All about teth­ered and re­mote cap­ture

Ex­plor­ing other meth­ods of trig­ger­ing the cam­era.

HWM (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - by Mar­cusWong

Yes, there are other op­tions that will al­low you to take pho­to­graphs with­out even be­ing at the cam­era, and on top of that, bet­ter ways to re­view your im­ages while you're tak­ing them.


De­spite the fact that both tech­niques al­low you to send im­ages from your cam­era to a com­puter or smart de­vice, there are some fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences be­tween the two.

Re­mote cap­ture gen­er­ally in­volves the use of a mo­bile app, and the im­ages are sent over via a Wi-Fi con­nec­tion. Be­cause the im­ages are sent over via Wi-Fi they gen­er­ally are in the smaller JPEG for­mat. You can gen­er­ally set the cam­era to send a smaller copy over to your smart de­vice (or com­puter) for pre­view pur­poses, while the full res­o­lu­tion im­age is saved on the mem­ory card in the cam­era, or just stick to the smaller sizes if they will suit your needs.

For teth­ered cap­ture, you con­nect a ca­ble from your cam­era to your com­puter and send the full res­o­lu­tion im­ages over to soft­ware like Adobe Light­room and Cap­ture One Pro that han­dle the teth­er­ing process. As you'll be send­ing larger files, trans­fer by ca­ble is pre­ferred as it's faster and more re­li­able. You will also be able to change cam­era set­tings and trig­ger the cam­era from within the soft­ware (with a Live View win­dow).


On the flip­side, re­mote cap­ture via app is al­most 100 per­cent about the flex­i­bil­ity of plac­ing your cam­era in lo­ca­tions that you wouldn't phys­i­cally be able to reach while still re­main­ing in con­trol. For ex­am­ple, when we tested the weather-proof­ing of the FU­JI­FILM X-T1, we placed the cam­era in the freezer and were still able to take stills and video to prove that the cam­era was still work­ing by us­ing FU­JI­FILM's Cam Re­mote app.

Be­cause you're trans­mit­ting the file wire­lessly to the cam­era, it is best used when JPEG cap­ture is suf­fi­cient, though you can still save a copy in RAW on your cam­era's mem­ory card. The other ad­van­tage to us­ing re­mote cap­ture via app on your smart de­vice is that then the en­tire dis­play of your smart de­vice be­comes the equiv­a­lent of your cam­era's rear LCD – with touch – so you can now have much more ac­cu­racy in choos­ing AF points via touch AF.


For re­mote shoot­ing, you re­ally just need to have the ap­pro­pri­ate cam­era app in­stalled on your smart de­vice. This will vary from brand to brand and some­times model to model. The gen­eral pro­ce­dure is to start the wire­less func­tion on your cam­era, then run the app on your smart de­vice. You'll be prompted to join the wire­less net­work cre­ated by your cam­era, fol­low­ing which you should get a live view im­age of what the cam­era is see­ing, as well as op­tions to ad­just the var­i­ous set­tings.

The main thing to note here is that you'll want to be in an area with­out too many wire­less net­works as that can in­ter­fere with the con­nec­tion to your cam­era.


Well, ob­vi­ously the first con­sid­er­a­tion is the fi­nal out­put file. If color and fo­cus ac­cu­racy is a must; then teth­ered cap­ture is the best way to go. The dif­fer­ence be­tween be­ing able to look at an im­age at 100 per­cent res­o­lu­tion on a note­book (or ded­i­cated mon­i­tor) and try­ing to zoom in to view the im­age on the rear screen of any cam­era is huge. Mon­i­tors can also be cal­i­brated for your en­vi­ron­ment to en­sure color ac­cu­racy, which is some­thing you can't quite do on your cam­era, so that's def­i­nitely the way to go if you ab­so­lutely need pre­ci­sion.

The other time when teth­ered cap­ture is a bet­ter op­tion is when you're work­ing with a team and more than one per­son needs to look at the im­age at the same time. Ob­vi­ously, hav­ing more than two peo­ple peer­ing at the back of a cam­era is not ideal, so with a teth­ered work­flow ev­ery­one can see what's go­ing on at the same time.


There isn't much to do to get started in terms of teth­ered cap­ture. You just need the soft­ware that sup­ports your cam­era, and the ap­pro­pri­ate ca­ble for your cam­era. This sim­ply has to be long enough to al­low you range of move­ment while shoot­ing so we'd look at some­thing around 1.5m to 2m in length.

On the soft­ware front, we'd rec­om­mend Adobe Light­room or Cap­ture One Pro, as both are in­dus­try-stan­dard pro­grams both in terms of teth­ered cap­ture, and more im­por­tantly RAW file pro­cess­ing, so you'll get great sup­port in both av­enues. Both also sup­port the largest num­ber of cam­era mod­els over­all, so com­pat­i­bil­ity is likely to be less of an is­sue.

In terms of set­ting up, in both cases you con­nect the cam­era to your com­puter, fire up the soft­ware and then se­lect to con­nect the cam­era. You'll then need to se­lect a Cap­ture folder as well as a Process folder. (The Cap­ture folder is where your RAW files will be stored to, while the Process/Ex­port folder is where you im­ages will go af­ter you de­velop the RAW files.)

We rec­om­mend you take ex­tra care in terms of se­cur­ing the ca­ble to your cam­era though. As it's not un­com­mon to find peo­ple tripping over cables dur­ing such ses­sions. Gaffer tape is your friend here!

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