Will the moderator please re-locate this if there's a more appropriate forum. Thanks.
My CamRanger arrived yesterday and was charged overnight. This morning, while eating breakfast, I read the Quick Start Guide and set it up with an iPad Retina and a D800E. Setup took only a minute or maybe two and everything went exactly according the instructions.
So far, I am EXTREMELY impressed! It appears to fully meet my expectations. Images are loaded very snappily (it takes JPGs from the camera, and I have the D800 set to create 14-bit RAW + JPEG fine).
This looks as if it will be a really great "tool". I will post further comments after I've had a chance to do more than a series of initial tests on the kitchen-table.
The only capability that I haven't found (and don't know if it is even possible) is to be able to dial-in CT as the Kelvin temperature. If I can't do this, I will be only mildly disappointed. CamRanger does support the selection of CT setting, just as is available with on-camera controls. If the camera were placed in a difficult-to-access location for shots as a day progressed, it would be great to be able to measure CT at times and update the camera setting. I have such a shoot planned for mid-April.
I already like this so much that I will contact the developers to find out if the iPad application can handle multiple CamRangers on multiple cameras. Wouldn't THAT be great! There are situations in which I'd like to be able to remotely control cameras shooting stills concurrently with ones shooting stills.
I would like to use this thread to share CamRanger experiences with other users.
The CamRanger looks like a great product. It was by far the hot product at the NANPA Summit two weeks ago. They sold out the first day and had a second shipment delivered to fill a very long wait list.
I did not get one - I have too many gadgets that I don't use or use infrequently.
Hi Eric, Your words about having too many gadgets also apply to me but obviously, some are used MUCH more frequently than others!
IMHO, CamRanger looks as if it is a terrific tool for some situations and just might justify a permanent position in my portable kit bag. The iPad is usually left in the car - but please don't tell the local car thieves!
I'm really looking forward to putting it through its paces but I HAVE to get my taxes done today...
I've had a CamRanger for a little over a month now and it has worked very well. Since I have an iPad 2 I can't use jpeg fine with my D800 because of the limited memory. Not that big a deal. If I didn't already have an iPad, a Surface with a USB connection would have worked just as well for my application.
One note on the CamRanger software. Whenever the app is updated you will be required to re-enter your registration which requires an internet connection. I recommend you do this immediatly after updating the app or else you might forget and end up at a shoot with the CamRanger software disabled.
OK, so after more playtime with the CamRanger, I have to report that my observations about this device continue to be very positive.
I did encounter one non-problem (i.e., due to finger trouble) that may be of interest. It is necessary to keep a watchful eye on the "bracketing" segment of the display. It mimics that which the camera's top LCD panel shows by small pointers at positions zero and other EVs that will be used. Well, I confused myself royally when checking out the device's focus stacking capability. Bottom line is that bracketing was set for three exposures. Changing the bracketing setting requires a double-tap on the display - something that I didn't realise.
OK Pete, I am on a roll with CamRanger doing focus stacking...and it is not easy! I have found that it works fine on hard static objects like sea shells. Not so with flowers. Do you realize how little air movement it takes to screw up a focus stack of a flower?
As with AF fine tuning, you could write a book on this tool and technique alone!
While shooting with CamRanger, be carefull and not let your camera battery power get too low. That happened to me today. When my focus stack sequence was done, and I tried to turn off LiveView with CamRanger (iPad), my D800e went into an error mode and would not come back out. The mirror remained locked up.
I tried everything to get rid of the error. Nothing worked. I was about to call Nikon when it occurred to me that CamRanger might be able to fix the problem. With a fully charged battery installed, I hooked the camera to the iPad, cranked up CamRanger and started trying to manipulate the camera remotely. The fist few tries failed although CamRanger indicated the camera was in LiveView mode. Finally I just snapped an image (single one) using CamRanger. The CamRanger indicated I had taken a pic, and the camera went back to normal operation.
So, CamRanger taketh away, and CamRanger giveth back. Go figure!
Pete, why do we pick these esoteric imaging techniques? I used to do a lot of HDR when I had a D300. Now with the D800e, the dynamic range is so high I have just about quit doing HDR. I have replaced that insane process with focus stacking...and it takes more time to process one than it ever took for HDR. The highest number of images I ever processed was nine with HDR. Heck, I am doing as many as 30 frames with CamRanger and focus stacking!
I can feel the heat coming out my PC's cooling fan!
I just received my camranger yesterday. Charged it, connected it up with no problems, and played with it for awhile. I am hoping I can use this for shooting hummingbirds, but really think it will do well with my macro work and focus stacking. Today if I get a chance I will try it out with my lighting bug to see if it is a good option for allowing me to safe a bit safer while trying to capture lightening.
To capture the flower images I am now getting with the CamRanger cost me $2,700 in new hardware over the past month (CamRanger, iPad and micro lens). It takes about 3 minutes to capture 20 image frames with that gear with the D800e I already had. After taking the pictures, it takes my tower computer running four processors 30 minutes to stack the frames and prepare them for blending. It takes another 25 minutes for the computer to blend the images before I can start my magic processing tricks that take another 20-30 minutes. To accomplish the same thing in 1970 when I graduated from engineering school would have required an IBM mainframe computer that costs several million. It would also have taken a team of people to put together all of the data, and it would have taken them about a week to do it. Now that is progress. I stand on the shoulders of giants...and I am proud of it.
I have been using the CamRanger with my newly acquired 70-180mm micro and I decided to compare the results I get with it with another lens combo that I sometimes use...a 70-200mm f/2.8 with a Canon 500D filter on the end. The two images are shown below. I think the focus stacking with CamRanger favors the 70-180mm micro. Both images were shot at the same distance from target (about 2 ft) and at f/8. The light source was a ceiling light tube. The starting CamRanger focus point for the stacking was the letter "y" in sneaky. I shot 30 stacked frames for each image with the same medium increment setting.
By the way, it occurred to me after I ran this test that I might have gotten better results if I had tested to be sure the camera/lens could focus at the top and bottom of the target before starting the focus stack image capture. I did the first stack capture with the zoom micro and it came out fine so I just assumed the same would happen with the 70-200mm with the close-up lens on it. However, that is not the case. The range of focus for the 70-200mm with filter depends on how close you are to the target. I do not have focus rails for macro work. That would have helped. You do not have to have rails with the 70-180mm micro zoom. That is one of the advantages of the lens.
It would be interesting to run this same test between the 70-180mm and a 105mm micro since the 70-180mm is more like a 105mm micro at close distances and zoomed out. I don't have a 105mm micro so I cannot do that comparison.
I used the CamRanger this past weekend to do focus stacking with a macro lens. I ran it with both an iPad and iPhone5. While I like the flexibility of using the iPhone to drive the device, I found the screen size to be way too small. On the other hand, the iPad is a pain to drag around. I found myself putting it in the grass near where I was shooting so I could do other things while CamRanger was snapping the stacked pics. Not good for the iPad.
I am still annoyed by the dumb message window that appears in the middle of the screen to tell you what CamRanger is doing. The message window keeps you from seeing the images that are being captured and does not tell you how many images are left to take. That design could be drastically improved.
I also had the system just stop working several times. I had to turn the camera and CamRanger off and start over with the sync. I missed some good shots because the sunlight changed while I was fiddling with the devices.
I did get some great shots of spiders in their webs with dew on the webs using the CamRanger. I just set everything up and went to sit in my truck to wait for the spiders to come out of their holes. I could use the CamRanger to zoom in on the spider's entrance hole and watch for him to come out. I could then start snapping pics remotely without scaring the spiders away. It worked great.
I got some strange looks from a park ranger who drove by while I was shooting.
Another unexpected feature that comes with using the CamRanger ... the giggle factor. I showed my usually stoic friends their image in "live view" on an iPad and got some really good shots when I pointed to the camera and hit "capture." Their expressions reflected curiosity and, of course, cool technology. By the second shot they were fascinated and smiling. Nice.
And nice focus stacking, Larry. Sure beats hard wiring a laptop to your camera and hovering over it. The Camranger is also useful in stalking sort of wild animals. Now if they would only support a mirror less camera I could be a better stalker and get a picture of a curious skunk and raccoon alliance, they share the cat food....
This sounds like a great product. I looked on their website to review the features for the Nikon D7000 and could not see anywhere if it allowed you to extend auto bracketing from the 3 brackets allowed on the D7000 to 7, 9 or more for HDR. Does anyone who already has the CamRanger know if this is possible?
I finally got really tired of having to deal with 3-4 ft long USB cables and bought one 6 inches long from USBFireWire. I have a D800e so I have to use USB 3.0 cables and USBFireWire has one as part number 46340158.
Now life is easier and I have less dangle to worry about.
I paid about US $270 for mine at a NANPA conference here in the USA. While I consider that expensive, it is still far less than the iPad that I bought to drive it.
I am an engineer, and I have tried many times to use the iPad for my engineering work. With a lot of effort (like a friend once said about tedious tasks..."it is like a dog trying to pass a peach seed"), I can get some engineering tasks done. However, I still consider the iPad an expensive photo and Internet toy.
The CamRanger, on the other hand, has proven valuable for focus stacking, remote image capture and HDR. I just used it yesterday at the beach here in Florida to photograph fiddler crabs using remote control and both focus stacking and HDR to capture images of a lighthouse.
I did have the iPad and CamRanger hangup on my WiFi connection once during three hours of shooting. It happened while I was carrying the camera/tripod and iPad to a new location.
I just got back from the Oshkosh air show, where I made extensive use of my camranger. Putting the camera 8-15' up on a pole served the dual purposes of getting a different angle on the planes, as well as cutting down on the people blocking my view.
It was a lot of fun to use (and got me a lot of strange looks as I walked around with an 8' yellow pole.
The only downside was seriously chewing the batteries on my camera and ipad, but even that wasn't a major problem. I just needed to be a bit more watchful of both. (Well, and holding the D4 steady at the top was sometimes a pretty strenuous workout.)
I'll post some of the pictures I took with it in the next few days.