How To Directly Tether Your Camera To An iPad By Lee Morris

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.


How To Directly Tether Your Camera To An iPad By Lee Morris from FStoppers on Vimeo.

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.

ipadgiveaway

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:

Fstoppers is Giving Away an Apple Ipad from FStoppers on Vimeo.

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139 Comments

Previous comments
Michael's picture

Great page! Found this from Lifehacker. But I'd like to pose a statement that may enable people to save a chunk of change on this setup yet still be able to use this in the field with only the Eye-Fi Connect X2.

I am unable to test myself because I do not have the Eye-Fi cards, just some technical knowledge.

I'm not sure you have to use the Eye-Fi Pro X2 to connect with the jailbroken ipad/iphone on remote locations. The Eye-Fi Pro X2 is only needed for adhoc connections. MyWi makes a legit hotspot from your device, so to the Eye-Fi your iDevice should be seen the same as a router.

If someone has both cards, maybe they can do the configuration and see if it will work out and about with only the Connect X2.

Jason Tam-Hoy's picture

I can confirm that the Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB+WiFi does NOT work with a Canon 5D Mark II with the CF adapter. I was super excited after reading this post, bought everything thru B&H, now having to look up the issue and find out this combo does not work AT ALL.

Not very fun after spending almost $175 and ending up with useless items. I can only hope B&H will accept my open box returns.. I should have waited to read everyone's posts and comments regarding compatibility..

What a sad day.. hopefully people with less quality cameras can enjoy the fun :(

ed wilson's picture

The eye-fi that we tried in our studio (with a pc) was so slow that it didn't really meet our needs. Is the I-Pad/X2 combo up to the pace of a real studio? I see the immense potential and toy value. But, if it takes 20/30 seconds per image to upload, you quickly crash the buffer and lose functionality.

Addison Geary's picture

The New Canon 60D uses SD cards but in it's overview on the B&H site, under Flexible Storage and Memory Cards, it states "Canon cameras are not guaranteed to support EYE-Fi card functions, including wireless transfer."

Does not guaranteed mean it won't work or are they understandably absolving themselves from responsibility for a third party accessory? They do sell their own wireless transmitter but it costs $600+.

I shoot tethered to macbook to evaluate lighting & composition and I'm sick of the cable and bad connections.

Lee Morris's picture

To all the 5Dm2 users out there I am very sorry for your trouble. Obviously I didn't check this with every camera and I have heard about 5DM2 shooters using eyefi "connect" cards through a router and it working. If you shoot with a 5DM2 you can use the Canon WFT-E4 IIA Wireless File Transmitter vertical grip. This is a bit more at $700 but it is a professional choice. You can send directly to an iPad without having to jailbreak it too.

@ed, I agree, if you were sending RAW files to a computer, 30 second transfers are practically useless. I would suggest sending jpegs over only. A large jpg takes about 10 seconds and a small jpeg takes about 3 seconds. Also, make sure that your camera is fairly close to the router. Then the iPad or computer can be farther away and your transfer times will be much faster.

Mark Heayn's picture

So who is the girl on the subway?

Lee Morris's picture

@ Mark; I think she was some crazy homeless person

andrew's picture

Bummer on the recent posts about not being able to use the eye-fi YET....my hope is a cf card is created soon. Techies out there reading this; is the architecture of an sd card make it unique to being able to have wi-fi built in or can this be done with others [even if not in existence now]? Also, has anyone using a 5D MK II tethered directly to an ipad with positive results? Can the ipad receive raw images and show them or am I limited to .jpeg only? Thanks for your time. Cheers ya'll.

XARIUSOUND's picture

will this work using a Canon G12 (SD)

tobiCOM's picture

Great idea and great how it works! Like the iPad!

John Tatum's picture

I recently watched this video and loved the idea. Unfortunately, I don't have an iPad, and it's not in the budget. I was able to make this work for me though. I went and bought a the Eye-Fi Connect X2 card for 49 bucks and configured it to import the photos in real time to a folder on my MacBook Pro. From there, I configured Lightroom 3 to auto-import photos from that folder and apply a saved preset at the time of import.

I mainly shoot NCAA Basketball games, so I can leave a laptop with the Sports Information Director, leave Lightroom open and in full screen mode and images are sent to the laptop in realtime for him to grab as needed for the website/liveblog/etc. Thanks for your tutorial. It helped a lot.

Carl Keng Seng's picture

Nice video! need to get an iPad soon! :D

Lang's picture

@Michael:

Re your statement on Nov 3: "MyWi makes a legit hotspot from your device, so to the Eye-Fi your iDevice should be seen the same as a router."

The MiWi support page states that even in v4, only Ad Hoc connections are supported (cannot be configured in Infrastructure mode).

So it looks like we are back to having to use the X2 Pro if we want to connect directly to the iPad.

PJ's picture

Wont work on the Nikon D700, it has a type 1 CF card slot and the SD to CF card converters are type 2 which are a few mm too big to fit. Can only wait for eye-fi to release a CF card variation, shouldnt be too far away right? :(

Gerard's picture

I am having a hard time finding the answers to the questions people are asking...can you view/transfer the RAW photos on the ipad after?

All I want to know.

Lee Morris's picture

No, you need to shoot raw plus jpeg because the iPad cam only view jpegs

Jon Diaz's picture

I am responding to a comment that Michael made halfway down the page about not needing a Eye-Fi X2 Pro card for this setup. You do and you dont. MiWi does not create an infrastructure access point, it creates an Ad-Hoc connection. I know, I tried with an Eye-Fi 4GB X2 card (Non-Pro). The $49.00 card does not support ad-hoc, however if you have a laptop running Windows 7, you can download a free program called connectify to create a legit access point to tether your iPad and Eye-fi card to be used with ShutterSnitch. Just connect everything and shut your laptop and you can enjoy this setup as mentioned above. Hope this helps some of you with an Non Pro Eye-fi Card.

Chris Boyd's picture

Anyone know if there is an android app for that?

Nora's picture

I'm so excited about this! I already have a 16GB iPad (crud, I may need a bigger one if this works!), and purchased MyWi long ago for my iPhone, so I am good to go there. I ordered my EyeFi 8GB X2 Pro today, and am just waiting on it to arrive, so I can set it up and download the Shutter Snitch app. Question, however, since I have never used a wireless card or done a set up like this...if my Nikon is shooing RAW + JPG, can I send just the JPG to the iPad to show the client, while retaining the RAW file on the card? This may be a stupid question, but, the card doesn't erase the file when it sends it to the iPad, correct? I'm guessing not.

Lee Morris's picture

@Nora, yes that will work. The card does not delete files.

Marcus's picture

Going to try the first gen eye-fi card, wireless router, and shutter snitch with my 5d. Hope it works smoothly. Lee did you do this on the 5d yet?

Dudley Warner's picture

Please let us know if the first gen Eye-Fi card will work with the 5D MkII.

Mikolaj Habryn's picture

@Chris there's a couple of different apps in the Android market that receive images from Eye-Fi cards, so you can do similar things to what's described above. You don't need to use a router if you use the Android's built-in tethering support.

Steve's picture

Great article Lee, I have recently ordered the Eye-fi and Ipad after seeing Galbraiths review and was looking round for more info when I found this feature which explains the set up well.

One question, I see that in the video you take three images in fairly quick succession and the transfer seems to deal with it ok, but I have read somewhere that the Eye-fi doesn’t like taking pictures in quick succession.

Does anyone know how it would cope with a burst of say 10 images at around 8fps providing that there was then a pause for a few seconds for everything to catch up?

Lee Morris's picture

Shooting quick will sometimes crash Shutter Snitch but you simply reopen the program and the pictures begin transferring where they left off.

Steve's picture

This is promising, I was wondering if I could use it for some sports work that I do. There are lots of breaks so the opportunity to restart would be there. Maybe future versions of Shuttersnitch would even improve this. It looks a great app. What is the working range like?

P.S. Shame your ipad competition doesn’t include UK. Still I am now following your tweets anyway!

Umar's picture

Hi Lee

I just discover your website... and I am just WOW I am really love the work you have done and uploaded on your website. Till now i spend almost 3 hours to just Google your website.

In simple words I can explain my feelings about your website and your work's

I love it what ever you had done and more and more hungry to see your upcoming videos.

Thank you so much.

Regards

Umar Farooq
from Dubai - UAE

Marc Legros's picture

Guys, guys, guys! I'm a photographer, not a guizmo guy BUT your clip about tethering with the Ipad is just WOWOWOWOWOWOW!

I do a lot of commercial stuff, just got the new Mark 4, can't find the installation software to link it with my Mac book Pro in order to satisfy my clients.
So I have to get the card out, download images and open them with an app.! What a mess!! even if we don't need to go to the lab to process E-6 anymore, we are always looking for faster stuff cause this is what clients wants. They want to see NOW!

So your wonderful treasure makes me change my mind and will change my Santa's list in order to ask if Santa's Mom can bring me an Ipad!!

Thanx a lot for sharing your knowledge to all,
I wish you a wonderful year 2011
Take care
Marc

grimmy west's picture

this shook my loyalty to Apple and I eventually did my first jailbreak which was awesome.

I went on to order the Eye-Fi card at the Apple online store and didnt get my order for two weeks and I made a big fuss so that they sent out another in the post and on the day it arrived I also got my first one.

this post has been inspirational and is set to give me an edge like no other in my camera game. love it and thanks

Steve's picture

I now have this equipment configured but had a glitch where it would not work. In the first instance I connected to my office network, got it transferring, before configuring the Eyefi. I then went away from base range and it automatically connected to the Eye-fi card for transfer. On return I had to manually select my office network again, as I had no internet on the Ipad and it was still on the 'My-ipad MyWi' network. The following day when on assignment I just could not get it to sync with the Eye-fi card whatever I did to the settings. It just would not transfer.

On return I again manually connected to the master broadband connection, checked all settings and managed to get it transferring ad hoc, although I can’t seem to get it to transfer using the broadband router now, not that it is a problem as ad hoc in the studio is fine.

Anyone else have any problems like this?

Steve's picture

I also have a question regarding shooting to the ipad, tucked away in a bag until the shoot is over. The only way I can get this to work is if I have the Auto-Lock feature set to never. Any other setting and the ipad goes to sleep and stops transferring. I did read somewhere before I purchased the pad a suggestion about turning the screen off when doing this to conserve power but I can’t see any settings to do this apart from the brightness setting where you can only turn the screen down.

Steve's picture

Found my own answer to the last question. In settings in shutter snitch you select “keep display on”. This then allows you to hit the power button to send ipad to sleep, but keep shuttersnitch receiving so that your images are there the next time you wakeup.

Shuttersnitch version 2 is now available with lots of great features. Unfortunately it needs iOS 4.2 to run it though which is a problem if like me you are using 3.2.2. All the jailbreaks for later versions of the iOS need you to restart tethered.

roy's picture

just what we all Really really NEED to buy, since we all don't have enough Crap yet. and hey, the fact that this shit will be outdated 6 months from now and in short order will be living in the landfill for the next 500 years along with the rest of our shit we are donating to future generations (well, there won't be too many more at this rate will there?) I wonder what this camera club nerd is getting from pushing this crap which nobody needs!
It's simply shameful consumerism, which it seems is an integral part of the so called photographer of today.

Lee Morris's picture

@Roy. I "got" 40,000 views of people interested in this technique. Keep on trolling!

A to Z Photography's picture

Why do you need to jailbreak the iPad? Also will this work with the wifi iPad?

Patrick Hall's picture

You have to jailbreak it because the iPad does not act as a hotspot natively. You have to have the eyefi card connect to the ipad when the ipad usually only connects to other servers. Yes it will work with the wifi version; I believe Lee says that is the one he is using in the video.

A to Z Photography's picture

Thank you. This would be awesome to use I am not sure I want to jailbreak my iPad. Not sure how to do it and do not want to screw it up.

alain's picture

maybe I didn't read carefully enough, but how do I work around my fully updated IPad, I don't want tomwait for ages, being a photographer.
second, the setuptime, before a shoot, how long would that generally take?
I must say, it will probably take some time to get accustomed, but it seems to be very usefull, thnx for making this!

wildta's picture

Very cool. Quick question: after the pics download to your ipad from the eye-fi via ad hoc, will the eye-fi pics still download to your laptop via wifi afterwards when you’re on network? Or do you have to transfer them off the SD card or ipad from that point?

Lee Morris's picture

You have to use the sd card after to transfer to a computer.

Graham's picture

Thanks for this! Works just great with a Sony Nex-3.
Few things --
1. Shuttersnitch is now $15.99 as of about Jan 8 2011 or so :(
2. If anyone gets "Bad API Signature" when trying to turn on the Eye-Fi card in Shuttersnitch, check your Ipad's name. I had an "&" in mine. Shuttersnitch's forum isn't indexed by google so it took me hours to figure it out. Sigh.
3. Can anyone recommend a workflow to get Raw+J to automatically transfer (at least Raw) to my desktop after shoot previewing on the iPad? Shuttersnitch has an FTP post-receive option, but I think it only sends jpgs and moreover Shuttersnitch isn't connecting to my local FTP either. Surprised we can't specify different destinations in Eye-Fi Center -- hell we can send everything to every blog and photo service in the universe... I paid $150 assuming I would not have to sneakernet anything.
Thanks again!

Lawrence Beck's picture

Thanks for sharing this great info, Lee. I'd like to be able to tether my camera to my iPad but I'm under the impression that this will only work if I have a camera that shoots jpeg + raw or just jpeg. My camera shoots only raw or jpeg and I never shoot jpegs. Will I still be able to tether and have my raw files appear on the iPad or is this a jpeg only app? My raw files are .dng format.
Thanks,
Lawrence

Lawrence Beck's picture

Lee, Disregard my question above and delete the post if you like. I just read on an earlier post where you stated that the iPad can only view jpegs. Apologies.

Jonathan Dear's picture

worth noting, the x2 pro isnt available outside of USA. With more and more android etc tablets coming out, the same should theoretically be possible.

I look forward to pole-cam large group shots at weddings with image review at the bottom of the pole on my samsung galaxy tab.

Gina Uhlmann's picture

Can I send photos simultaneously to my computer and my ipad in studio if I am tethered with a usb cord to my computer?

Lee Morris's picture

@ Gina, If you use a cord I think that will work.

Steve's picture

Jonathan, I bought a x2 Pro in the UK, plenty of them over here! I may even buy another, works great with my ipad.

Gina Uhlmann's picture

@ Lee, Thanks, I'll give it a try in the next month or so and let you know!

Reggie Hughey's picture

LEE, WHICH IPAD ARE YOU USING? IS AN IPAD WITH 3G OR A NON 3G VERSION?
LOOKING TO PURCHASE AN IPAD IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THANKS REGGIE

Patrick Hall's picture

He has the wifi only ipad... the rumor is the ipad 2 will have hotspot abilities which will prevent you from having to jailbreak it

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