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.

iUSBportCamera Update Adds Features

iUSBport on Camera

HyperDrive has released an update to its iUSBport app that drives the iUSBportCamera wireless device. The iUSBportCamera connects to your DSLR’s USB port and enables you to control the camera from your iPad.

According to the (minimal) release notes, the new app adds HDR and Time Lapse capture modes, background downloading, and updated firmware for the iUSBportCamera device.

I wasn’t able to include much information in the book about the iUSBportCamera due to time constraints—I didn’t receive a review unit until the book was sent to the printer—but its functions are very similar to the CameraMator described in Chapter 3. That’s because originally they were the same device: HyperDrive distributed the CameraMator until it and the original CameraMator design had a falling out. Now, the iUSBportCamera and the CameraMator share the same hardware. HyperDrive developed the iUSBportCamera and the designer is working on a new device called the CamNexus.