How To Tether a Nikon D4 or D800 To Lightroom [UPDATED]

How To Tether a Nikon D4 or D800 To Lightroom [UPDATED]

Have you tried to tether a D4 or D800 to Lightroom? If so, you've learned that neither program can actually recognize these cameras. Apparently Nikon has yet to release the developer kit necessary to make this happen. Erica Barker points out that you can use Nikon's software "Camera Control Pro 2" to tether your camera to a computer, and then simply point Lightroom to that folder. It's an acceptable fix while we wait for Nikon to release the dev kit.

UPDATED: Erica Barker reached out to us, stating that her original video has some information in the tutorial that was inaccurate, and unfair to Nikon. We have changed the video out with the updated one. Thank you to all our readers who informed her of the inaccuracies.

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James Quantz Jr's picture

I'm using Aperture with both cameras and it works perfectly fine. By fine I mean it recognizes both cameras and I've used it on multiple commercial shoots.

Hmm, does it also work for Lightroom? I've never tried tethering them before. I was simply taking Erica's word.

Erika Barker's picture

Aww, thank you Lee! :D

James Quantz Jr's picture

I can't speak for Lightroom 4.1 but Aperture works great.  I made the switch to Aperture when neither camera worked with Lightroom 3 and I heard there was no support still in 4.

Erika Barker's picture

Hi James.  Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention.  Yikes. It looks like my source from Adobe was inaccurate, and that is good enough reason for me to redo this tutorial.  My apologies to Nikon and you guys for releasing the inaccurate information.  New video should be posted shortly. :)

James Quantz Jr's picture

No worries, Erika!  I do think LR 4.1 supports the cameras but I've gotten so used to using Aperture over the past couple months I haven't taken the time to try.  Nothing worse than fumbling through software in front of clients!

Capture One Pros latest release also supports tethered shooting with the D4 and D800, and though I use Lightroom, the C1 Pro interface is clean and fast. 

Erika Barker's picture

Thank you so much for the great tip Gary.  I included this information in the updated version of the tutorial. :)

Erika Barker's picture

w00t! Thanks Fstoppers for posting!  <3 You guys!

Hey James and Gary.  That's good to know.  I personally have not heard anything yet about Capture One or Aperture working with the cameras yet.  I know Nikon has yet to release an SDK, so I wonder how they got around that.  :)  

James Quantz Jr's picture

The SDK's for the D800 and D4 are listed on Nikon's website:

Yes, been out a while.  I think this really is on adobe after all

Pixyst's picture

Tethering works very well with Aperture and the D800. I am personally surprised at the low uptake of  Aperture - must be really poor marketing on Apple's part.

Chris Whonsetler's picture

Using the free onOne software works with the D800 & Lightroom 4, you don't even need to purchase the iPhone app. Simply download the server & after a 5 min setup you are ready to rock & roll!

Erika Barker's picture

Thank you for the great tip Chris.  I included this info in the updated version of the tutorial. :)

Didnt know this was an issue. i would have posted this 6 weeks ago since ive been doing this for a while now :(

Erika Barker's picture

Aww, sorry David.  There are however a lot of photographers who don't know how to do this yet.  I would love to see what method you use to get around this. :)

Well perhaps I'll make a video of my own to aid yours in the fight against tethering :P

You also missed Sofortbild, freeware for Mac only.   I've used it with the D800 and MacBook Pro and it works well enough.

This was driving me crazy until I spent some time testing it last night. Here's what I get, independently if I use a long or short cable, desktop or laptop:

Using Aperture and shooting RAW: Camera alternates between connected and disconnected on Aperture, it just doesn't work

Using Aperture and shooting JPEG: Everything works flawless.

Using Lightroom 4 (installed just to test things out) and shooting RAW: Everything works flawless.

I updated the Camera Firmware prior to this and I'm using the latest release of Aperture.

I'd appreciate any input.


Randy Curtis jr's picture

Has anyone used Controlmynikon
The website seems very detailed and looks like it has the ablity to allow you to write to your card and your pc at the same time.