September 02, 2013

The sleeper hit in iOS7 (?)

[Update: I’m not taking about making it possible to transfer photos wirelessly to iPads/iPhones. That kind of works today, but it’s laborious. I’m talking about making it Just Work.]

For the last 3+ years, customers have clubbed me over the head with the following request:

I want to go on a hike, vacation, etc. and toss my iPad in my bag. I want to pair my nice camera (SLR, Micro 4/3rds, etc.) with the iPad just as easily as I could any Bluetooth device. As I shoot (or later), I want to beam my raw files right into the iPad. I want to review those images on a 10″ rather than a 2″ screen. I want to swipe through to pick the good ones & hide the crap. I might want to apply some edits & share the output directly, but when I get home, I want all the images & their edits appear in Lightroom, ready for any further work.

I want that, too. Everyone wants that. Could we finally be getting there?

AirDrop in iOS7 makes it easy to have nearby iOS devices share photos and videos. Will this extend to pairing cameras with iPhones & iPads, particularly if the former support Wi-Fi Direct? I don’t know—but man, my fingers are going blue from being crossed so long. (Meanwhile we’re not just sitting around, either.)

In tangentially related news, it’s rumored that Sony is about to announce “lens cameras” that connect to & augment smartphones, communicating via Wi-Fi. They promise to combine more powerful optics with immediate access to processing & sharing.

It’ll be fascinating to see how all this plays out. Here’s hoping Apple is working to extend the connective tissue & help make things seamless.

Posted by John Nack at 8:01 AM on September 02, 2013

Comments

  • Ambrose — 8:30 AM on September 02, 2013

    Just wondering how much power this whole scheme would need – If we’re talking about the great outdoors maximizing battery life would be quite paramount.

    [When ordering a new camera that captures video, supports live view, and features WiFi, I just accepted from the outset that I’ll need to carry a second battery in my pocket. That’s fine: far better than carrying a camera connection kit & getting back to sneakernet. –J.]

  • William McDavid — 12:36 PM on September 02, 2013

    Nikon already has an app and a Wi-Fi plug in device for their D5200 DSLR with this ability.

    [I’m not talking about having to make the camera set up a wireless network, then switch to it with your device, manually transfer, switch back when done, etc. That sucks hard & helps explain why camera WiFi remains a niche feature at best. It’s not that people don’t want it; it’s that it doesn’t work the way we want it to work. –J.]

    The app is a free download and the wi-fi plug-in approximately $60. Once set up photos taken will transfer to the paired iPhone/iPod Touch 5G. There’s also a remote feature that’ll display a live video feed from the camera onto the iPhone/iPod display with a shutter release.

    [FWIW, built-in WiFi is one of the rationalizations I gave myself for ordering a Canon 70D next week. Unfortunately my initial experiences with that feature & app were severely disappointing. I’m buying the camera despite that & will hope that WiFi gets a serious firmware upgrade. –J.]

  • Bill — 9:01 PM on September 02, 2013

    This could happen in Android today. While I know iPad is the “King of Tablets”, I think putting out this feature on Android would make many a photog grab a Nexus 10 just for this app. Why hasn’t there been much movement on the Android front?

    [It’s also an opportunity for Windows-based vendors, as those devices can run Photoshop & Lightroom. I love good competition, and now that Samsung is getting serious about cameras, it would be cool to see them set a new standard. Or what about Sony, or now Microsoft (as they’ve just purchased Nokia & their impressive mobile imaging group)? –J.]

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