Tethering the new iPad to Nikon DSLRs

Started Mar 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
Michael Firstlight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,635
How to: Wireless or wired transfer and remote control with a tablet

But you can't do what you want with an iPad or an Android-based tablet. However, I do all of the things you listed and more - either fully wireless or teatherd with Wireless USB dongles along with a Windows tablet.

I am using an Asus EP-121 tablet running Win 7 and a wireless USB 2.0 transmitter/receiver pair to connect my DSLR to my ASUS EP-121 tablet or any other Windows-based computer. Note that when people refer to wireless they could be talking about an 801.11g or 802.11n that talks to a wireless router or, a direct wireless USB 2.0 transmitter/receiver pair that does not require a n 802.11 wireless router/network at all. I am referring to the later.

The Wireless USB 2.0 solution is really fast, reliable, and inexpensive. It works anywhere because it DOESN'T require a router or a wireless network - it is a direct high-speed 480Mbps connection from any USB equipped DSLR to a Windows tablet that has a USB port. It works by inserting a Wireless USB transmitter stick plugged into your camera (and the camera set to PTP in the USB menu, not set to mass storage) and a Wireless USB receiver stick plugged into the tablet or other computer's USB port. The receiver's WUSB stick gets its power from the computer. However, the WUSB transmitter needs DC power. The pair I user costs about $50 but the transmitter out of the box has to be plugged in to an AC transformer which supplies 5v DC t to the stick - not very practical for being total mobile and wireless. That is easily converted to use a 5v battery which then makes it completely mobile and doesn't have to be teathered to a wall power supply.

Here is the setup I made for my D300 - it was exceptionally easy to do - no electrical work needed. The DC power for the transmitter comes from a cell phone battery supply whose Motorolla connector fits the USB transmitter perfectly and supplies 5v DC.


On my tablet the images can go directly to disk with no additional software (just the USB driver you install will make that much work), but I installed Nikon Camera Control 2 which is much better and provides automatic viewing of the last image shot and also can be used to fully control the camera remotely (and it also supports live view).

The EyeFi is cute, but it relies on a network and is very slow by comparison even in Ad Hoc mode and even worse if you have to use a CF to SD adapter. Some DSLR bodies just don't work well with it and the requirement to involve an 802.11 network at all makes it problematic and quirky. The Nikon wireless transmitters cost about $800, is also significantly slower for image transfer than the WUSB 2.0 solution, but can provide longer distances anywhere a wireless signal from a router signal can be found. The WUSB 2.0 solution though doesn't have to find a network over which to connect and if your tablet is anywhere within at least 40 feet from you you'll enjoy very high speed image transfer of about 1-2 seconds per full size 12MP image.

More How-to detail:

I use the Cables Unlimited wireless USB 2.0 transmitter/receiver pair ($39):


and the Energizer Cel2Mot Energy To Go Power Pack for Motorola Phones ($15.50) to power the transmitter at the camera in place of the AC/DC power converter (only this one has the right size adapter end to fit the USB stick base):


For tidiness I bought a broken Sunpak handle mount flash and bracket (5xx model with the battery compartment in the base of the handle) off eBay, sawed off the flash head and corked it, then packed the transmitter base and stick into the flash handle base. I connect it to the camera with a short flat USB-A to USB mini cable ($20-$30). Set the Camera's USB mode to point to point, not mass storage, fire up Nikon Camera Control 2 ($extra) and it magically connects wirelessly and works and works and works...

Total cost $70-$80 with very little effort (excluding Nikon Camera Control 2).

Here is one of my old treads on the subject:


Several of us have been doing this being so disappointed with all of the other options - or lack thereof.

Here is the original and similar threads:


(I chose not to go this far and didn't disassemble my base to get rid of it - I just buried the base into the base of the Sunpak handle mount (hollow) flash and it doubles as very sturdy handle grip for my camera.)

I tried to convince Nikon to make this a low cost built-in wireless offering but so far it seems they went with only the expensive WT-5 which requires a relatively slow 802.11N network connect (which never comes even close to N-300 speed) where this solution requires no network at all.


 Michael Firstlight's gear list:Michael Firstlight's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon Z9 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +30 more
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