Wireless Tethered Shooting: Cutting the Cable

Posted by: on Jun 04, 2013

Wireless Tethered Shooting: Cutting the Cable

Jim DiVitale is a commercial photographer and instructor based in Atlanta who specializes in product photography and digital photo illustration. He’s been featured in publications like Rangefinder and Photo District News and worked with clients such as Time Warner Cable, Toshiba, Coca-Cola USA and more.

By: Jim DiVitale

One of the coolest products I have come across in a long time for digital photography is the new CamRanger. Tethered shooting has always been my thing. When I started with the first Leaf DCB in 1992, tethered shooting was the only way you could capture a digital photograph. Of course it was pretty slow compared to today’s technology. In the early days of digital capture, the camera took three images through a red, green and blue filter wheel and you would wait about 45 seconds to see your image appear on the monitor. When DSLR cameras became the standard several years later, everyone was excited to cut the cord, but not me….

Photo courtesy ©Jim DiVitale
Photo courtesy of ©Jim DiVitale

I have always appreciated the accurate info on a calibrated and custom profiled monitor. We are visual artists. We react to what we see and the little image on the back of a DSLR just doesn’t cut it in precision professional photography. With the introduction of Lightroom, Capture One and the proprietary camera capturing software, tethered shooting came back in a big way. Now we have a new choice to work with in the CamRanger. Let’s capture to the iPad, iPhone and computer without any wires…. This is really going to bring the tethered type shooting in to all areas of photography.

One of my favorite places to shop for my digital photography accessories is Tether Tools. All the products I need for tethered shooting can be found in one place.  I started last year with the purchase of the orange tethering cables and iPad accessories and was super excited to see the new CamRanger in their line-up at the recent Photoshop World Conference & Expo this past April in Orlando. As far as I am concerned, this is what the iPad was created for. As soon as I saw a demo on it, I knew I had to have it and bought it before I even asked how much it was. For $299, it s a sweet deal and a must have product in your camera bag.

Wireless shooting is not new… but what is new is the ease of setting it up. From the time I opened the box to the time I had an image from my Canon 1Ds Mark III to the ipad was about that 5 minutes…. Unbelievable! It’s just too easy. Now I have just want I need for those hard to shoot situations where the art director needs to see exactly what’s going on with out all the fuss of cables and computers.

In the studio I still love shooting with the tethered cabled set up to my (comes free with the camera) Canon Utility software that sends the image right to the hard drive in a few seconds as well as saving an image to my Hoodman 32G Internal CF Card in the camera. With the 15 foot extension cable, I now have 30 feet of cable and the orange color really helps me see it in the dark studio. I see it quickly on my monitors and everyone can put in their input on what needs to happen on the set.

Photo courtesy ©Jim DiVitale

Photo courtesy ©Jim DiVitale

That’s fine in an average situation, but average is not what we do. Sometimes we are up in the air on the top of our monostand, or laying on the floor trying to see what we are doing as we set up a shot. Bringing an ipad over to the set so the model can see what going on without getting out of position. This is where CamRanger really comes in handy.

Photo courtesy ©Jim DiVitale

Photo courtesy ©Jim DiVitale

Out in the field where having a cable connected to your laptop is not practical, the CamRanger really shines as an incredible advantage. The software has all the features you could ask for in a wireless system. Some of the key features are having the ability to access the camera settings, control image viewing, view and download the thumbnails or hi res Raw images, control metering, and view the histogram. You can shoot HDR’s, control bracketing, focus stacking, live view, remote triggering, time lapse photography, movie recording, and tag and rate images. Being able to put the camera in hard to get areas and control it from up to 150 feet away sets it up for all kinds of sports and wildlife photography as well,  For now, this is the best possible answer for total control in you image making.

Till next time…. work smarter….  not harder….

Thanks to Jim for sharing his thoughts on tethering resources. For more great product info and photo tips, visit his blog.