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Home> Professional Dye Sublimation> Digital Camera Tethering Overview

Digital Camera Tethering Overview
A brief overview on how Tethering works.

Nikon Wireless: Nikon DSLR Camera Wireless Overview , Nikon Camera Control Pro , Nikon Camera Rental
Canon Wireless Canon DSLR Camera Wireless Overview

See also:

Tethered Camera Solutions

Tethering Overview
Tethered digital camera operation is where the camera is permanently attached to a computer by a cable and so is usually restricted to lab or studio work.

Tethered shooting setups vary a bit depending on what equipment is being used, but the general idea is the same. When the camera is driven from the computer, the view-finder is a window on the computer screen, which gives a larger and clearer view finder than the camera's LED screen.

As you take pictures they are downloaded to the capture application programme via Ethernet, USB 2.0 or FireWire ports on the computer. It takes a few seconds per image and the images can then be saved to hard disk in a variety of formats.

The capture of images can be initiated from the camera, but its shutter button, which is controlled in conjunction with a status signal from the computer, is used only to initiate the capture of still images.

Why tether your DSLR camera?
For the professional shooter there are many advantages when working tethered:

  • Better preview capabilities

  • More disk space (no need to rely on memory card availability)

  • Easy file management

  • Ability for clients and creative directors to “observe” the images directly as they are shot

  • Usually you can connect a camera to a computer using the appropriate cable for Ethernet, USB 2.0 or FireWire ports.


  • Having to place one device within tethered range of another.


Procedure Overview:
Referring to manufacturer's manual for installation and operation:

  1. Create an import/watched folder on the computer hard disk

  2. Connect the camera to the computer.

  3. Turn on camera power supply.

  4. Open a "tethered camera" application programme on the computer.

  5. Select capture parameters from programme menu(s) & point to folder just created.

You are now ready to take pictures...


What About Wireless?
The introduction of wireless systems that provide the same facilities as tethered operation, has not resulted in tethering being totally superseded. Despite the freedom and mobility offered by wireless operation, tethering remains an option for professionals in the studio or lab because of its lower cost. It also is the only option for cameras, which cannot be adapted for wireless use.

Both Nikon and Canon provide solutions for tethered operation. Nikon uses its own Camera Control Pro, while Canon uses its File Transmission Utility.


No known issues exist with the Nikon solution, but we have been made aware of a problem with the Canon solution that Canon are currently dealing with. It appears to be a frequently experienced problem though no resolution exists at the moment.
Please call us on 01329 835500 should you require further details or updates.


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