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Thread: Cheapest camera to tether???

  1. #1

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    Cheapest camera to tether???

    Few of us have experience across several DSLR manufacturers, and I am no different, so i am calling upon the accumulated experience (nearly said wisdom) of the CIC people.

    I've been doing some food photography and my current camera is showing its age (or response to my abusive ways ). I do the work very cheaply for the client and now they have offered to help me with a new camera - so very nice of them.
    So, while it would be fun to get a full frame body and some top glass, there are limits to their generosity. As such, I would rather start at the bottom and work upwards.

    However, it would really help if I could shoot tethered. I often have several people around when I am taking the photograph (couple of chefs, serving staff as well as client) and having them view the image through the eyepiece (live view not working) is not really convenient.

    I'm happy to do this with any manufacturer.
    Thanks in advance.
    Graham

  2. #2
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Not really sure what you are asking Graham, but one thing might be to determine what software you will be using to shoot tethered and what cameras said software supports.

    Most anytime I shoot in the studio (and even some location shoots) I shoot tethered. I found the Canon software very troublesome and a pain in the hump! I tried several and ended up with a piece of software that really actually worked for me and was fairly inexpensive. I've used it quite a bit and have no complaints. So the expense may extend to a piece of software as well as the hardware.

  3. #3

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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Graham: I can not remember but what make are you shooting now, as some maybe tethered, using software that will work with that make of camera.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    We routinely tether a 5DIII and a 6D to Macbook Pro. Works fine, hassle free. I suspect new Canon 70D will also be fine for a bit less money than a 6D. Haev also tried controlling 6D with smartphone viewer. Also works fine, though not super quick.

  5. #5
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Any Canon DSLR can work tethered using no additional software except for that supplied with the camera at purchase. However, it would help to purchase a longer USB cable so you don't need your camera as close to the notebook (notebooks are best for this) computer.

    Here is a tutorial on shooting tethered with a DSLR Canon camera. http://www.prophotolife.com/episode-...photo-capture/

    If you have an extra tripod laying around, it is quite easy to fabricate a tray to hold the computer with ready access. See an example in the video. A flat piece of plywood that has a lip at the bottom edge and a 1/4" x 20 female screw slot towards the center will do quite well.

    I have an ancient (at least 35 years old) Birnes and Sawyer tripod which is sturdy enough to hold a Mini-Cooper (and weighs about as much as the car) that I plan to convert to support the tray for the notebook computer...

    As far as the least expensive camera for your purposes, I would suggest a Canon 5D classic. If you can afford it, then I suggest a 5DII or 5DIII each of which is incrementally better and more expensive.

    A shift-tilt lens is nice for shooting food but, you can do without one, especially if you are shooting RAW and doing your initial processing in Camera RAW, in which you can correct for some distortion.

  6. #6

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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Thanks for the quick replies.
    Allan - I shoot with Sony A77 currently and it can't be tethered unfortunately.
    Terry - As my camera can't be tethered I want one than can be tethered and am seeking the cheapest camera that can shoot tethered. The software choice will therefore depend on the new camera.
    Richard - tilt-shift, one desirable piece of equipment, definitely out of my reach however .

    The client has offered to get a new camera for me cos we have a good relationship and I've done a lot of cheap work for them, (which they want to continue). So I don't want to take excessive advantage of the offer. Hence the focus on CHEAP.
    Canon 6D around $1900, 7D and 70D around $1300,
    Cheapest Canon from henrys (my former camera store) is around $450.
    If it shoots tethered, I could use it, if Nikon does a cheap one that shoots tethered, also interested (although I believe the software is not cheap).


    Thanks.
    Graham

    And a recent shot just to show how easy they are satisfied.
    Tiramisu.
    Cheapest camera to tether???

  7. #7
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Graham,

    Just for info, I use Nikon (D300) with a package called 'ControlMyNikon' that is only USD$29.0 now although way less when I got it.

    If you look at their site it lists the cameras it is compatible with. This is a way cheaper option than the Nikon package and rated very highly.

  8. #8
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Just about the only thing I use Lightroom for is to shoot tethered. I did not bother getting the Nikon "official" software because I already have something that works. I just connect the camera to my laptop with the USB cable and shoot away.

  9. #9
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    This program is free (still) and works with all models of Nikons - including the low end D60, etc. It runs only on Windows so will be a problem for Mac users but I run it in my Macbook Pro with Windows 7 running under VMware. (Work just as well under BootCamp or Parallel.)

    The program is very full featured and I highly recommend it.

    http://digicamcontrol.com/

  10. #10
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    If you just want to give your clients a preview of the captured images on a larger screen, DSLR Controller may be the way to go. I'm still experimenting with it, but it's an $8 Andoid/iPhone app which lets you alter most DSLR settings while tethered to a mobile device. I'm in the process of rooting my Nook Color to CyanogenMod so I can use it as a portable, 7in preview screen for focus checks with video and manually-focused remotes. However, this does lack some advantages of tethering to a computer . Files are not immediately backed up, for instance (there may be a feature for that, but I haven't found it yet).

    As far as a camera sufficient for the job, a used 5D mk1 would be an excellent place to start. A 70D would be fine, too. So would a T3i. Fortunately, you have an extremely still subject, so the camera doesn't need crazy high-ISO performance, a high burst rate, dual cards, or excellent build quality. Almost any Canon will do the job. Probably most Nikons, too, but I don't know their features terribly well. Just see what's a good deal on the local used market.

  11. #11

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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Thanks Lex,
    I'm tending towards the Canon T3 as the cheapest starting point and see if I can gently persuade them to help with a more functioned camera. I've used the 7D before and quite like the feel. Never used the Nikon however, so even more uninformed there.
    On the island there is only one camera store and the only DSLR they stock is Nikon. Have to get the Canon from Amazon. Ah well.
    Graham

  12. #12

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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Like other times, I'll throw a spanner into the works here. DSLR is NOT the way to go for tethered shooting. In essence, the main feature of the DSLR, its optical viewfinder, is actually not used at all when tethering.

    What to look for is a standard interface for getting the image out of the camera in a reasonable way, and there are mainly two options, USB or WiFi. The latter is better, and it is presently offered by Samsung NX cameras. I don't know if there are any others, but this is one of my pet peeves with modern cameras. So much possibilities in the digital age, and they don't even do the most obvious.

    So with some of the Samsung NX cameras, you may use a tablet or phone for viewing, and it needs not even be physically connected with a cord.

    The Canon software is rather a nightmare. I tried it and dumped it. The image you get out of their USB connection is good for nothing, and you don't have full control of the camera. Maybe I am slightly unfair - I tried the software that came with my G7, and it's a thumbs down. No way to set focus, low resolution tiny embedded image with slow update, good for nothing.

    Mirror-free also offers the advantage of shooting tilt with an adapter and legacy glass, which may be an asset for your type of work. It is way cheaper than TS lenses offered by main manufacturers.
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 8th September 2013 at 05:32 AM.

  13. #13

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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Thanks for the spanner Urban.
    I'll look into the Samsung.
    My ideal system would be hooking the camera into a larger monitor rather than tethered to a computer. I know that can be done with a TV screen, however carrying around the screen is a PITN when I already have the laptop.
    Computer illiterate I am. Anyone know of a way to make the computer into a TV so I can easily (please - emphasis on easy here ) hook the camera into it and have the larger live view?
    I know there are advantages to tethered, but AFAIK tethered will only show the captured image not live view. If I am wrong, I would be happy to be so.
    Thanks.
    Graham

  14. #14

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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    On the other hand, I use Canon's Utility Software, which is included with the camera, to shoot tethered and found it to be quite useful, plus it gives you total camera control from the keyboard.

  15. #15
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamH View Post
    Anyone know of a way to make the computer into a TV so I can easily (please - emphasis on easy here ) hook the camera into it and have the larger live view?
    I think the problem with this, at least with my Mac laptops I've had, is that the screen can be used as output only. I may be wrong since I don't have much experience with other laptops so hopefully someone will correct me if I am.

    Like Urban I'm also surprised that it's taking this long for current cameras to incorporate wi-fi live view connectivity with smart devices. I think most of the current generation of mirrorless cameras are finally offering this option but it's taken longer than I would have expected. Besides the Samsung NX cameras I know some of Sony's NEX cameras offer this and Sony is allowing users to design apps for it so that could be interesting. DPreview.com wrote about this recently here:
    http://connect.dpreview.com/post/630...title_0_9?news

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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Wifi is often quite a drain on the battery, and there might be patent (i.e. cost...) problems as well.

  17. #17
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Cheapest camera to tether???

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkanyezi View Post
    The Canon software is rather a nightmare. I tried it and dumped it. The image you get out of their USB connection is good for nothing, and you don't have full control of the camera. Maybe I am slightly unfair - I tried the software that came with my G7, and it's a thumbs down. No way to set focus, low resolution tiny embedded image with slow update, good for nothing.
    The software's free. Maybe you get what you pay for.

    I do agree that broader Wi-Fi capability would be nice. Mainly because I have visions of zipping my photos through the ether to a safe backup on my laptop's RAID 1 array seconds after I shoot. Coupled with dual card slots, that'd make one heck of a robust, if slightly paranoid, backup solution.

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