on android) which will CLOSE the app and not only the menu!

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And finally you can live check the images on the camera and also download them to your device. It is important to note that the image will always be JPEG, even though you may be shooting RAW with the cam. This is very nice because you normally don’t want to handle a RAW file with your tablet/phone. Once you have the JPEG on you phone you can do anything you want with it, which is nice to e.g. upload some first impressions and makes a lot more sense than having a camera with a huge touch screen and android installed on the camera (sry, Samsung!)…
Apart from easy uploading photos via tablet or smartphone, the missing cable also allows to have the camera far away from the remote controller. This is especially interesting for e.g. shooting animals or birds. Just remember that the button delay via WLAN may be longer than with a cable attached to the camera.

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Photo enthusiast from Munich, Germany.

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