These days, most cameras have Wi-Fi connectivity built in to allow you to transfer images wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet. In some cases you can even use this technology to control the camera remotely.
However, recent Nikon cameras like the flagship D500 and the D5600 and D3400 further down the DSLR line-up have a neat trick up their sleeves, thanks to some clever technology called SnapBridge.
SnapBridge uses low energy Bluetooth connectivity to create a permanent link between the camera and phone. This means whenever you want to transfer an image to your phone or tablet to share on your favourite social media platform (or via email), the connection is already made and there’s no need to faff about firing up the Wi-Fi system or inputting passwords. What’s more, it’s possible to set the camera to transfer images automatically - even when it’s turned off. So you can be shooting away with a proper camera getting the benefit of all the controls and its a large sensor and have the convenience of an image taken on your phone.
How does it work?
Before you can use SnapBridge to connect to a smartphone or tablet you need to download Nikon’s SnapBridge App from Google Play (Android) or Apple’s App Store. Then once the camera and phone have been paired using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, you’re good to go.
The app allows you to choose whether you want images to transfer automatically, and if so, at what size (2Mp or full-size).
Once images are transferred to your phone, you can treat them just like images captured directly, and then share them wherever you like.
Cleverly, SnapBridge doesn’t just send images to your phone – it can also use your phone to inform the camera about the time and location of a shoot so it can tag images. And with cameras like the D500 and D5600, you can also use the SnapBridge App to control the camera remotely with a live view image on the phone screen. Remote control is useful when you want to be in the shot or it’s essential to avoid introducing vibration that could blur your images.
Which cameras have Snapbridge?
The D500, announced in January 2016, was the first camera to feature SnapBridge. Since then Nikon has introduced more cameras to be compatible with SnapBridge, including but not limited to the Coolpix P950 and the Coolpix B500. In addition, the Nikon’s KeyMission cameras all have SnapBridge technology built-in.
Nikon has stated that it intends to roll-out SnapBridge to all its upcoming cameras.