Has anyone tried remote controllers like Camranger?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by lisa_b|4, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. A friend of mine recently purchased a Camranger and he just raves about it. Here are some of the details:
    http://camranger.com/features/
    Basically, you can control focus, aperture, focus stacking, live view, video, HDR, and much more, all wirelessly with about a 150-200' range. You can control your Nikon via an iphone, android, tablet, or computer. All in all, it really does sound pretty amazing both for in studio and out in the field. For in studio video or still shoots I'd probably use my laptop, but for macro, wildlife, etc out in the field on a tripod a small tablet would work just fine.
    Has anyone tried one of these? It almost sounds too good to be true.....
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    My first reaction is that it cannot control the most important things: composition and zooming. So under what circumstances that you need to use this device to control the other items remotely, but with a fixed camera angle and focal length? I am sure it has some applications, but it seems to be very limited.
     
  3. I had a look at one of them earlier this year at an open day event in Calumet, Glasgow; it does seem to work very well, at least from the few minutes that I had playing it with it in store. It was being used with a Canon DSLR and everything worked really easily. For some kinds of photography I think this would be an asset.
    Only thing is speaking personally, I don't do enough serious photography these days to justify carrying more around than I really need, just in case I could find a compelling use for it, as you would then have to carry something like an iPad with the Camranger and all your other camera gear too. Saying that, I think it would be very useful if you wanted to use your camera at low or awkward angles, which meant that you couldn't easily see through the viewfinder or with Live View. However, the flip down screen models like the D5300 and D750 would more than compensate for most of these awkward shooting situations. It would be nice if Nikon eventually put a D810 sensor into a D750 type body, high resolution sensor, good autofocus plus lower weight and a viewing screen that you could move around for macro shots. Maybe one day, until then I'll hang onto my D800!
     
  4. It's a big help for small birds. I use mine with a nexus 7 tablet, works great.
    00d0DX-553153584.jpg
     
  5. i bought this nikon software and a windows based tablet to mount my camera onto things and then point it at things with a lens i could not have used otherwise, e.g. lose the 200-400 use a 14-24, and then calmly sit somewhere and drink beer and click on the tablet. awersome.
    other dangerous animals..no problem..
    always wanted to know what a train looks like from underneath..no problemo.
    mount it on your car and do the best long exposures youve ever made with a car..
    no problemo

    totally awesome tool that has way to many applications .
    i would only compare prices and then choose what system you wanna go with.
     
  6. I use the camranger on fashion/model and architecture shoots all the time. For model shooting, it allows me to show the client/art director exactly what I'm shooting so she can see if things are progressing toward their vision. I don't have to offer them to look at the back of my camera - dorky & awkward. Instead, they get a full screen view (I use my laptop) so they can zoom in 1:1 and see if everything is sharp, the composition is correct, models facial expression, etc.
    For architecture, I can leave the camera in one place and make lighting adjustments and test them out on the spot. I don't have to walk back and forth across a big room/down/up stairs to see how my lighting is progressing. It saves me countless hours and lets me crank out my shots.
    If my D800 had built in WiFi and an iphone app that offered me all the controls, then I wouldn't have to use it. Every so often the USB3 on my D800 gets a little loose or something and the link drops but it comes back.
    I know other shooters who do awesome selfies fly fishing in morning shots with it. The only thing you can't do is focus point select & there are ways around that. Zoom control - of course not. There's no power zoom on any nikon DSLR.
    Please, don't buy it or you'll be more competitive. Haha.
     
  7. Strange pricing structure. $300+ for a wireless-to-USB relay box is a bit expensive, yet their motorised pan/tilt head is only $230?
     
  8. Can be used to enhance landscape shots with yourself in the picture.
    I used the Camcorder for the following image. The camera was on a tripod along the lake shore. I prefocused to where I was planning to ride the canoe. Unfortunately it was my first time using the Camcorder and only knew to shoot one image at a time so I had to stop paddling in order to press the shutter button on the iPad. Next time I will set it to automatically take a shot every 5 seconds after pressing the button.
    I think these remote units offer many possibilities. I am planning to get their remote controlled head to shoot small birds. Should be fun.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Here's a video from B&H that highlights the many features of this device:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/oFttGCkhrPI

    Most of my video work is for documentary films, and a lot of that is interviews. The ability to remotely view the interview on my laptop or tablet and make changes to focus, ISO, white balance, etc instead of having to do all of this on the camera's small LCD screen is HUGE. I think this would also be fantastic for macro work. It even adds many features that your camera may not have such as focus peaking, and a higher number of shots for HDR and focus stacking.

    When I first heard that the D750 had built in wi-fi, I was very excited about the potential ability to control and monitor the camera remotely like the Camranger does, but I have been unable to find any stand alone apps that offer anywhere near the features that Camranger does.
     
  10. I agree Lisa B. The Nikon Wireless Mobility Utility app is good but offers nowhere near the depth of features and
    controls that the CamRanger does.
     
  11. I can think of several uses for this kind of set up, Not something I would be need, but I can see large scale architecture, or anything where you need to set up multiple cameras to capture a scene, including cameras higher up etc. It would be a great boon to coordinate that remotely. You don't need to not compose, but other types of captures and even forensics don't require the same mind set. For instance, some very well known sports photographers have put cameras in an arena high up and need to control those remotely. This sounds like a huge advance from what has been used in the past.
     
  12. Don, that is a remarkable picture, very nicely done. What focal length is that taken with? I'm guessing shorter than a portrait focal length. The shutter must have frightened the bird (barn swallow?) away.
     
  13. Does it still have a lag time between clicking the shutter and capture? Also, does it work on android now? When I bought one (must be more than a year ago), it did not work on my Samsung tablet.
     
  14. Dan, the bluebird was taken with a Nikkor 300mm F4. Mary, this was with an android (Nexus 7) tablet, I"ve not noticed a shutter lag. Sometimes they get real close like in this photo (different equipment).
    00d0NM-553182284.jpg
     
  15. Don, good to know. Thanks.
     
  16. ControlMyNikon is similar as far as control features but it's not wireless. A lot cheaper at $30.
     
  17. ControlMyNikon​
    Hmmm... interesting, and worth looking into. I like simple setups, with as little stuff hanging around as possible. Thanks Eric.
     
  18. Regarding ControlmyNikon, it's my understanding that it only works with Windows/PC computers, not Macs, iPads, or Android devices. If anyone knows of a Mac version, please let me know!
     
  19. In looking into this a bit more, it seems like you can save some money by buying a stand alone battery powered wireless LAN (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-MR...&sr=8-2&keywords=battery+powered+wireless+lan) and then buy a USB to USB3 cable for about $5, and then use the tethering software of your liking. I believe the TP-link wireless LAN router listed above is the exact same one that Camranger uses. So basically $30 +/- for the tethering software (the sofortbildapp is FREE for Macs--see post above), $35 for the wireless LAN, and $5 for a USB cable to fit your camera, and you're good to go.

    I have all of these items on order and will report back once I've tried it all out!
     
  20. Great! Wait to hear your report!
     
  21. i had to buy the nikon wt-4a wifi transmitter (football,icehockey).
    i do not shoot stuff like this at the time but i use it with nikon capture pro on a windows or linux based tablet with an usb wifi stick atached.
    works too.
    and if you're diving into sports or whatever, i guess it is an alternative to think about.
    really depends on what you buy it for
     
  22. Well, I got my order of the TP-Link MR3040 and I'm happy to report that it works very well! I'm using qDSLRdashboard which is a free App that works on Mac, Android, Linux, and PC platforms. Note that this app only works with Nikon and Cannon. There are several other tethering apps available, here is a good summary of what's out there: http://www.tethertools.com/plugging-in/software/ You can download the free qDSLR dashboard app here: http://dslrdashboard.info/downloads/
    Basically, you need to buy the MR3040 ($35 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-MR...qid=1419041712&sr=8-1&keywords=tp-link+mr3040) and then you'll need a USB cable ($5 or so) to go from your camera to the portable router.
    Getting it all set up is a relatively simple process, but I did run into a few snags. First, once you get the MR3040 portable router you will have to flash the firmware on the router in order to use it as a camera controller. This means hooking up the router to your computer via an ethernet cable, and following the instructions at the DSLRdashboard website. It only takes about 10 minutes to do this, and really it's pretty simple, but total newbies to computers might need some help. Be sure to download the correct firmware for the version router that you get (most likely version 2 now) ask me how I know! :) After mistakenly flasing the wrong firmware initially, I was able to get the correct firmware, and flash it to the MR3040 router with no problems. Second, while DSLRdashboard is still available through the Google Play store and online in places, you really want to be sure to get qDSLRdashboard (see link above) as this is the newest version with many improvements.
    I've only played with the setup for a few hours, but so far I'm really impressed. The wireless connection is very easy to get set up, and I had a strong signal for at least 150' and that was through an office wall. I can use the setup with my android phone, my android tablet, or my mac laptop. For about $40, this really is an amazing tool and I look forward to experimenting with it more!
     

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