DSLR Tethered Photo Shooting On Your iPad

By now, it’s safe to say that the iPad has infiltrated the daily lives of many. We’ve seen many scenarios where people, like you and I, have used their iPads as a work companion and as a device that has revolutionized the way we discover, view, share and consume all kinds of media.

This is the case of Dallas/Fort Worth professional photographer Mike Irvin, who after some research has found a way to use his iPad during photo shoots as a 9.7 inch wireless proofing display. Mike is one of our many avid readers, and was kind enough to share with us how some photographers are doing wireless tethered photo shooting on their iPads.

We had a chance to chat with Mike recently, and he was very excited with the way he’s been able to showcase his iPad and also bring efficiency to his business. “I knew when the iPad came out it would be the perfect form factor for wireless tethered-shooting and I envisioned handing the iPad to the Mother of the Bride during a photo session at some remote location”, said Mike Irvin.

But, how has Mike been able to adapt his iPad for wireless tethered-shooting? Without further ado, let’s walk you through the process.

The process, which replaces the normal way of shooting via a cable to a notebook, involves the Eye-Fi SD Card, and of course a quality camera like the ones offered by Canon or Nikon. In addition, it requires the ShutterSnitch app, which is available on the iTunes App store. For a simple “in-studio” set up, all you have to do is simply setup your Eye-Fi SD card along with ShutterSnitch. Keep in mind that both components will need to utilize the same WiFi network.

The Eye-Fi wireless cards only come in SD format. This means that cameras supporting only “Compact Flash” (example: Canon 5D MK II) will require a “Compact Flash (CF) to SD” adapter card. By using the “Compact Flash to SD” adapter you may run into some limitations with the Eye-Fi card broadcast capabilities. However, Mike shared with us that Syncrotech offers a “CFMulti CompactFlash” adapter, which brings Eye-Fi support to Compact Flash cameras.

Once you have configured the camera with the Eye-Fi wireless SD card, your photo images are transferred to the ShutterSnitch app. In case you’re not familiar with ShutterSnitch, it’s an app that wirelessly transfers images to your iPad from your Eye-Fi SD card. Once the images are transferred to ShutterSnitch, you will be able to scroll through the images, pinch and zoom, arrange your photo shoots into albums, email or save pictures.

If you want to conduct photo shoots away from your studio, you will need to make a few adjustments. Keep in mind that Eye-Fi wireless SD cards cannot be configured with WiFi hotspots. This means you’ll need an additional component to provide the wireless connection required on the field. You can resolve this issue by using a battery powered wireless router (Aluratek portable router). The router will provide a portable network for your photo shoots, and will enable you to connect the Eye-Fi SD card to the ShutterSnitch app. To configure the router, all you have to do is turn it on, go to your iPad WiFi settings and select it.

Of course, this setup may sound a bit tricky for some. However, it’s a good workaround for professional and amateur photographers out there. In Mike Irvin’s case it has simplified the amount of equipment he needs to carry around for photo shoots, and it allows him to showcase the capabilities of his iPad.

Video: The following YouTube video (posted by trollhunter) shows you how the iPad wireless tethered-shooting setup works.

About Roberto: A blogger with a passion for applications, gadgets, new technologies, and everything new in this ever-changing technological world. Contact me via Twitter: @PG_Roberto

  • ipadguy

    Interesting, definitely considering picking one up. Maybe this is just a result of availability when Mike purchased he setup, but it seems it would make a lot more sense to just purchase the Eye-Fi Pro X2 card for $149.99, instead of any of their other cards @ $49.99 and up, then have to buy a batter operated portable router which, based on the one mentioned here is $89.99. So Eye-Fi’s basic card is $49.99 is only 4GB, doesn’t include Geotagging or Hotspot and doesn’t support RAW picture transfer + $89.99 for a portable router = $139.98. However, a Eye-Fi Pro X2 @ 149.99 supports Ad-hoc Wifi, geotagging, hotspots, RAW data transfer and you don’t have to worry about one more device running out of batteries for $10 more. Or am I missing something?

  • http://www.centecequipment.com Bucket Truck

    Im just wandering If I can use my cell phones mobile hot spot instead of the router

  • Crew One

    Too bad Eye-Fi doesn’t work with the more advanced camera’s like the Canon 5D or 7D :(

    • Bill

      You could use a SD to CF adapter. Many folks have had luck with this setup but you’ll need to do some research as a few buyers have had issues with the CF adapter degrading the WiFi signal. Good luck!

    • JL

      “more advanced” lmao

  • kalani Prince

    Is there any way that the software will only load small jpegs while shooting? RAW + Canon 5D2 + iPad @16gigs wouldn’t last long ; )


    • Bill

      Eye-Fi cards can transfer JPEG so you can go this route if you prefer.

  • corexion

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial. just be clear, do you need internet connection for this to work or just the router signal?

  • http://www.grimlight.com Digital dennis

    Does the router have to be connected to the Internet or 3G to create a wifi connection for the iPad or can the router create a wifi hotspot just for the iPad to connect to with out the above

    • http://www.padgadget.com Roberto

      According to the setup the router will create a wifi hotspot without the need to go over 3G.

  • BCD

    Do you need the 3G version of the IPAD? And I have the same questions that Digital dennis has above….thanks!

  • JAJ

    This is great except the Eye-Fi cards will are not fast enough (Class 10) to record 1080p video.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Wei/770765407 Richard Wei

    what a hassle, try buying a SD CARD reader for you ipad. or better yet get a android tablet that has a sd reader built in.