Tethering your camera

As I have mentioned before, tethering your camera to the computer is a very simple solution. You get the pictures onto the computer immediately for review and post-production.

It is especially simple in Adobe Lightroom:

It does, however, have some watch-its.

For one, it is not always stable. Even with the latest version of Lightroom, that fixes bugs that “only happen to Canon cameras tethered to a Mac” (yeah – only the most popular combination!), there’s still plenty to worry about. Disconnect the camera momentarily and things grind to a halt. Change the memory card: ditto. In real-life use like the Santa shoot, several times a day I have to reset camera, restart tethering; even restart Lightroom or worse, reboot the Mac.

Also, you can be lulled into a false sense of security.  The pics are on the computer now, so all i swell, right? Yes, but backups… what if your computer fails?

So my tips for real life tethering:

  • Find a long USB cable
  • Secure it well
  • Use large memory cards
  • Do not delete them – keep them until your computer is backed up
  • Take your time, allow for restarts
  • Update Lightroom to the very latest version
  • Avoid doing anything else with the camera while shooting tethered.
  • Unselect “Auto Advance Selection” if you are working while shooting.
  • Apply your favourite develop settings as at of the tethered setup.

Do all that and you can have a good workflow!

Back to Santa shooting.


4 thoughts on “Tethering your camera

  1. For the Canon users: Take the Canon EOS Utility, its much much better software for tethering.
    very quick launch, even after deconnect, sleep etc.
    much better to use, especially together with Photomechanics.
    I’m using that combo for many years and when I see the problems with Lightroom tethering, I say: don’t touch the LR tethering.
    [ps I work with LR since the launch for my workflow]

    • It works well, agreed, but it’s not very good for live workflow where you need Lightroom functionality as part of that workflow. And even the Canon apps are not resistant to things like the battery running out etc. Restarting apps when there is a line-up is not fun…

      • Michael, I do not agree.
        I work often a full day in studio with the X on a macbook pro with the EOS Utility and it works without any problem.
        even in a break, the gear goes in sleep and after that, all awakes and is ready to go to work.
        Personally I tried several times LR for tethering, but for me the Utility works much better.

        grtzz and mary christmas

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