Tethered shooting to Android tablet

Started Mar 6, 2012 | Discussions
Dennis Phillips
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Tethered shooting to Android tablet
Mar 6, 2012

dslrsoftware.com sells an android app that allows an A900, A850, A700 to tether directly to a tablet. I bought the app yesterday ($30) and installed it on a Sony Tablet S. It works.

A few observations.

1. Purchase and Installation: it's not sold through the Android Market, so it'll take a few hours for the company to e-mail you the software. The software then has to be unzipped and transferred to the tablet (via SD card is easiest). Installation requires a more steps than a simple Android Market app would, but it's still easy.

2. You'll need some hardware to make the connections. In the case of the Sony Tablet S, one needs the USB adapter cable ($14).

3. Speed: takes about 10 seconds to show a RAW capture.

4. Functions:

  • From the tablet you can trigger the camera shutter, change aperture, exposure, ISO, exposure compensation and flash compensation.

  • Shows the same info as the back of the camera, including battery life, drive mode, metering, etc.

  • The captured image can be shown full screen or 100%. With the touch screen, you can push and pull the image around more easily than on a full sized computer.

5. Storage: Common to all tethering software, the pictures are not saved on the camera's storage card, but rather on the computing device itself. At 35 megabytes per RAW shot, I can store over 600 RAW files on a 64 gig tablet.

6. Minor nuisances: keeps giving an error message on startup regarding HWMonitorService being stopped unexpectedly. Doesn't seem to impede the running of the app, nor any of the tablet's other processes after the app is shut down.

So far I think it's good value for $30.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850
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RichV
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Re: Tethered shooting to Android tablet
In reply to Dennis Phillips, Mar 6, 2012

That's good news. FYI, I can tether my 5D.2 and also save images to the card (useful for my Promote Control); I hope Sony gets it together to do tethering on all SLT's and also allows writing to the card!

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Glenn
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Re: Tethered shooting to Android tablet
In reply to Dennis Phillips, Mar 6, 2012

10 seconds for a RAW to show up? is this even worth doing ? what advantages are there to using a tablet for this over say a laptop or desktop?
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Archer66
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Re: Tethered shooting to Android tablet
In reply to RichV, Mar 6, 2012

RichV wrote:

I hope Sony gets it together to do tethering on all SLT's and also allows writing to the card!

IIRC Nikon does not save images to memorycard either when tethering.

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Dennis Phillips
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advantages
In reply to Glenn, Mar 6, 2012

Glenn wrote:

10 seconds for a RAW to show up? is this even worth doing ? what advantages are there to using a tablet for this over say a laptop or desktop?
--

For me the tablet tethering advantage is portability and ease of use:

  • The smaller footprint means that in the studio I can locate the tablet closer to the model, or move it around with the camera.

  • The tablet battery lasts longer, which means no charger cables lying about during the shoot.

  • The tablet starts up almost immediately, which means I'm more likely to use it.

  • The tablet's portability means I can use it in the field for such things as checking macro focus.

  • The tablet touch screen is easier to use than a mouse or touchpad.

  • The tablet is significantly lighter, which means I can pack an extra lens in aircraft carry-on.

I used to carry my laptop on vacations, but found I wasn't using Photoshop in the field (I was at the bar having a good time). All I really wanted on vacation was the equivalent of a digital picture frame as a way to bore fellow passengers with my pictures of them. The tablet lets me do that, while still letting me collect my e-mails and keep a digital diary. I'm even thinking of leaving my Blackberry behind on the next vacation. Tablet tethering gives me one more reason to leave the laptop at home.

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Glenn
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Re: advantages
In reply to Dennis Phillips, Mar 6, 2012

Dennis Phillips wrote:

  • The smaller footprint means that in the studio I can locate the tablet closer to the model, or move it around with the camera.

But it still needs to be on a table or something you can't attach it to your tripod can you ?

  • The tablet battery lasts longer, which means no charger cables lying about during the shoot.

Didn't realize that. but again tethered shooting usually implies a static set up and if I plug in there is no battery to worry about at all.

  • The tablet starts up almost immediately, which means I'm more likely to use it.

But we aren't talking about suddenly needing to get a shot.

  • The tablet's portability means I can use it in the field for such things as checking macro focus.

I suppose. I got to shoot with one of Sony's screens attached to the hot shoe. that worked pretty well for Macro. but one shot for 10 seconds would have killed the whole idea

  • The tablet touch screen is easier to use than a mouse or touchpad.

ok, I'll take your word for it.

  • The tablet is significantly lighter, which means I can pack an extra lens in aircraft carry-on.

that's true but if I'm packing for a shoot and need to go on a plane then I have everything anyway. not that I do much of that.

I used to carry my laptop on vacations, but found I wasn't using Photoshop in the field (I was at the bar having a good time). All I really wanted on vacation was the equivalent of a digital picture frame as a way to bore fellow passengers with my pictures of them. The tablet lets me do that, while still letting me collect my e-mails and keep a digital diary. I'm even thinking of leaving my Blackberry behind on the next vacation. Tablet tethering gives me one more reason to leave the laptop at home.

so when you are shooting the pyramids you have the camera tethered ? where do you have everything to do that with?

I'm trying to decide if the tablet is worth the trouble or if it's just a frivolous want, every time I look at the idea of having one there is some limitation that kills the idea. so if for example there was a way to improve the 10 seconds to upload a shot then I might consider it viable. that sure would make for a long day waiting for a shot to appear.

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DNA Software
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Re: Tethered shooting to Android tablet
In reply to RichV, May 3, 2012

RichV wrote:

That's good news. FYI, I can tether my 5D.2 and also save images to the card (useful for my Promote Control); I hope Sony gets it together to do tethering on all SLT's and also allows writing to the card!

Unfortunately Sony cannot save images to the card while shooting tethered. SLT is not an appropriate device for tethered shooting at this moment due to luck of this functionality.

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Archer66
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Re: Tethered shooting to Android tablet
In reply to DNA Software, May 3, 2012

DNA Software wrote:

RichV wrote:

That's good news. FYI, I can tether my 5D.2 and also save images to the card (useful for my Promote Control); I hope Sony gets it together to do tethering on all SLT's and also allows writing to the card!

Unfortunately Sony cannot save images to the card while shooting tethered. SLT is not an appropriate device for tethered shooting at this moment due to luck of this functionality.

Does Nikon save images to the card ?

http://www.lightroomforums.net/showthread.php?9912-Lightroom-3-Shoot-tethered-save-to-CF-card

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alphacam
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Re: Tethered shooting to Android tablet
In reply to Dennis Phillips, May 4, 2012

May i ask if this software is working with ICS (or have any issues with ICS)?
(I have a Tablet S too along with that fancy cable/adapter.)
Thanks

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John A Wake
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Re: Tethered shooting.
In reply to DNA Software, May 4, 2012

DNA Software wrote:

RichV wrote:

That's good news. FYI, I can tether my 5D.2 and also save images to the card (useful for my Promote Control); I hope Sony gets it together to do tethering on all SLT's and also allows writing to the card!

Unfortunately Sony cannot save images to the card while shooting tethered. SLT is not an appropriate device for tethered shooting at this moment due to luck of this functionality.

This is another thing that Sony didn't see from a photographers point of view. I shot last weekend tethered to my laptop, due to not being able to save to the card as well, I had to download all the images to a memory stick and then upload them to my editing computer, all needless time and costs.

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