Tethered Camera operation

The earliest serious digital cameras didn’t offer onboard data storage, a power supply or a viewfinder and had to be operated from a tethered computer. Most photographers found tethered operation inconvenient and wanted to be liberated from their PCs. Manufacturers answered the call and produced the highly portable cameras that we use today.

There are occasions though were photographers still need direct connection between camera and computer. Cameras can be placed in dangerous or inaccessible locations and operated from the safety of a PC. Time lapse photography can also be managed automatically from a tethered computer.

Cameras can be tethered via Firewire or USB cables with a maximum extension of 5 metres or wirelessly using a WiFi network.

Some of the main camera manufacturers kindly offer free software to allow the user to operate their camera from a tethered computer, unfortunately Nikon charge their customers for this service. There are however a few third party applications that will allow Nikon owners to do this. Mac owners can use Sofortbild which offers full tethered control over the camera’s aperture and shutter with remote triggering. Windows users can use DCamCapture which has mixed reviews. Adobe Lightroom version 3 allows the user to fire their most camera brands from the desktop though it doesn’t allow you to change shutter or aperture settings.


~ by Nigel on November 24, 2010.

One Response to “Tethered Camera operation”

  1. Yes I can vouch for tethering – very useful when you need to see the shot as large as you can get it. I tried one of the bits of software some time back and it didn’t install, so I ended up using DIY Photobits. It doesn’t have the most elegant interface but it works! I’m using a Nikon D70, and I have pretty much full control over it from the screen – +-exposure, white balance, aperture/priority mode. Shots appear within abt 5 secs, and you can choose which folder they save to. Very interested to see that Lightroom3 does it too, I have v2 😦

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