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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Reggie Hughey's picture


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

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

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.

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???

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

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 ?

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

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?

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

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)

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

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.

@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.

what are you gonna do to your old ipad?

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

I think so. Waiting for iPad 3

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

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

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.

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