Tethering 101: Choosing the Right Cable for your Camera

Posted by: on Feb 24, 2015

Tethering 101: Choosing the Right Cable for your Camera


Ok, you’ve got the camera, the computer and the tethering software. Now it’s time to do something about your cable. I know what you’re asking, “Can’t I use the cable that came with my camera?” The answer is absolutely. However, here’s the rub. That cable is usually 3′ or 1 meter long. That’s not going to be long enough unless you set your camera on a tripod right next to your computer. This may be possible when shooting macros or product shots,  but usually you’re going to want the freedom of a much longer cable.

This leaves you with two options.

  1. Purchase an extension cable for that wire that came with the camera.
  2. Purchase a new longer cable.

Both these options are good ones. USB 2.0 & 3.0 specifications limit cable length to 16′ before needing an active extension cable. This means you can buy a cable up to 15′ long, and than if you need longer, buy an extension for that cable. Here’s a handy cable finder to help you determine which cable you need:


Also, when choosing a cable, you may want to consider the non-reflective orange cable. It helps prevent people from tripping over it and it makes it super easy to find in your gear bag.

Next: Securing your Tether Cable