How To Directly Tether Your Camera To An iPad By Lee Morris
Update: There is now a new way to tether your camera to the iPad that does not require jailbreaking the iPad. Check out the new video here.
Are you a photographer and an iPad owner? If so, you are really going to love this. Are you a photographer who swore you would never buy an iPad because it’s just an over-sized iPod Touch? Well you are about to change your mind.
Ok, now that iPad has gone from being a nice toy to being a fantastic tool for any photographer, let’s talk about details.
Everything that we are doing on the iPad can also be done on an iPhone but since we like to see our images big, if you don’t already have one, you need to buy an iPad.
Which card to buy
Now you need to decide where you will be using this new system. If you plan on shooting in a studio then I would highly suggest sending your images through a wireless router. By doing this you do not have to buy the $130 Pro X2 card and you don’t have to jailbreak your iPad. Instead, you simply have to purchase the Eye-Fi Connect X2 for $45. Your range from iPad to camera is also much better because you have a router as a middle man. If your camera only takes compact flash cards, you will have to use an adapter until Eye-Fi starts making CF cards of their own. Update: I have been told that this does not work with all cameras. Please do your research before buying.
Of course, I’m sure many of you are like me and your shoots are never in the same location. For photographers on the move, it is worth buying the Eye-Fi Pro X2 card. Keep in mind that the card can “memorize” multiple wifi logins meaning that when you are in the field you can connect directly to the ipad, and when you are in the studio it will transfer through that network.
Jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad
If you want to transfer images directly from the camera to the iPad you do need to jailbreak your iPad (the same goes for the iPhone as well). If you haven’t jailbroken your phone or pad before, don’t worry, it’s really very simple and if you don’t like it for whatever reason, you can always “un-jailbreak” it by reverting back to factory settings using iTunes, or by simply upgrading your firmware. The most difficult part about jailbreaking is finding the correct jailbreak for your current firmware. Simply go to Settings > General > About > Version. Once you know which firmware your iPad has you need to do a Google or Youtube search. For example, my iPad is running version 3.2.1 so I would search for “iPad jailbreak 3.2.1″. Keep in mind that if you have recently updated your iPad, a jailbreak will not be available for your version for sometimes weeks or months.
Once you jailbreak your device, a new app called Cydia will show up. This is the new “jailbreak appstore”. From here you will need to download “My Wi” and it costs $20. Then you need to go to the normal App store and download “ShutterSnitch”. I believe it costs $8.
Once you have done all of this, simply follow the steps laid out in the video and you should be good to go. This “hack” has opened up so many doors for my business. You will be surprised with what is possible when you can instantly see/email images out of a pro camera. Please let me know in the comments below if this is something that interested you. If you come up with something cool we would all love to see it. Please post your work on FstoppersForum.com
More details about wireless transfer
Rob Galbraith has some extremely detailed articles about transferring images to the iPad. If you would like to learn more before you buy, I would highly suggest checking out this article about Shutter Snitch and this article about choosing the right router.
Now that I can tether my camera to my iPad, I love my iPad. We also love our Twitter followers. We have decided to give a 16gb iPad away to a random Twitter follower on December 15th. All you have to do is follow us and at some point tweet at least 1 thing about “Fstoppers” or link to a post on our site. Hell, you can even tweet about this contest if you want. On the 15th we will randomly choose one of you as the lucky winner. Due to mail/customs issues, this contest is only open to US and Canada residence. Don’t worry, we will be doing a big world wide contest again very soon.
Here is the same video if you prefer using YouTube.
And if you want to win the iPad check out this video: