Technology Update: Remote Camera Control.

OK, I said I would try to get back to a daily update to the Blog. I like the idea of being able to control my camera remotely. Over the years I invested in the Nikon WT-3 (for the Nikon D200 camera), the WT-4 (for the Nikon D3, D3s, D3x, D700, D800, and D4 cameras), and the WT-5 (for the Nikon D4 camera). With the early models, Wi-Fi configuration was difficult at best. The current version of the Nikon Wireless Configuration Utility has really improved — setting up a WT-4 or WT-5 to communicate via Wi-Fi to a Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer is now very simple (and works!!!). You need the Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 software (extra cost) to then remotely control the camera.

I’ve read several favorable comments recently about the CamRanger, and its ability to remotely control several Nikon (and Cannon) DSLR cameras. CamRanger is a modified TP-Link USB Wi-Fi transmitter. It connects to the USB 2 (or 3) port on the camera and communicates to an i-Phone, i-Pad, or Android device via Wi-Fi. CamRanger provides software to control the camera. In addition to normal control (settings, focus, etc.) the software would do HDR, time-lapsed, and focus stacking. Well, I don’t own an i-Phone, i-Pad, or Android device – but did get interested when CamRanger released a beta version of software to control the camera from a Windows 7 or 8 computer. I ordered one and it arrived 2 days later. Downloaded the beta software, and just started playing with it. The software is beta. I was able connect to a D3s and D800 camera, set various settings, use real-time live view, select the focus point, focus, and take images which were then sent to my Windows 8 Surface computer (images also still stored in the cameras CF or SD memory card). The HDR, time-lapsed, and focus stacking modes don’t work yet. I’m eager to see the full (release) version of the software with all of the capabilities enabled.

For a lark, I connected the CamRanger to my Nikon 1 V2 camera (which is not listed as being supported by CamRanger). The camera was recognized (but I got a warning message the camera was not supported, and CamRanger would not be liable for damage). The beta software on my computer was able to read the camera settings, make some setting changes, but live view didn’t work. When I tried to take a picture, I heard the shutter – but the program (and camera froze) when sending the image from the camera to the computer. I needed to remove the battery from the camera to get it to work again. I really do hope that CamRanger adds this camera in the future – especially for the HDR and time-lapsed capabilities (missing from the Nikon 1 V2 camera).

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

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