How to wirelessly tether your camera to Lightroom

By on April 27, 2014

Ever since I started doing large scale photoshoots, I’ve always looked for a solution to wirelessly tether to my computer. Tethered shooting is a pain because I tend to move around too much and trip over my cables bringing the entire shoot to an epic end.

Wireless tethering was only a long-gone dream with the only couple options the affordable Eye-Fi Card which was slow, unreliable and had terrible desktop software… and the completely unaffordable WT-5 units from Nikon.

Why tether you ask? Focus checking, framing, presenting shots to the clients on an actual screen, camera controls, live view, just to name a few… And all those are possible tethered directly to an iPad or a Computer using a nifty 300$ device named the CamRanger.

But as cool as all that is, what if you wanted the functionality of tethered shooting to Lightroom (apply presets, crop/frame, etc…) , without sacrificing the additional live view camera controls afforded by the CamRanger? Was there actually a solution?

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by CamRanger.

After pondering for a while, I found the solution:

5 Easy Steps to set up your computer for wireless tethering to lightroom.

Step 1:

Wireless remote shutter system 2 640x640

Buy a Camranger – (Amazon | B&H | Vistek). Sorry but there’s really no way around it.  (Only works for Nikon/Canon. Be sure to check compatibility here) Though the EyeFi is somewhat of a solution, it is so terribly unreliable and unstable that I would NEVER recommend it for professional (or even semi-professional use).

 

Step 2:

Load up the CamRanger preferences and select the “Saved Images Directory” that you want.

Make sure that you select “Auto-Download Images” so that the images are automatically saved to your computer.

CamRanger Preferences 1

Step 3:

Set you camera to transfer RAW+JPG (I personally use Fine+Small on my D800E but depending on which camera you have, your settings might be different.

You CAN choose to transfer RAW files but those 50mb files take time to transfer!!

DSF1150 as Smart Object 1

Step 4:

Set up “Auto-Import” in Lightroom.

Head over to the Auto-Import Settings, and define your “Watched-Folder” by selecting the folder previously determined in Step 2.

Lightroom wireless tether 1

Auto Import Settings

You’re done! Enjoy the power of wireless freedom.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, here’s a preview of next week’s BTS video:

Camranger 2

Note to bloggers: Please do not copy the contents of this article. Feel free to link to the video and direct people here. Thanks!

 

 

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  • http://www.jaysoncarpenter.com Jayson Carpenter

    So are you just transferring the Jpegs for preview? Or both files? Thank you in advance!

    • http://www.vonwong.com/ Benjamin Von Wong

      actually it only cache’s the data… it doesn’t even take up any of ur internal ipad memory until you actually decide to save them. It’s perfect :)

  • http://sequencemedia.ca Sugeevan Shan

    Hey Ben, huge fan love your work! Would you recommend a wi-fi sd vs the cam ranger? I havent used either so just wondering what the difference is.

    Thanks!

    • http://www.vonwong.com/ Benjamin Von Wong

      Camranger is faster, more reliable, offers greater functionality (ability to control the camera settings, focus, etc…)

      Really it’s not even a competition!

  • Frank Blau

    Make sure you turn off Auto-View Images. :) If that is turned on, it can’t move the file in LR.

  • Lana O

    So step 2, where do you load those preferences in?

  • Josh Katz

    can you still use an iPad to control the camera while saving photos to a computer?
    I’d like to use an iMac to display photos to clients while being able to monitor the shots and control the camera from an iPad.

    • http://www.vonwong.com/ Benjamin Von Wong

      You can do that if your computer is tethered to your camera. Transferring RAW files over WIFI is never recommended lol

    • Josh Katz

      So wireless tethering of raw files isn’t doable?
      Or is there just an issue when using an ipad while tethering to a computer?

    • http://www.vonwong.com/ Benjamin Von Wong

      Oh its possible, it just takes about 12-15 seconds to transfer a 50mb raw file lol.

  • Mark Q

    We’re developing such a wireless SSD device. It will process the RAW file to output JPG for preview. And you can view and manage your works with iPad via Wifi easily. Any suggestions would be great appreciated. Link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mportable-portable-wireless-ssd-for-photographers/x/8089777

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