DSLR Remote from onOne: a $20 bit of Real Magic

We were working on an article about tethered shooting, when this came along.

Tethered shooting; you know, where your camera is USB connected to your computer, and as you shoot, the photographs get displayed on your computer monitor, be it laptop or desktop.
Very handy to see what the heck you have, and let your clients (gulp) comment along the way.

All it really took was a nice long USB cable
right angle cable, a sweet right angle connector
and a bit of software such as Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 Software or equivalent Canon software, actually included free with the camera, to control your camera right from your computer, if you liked. Or just shoot at the camera, and the photos were sent to the computer, and opened up in Lightroom, so you could see, in all of their glory, your images, in a great usable size. Not for run and gun, but location, absolutely.

Yep, we set it all up and it worked like a charm.

Then came this game changer.

The brilliant minds at onOne software, makers of some of the best plug-ins ever for Photoshop, such as their current hit Plug-In Suite 4, came up with this iPhone or iTouch app:
DSLR Remote for your Canon or Nikon cameras.
Now you can control your DSLR with ALL functions right from the palm of your hand. For $20.
We have been playing with this since Friday and are fully blown away.
OK, you need to download the app to your phone, then download the companion software to your computer(s).

dslr remote1

Connect your camera via the USB cable, confirm that the iPhone is on the same network as the computer and follow some easy directions.
(We dig the right angle for better chance of cable staying in. We think.)
Honestly, manual reading, wa never our strong suit, so we forged ahead, and ended up speaking to some very helpful and friendly techs at onOne.
Mainly operator error issues, but we did find out some tips. More on that later.
Once your camera is hooked up, your screen will look like this:


And then you may want to adjust things like this:


or this:


So the cool factor of this technology, that works wirelessly with full control of your DSLR, is awesome.

But let’s add one more feature: Shoot in Live Mode and you are watching what your lens sees, on your iPhone!
Shoot when its appropriate or perhaps just do a self portrait. We dig it for shooting product reviews when we are using the item.
How about kids? You can engage them and without intimidating them by looking through the lens,keep an open framing and shoot when its right? Or maybe a camera mounted over a basketball rim, and you wait till you see the perfect shot on your iPhone or iTouch and click “Fire!”

You know we’re excited about this one. And $20 for the full Pro Version? $2. for the lite edition??
We’ll bet you have at least a 3ft. USB cable right now. You may not have an iPhone, but even if you get an inexpensive iTouch requiring no contract, you can have wireless full control of your camera with a Live View mode.

How else will you do that?

Here is a self portrait, using the unit:

Now the shot in the camera was actually a preview of the previous shot. I started to review the shots using a flick of the finger on the touchscreen.dslrtest4

We didn’t use it here, but it will fire your strobes, also.

Some caveats:
If you lose your wireless connection, you have to close the application on the phone and the computer and re-open. We did anyway.
The program loads up files in a folder called DSLR Remote in your Pictures app, and you will be asked about that when you re-open the program. Just a safeguard not to worry.
When you use the DSLR Remote, all other Nikon or Canon capture software, must be closed.
The junk battery life on the iPhone could be an issue for a longer shoot. Carry an external one at all times. Or get a Mophie Juice Pack

Yes, it’s true , we were all ” yeah, tethered, baby! ”

But this, this is a whole new deal.

NB: Scott Kelby has a great blog entry on the tethered subject.
(please note: we have just heard that the Snow Leopard has some some issues with the Nikon Camera Control Software. Check before updating your OS.)
Here is a link to some free software for Nikon to do the tethered work, from the folks at Nikon Rumors. We have not tried these yet, so you are on your own with them.

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