A few months ago I tested Capture Pilot v1.0 for the iPad and fell in love with the product. At the time, Capture Pilot’s functionality was limited to an image viewer with the ability to integrate with Capture One Pro for ranking and rating images. Even using Capture Pilot strictly as a viewer, it was a fantastic companion for the studio.
Over these last few months, Phase One has been diligently at work creating new updates for their software and recently released Capture Pilot v1.2. This new version of Capture Pilot maintains all the old functionality along with a new camera control capability. As with the previous app, Capture Pilot works with Apple iOS devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
|Mike Hagen testing the software in the studio, taking a photo by pressing the shutter button on the iPad.|
To test out the capabilities of the new Capture Pilot v1.2 software, I used it during a photo shoot of seven children on location at a house. I set up a mobile photo studio in a garage and asked the kids to work with me as we took photos. I know from past experience that if you let kids participate in the process of actually taking photos, you’ll come away with much better results. So in this case, I let the kids take photos of each other using the Capture Pilot iPad software. As necessary, I stepped in to make sure I captured usable images for deliverables to the parents.
Using the app requires you to tether your camera to the Capture One Pro host software, and then create a wireless network connection between your iOS device (iPad) and your main computer. Next, you’ll set up Capture One Pro to operate as a server by clicking on the button “Start Image Server” in the software package. Once all the pieces are connected (iPad, laptop and camera), then you start Capture Pilot on the iPad and connect to the image server.
|Once you start up Capture Pilot, you’ll be asked to connect to the correct server. In this case, I named the server “15in_MacBookPro.” After you are connected, you can start taking photographs and adjusting camera settings.|
Taking photos from the iPad device is as simple as pressing the shutter release button on the iPad screen. There is no delay and the system responds instantaneously. As many of you know, a smile or an expression only lasts a brief moment, so any delay in your camera system means that you’ve lost the shot. Fortunately, Capture Pilot responds like you would expect a professional caliber program to respond. I never once missed a shot because of system lag.
Another neat feature of Capture Pilot is how it allows you to easily change camera ISO, shutter speed, aperture, image quality and white balance through screen-based controls. The camera control panel has an intuitive interface for adjusting the most-often used parameters of the camera.
|Here’s an example of changing the camera’s aperture from the iPad interface. Simply touch the aperture value and a fly-out menu displays. Alternatively, you can scroll the aperture wheel like a regular camera control dial. Cool.|
|Here, you can see how easy it is to adjust the exposure mode and image quality.|
Triggering the camera from the iPad means that you’ll be modifying the way you normally take photos in the studio. Traditionally, you’d be looking through your camera’s viewfinder when taking the shots. However, when using the iPad, you obviously aren’t looking through the camera, so you need to take a few more precautions to ensure your shots are in focus.