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

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:

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

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Previous comments
Dean Harvey's picture

Hi Lee, GREAT video.

I'm using a D700 which has the CF card.

Do you know of any neat workarounds to get the same set up.

There's talk of adaptors out there but I'm not sure how this might work.

Did you hear of a wifi CF card?

Your help MUCH appreciated

Ed Kelly's picture

If you can handle being tethered, How about using a 9" Sony FX950. Cost is about $ 140.00 to $ 160.00. 7 hours of battery life.


Ghima Laresco's picture

First, thank you for the informations and inspirations.
Is it possible to tether a macbook pro with nikon d200 by eye-fi?

Patrick Hall's picture

You will have to get one of the SD to CF converters but the short answer should be yes.

Gary Reynolds's picture

Just didn't work for me at all. Got stuck at the EYE-FI part. The installation went back and forth between eye-fi center, because eye-fi manager is no longer valid, etc. Once you download eye-fi center from the website and insert the card, the card is not recognized at all...doesn't mount. I tried the included card reader, my own card reader, and even my SD slot on my there should be no excuse as to why it didn't mount. BTW, I'm running Windows Vista, if that has anything to do with it...any ideas???

Jason's picture

This card is suppose to work with a eyefi card and canon 5dmk2

alain's picture

I'm french and I've a bad english so...sorry
I've some problem with my Ipad wifi and Mywi. On my iphone with Mywi, no problem when I'm far from my house to connected it using the 3G of my iphone but, when I use Mywi on my iPad only wifi for transfer my pictures from my EyeFi Pro X2 to ShutterSnitch this soft say I've no wifi connection ! I presume I do something bad but I can't find what !
please some help ?

Scott's picture

With my-wi installed on the iPad and tethered in this configuration, how is the iPad battery life effected?

fido's picture

Does the new ipad2 running iOS 4.3 allow u to bypass the need to jailbreak the ipad with it's ability to provide a personal hotspot built into the ipad2?

Lee Morris's picture

@fido, No, but the new Eye-Fi card update that comes out next month does. More info on that soon.

Dean Harvey's picture

Chaps - still struggling to solve the conundrum posed by the D700. It's got a CF type I slot - so cant get an eyefi for the d700 which is critical to shooting untethered onto iPad - you guys know any fixes - or adaptors for SD to CF type I (there's plenty of type II)

fido's picture

Thank u Lee - Is this eye-fi update just a software update or an all new eye-fi card.

fido's picture

fyi - Thank you for contacting Eye-Fi Customer Care.

We will be releasing a new feature called Direct Mode. It will be a free upgrade to all of our X2 cards and will enable you to transfer photos wirelessly from your Eye-Fi card to a mobile device like an iPad 2. We are looking to release this during the 1st quarter of the year but there is no concrete ETA at this time.

Edson's picture

@fido, Did they specify which X2 card will get the Direct Mode update? Is it the Connect X2 or newer GEO X2? I'm going to get one sometime this week and want it to be compatible with the free upgrade. Thanks for this great information fellas.

goodboy's picture

what are you gonna do to your old ipad?

goodboy's picture

lee, how about the pro X2 card?are they gonna get a free update too?

Lee Morris's picture

I think so. Waiting for iPad 3

goodboy's picture

oh and by the way, what if im shooting video, will it work the same way?-thank you

Vincent's picture

Really, what is Eyefi waiting for? I have been holding off on purchasing this for this Direct mode function coming.

David's picture

I'm not sure the direct mode is that simple. The EyeFi card needs to be the hotspot. If the camera is turning itself off between shots the card looses power and the hotspot stops existing. If you turn the camera back on the hotspot starts again but there will be a delay for the other devices to notice that and connect again. The card will have to wait for the connection from the other device before it can start sending.

Maybe that will cause more delays that when the iPad provides the hotspot which is always on. I'm not sure though.

I'm using the above described solution to run MyWi on the iPad to provide the hotspot and have the card automatically send. It just works. I doubt the direct mode would make it any better.

A real improvement would be if a camera maker adds a powerful WiFi transmitter into the camera that has a larger antenna than the tiny one in the Eyefi card and has access to more power as well.

David's picture

another advantage of the current solution is that the card will connect to your iPad out in the field, but automatically connects to your studio or home network as soon as you are close to that. If the card acts as a hotspot ('direct mode') you'd have to swtich the card from that to normal 'client mode' each time.

goodboy's picture

is it already working on ipad 2?-thanks

Tom Ryaboi's picture

i would also like to know about an ipad 2 solution, anything out there yet?

Colton Williams's picture

By the looks of it just yesterday i got an update for the eye-fi card and now I believe you do not have to jailbreak the ipad and iphone.... here is a link

Russ Widstrand's picture

Canon 5DM2 owners wanting the wireless "polaroid" to iPad, buy the SD>CF adapter pictured below for the eye-fi x2 cards. Works very well in my set up in DIRECT MODE as well as across known wifi networks. Bought my adapter from Amazon...

Seller: SHOPDIGI (contact this seller)
Items: 2 of: SD/SDHC/SDXC to High-Speed Extreme UDMA mode CF Type II Adapter support 16/32GB and over 64GB

I have two eye-fi cards and two adapters now and have shot full res stills and HD video to the card with little trouble so far. Of course, I only send jpgs to the ipad as they are quick for previewing and checking focus (be sure to set the camera to capture RAW and JPG). My AD has his own iPad and will tap into the live stream of my images on his iPad.

The image mask in Shuttersnitch is a nice feature for cropping as well as viewing layout type elements live as images are coming in on the ipad. Great for commercial shooters. HTH

This is such a great workflow, Star Trek is finally here. Thanks to Brian at Shuttersnitch, he is always a great help, we should all support his efforts, BUY THE APP!

Arti's picture

Great idea Jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad and transfer images from the SLR camera to the iPad. I need now iPad to try

Hi Lee, I watched this a few days ago and have been looking into it as it's a great idea. I see that Eye-fi have a 'direct mode' via their app which seems to be an alternative to your method. Just wondering if you have tried both, and which you prefer. I can't work out if it's better to create the network through the card or the iphone/pad.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Anonymous's picture

 Haha. That guy with the guitar! I saw him in London Kings Cross/St.Pancras station doing the same thing promoting bagels. Now I think about it, I've seen him on TV before too. I think it was a show to do with a family of midgets and he lifted them up. 

Adrian Freeman's picture

I guess things change quickly in  techno. I purchased the iPad2, the Eye-Fi Pro X2, and ShutterSnitch through the Apple store (sees to be a change). No jailbreak needed. Now I am sending pictures to my iPad via my home wifi and directly (direct mode) from camera Canon 5D2 directly to the iPad without the need for a wireless router. The only issue is the range. Transferring small jpegs from the 5D2 take 15 to 18 seconds and the range is 10-15'; but beats a wired tether as far as convenience. Great for in studio, on the job (dance studio pictures).  I plan to use it for dance studio images. Mom can see and pick her favorite right there. Order and deliver.

Brian Miller's picture

If you want to use something like this for event photography, check out it is a similar app but made for event photographers. It includes graphic overlays, data capture, custom Facebook album, custom tweet message, custom email settings, etc. Also for print on site photographers, your guests can print from your iPad directly to any Windows printer.

brett horn's picture

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I bought an IPAD, but I have always just considered it a toy. Now I truly have a use for it. This is more than great. Thank you, thank you.

Eric T. Knoll's picture

Can i also use another app like facebook, and say take shot and it will work?
greetings from switzerland

Anonymous's picture

Jailbreak my @$$..  Get bent Eye-Fi fake!  I had the Eye-Fi (not pro) and it was SOOOOOOO slow with 18MP shots.  What you showed AFTER the iPad2 is jailbroken is what I want....  WITHOUT jailbreaking my device.

You had me!!

Also, note, the Eye-Fi ONLY works with DIGITAL cameras, that guess what, have the Eye-Fi feature built in.  My Canon Rebel T2i has it.  Yay!

Good video, but sucky jailbreak ruins it.

DSLR Camera Remote HD my have to work for me now.  Awwww...

Anonymous's picture

Sorry if I missed this, but I'm struggling to simply sync images from my iMac to iPad (1).  I'd like to import images while on the iPad from a hot folder on my iMac.  I'm basically going to shoot wired tethered to my iMac at an event and would like guests to hold the iPad and import and view based on what's in the hot folder.

If anyone has any better suggestions, I'd sure appreciate it.

Using a Canon 5D Mark II, iPad 1, and ShutterSnitch.


Kevin Cho's picture

The Nikon 35mm F/1.8 is a great option for Nikon shooters at a great price too (about 200 bucks in comparison to the sigma if you don't mind having F/1.8). iPad setup looks awesome!

Jorge J. Sánchez R.'s picture

taht's what i'm waiting a long time ago...

Anonymous's picture

Lee i have a nikon d200 and im using  a adapter card reader but can   send pics directly from cam to ipad,, im using eye-fi Pro x2.  can you please help me?


thanks a lot, 
right after reading your post, i got a  eye-fi pro x2 and it is up and running with a pentax k-5,  reaching the "almost tethering" with aperture !!! 

so far, so good. 

grazie _ 

Nancy Watson's picture

Will the ipad need to be connected to wifi to make this work? Are the images saved to the disk as well as the ipad?