Why Doesn't Every Professional Camera Have This Feature?

Shooting while tethered is probably the best way for many photographers. It's obviously not ideal for certain kinds of photography, like events and weddings; however, for those that shoot on a tripod, being tethered to a larger screen can make all the difference.

When you're tethered to a larger screen, you can review your images far more effectively than you can on the back screen. Most cameras tend to have a relatively low-resolution screen on the back, which is ok for changing settings, but if you're reviewing critical images, then it's not great. Checking focus can be a bit tricky, even when you're zoomed all the way into the image. More important than that is reviewing your composition. For example, if you're shooting interiors, it's quite easy to miss odd little details and angles that could be affecting the composition negatively. On a larger screen, it's far easier to pick out issues. 

In the latest video from The Art Of Photography, Ted Forbes discusses one of the cool things you can do with the Sony a9 II. Forbes demonstrates how you can tether directly to your computer and even have the images automatically import into Lightroom or Capture One. This is done without the use of any external devices. Forbes discusses why he thinks this feature should be included in all cameras, and I have to agree with him.

Of course, if you're shooting in a studio, then you could use a cable to connect directly to your computer, but personally, I'd prefer not to have any tripping hazards. 

Check out the full video to see how you can do this too. 

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7 Comments

Matej Svirk's picture

This "new" click-bait article / video naming convention is really getting annoying. The article itself actually provides a good description and sounds interesting so why not just summarise it in the title?
If it's worth it and if people are interested, they will read it.
(edit: grammar / rephrasing)

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

Yeah, really!! "THIS" is the new "Word" for clickbait. "Click here to find out what "This" is." I'm over it too but it seems to be inescapable at the moment.
Also A9II isn't the only camera that you can tether.

Reginald Walton's picture

That's a nice feature, but I would think it would only be used less than 10% of the time. If you're in a studio, you don't care (for the most part) that you're tethered by wire to a computer or big screen. Not really sure what the usefulness of it would be in real life applications. IMO

Robert Nurse's picture

I've used tethering just to give the subject a better idea of the end results. But, outside of that, I don't really use it. It would be nice, however, if more cameras came with it so I could send images to an Android phone or IPad when shooting on location. I might use it more. With the down time, I think I'll play with it some more. I've found it flaky at times and want to see if I can figure out the bugs.

Kirk Darling's picture

Some people are using tethering outside the studio, but personally I consider that a tour de force UNLESS it's needed for an on-scene art director. I don't think it's worthwhile on location merely for the photographer.

Kirk Darling's picture

Most new cameras have this capability. Canon cameras have had it since at least the 80D. Early models may be clunky...they'll get better.

Janosch O's picture

The FTP-workflow is slow and rather for instant publishing or distribution - when OTHERS need to access the images quickly - from anywhere. Or when you want to have a direct backup in your studio. Canon has similar functionality in their high-range models, Nikon as well. Nikon also offers a Wi-Fi adapter with similar functionality.

For tethering, both the A9II and the 7RM4 will tether directly to your computer via Wi-Fi. When running Sony's Imaging Desktop App, you can select a folder where to save the files. When using LR or C1, these images will show up immediately in LR / C1 (depending on file size, of course, there is a little bit of latency).

The FTP-workflow for live view / tethering has much more latency depending on the connection and network speed, the server and disk speed etc. - the files are going two extra loops: one to the server and one from the server to the computer. The aforementioned integrated tethering solution will work much faster as the camera writes the files directly to your computer.

Another solution to tether wirelessly (for older models of any make) is Tether Tools Air Direct which is ok as long as you don't run Capture One on OsX 10.15.