New Wireless Tethering Feature Introduced by Nikon
Wi-Fi is available for Nikon’s pro digital cameras (D4 series, D3 series, D800 series, D700 series and D300 series) as photojournalists and other pros need a way to get their images from the camera to their picture editor or wire service so they can be posted online shortly after being captured.
Today’s, high quality Nikon DSLR images at world events such as presidential inaugurations and other newsworthy happenings, the Olympics and other big sporting events are posted online by news organizations mere minutes after photographers are taking photographs. Snapbridge is Nikon’s way of using Bluetooth Low Energy to establish an always-on connection between user’s camera and their phone. It’s an evolution of the idea of a Wi-Fi-connected camera, and it’s fantastic.
In fact, it’s so good that Snapbridge makes every other solution for connecting user’s phone to a camera feel archaic. It’s really that much faster and more reliable than methods used by other camera makers. It’s not flawless — the initial connection process is buggy, and if they ever lose the connection with their phone they have to deal with the headache of unpairing and repairing the two devices. But when Snapbridge works, which is almost all of the time, it feels like the best possible way to quickly access, edit, and share photos from a full-size camera.
User’s Nikon DSLR is also compatible with over 85 current high quality NIKKOR lenses, from fisheye and ultra-wide-angle to super-telephoto zoom ranges, Micro-NIKKOR and perspective control lenses as well as teleconverters which extend the focal length range even more.
In addition to lenses, user’s DSLR is also compatible with a range of Nikon Speedlights—accessory flashes that will allow them to better illuminate their subjects, both on or off the camera. These flash units are also compatible with a range of accessories such as color correction filters and light modifiers, which will allow you to get as creative as they want in lighting theirr subjects.
Smartphones have been eating into the camera market in a huge way over the last half decade. To staunch the bleeding, camera companies started trying to build a bridge between smartphones and their products. One of the earliest manifestations of this was the Eye-Fi card, an SD card with a small wireless radio that let you transfer photos from the card to your phone.
CamRanger is a stand-alone device that connects to select Canon or Nikon DLSR cameras with a USB cable. It creates its own WiFi network that your device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or Mac or Windows computer) can then connect to. The free CamRanger app then enables control of the camera. There is no need for an existing Internet connection or other equipment.
CamRanger operates on a rechargable, replaceable battery (extra batteries available for purchase). Battery life varies upon usage but 5 to 6 hours is typical; however, in ideal scenarios over 11 hours can be achieved for intervalometer with no device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or Mac or Windows computer) connected.
- Charges with and can be powered by provided USB charging cable and US AC adapter.
- Wireless network enables connections up to 150 feet (Slow connections have been maintained at 300 feet)
- Comes with protective case for storage and secure attachment
- Includes Ethernet cable for firmware upgrades for future enhancements
- Post images to social media instantly from within the CamRanger iOS application. You can post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, an FTP server, or Dropbox from within the app.
- One can also directly print images to a compatible printer or e-mail and text message images.
- These share features are easily accessed when an image(s) is selected and by pressing “Share” at the bottom of the CamRanger application.
- Either WiFi or cellular data must be in use in order to share images during the CamRanger session.
Wi-Fi set-up for Step-by-step
Select Nikon DSLRs, Nikon 1, and COOLPIX digital cameras use the optional WU-1a wireless mobile adapter; while other models of DSLR, and Nikon 1 cameras utilize the optional WU-1b wireless mobile adapter allowing you to take photos with these high quality Nikon digital cameras, NIKKOR lenses and Speedlights, and upload them via an Android™-powered smartphone or tablet or iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® to your computer, to the web or into an email. The app. also lets you access the photos on the media card in the respective cameras using your smart device.
- Download the free “Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility” (WMU for short) app. from the App Store or Google Play™ Store. Once the app is installed, follow steps 2 – 6 every time you want to shoot with your camera and upload images using the WU-1a/WU-1b Wi-Fi adapter.
- Insert the WU-1a or WU-1b into the accessory terminal port on the camera body and turn the camera on.
- Press the button on the WU-1a/WU-1b, holding it down for about 5 seconds, until the LED on the adapter flashes.
- On your smartphone open the Wi-Fi settings and select the Nikon camera’s network from the list of networks available. It will begin with Nikon, followed by a string of letters and numbers. For Android™ smartphones, once you initially make this network connection, your device will automatically connect when you enable the camera’s Wi-Fi. For iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users, you’ll have to perform this step each time you wish to use the wireless feature of your Nikon camera with your smartphone.
- Once the connection is established, the LED on the adapter will glow green.
- Launch the WMU app. Upon selecting the Take Pictures Remotely option in the app, Live View is started automatically, allowing you to now see what the camera sees. Upon selecting View Pictures, you can view the photos stored on the camera’s memory card and choose those to download to your smartphone.
The real difference is that always on connection. Snapbridge uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect to user’s phone, which means that pairing stays put even if they turn the D500 off. It even remains if they swap out the camera’s battery! Using BLE also means that the camera won’t drain their phone’s battery, too. Better yet, it eliminates the most annoying part of using Wi-Fi on cameras, which is that they always have to reconnect their phone to the camera, either because their phone jumped to another Wi-Fi connection or because the camera powered down its Wi-Fi radio. This was always especially annoying on iPhones, where they could have to constantly go back to the settings menu to reconnect to the camera’s Wi-Fi.