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How-to's

How to set up Nikon SnapBridge

Michael Hurder (MKHurder)


Keywords: snapbridge, mkhurder, beginner

Are you one of the many who’ve struggled to get Nikon’s SnapBridge software to work with your Camera or Smart Device?  You’ve tried every YouTube and Chat room suggestion thrown at you.  You’ve even waited for Nikon service to answer your desperate pleas…to no avail?  Even now, after releasing the promised and highly anticipated fix to all our worries with the latest Firmware and SnapBridge Versions…it still won’t connect? I’m with you.

Here’s the solution that worked for me. I’m a Nikon D850 user, so I will reference that camera body and its setup routines.  Yours may differ slightly.  Please refer to your camera manual for details about Bluetooth and Wi-Fi setup.

The backstory

As soon as I became somewhat comfortable using the D850, I wanted to use SnapBridge. That was after all, one of the selling points of the 850.  Shoot and upload to a smart device and then to social media…right now!  Even if only JPEG’s with low resolution, I could post right now if I wanted. That’s way cool with real camera shots as opposed to just phone camera shots.  Plus, I could remote control my camera from my phone with near complete functionality.  Awesome!

Alas, a week later and after exhausting every resource I could possibly coerce into helping, there was no joy in Mudville.  With every condition needed set to optimum I still couldn’t make it work right.  Just getting the D850 to stay connected to my Samsung Galaxy S8+ via Bluetooth was agonizingly frustrating and intermittent.  Forget about Wi-Fi.  I was not happy and eventually I gave up on it.  I remote controlled with my laptop and the clunky “Control My Nikon” app.  I used SnapBridge for GPS only…when it would stay connected to the camera.

Fast forward to last week.   We were once again promised that this latest firmware release for the D850, version 1.10, coupled with the latest version of SnapBridge, version 2.5.4, would finally make our world right.  Not for me it didn’t.  I got the same frustrating results.  Poking around various chat rooms I was seeing mixed results.  Some folks swore by the new releases and some were as disgruntled as I. The frustration mounted to the point I was thinking I had to send the body in for troubleshooting and repairs.

I decided to call the SnapBridge folks themselves for help first.  They sent me a link to the following page for details about Bluetooth pairing… a very informative treatise.

For me, though, the real keys to success came from the tech I spoke to.  They are as follows:

  • You need to have fully charged batteries on both devices. This is critical for the first connection and setup to go smoothly.  We tried it with a half charge on my phone and the USB cable plugged in as well, but the setup did not work.  Charge both batteries completely before you start.
  • Delete/forget all Wi-Fi connections on your smart device. Home network, work network, yes all of it. You can set them up again after your camera connections are established.
  • Forget all paired devices on your smart device.  Again, you can re-establish those pairings after the camera is setup. (Notethe reason for the last two steps as explained to me is that a smart device wants to always connect to the Internet, so if it sees no Internet on your camera, it may just jump ship to the network that does have Internet and never connect to your phone.  Force its hand, so to speak. If there’s no other option, it will connect to the phone.  Also, there is no sense in leaving any communications conflicts active at all, so the tech suggested I forget all Bluetooth pairings on the phone to avoid any interference there as well. Once you have established the first connection between phone and camera, you can add more connections.)
  • Delete any paired devices on your camera from the Bluetooth menu.
  • Install the latest version of SnapBridge on your smart device.  (I already had the latest installed but just to be sure, I removed and reinstalled it.  Barring that, delete any paired devices you may have saved in the application. The latest Version is 2.5.4 as of May 14, 2019.
  • Follow the instructions on the linked page about pairing.
  • The rest really will fall into place.

Whoopie!

With fully charged batteries and a completely clean setup I knew I was successful almost right away with the differences readily visible.  While setup is trying to establish a Wi-Fi connection, there is a progress wheel showing.  Prior to the clean setup, the wheel would progress quickly about ¾ of the way round then hang for a minute before it quit and suggested I contact support for help. With the clean setup and new Software/Firmware, it made it around the wheel inside 30 seconds and was done. The camera clicked at me to let me know.

Connection to and control of the camera with my phone was a breeze.  I can shoot RAW even, though I can’t upload RAW to the smart device.  You can only upload JPEG’s now.  Disconnecting and reconnecting is consistent and trustworthy.  Upload is quick too even though the JPEG files are relatively small.

I do not know if all smart devices/tablets will work this way or at all.  I hear that some smart devices may not have everything needed (tablets mostly).  You’ll have to try it and see if it works.  As of this moment, I have not found a list of compatible devices. SnapBridge does however list compatible cameras.  You’ll find that list on the Nikon page above.

I had a tough time with this issue and was so happy to get it resolved.  I hope this helps you. 

Good luck and keep shooting!

…from one newbie to another…

 MKHurder

And oh yes, Thank you Nikon.

Editor's note: We have written up some basic information Snapbridge as well.

(6 Votes )

Originally written on June 20, 2019

Last updated on June 20, 2019

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11 comments

Michael Hurder (MKHurder) on August 20, 2019

If you hadn't noticed already, there is an even newer version of SnapBridge, 2.6.0. It is even cleaner than 2.5.4 to set up and much more functional...even with RAW files.

Bill Dahlman (dahlmanb630) on August 19, 2019

Why oh why can't the D750 become compatible with Snapbridge??

S D Dharmadhikari (ESSDEEDEE) on August 5, 2019

Thank you very much I was also struggling for the connectivity of the app to my newly purchased D500 since last two months but today when I came across this article and taking all precautions of disconnecting paired other devices I could finally connect my D500 Thank you Mr.Hurder.

John Driessen (johnnie5) on July 20, 2019

thank you! great help for me

Michael Hurder (MKHurder) on July 4, 2019

As to a tethered connection using SnapBridge, I see no option for this configuration. SB is set to use Bluetooth or Wifi.

Michael Hurder (MKHurder) on July 4, 2019

Good news, David Robert Jackson. I'm glad it worked out for you. My son has an iPhone X and his set up with no issues at all and we didn't have to go through all that pairing and unpairing either. I thought Apples might be easier. We didn't see the 'waiting' message on the phone though.

David Robert Jackson (Wingnuts) on June 30, 2019

I was a bit hasty. Camera was paired and location data is shown OK in test shot. Reason I thought otherwise was that iPhone bluetooth icon when tapped says "waiting for bluetooth connection" and "waiting for response from camera" Camera and phone are in fact paired and location data is present in test shots despite the message on my phone!

David Robert Jackson (Wingnuts) on June 30, 2019

When I first used my Z7 months ago I had no bother at all with Snapbridge, it paired and stayed paired but today it just refuses to pair with my iPhoneX, bluetooth is shown as on (apple watch on airplane mode ) on camera and phone, camera number is on both devices but phone sits on waiting for bluetooth from camera. Tried fully charged batteries to no avail and have latest version of Snapbridge in fact the version I always had.

David Pease (PeaPod) on June 24, 2019

Thank you. Do you think SnapBridge will tether with a wired connection between a D610 (w/o wireless) and a laptop computer.

Michael Hurder (MKHurder) on June 22, 2019

I feel your pain. Geoffrey M Baker. I should add a caveat...it seems this procedure is really directed towards androids if that helps you. I don't know apples but I hear they set up easier...perhaps without all that unpairing and un-connecting??? Pairing and making connections on the Samsung Galaxy 8+ was a bit of a challenge but the note9 and Galaxy 10 were a piece of cake if time-consuming. I have yet to hit a snag using their procedure and I haven't run into any stubborn devices to pair or connect to either. However, starting clean was the only way I could get my Androids to work with SnapBridge. I had to get a SnapBridge tech on the phone to help me sort it out. All that so I could still post images while on my trip to Ireland...;~) PS: Yes, I agree. The more Nikon sorts this out the better.

Geoffrey M Baker (tucsonguy) on June 22, 2019

Thanks. One of the key problem areas is the Nikon wifi not being connected to the internet... My phone would immediately see that as a problem and switch to any other network available. That's a problem. And having to delete ALL other networks and pairings is not merely hard... May be simply impossible for many... Example... Pairing to me Honda CRV is very difficult, so dumping that pairing is a terrifying thought... I might never get it back again! Nikon should work on this issue pronto!

G