Ditch the cables and go wireless!
Camera manufacturers often seem to be constantly releasing new technologies, particularly during trade shows, such as the recent Photokina in Germany. All of the major manufacturers made big announcements during the show and wireless technology is built in to many of these new cameras.
Consumer demand for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS has risen massively in recent years, with the proliferation of smart phones, social networks and other wireless devices such as tablets. Now it is possible to utilise this connectivity at almost any level, whether you’re using a compact camera or a professional DSLR. Wirelessly connecting your camera to a smart device such as a phone or tablet can provide two major benefits: firstly, all wirelessly connected cameras are able to transfer photos to a smart device; secondly, many cameras can even be controlled remotely by a smart device.
All of the major camera manufacturers offer dedicated apps to facilitate connection of your camera to a smart device, such as Nikon’s Wireless Mobile Utility and Sony’s PlayMemories. Most cameras use Wi-Fi technology for this but some use Bluetooth, such as Nikon’s SnapBridge, but functionality is very similar.
Transferring images wirelessly from your camera to a smart device is a great way to make the most of your images whilst you are on the move or unable to access a computer or laptop. Social networks are becoming an increasingly popular avenue for sharing our photos and a wirelessly connected camera allows you to upload images taken on your camera quickly to social media via your smart phone. These images will almost certainly be of better quality than those taken using your phone and it is often easier to experiment creatively using a camera such as a DSLR.
Sometimes you might feel your photos need a touch of editing before you broadcast them to the wider world. Once you’ve transferred your photos to your smart device you can quickly improve them, thanks to photo editing apps such as Snapseed, Photoshop Express and Lightroom Mobile.
Once you’re happy that your transferred photos are looking their best you can upload them to your favourite social media or photo sharing site. You can also upload them for safe storage using cloud based services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive. This can prove especially useful when you are unable to transfer your precious photos to a computer or external hard-drive.
Certain camera models can even be controlled wirelessly by smart devices. At the simplest level, this allows you to trigger the camera using your smart device, ideal for group shots and self-portraits. No longer will you have to race into the photo and hope the self-timer hasn’t beaten you to it; simply take your place in the photo and trigger the camera using your smart device. Many cameras also allow you to see a live preview of your image on your smart device screen, as well as allowing you to adjust various settings and immediately see the effect.
This can be particularly useful for situations where the camera needs to be hard to spot, hard to reach or out in the elements. For example:
- When photographing sensitive wildlife whilst you stay well hidden
- When capturing beautiful landscapes from the warmth and comfort of your car or home
- When shooting events, such as live music or sports where you want the camera to be closer to the action than you would want to be
It may also prove useful when utilising creative techniques such as long exposure photography, where slow shutter speeds are used to blur motion.
The functionality of wirelessly connected cameras can be amazingly useful and may even be essential to capturing certain images. Thankfully it is still possible to utilise some of this functionality even if your current camera doesn’t have wireless connectivity built-in. Wireless connectivity can still be added to certain cameras using Wi-Fi adapters such as Nikon’s WU-1a or Wi-Fi enabled memory cards, such as the Eyefi Mobi Pro.
Whichever way you choose to utilise wireless technology with your camera, it is bound to open a new range of possibilities. We would love to hear how you use it and please get in touch if you have any questions about how best to utilise it.