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Unfettered shooting: The newest dimension in camera freedom

Jan Stimel (photocyan) on February 6, 2014

Keywords: wireless, apps, settings


When we first discovered digital photography, it was an amazing feeling. Suddenly our pictures were freed from mechanical boundaries such as one film roll with more or less the same ISO, and a certain limited number of picturesyes indeed.

The fear of under and over exposures, poor focus or white balance issues captured “blind”  faded, as we were suddenly able to see the exposed picture immediately after the shot and then change the settings on the spot. And let us forget to mention the ability to delete to delete a picture or even apply some post-processing before we ever take our memory cards out of the camera.

It was a small miracle and great times discovering the new possibilities of that novel digital space. In today’s world, a similar revolution took place on a smaller scale. It was not as highly praised as the digital revolution, but it has given us a new way to take pictures by liberating the photographer from the camera. Just as the rear display freed the eye from the viewfinder and the digital image surpassed the abilities of the analog (film), this small revolution represents a new era of freedom for all photographers. I speak here about the ability to take pictures and configure your camera settings with a remote, portable device. This is true unfettered (unchained or shackled) shooting.



Let’s have a look at some of the devices which are used today and and how to connect them to your camera. After that, I will introduce a personal favorite application, for remote control photography and conclude with some practical tips.


Common portable devices

Nearly everyone has a smartphone or a tablet today, may be it an iPad from Apple, a Windows tablet from Microsoft or one of the devices with an Android system, such as Sony, Samsung, Acer, Toshiba and many, many more. They differ in size, color and technical specifications such as processor performance and speed, memory amount, disk space available, display resolution and quality. You can find them available for anything between 100 EUR (USD) and up to above 1000 EUR (USD) any budget level, coming with a plastic or an aluminum alloy housing or even decorated in platinum with Swarovski Crystal glass  is possible(just to name a few possibilities).

The good news is, for nearly every tablet and smartphone, there is an application which enables unfettered shooting. The bad news is, unfortunately every system, such Apple's iOS, Android or Windows, has its own application for managing this, sometimes even more than one.  This may be confusing for a new user.

The applications for tablets (apps) have more or less the same functionality, but their appearance may differ in some ways. For example, the app DSLR Dashboard offers a function to enhance the focused object whereas the app DSLR Controller is able to zoom into the image in a live view and both are able to focus a live view precisely, but in different ways.

Let me first show you how to connect the camera and then we'll take a closer look at the different apps’ appearance and handling.



Nikon D3200 with LiveView turned on

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