How to Control a Digital Camera from an iPad

How to Control a Camera from the iPad 646x1024 How to Control a Digital Camera from an iPad

How to Remotely Control Your Digital Camera to Take Better Photos, Create Awesome Timelapse Videos, and More

Most cameras have a range of remote control capabilities that we don’t even realize exist. If you’ve ever wanted to take a nice self-portrait, dive into time-lapse photography, or just get a different perspective on your images, you can do all of it with a variety of wired and wireless options. Here’s how you can control your digital camera remotely to expand your photographic tool set without spending a bunch of money on accessories you don’t need.

What You Can Do With Remote Photography?

There are plenty of great reasons to remotely control your camera, but the most obvious is to include yourself in the photo. Whether you’re with a group or you just want a nice self-portrait, working with a remote shutter is almost a necessity. Not only can you remotely trigger your camera’s shutter, but many options provide a means of seeing the photo you’re going to take of yourself before you take it. On top of self-portraits, remote controlled and automated photography takes a lot of tedious work out of creating time-lapse images. Time-lapse photography can be tedious, but it can also be difficult to accomplish well without the aid of a timer. On top of that, you run the risk of moving your camera out of its designated alignment by triggering the on-camera shutter. A remote option makes the entire process less error-prone, and with automation you hardly have to do any work at all.

Remote-controlled and automated photography also gives you the opportunity to step away from the small screen or tiny viewfinder to compose your photos from a different vantage point. It can allow you to set up a home photo studio for practically no investment beyond your camera as well. While your options will depend on the type of camera you have (even low-cost camera with high-end retro-casing shooters), pretty much every digital camera from the primary manufacturers offer some way to use a remote. In this post we’re going to look at your various options, how to put them to good use, and get some great photos you couldn’t achieve by just pointing and shooting.

Often when you’re working in a studio, the camera is tethered to a computer. This arrangement allows you to import photos directly into software such as Lightroom or Aperture, review shots as they come from the camera, and skip the separate import step entirely. So where does the iPad fit in this situation?

Just because your camera is tethered doesn’t mean you need to be. Especially if you’re shooting products, food, or other compositions that require the camera to remain locked down, you can trigger the shutter, change exposure settings, and more from the iPad without touching the camera. An iPad also works well when clients or others want to see your output as the photo shoot progresses. If it’s inconvenient to have them hovering over your shoulder or the tethered computer, you can hand over the iPad and encourage them to relax on a couch situated a comfortable distance away from the camera. (Just remind them to keep their fingers off the button that fires the shutter.)

Get DSLR Camera Remote HD NOW!

Looking for a way to broaden your photographic horizons with your DSLR camera? Company onOne Sofware has released an iPad-optimized version of their existing DSLR Camera remote application that works in conjunction with your WiFi enabled computer and compatible Canon or Nikon DSLR cameras.

The DSLR Camera Remote HD application provides a large viewing area where you can adjust your camera settings, fire the shutter, review images, get a live viewfinder preview, and according to the vendor you can even start video recording using your iPad.

OnOne Software’s DSLR Camera Remote HD ($24.99) or DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition ($9.99) assumes most of the control over a tethered DSLR. (A $19.99 version for the iPhone or iPod touch is also available, which includes most of the same features except, of course, the iPad’s large-screen preview.)

Note: Be sure to check onOne’s list of compatible cameras to make sure DSLR Camera Remote HD will work with yours (www.ononesoftware.com/products/dslr-camera-remote/specs.html). Even if it’s listed, some features may not work; my Nikon D90 can do Live View, for example, but not Video Mode.

Connect the Camera and iPad

In addition to the iPad app, DSLR Camera Remote HD requires a free server application that runs on the computer; download DSLR Camera Remote Server from the onOne Web site (www.ononesoftware.com). With that in hand, do the following:

1. Make sure the computer and the iPad are on the same Wi-Fi network.

2. Connect your camera to the computer via a USB cable.

3. Launch DSLR Camera Remote Server on your computer (2.1).

4. Specify a folder on the computer’s hard disk where photos are stored by clicking the Choose button under Download Location. OnOne recommends that you clear out that folder (by importing the files into your photo organizing software or moving them manually) to avoid overwriting between capture sessions.

5. Open the DSLR Camera Remote HD app on the iPad.

6. Tap the name of your computer in the list that appears. After a few seconds, the DSLR Camera Remote HD camera interface appears.

Tip: If you’re having trouble connecting to the DSLR Camera Remote Server application on your computer, try turning Bluetooth off for nearby devices (the iPad, an iPhone, etc.). The short-range wireless technology could be causing enough interference with the Wi-Fi connection that a solid connection can’t be made between the iPad and the computer.

The server app includes an option to make a copy of each photo and store it in a separate folder for automatic import into Photoshop Lightroom. Set up Lightroom’s auto-import feature to watch that folder and import its contents when photos appear. (It sounds redundant to make a copy of each image file, but pointing Lightroom’s auto-import feature at the DSLR Camera Remote HD folder moves the files, making them unavailable for review on the iPad.)


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