Article: Take Better DSLR Shots Using… Your Smartphone?

IUSBportCamera Hanging sm

Macworld has just published an article of mine that was fun to write: “Take Better DSLR Shots Using… Your Smartphone?” I look at three devices that control a DSLR wirelessly using an iOS device: the CamRanger, CameraMator, and iUSBportCamera. Although similar in general, each device has its own advantages and disadvantages, which I detail in the article. From the introduction:

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.

DSLR Camera Remote Discontinued

Dslr cam remote discontinued2
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.

If you still use the app, you can download the server software that runs on a PC.

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!