TETHERED PREVIEWING IN THE STUDIO USING CAPTURE ONE
In our studio we shoot what I consider the current traditional way, tethered by USB 3 cable to a Microsoft Surface Pro running Windows 10 and Capture ONE software, displaying the preview image on a 60” monitor. This scenario is perfect for static shooting that takes place in a studio, and makes a wonderful training tool for our photographic workshops, but since you are physically tethered to the laptop via a cable, it is not ideal for location, where you might need to be more mobile.
LOCATION SHOOTING – WIRELESSLY PREVIEWING ON TABLETS
For the past 4 years, on location, I have shot with the Nikon D3x wirelessly “tethered” to various tablets via a CamRanger. The flexibility and freedom to effortlessly move around a location while wirelessly tethered to a tablet is the main reason, plus the ability to show the model or client large size images during the shoot is a significant advantage.
Having recently moved to the Nikon D5’s and the WT-6A transmitters, we are still shooting wirelessly direct to various mobile devices, and currently viewing images in the Chrome Browser.
There are several pros and cons of each setup and I thought I would share my experiences with the photographic community, and of course would like to hear of other’s experience and approach
- Very intuitive. Setup/configurations is simple and fast
- Fast upload of preview image
- I love that I can save the images to both the tablet and to the memory card. This provides image redundancy in the event of a corrupted card, and also allows us to continue to view the images, even when the camera is switched off during wardrobe / set changes
- The CamRanger battery lasts an entire 8 hour day of shooting.
- Wireless connection to CamRanger drains the camera battery really fast. In a typical 8 hour shoot we will go through at least 4 D3-x camera batteries. I attach a small 3000mAh external USB battery pack with Velcro to allow our tablet to give us a full day of image viewing
- Cannot pinch-zoom. You can double tap to view the full size image, but you cannot zoom to a specific area (say eyes to check catchlights)
- You always have to think about the additional pack and USB wire. I hook the CamRanger to my belt / Monopod / tripod, but you have to remember to unhook when you put your camera down.
- The CamRanger software isn’t as stable as it could be.
Overall I highly recommend CamRanger for simple inexpensive wireless tethering.
Here is a couple of shots from some recent shoots including my Playboy Playmate shoot with Nikki DuPlessis shot with my typical CamRanger Setup using a Manfrotto magic arm with the K&M Ipad Mount mounted to the side of my tripod.
WT-6A (so far only using it direct to HTTP connection, and viewing in a browser)
- The adapter is tiny, attached to the camera, and it becomes part of the camera. There are no additional devices or wires that you have to consider, so it is way more convenient. I leave it attached to the camera even when I am not using it
- Very fast, almost instantaneous upload of preview image (less than 2 seconds)
- Interestingly, the wireless connection does not drain the camera battery. In a full day of continuous shooting, over 9 hours, we only changed the D5 battery once at around the 6 hour mark
- Setup/configurations is simple and fast
- Ability to pinch and zoom the image to a desired magnification is great
- Really Expensive for what it is – just a wireless transmitter
- The Nikon HTTP browser software approach is really clunky – will look into alternative viewing platforms
- The inability in the browser to swipe left/right to load the previous/next images is SO unintuitive. Right now you have to hit a minute forward arrow key to view the next image. Cannot believe that Nikon would not resolve this ASAP.