September 07, 2010

Waiting for wireless tethering

Could photographers be clearer in wanting their images sent wirelessly & immediately to iPads and similar tablets, turning these devices into extensions of the back of the camera?  I seriously doubt it.

At the moment you can kinda-sorta do some interesting things, as long as you have a traditional Mac/PC in the loop.  Here’s a 3-minute demo from Brent Pearson:

More details about the setup are on Brent’s site. [Via]

Relying a regular computer largely defeats the purpose of using the tablet, of course.  Photogs want to be shooting with a tablet-wielding assistant on the red carpet; checking lighting on set by reviewing raw image data; and just chimping on vacation.  The whole point is to avoid lugging a 5-8lb. laptop & to carry a ~1lb tablet instead.

Here’s hoping that device makers are working on a Bonjour-like solution that’ll let cameras, computers, phones, and other devices in close proximity locate one another, then exchange data (stills, live video streams, etc.).  If nothing else I’d stop wishing that my iPad included a camera for capturing raw materials for sketching, as I’d instead just use my phone as an extension of the tablet.

Posted by John Nack at 3:47 PM on September 07, 2010


  • Glyn Dewis — 9:36 PM on September 07, 2010

    Geez now this would be good.
    At this point I’ve resisted the temptation to buy an iPad with the intention of buying ermm investing in a 2nd Generation model which will hopefully sport Retina Display amongst other things; wireless tethering which of course would be very nice :)


  • Michael — 5:15 AM on September 08, 2010

    We’d definitely use a setup like that in our studio. The current camera connection kit is nice but isn’t enough to launch the ipad into the pro photog scene…yet. As a v.1 device, though, I’m constantly impressed with my ipad.

  • Daniel Sofer — 9:33 AM on September 08, 2010

    Things are quite a bit further along than this demo, John. An Eye-Fi card (SD only) plus the ShutterSnitch app will automatically send images from the camera to the iPad without a computer in the middle.

    What I’m waiting for is for Shutter Snitch to get their act together so the alleged support for Canon’s WFT wifi units will actually work. I haven’t had any success here, but if your camera supports SD cards, the Eye-Fi solution works pretty reliably.

  • alex kent — 9:55 AM on September 08, 2010

    i’ll just second Daniel,

    Eye-Fi card, iPad, ShutterSnitch and you’re almost* done.

    some vagueness about requiring Wifi network, not sure if you can make an adhoc one with Eye-Fi Pro X2 card. and presumably no RAW files, jpeg only.


  • Michael Straley — 1:43 PM on September 08, 2010

    I just got my D3 to connect wirelessly with my laptop using the Eye-fi SD card in an adapter – there are several mfgrs. I am really impressed that the pro model will send either or both jgp and raw files – depends on how quickly you want them to show up of course!

    Really superior to a Nikon wireless device which is large and clunky to pick up and put down attached the camera and expensive. The card seems to work up to 40 feet or so which is fine for the studio – I like the idea that LR is usable then and can auto adjust once I have the import preset going for the particular shoot.

    While an IPAD would be nice from a portable point of view the laptop is great in the studio for serious work.

    One guys opinion.

  • Daniel Sofer — 7:29 AM on September 09, 2010

    To follow up, my current setup of a Canon 5DMkII + WFT unit, connecting to Lightroom on a MacBookAir via a Sprint MiFi pocket wifi router works really well. The MiFi lets me bring my network with me and allows static IP addresses which make the Canon WFT configuration much simpler. An Eye-Fi card works just as well and is a lot less expensive – if your camera takes SD cards.

    This is a setup that is best for proofing applications – are her eyes open? Is it in focus? I shoot RAW+JPEG and download only the small jpegs, downloading the RAWs takes way too long.

    If the iPad could replace the laptop for this it would be an improvement. But in either case no serious editing is going to happen until after the shoot, when I use my Firewire CF card reader to get the images onto my desktop Mac.

  • John.B — 8:16 AM on September 09, 2010

    Bravo! The *only* thing I want more than this would be a fast, stabilized prime lens for concert photography; a 70mm f/1.4 with IS/VR would be perfect. (Just in case you have the ear of Nikon or Canon…)

  • Arkadash — 9:40 PM on September 09, 2010

    Still a product manager full of Adobe drugs doing the clown and tracing IP adresses, starting scripts checking of people who say “wrong” about ADOBE and monitorig 24/7 what people post! Man! you bust a lot of money!
    The great magicians who ONLY care about themselves.

    You guys destroy EVERYTHING in terms of photography.


    (Bigger than me)

  • melgross — 8:27 AM on September 10, 2010

    As far as using an iPhone with the iPad, it’s been done. I use Camera for iPhone. Software resides on both and works through Bluetooth. There’s at least one other app, but I haven’t used it.

  • alex kent — 3:50 AM on September 11, 2010

    Rob Galbraith’s site has a write up of shooting direct to iPad:

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