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.
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. (Note: the 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.
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…
And oh yes, Thank you Nikon.
Editor's note: We have written up some basic information Snapbridge as well.
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