DPReview compares two wireless SD cards, the Eye-Fi Pro X2 16 GB and the Transcend 32 GB Wi-Fi: Battle of the Wi-Fi Cards: Eye-Fi vs. Transcend. Although the Transcend offers more storage and costs less, the reviewer found that the Eye-Fi trounces it in performance, range, and software features. (The article doesn’t include the Eye-Fi Mobi card, which makes it easier to connect to a tablet or smartphone.)
But perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Transcend card is its inability to easily transfer files to a laptop or desktop. Technically it can do it, but it’s a painstaking process and one that I wouldn’t consider practical. Basically, the card uses a computer to achieve the same thing it can do on a mobile device, only with twice the steps. Users must find the Transcend Wi-Fi card’s network from the computer. Next, the user launches a browser and enters a lengthy IP address into the url bar. At that point I was better off just plugging the card into the good old card reader. By comparison, the Eye-Fi can connect to a laptop in a matter of seconds and upload images and videos in real time.
[If you're thinking of purchasing an Eye-Fi, please consider buying it using these Amazon links, which helps support my work. Thanks!]
Hopefully you’re not sick of my voice yet: Chris. Breen invited me to talk iPad and photography on this week’s Macworld Podcast. We also went into some detail about capturing photos with the iPad and iPhone, and looked at the state of the current tech related to photographers using iPads (with speculation of what could come in the future).
I’ve had the great pleasure to do several podcasts and interviews about The iPad for Photographers, Second Edition. Last week I talked to the wonderful David Sparks and Katie Floyd for their Mac Power Users Podcast (listen to the episode here). In it, we talk about all sorts of iPad photography topics, but mostly I’m sure David just wanted some great advice before he left on vacation. (He admits to it several times.) It’s a fun conversation, and I hope you enjoy it!
BorrowLenses.com just released a neat reference for iPad-toting photographers: The BL Lighting Cookbook. The cookbook is a free iPad-only app that includes several common off-camera lighting situations with examples and behind-the-scenes diagrams for achieving the effects. Of course, there are also links to the gear being used to get the shots to encourage you to rent equipment from the company. (I’ve used them for lens rentals in the past and was very happy with the service.) The company has more to say on their blog.
Photos are meant to be viewed large. Yet when taking a shot—that crucial moment when we should be most discerning—we usually rely on the camera’s small LCD to preview the image. The traditional solution has been to “tether” the camera to a computer, so you can view shots on a large screen as they’re captured, or even control the camera’s settings and trigger the shutter remotely. That approach lets you correct the scene or settings and reshoot immediately if anything looks amiss.
But tethering can be limiting. Setting up a laptop on location is often inconvenient—and even if you’re shooting in a studio, tethering typically involves snaking a USB cable between the camera and the computer.
I think the headline is a little misleading, since I specifically talked about using an iPad and the iUSBportCamera app is just for the iPad. But I can understand that “smartphone” is likely to draw a bigger audience.
Here’s a cool new invention: Triggertrap, which makes an iOS app for triggering a camera, just announced the Triggertrap Flash Adapter. I wrote about Triggertrap in the second edition of the book because it does much more than just remotely activating the camera’s shutter—you can set up long-exposure or intervalometer-timed shots and set them off by sounds, by vibration, facial recognition, and more.
The Triggertrap Flash Adapter controls one or two (simultaneously) strobe flashes. That enables better high-speed photography (think popping balloons or splashing water droplets). Be sure to watch the video where CEO Haje Jan Kamps demonstrates how it works.
I started updating Chapter 3 (“The iPad in the Studio”) for the second edition of The iPad for Photographers, and discovered that OnOne has discontinued DSLR Camera Remote, their product for controlling a camera tethered to a computer via the iPad. The product was discontinued on March 12, and support will end on May 12, 2013. From the site:
The decision to discontinue the DSLR Camera Remote was made, in part, because it is a difficult product to maintain. To support new cameras, we need software development kits (SDKs) provided by Canon and Nikon. These SDKs allow us to update our software but are often delivered only after a long delay. Additionally, the DSLR Camera Remote is difficult to support. It basically glues together desktop server software, USB camera connection, Wi-Fi networking, and iOS devices together. All of the components create many potential failure points for our users. We spend a great deal of time helping our customers with network and camera issues that are unrelated to our software, to enable DSLR Camera Remote to work in their environment.
Since onOne Software’s strength has always been image processing—building software to help you make your photos look great, we want to focus our energy on that strength. Fortunately, the DSLR and mobile worlds have evolved since we first started to offer the DSLR Camera Remote. Now, there are many more options available! to solve the same problems that the DSLR Camera Remote was originally designed to address. You may want to consider the alternative options listed on the right.
This certainly puts an unexpected kink into my process of updating the book, but I’m not concerned. It leaves more room for me to talk about remote wireless tethering using CamRanger and CameraMator devices. The book goes to the publisher next week, so I’m on that coffee-fueled deadline treadmill that wraps up book projects. The published book is scheduled to arrive mid-May!
A little weekend photo-ception! I’m taking a photo of the Canon EOS M and its 90EX flash using a Nikon D90. Connected to the D90 is a CameraMator wireless unit. And I’m controlling the camera from my iPad using the CameraMator app (the screenshot below). What you don’t see is that I’m sitting at my desk about 10 feet away, controlling the camera’s settings—not hunched over the camera (which needs to stay locked down for this product shot, so I don’t want to be touching it much anyway).
I do need to adjust the external flash settings from the camera on the D90 itself; I don’t have access to all of the D90′s menus, although that would be super cool.
I’m on deadline to finish my EOS M book soon, so I’ll have more time to play with and write about the CameraMator later.
Jeff Carlson, author of the book “The iPad for Photographers,” sometimes bypasses the iPad camera connection kit in favor of an EyeFi SD card and an app called ShutterSnitch ($16). EyeFi cards, which range from $40 to $100 depending on speed and memory size, can connect directly with your iPad wirelessly. Mr. Carlson said that although EyeFi offers a free app, ShutterSnitch is much faster and has a more advanced interface.
Mr. Carlson said he sometimes captures RAW images with his digital cameras. These are uncompressed and large files, often used by professional photographers because they preserve more of the image quality than standard JPEG files. To handle these files he sometimes uses the apps piRAWnha or Photoraw, both $10. But his favored application is Photosmith ($20) an advanced tool that can wirelessly transfer pictures to your desktop computer for printing or editing later.
It was awfully nice of him to link directly to the book on Amazon, too.