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Cameras get 'smart' to stay competitive

58

The rising popularity of smartphones has come at the expense of conventional compact digital cameras. The always-with-you convenience, along with the ability to process images immediately on the device, to modify it with software updates and additional third-party apps and to upload to the web from almost anywhere is a combination that's very hard for digicams to compete with. Simply offering slightly better image quality and the flexibility of zoom lenses isn't enough to overcome this convenience and connectivity.

However, camera makers have started to respond to this pressure by offering cameras that offer greater levels of connectivity, to try to wrestle back some of the convenience of a smartphone, while retaining their own inherent advantages. The latest appraoch, being embraced by most of the big camera makers, is to build cameras that co-operate with smartphones, rather than trying to compete with them. As a result, there's been a flood of cameras that will connect by Wi-Fi to smartphones, in order to piggy-back their inherent connectivity advantages. And this isn't just being seen in compact cameras - several of the latest mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, which offer the large-sensor image quality of DSLRs, now come with Wi-Fi capability.

So, if you want better image quality with smartphone flexibility, what are your options, what do they offer and how easy are they to use?


Cameras with Wi-Fi

Most Wi-Fi cameras make image transfer an option from the playback menu. The differences between them usually come down to how simple it is to get the devices to communicate. Fujifilm's F800 EXR was the easiest we tried.

Most of the models on the market are conventional compact cameras with some attempt made to add Wi-Fi capability to them. Beyond this, Samsung, keen to capitalize on its mobile phone and networking technologies, has included Wi-Fi in a wide range of its cameras, including all three current models in its NX line of interchangeable lens cameras, which it is branding as 'Smart Cameras.'

And the continued spread of Wi-Fi capability is no better exemplified than its appearance in Canon's EOS 6D. This $2,100 photography-enthusiast-targetted full frame DSLR couldn't be further from the tokenistic, middle-of-the-road compacts with Wi-Fi network connectivity that have lingered on the peripheries of the big electronic maker's camera lineups for many years.

The big change is the move to the use of smartphones as connection points (which are then designed to deal with the downstream details such as how to connect to the Internet), rather than trying to add the complexity of establishing Internet connectivity into a camera interface. And what's enabled this is not just the smartphones themselves but their app-based expandability. This allows the cameras to connect to a broad range of existing phones without the camera maker having to agree compatibility with phone makers, who are usually working to very different product schedules. All of the devices we've seen launched in the past year are compatible with Android and iOS, either from launch or shortly afterwards. Venture beyond these operating systems and support becomes essentially non-existent, so when we discuss smartphones, we're talking about phones based on these two platforms.

In each case the basic idea is fairly straightforward - the first time you try to connect your camera to your smartphone, you'll have to go through some sort of 'pairing' process, to give the devices permission to communicate with one another. To a large degree, the difference in how simple this process is depends on how well designed the app is. At its most basic, this involves engaging the Wi-Fi mode on the camera, pointing the phone to connect to the camera's Wi-Fi, loading the appropriate app and then confirming the connection on the camera. Canon's CW app makes the process a fraction slower by demanding you copy a five-digit network password from the camera's screen when you make the Wi-Fi connection.

What are they like to use?

The real differences come when you go to connect your camera for the second time. The best example of how this process should work is the Fujifilm Camera App. Set the camera to Wi-Fi mode and then start the app on your phone and it'll offer you a 'Connect' button. The camera will try to reconnect to the last device you uploaded to — if it finds it, press 'OK' to confirm the connection. Alternatively, if you're trying to connect with a different phone, press 'OK' and the camera will ask you to confirm the connection to the new device. It's extremely simple. And, if your phone is connected to a different Wi-Fi network (if you're at home or at a coffee shop where your phone has automatically reconnected to a known Wi-Fi connection), the app will open up your phone's Wi-Fi settings page, to make it easy to connect back to the camera.

 All the apps integrated well with the phones in terms of making the images easily available to other apps or for uploading to social network sites, but few made it particularly simple to re-connect to the camera.

The Samsung system also does this well (on Android at least), bypassing the step of needing to switch Wi-Fi connections entirely. It's less slick on iOS though — the Samsung apps will not load until you've gone off and manually re-connected the phone's Wi-Fi to the camera, instead giving a lengthy instruction to do so.

Despite the camera always using the same network name, we couldn't get an iOS device to automatically reconnect to the camera, so whatever you're doing, your first step always has to be to go into your phone's Wi-Fi settings. The Samsung makes the process more efficient by automatically trusting the last phone you sent images to - you only have to confirm the connection if you're trying to send to a different device to the one you usually use.

Canon's CW (Camera Window) app is the most laborious. Unlike the Samsung iOS app, it will load if you haven't connected to the camera, but gives you no route through to your phone's Wi-Fi settings. Worse still the network connections it makes with iOS phones are not set to automatically connect (you have to think to go in tell the phone to auto-connect). Otherwise you always have to manually re-connect the Wi-Fi on the phone. Furthermore, there's an extra step on the camera - every time you want to make a connection, you have to choose from a list of devices that you want to connect to, rather than the Fujifilm's much more laize fair approach. At present it's not possible to create an ad-hoc connection directly between an Android phone and the Canon cameras, so you can only connect if you have a Wi-Fi network to attach to. Some Android phones can themselves act as Wi-Fi hotspots, allowing a connection to the camera when you don't have any other Wi-Fi access, but many networks charge heavily for the use of this feature, so it's far from ideal. We hope Canon has worked these issues out for its more recent cameras, as this was the least satisfying of the cameras to use.

The push-on Wi-Fi units for the D3200 and D600 DSLRs offer a similar set of capabilities to the Samsungs, offering a live preview from the camera and the option to fire the shutter remotely. Unlike the Samsungs, all these features are offered from a single app. Sadly there's no control over any of the exposure settings - something promised on the forthcoming Canon EOS 6D. Worse still, on both Android and iOS the camera regularly dropped the connection to the phone (we weren't ever able to download a file taken using the remote view on the iOS app), and the only download options are for the full file or the 640x480 JPEG preview (Android version only).

Table of transfer options

 Fujifilm F880  Samsung EXF2  Canon IXUS 510 HSNikon D3200 
Peer-to-peer connection? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Connect to Wi-Fi network? No Yes Yes No
Android / iOS Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Upload rescaled image? Full or 2048px Full only Full, 1600px or 640px Full or 640px
Upload to social networks? From app Direct upload across Wi-Fi From app (with resize option) From Android app
Pull Geo-tag info from smartphone? Yes No No No
Live preview? No Yes (separate app) No Yes
Exposure control No No No No

Memory card Wi-Fi

  • Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB
  • Toshiba FlashAir 8GB

The alternative to buying a dedicated Wi-Fi camera is to fit a Wi-Fi-capable SD card to your existing camera. There are two main options - the originator, EyE-Fi, which offers a range of cards with different speeds, capabilities and capacities, or Toshiba's Flash Air card, which is becoming increasingly widely available (but hasn't reached North America at the time of writing). The two cards have rather different approaches, so which you prefer is likely to come down to what you're looking to achieve.

 An Eye-Fi card provides an option for providing Wi-Fi connectivity with your existing camera.

The Eye-Fi card can be used in a number of ways, including automatically downloading all its contents to your home computer or up to Eye-Fi's cloud storage service. There are also options to share uploaded images with several popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. The function we're most interested in, though, is the ability to share images directly to an iOS or Android device. The process is fairly straightforward (though involves a small amount of card configuration on your home computer at the beginning). Once the card has been set to 'Direct' mode, it will broadcast a Wi-Fi identity, which you can then connect to, using an iOS or Android app. Once you've connected, you have three choices: upload all images to the phone, upload all to the phone and send selected images on to a social networking site or only upload selected images.

Using a clever hack, the card recognizes images that are marked as 'protected' within the camera as being selected — meaning you don't need a camera with any understanding of Eye-Fi for it to work. Once uploaded to the phone, the Eye-Fi software remembers having uploaded each file, so you can't easily get it to upload a second time. The other thing worth being aware of is that the card will only enter direct mode and communicate with a camera if you're away from any Wi-Fi networks that it's familiar with, but it doesn't do a great job of warning you this is why it's suddenly stopped working. Generally, though, the process is pretty slick - with the Android app you don't even need to redirect the phone to the Eye-Fi's Wi-Fi signal - it will make the connection, upload and disconnect without any further intervention. The iOS app isn't quite so clever and still requires you to manually select the card's Wi-Fi if you're connected to something else, but it's still one of the smoothest connection implementations we've seen.

There's no option to downsize the images before upload but you can specify different actions for JPEG, Raw and movie files. This means photographers happy working with their Raw files can set their camera to produce a small JPEG for transfer, then keep the full Raw file on the card until they get home, with the option to make it download to your home computer when you're back within range of your own Wi-Fi network.

Toshiba's FlashAir SD card offers a very different approach to the existing Eye-Fi system

The alternative option is the more recent FlashAir technology, developed by Toshiba. These cards broadcast a Wi-Fi signal and have an HTML server that you can connect a phone to, and then access the card's contents via a web page on the phone's browser. There's also an Android app (not yet available for U.S. customers) that also makes it easy to browse and download images and subsequently push the image up to the site or app of your choice. An iOS app is in development. The device seems to be clever enough to let you browse the card's contents using small preview images, so you don't have to wait for the full size image to download to your phone before being able to view it. However, unlike the dedicated Wi-Fi cameras, there's no way of downloading anything but the full-sized image across to the phone.


Android cameras

The recent Photokina trade show saw the launch of two cameras based around the Android operating system. The first, Nikon's Coolpix S800c, is a smartphone-like device that connects to its own dedicated app. This app isn't yet available but we're hoping that the camera's connectivity-minded operating system and its touchscreen interface make it easier to connect than the other cameras we've seen.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera has its own cellular data connection as well as Wi-Fi. Its more sophisticated camera allows more photographic control than a smartphone.

The real breakthrough device, though, is one that has not only its own Wi-Fi connection but also its own cellular data link, making it possible to do-away with the smartphone altogether (and blurring the line between cameras and cameraphones to the point that it's nearly imperceptible). Such devices are too new to have a well-accepted category name but 'smartcamera' seems the most likely to take off. Ironically, given it is calling all its Wi-Fi cameras 'Smart Cameras,' the first true smartcamera comes from Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is essentially one of the company's superzoom compact cameras melded with one of its smartphones. This means it offers a slightly larger sensor than most smartphones but, more importantly, it has a 21x optical zoom - helping mark it out as a more serious camera than you'd usually expect from a smartphone.

Unlike every other option mentioned in this article, there's no need to download apps or negotiate a connection to another device. Uploading images is as simple as doing so from your smartphone because, calling capability aside, the Galaxy Camera is a Samsung Galaxy S III: its latest Android-powered smartphone. And, while the Samsung WB850 on which the camera is based wasn't a stand-out camera in its own right, it should comfortably outclass most phone cameras and, in terms of simplicity, outpace conventional connected cameras. And that means there's a lot of catching-up for the rest of the industry to do.

Comments

Total comments: 58
ezradja
By ezradja (Oct 15, 2012)

DSLRs or MILCs with android, anyone? That would be awesome!

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 15, 2012)

Questions not mentioned in the Article, please help:
3) Method of copying the files?
There seems to be some confusion about the method of copying. Reading some posts it seems you need to launch an app on the tablet that pulls the images, reading some Other Articles it appears the card push the images to the tablet. Or is it you can configure the app to keep pulling the pictures from a selected folder on the SD card and place them into another folder on the tablet ? However it is done, is it possible to set up the process that images are copied from a designated folder on the SD card to a designated folder on tablet. If so, then all other handling of the workflow can be done without further use of a dedicated EyeFy app but rather any tool the photographer chooses for his workflow.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 16, 2012)

On the cameras there's a mixture of pushing and pulling possible (usually both).

Neither SD cards gives you the option to auto-transfer to a phone or tablet, though the Eye-Fi has a range of options for uploading to your home computer or the cloud.

0 upvotes
Jack1611
By Jack1611 (Nov 15, 2012)

Eye-Fi card creates its own network (adhoc) for what they call DIRECT mode. I think a device has to have the proprietary sw running in order to connect to the Eye-Fi card. The sw is required to configure the Eye-Fi card as well. The card does the "pushing" to an established location (folder) on an ip enabled device. The card does not let you select a folder on the card for UL but just "tags" which files were transferred.

@HubertChen: The battery life of the camera varies with use. In my experience, my camera's continuous focus uses more "juice" that the Eye-Fi card. I always have a second battery standing by.

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 15, 2012)

Questions not mentioned in the Article, please help:
1) Battery Life impact on Camera batteries?
In case I keep the connection open from camera to tablet, say for 5 hours, what is the drain on battery life going to be ? Do I need to change batteries every hour or is it only a slight impact? Say I shoot 400 pictures in 5 hours, transfer only the JPEGs each 8 MB.
2) Continuous upload of latest pictures during shoot?
Can I keep shooting and then the latest picture will be transferred to the tablet automatically and with no delay?

Background:
I intend to use the EyeFi Card during the shooting and have an Android tablet in my photo bag all the while. In the rare but not too infrequent cases I can not judge the success of a picture on the on camera screen display, I want to pull out of the tablet and review / explore the latest pictures on the bigger screen without hassle nor delay. Can this be done ?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 16, 2012)

Not without delay - no.

The options increase considerably if you have access to a Wi-Fi network, as the card will happily auto-upload over that, but that's still not without delay.

0 upvotes
Jack1611
By Jack1611 (Nov 15, 2012)

@HubertChen: The battery life of the camera varies with use. In my experience, my camera's continuous focus uses more "juice" that the Eye-Fi card. I always have a second battery standing by.
Wow 8MG jpegs... Sounds like my D800... Ok... long story short, I think the Eye-Fi guys have fixed the bug on the D800. My experience (b4 the update) for the transfer was horrible. So bad that I set the card to transfer only jpegs and I shoot both jpegs (smallest setting) and raw. BTW, the transfer was somthing like this: card to Eye-Fi servers - then down to my Mac. Yes, SLOW is the right term. Now, with the latest update, I use DIRECT mode - card to Mac - in an adhoc setup. Speed? Wow, fast. I posted elsewhere my "unofficial" tests od sending 6x40MB raw files and a 32 sec 1080p highest quality in less than 6 min. HQ jpegs in 10-15 sec each. Yes my jpegs are ~8mb as well continuously. As I shoot more, the card keeps pushing the files to my mac - no stopping, and waiting another 30s!

0 upvotes
Remfire Olympus User
By Remfire Olympus User (Oct 14, 2012)

I know of a photographer who uses the wi-fi card, with a pocket size router, too his IPad, as he takes his pictures. Can review as soon as he takes his picture.

0 upvotes
Vegasus
By Vegasus (Oct 14, 2012)

Just watched F1 today on TV,...
When i was about 7 or 8 (late 80's), spectators use balky handy-cam & cameras (manually function),
Mid 90's, Smaller handy cam, Late 90's Smaller handy cam with the LCD screen on the side,...
Now,... spectators are using iPad, iPhone, android phone etc. Very thin and record it at the same time, use both hands to shoot it. But.. interrupted i guess when a phone ring?

1 upvote
jhoff80
By jhoff80 (Oct 13, 2012)

I really just wish there was an option like the Toshiba card and like the EyeFi card that just made the camera show as simple network attached storage, instead of needing a specific client like EyeFi, or having to do stuff through the browser like with the FlashAi card.

1 upvote
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Oct 14, 2012)

You may have the wrong idea. EyeFi needs a client to configure the card the first time. That's it. After that, you only need the client running if you want your images copied to that local computer. If you just want them up on Flickr, you can turn off your local computer totally.

Personally, I run the Windows client so I can get my photos into my Dropbox. I also configure EyeFi to upload them to Flickr. I take a photo and I have to do nothing other than turn on the camera when I get home to get them to those two places. This has been working flawlessly for a couple of years, now. I'm amazed more people aren't into it.

0 upvotes
jhoff80
By jhoff80 (Oct 15, 2012)

No, I have one, I'm fully aware how it works and of it's limitations.

That's what I'm referring to, that in order to get your images onto a local PC you need a client running. The client is pretty much junk, in my experience, especially if you have a ton of files on the card. It's very slow, and sometimes it's gotten completely stuck on me.

Like I said, I'd much rather have a card that just showed up as a network drive, I'll do everything manually.

1 upvote
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Oct 15, 2012)

That's interesting. I've never had a single glitch with the client, myself. I can see the appeal of a wifi NAS mounted as a drive, but if they ever do adopt your proposed method, I hope they also leave the current system alone for those of us who like it. I don't want to do it manually.

0 upvotes
Jack1611
By Jack1611 (Nov 15, 2012)

@jhoff80: Totally agreed! OTOH, @Reg makes a lot of sense. My issue with Eye-Fi is that in order to use the "nice-esities" of UL to sites like Flickr is that your pics are sent to Eye-Fi servers first... than they send to your other sites. My solution, is a "hybrid." I use direct mode, yes client (actually it is a server, technically running on a pc/mac) running on my mac. I then del all files in the eye-fi "spool." I then connect to the Internet to UL as normal to Flickr.

0 upvotes
wildwilly
By wildwilly (Oct 13, 2012)

But, how do these devices, cameras and/or wi-fi cards work with tablets? I have no interest in "sending" photos from my cameras to my phone but I do use my tablet as a viewer and storage device while traveling.

0 upvotes
mikeber
By mikeber (Oct 13, 2012)

Don't understand the question...
iPad and iPhone are (almost) identical. If one works, the other will probably work with WiFi as well.

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Wayne1234
By Wayne1234 (Oct 13, 2012)

Not all tablets are iPads. Kindle fire, Nexxus 7, Nook, etc - what about them?

0 upvotes
Hector1980
By Hector1980 (Oct 14, 2012)

The Eye-Fi card has an Android app:

http://www.eye.fi/products/android

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 14, 2012)

Android or iOS tablets should be exactly the same as the experiences I describe with the equivalent smartphones.

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Oct 13, 2012)

Great subject!

However this article is missing any sort of metric to objectively compare the devices. What we are left with is basically a survey of the companies marketing material and technical specs but we are missing what makes dpreview great: Objective measurements of performance!

For example how long does it take each device to transfer 100 pictures to an iphone? To face book? To my computer?

Also under connectivity you are omitting connectivity to a computer: Do all of these devices allow transfer of full size raw and video files to a computer?

Actually I don't think you mention if all of the devices support transfer of videos? Do they?

Thanks!

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Oct 14, 2012)

To answer your question for the tech I use, EyeFi supports transfer of full size video to your local computer (and therefore to Dropbox), and to Flickr and Picasa (at whatever resolution those two services permit).

I totally disagree on the topic of objective measures, however. They are just not relevant here. Who cares if one takes 20 seconds and the other 25 seconds? That's not relevant at all here. Feature set (such as your video question) is important. Overall convenience, ease of use, reliability and other such intangibles are important. There's a time and place for metrics and this isn't it.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 14, 2012)

I used all these devices and never relied on marketing materials. Oddly enough, I don't think any of the companies try to promote the frustrations and lack-of-reliability that I mentioned.

1 upvote
Jack1611
By Jack1611 (Nov 15, 2012)

Out of the box, (if your camera is supported) Eye-Fi card makes it pretty easy to do exactly what they advertise. It's those of us (me included) with other notions who want the card to do what it does in a different way (the way we want it)... lol.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Oct 13, 2012)

Without having tried it yet, I wonder how the WiFi card works out of all-metal camera casing, since EM waves can't pass through it. At a first glance, it would work as expected only in plastic cameras, and even then, there are sometimes metal-shielded card slots...

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Oct 14, 2012)

I've been using EyeFi cards in my Fuji X10 (all metal) for roughly a year, and in my Sony DSC-TX100V (all metal) for roughly two years. No issues at all. Works perfectly.

I actually don't think DPReview did an adequate job of communicating just how easy these things make the workflow. I take a picture and when I get home, it's up on Flickr and in my Dropbox. All this talk about photo uploader apps is absurd to me. EyeFi has been doing it the way it should be done for years.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 14, 2012)

The article is about using Wi-Fi to communicate with smartphones and tablets, so that you can upload or share when you're away from your computer.

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Oct 14, 2012)

Sure, and I'm respectfully suggesting you're inadequately covering the best way to "upload or share when you're away from your computer". Many people get stuck in the workflow they're familiar with, namely "copy files to phone, then email/upload to destination". They don't realize there is a much better way, regardless of where you want the photos to end up.

0 upvotes
Marcel Mutter
By Marcel Mutter (Oct 13, 2012)

DSLRcontroller (Android) gives you Wi-Fi support for many Canon DSLR camera's that doesn't have Wi-Fi supportbuild in.

0 upvotes
HGFGKM
By HGFGKM (Oct 13, 2012)

With increasing sizes of sensors and megapixels etc., how long does it take on average to transfer a large (about 4 megabyte) file from camera to phone?

0 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (Oct 13, 2012)

Answering the desired questions. Thanks for the artical.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Oct 13, 2012)

If you wait a few years, the drone is delivered in the package, so you can send the camera on travel alone without moving from your chair,...sic.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Oct 13, 2012)

I know why all that cameras and phones get smarter. The reason is the one that humanity stays for ever stupid as before. Now, you need to know if you need all that. If the photo blog says it, the priest in the church preaches that, and your doctor tells it to you at the next visit, then there is no doubt anymore. You are infected.

1 upvote
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Oct 13, 2012)

The essence of marketing FUD, like that mastered by Apple.

0 upvotes
dccdp
By dccdp (Oct 13, 2012)

You are right, the humanity stays as stupid as before but, as they say, the population grows continuously. Hence the need for smarter gadgets.

0 upvotes
Royi Avital
By Royi Avital (Oct 13, 2012)

From now on, I will buy only cameras which allows full control via Andorid Phone, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone over WiFi.

Better yet, a camera which has an open SDK for third party applications.

1 upvote
Cerdo
By Cerdo (Oct 13, 2012)

Just a simple question before the North Americans wake up: do you really believe these devices are smart or intelligent, or is it rather that the humans who believe so are stupid? (ups, maybe stupid is one of those four-letter words in North America)

1 upvote
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Oct 13, 2012)

Maybe they're called smart because modern corporation driven consumeristic world has trained Joe average consumer to have less logical thinking ability than what these devices are capable...

Samsung's system failed to get bigger portion of system camera markets so they had to invent new ploy for why you can't take photos without their product.

0 upvotes
David H Dennis
By David H Dennis (Oct 13, 2012)

I am wondering why there is so much bitterness about the idea of a "smart" camera. It's just a camera that can do its own image editing and send its output directly to the Internet. That seems like an inherently desirable thing to me. The photographer who gets the first image of an event often gets to define the event and gets paid the big bucks. In this situation, the smarter our cameras, the better they are.

The people who use these devices well are smart. Those who use them badly are not. Nothing new there.

D

0 upvotes
threeOh
By threeOh (Oct 13, 2012)

Other than the fact Toshiba has not bothered distributing their card in NA, what does NA have to do with anything here? For the record, the only person I know with a wifi enabled camera is a Scandinavian. She loves it, on geek principles.

But then the cynicism and bitterness that prevails in many of your posts, suggests a quite tortured life.

0 upvotes
Photorer
By Photorer (Oct 13, 2012)

OK - interesting for those with iPhones or Android phones. How about those of us with others, like Blackberry and Nokia N8's?
How do these connect to Eye-fi cards or the Toshibas?

0 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Oct 13, 2012)

Remote triggering and remote live view thrill me. Put the camera anywhere and be somewhere else - see what the sensor sees and snap it. You could hold the cam far over your head on a tripod.

I love the different angles i can use with an articulating screen, but a remote screen offers whole new opportunities for image composition.

Would like to know if any of this technology is or will be available on Nokia phones (non-Android, non-IOS, still with nice aspects).

0 upvotes
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Oct 13, 2012)

And like in any FUD marketing advertised things aren't really new.
Remote control and tethered shooting are about as old as digicameras.
For example earlier probably every Olympus compact had ability to be controlled by computer. Also in 2004 Minolta had their own remote control applications for prosumer digicams.

0 upvotes
westcoastmatt
By westcoastmatt (Oct 18, 2012)

Esa, you're right that PC remote control, etc, is not new, but it was never very useful or practical. A wireless connection combined with the "PC" being a phone or tablet is, in contrast, actually usable and a relative gamechanger.

0 upvotes
maxnimo
By maxnimo (Oct 13, 2012)

What's with all this smartphone stuff? How about being able to stream the images to a laptop or a tablet, or is that too much to ask for?

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Oct 13, 2012)

the point here is to look at how camera manufacturers are trying to match the convenience of shooting with a phone for people who just want to share images via Facebook or whatever.

0 upvotes
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Oct 13, 2012)

This forced hyping campaign in everywhere just doesn't look like it...
But more like typical consumeristic FUD marketing to lift products/brands which otherwise couldn't compete to above competition by touting some single (not even new) feature as mandatory for everything.

0 upvotes
privater
By privater (Oct 13, 2012)

My brief test of NEX-5R using wifi viewfinder:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDyIa_ii7RE

0 upvotes
rclary
By rclary (Oct 13, 2012)

Panasonic has a couple of cameras with wifi, that communucate with their LumixLink app for picture taking and uploading. The new Panasonic GH3 is supposed to have this also.

0 upvotes
Den Lim
By Den Lim (Oct 12, 2012)

what camera is that in the first pic with the articulated screen?

0 upvotes
mpix345
By mpix345 (Oct 12, 2012)

Samsung EX2F

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Oct 13, 2012)

I wondered that, too. Good looking camera.

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Oct 12, 2012)

Let add Canon 6D and its liveview via Wi-Fi ... :)

http://www.canon.com.hk/en/services/main/ProdNoticeDetail.do?id=204

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 13, 2012)

It's mentioned in the article twice. Sadly we've not been able to get one yet, so it couldn't be covered in more depth.

0 upvotes
yvess
By yvess (Oct 12, 2012)

There is a new device in the wifi sd card space. The pqi air card. This card is a bit like the toshiba. But it's a sd card adapter where you put in a micro sd card up to 32 gb!

1 upvote
Sean Nelson
By Sean Nelson (Oct 12, 2012)

I don't really care about file sharing, but remote viewfinder and capture capability are killer features as far as I'm concerned. And the ability to control the camera from an application should, finally bring some scripting capabilities that were the must-have feature of the Canon compact camera hacks I've been using.

1 upvote
mikeber
By mikeber (Oct 12, 2012)

I really don't understand why camera manufacturers do not provide full WiFi control over the camera from a device like iPad or similar. The infrastructure exists for a long time already. Tethering via cables is possible, so why not wireless?
Ideally, photographers would like full control over the camera: exposure settings, shooting modes and Live-View with remote focusing. High end cameras in use by pros, should make possible checking focus by zooming in, and triggering the camera when focus is set. Event photographers may want to download images to a remote PC or iPad for backup and review, while they are still shooting.
The only real obstacle to full remote control via wifi may be the limited battery life. Other than that, it is all marketing decisions.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Oct 12, 2012)

I didn't realize the Toshiba cards have an HTML server built in. Elegant, although less convenient than EyeFi, which I've been using for a few years. EyeFi means I shoot a photo and, when I get home, it's up on Flickr. Tough to beat that.

0 upvotes
CDBayy
By CDBayy (Oct 10, 2012)

Awesome!! This is exactly the type of article I have been looking for. Well done.

4 upvotes
Total comments: 58
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