How to Edit and Share Your DSLR Photos on the Go.

Everything is portable these days.  Smartphones and tablets have only enhanced that.

Today I’m going to talk about all of the ways we can use these new mobile devices to enhance your Digital SLR shootings on the go.  I will not be including any talks about the use of laptops since the interface is the same as desktop.  Instead my focus will be primarily on Apple iOS and Android based operating systems and the hardware/software to go along with it.

Wired & Tethering Options

IMG_6059Lets start with our hard connected devices.  Apple makes a ton of accessories that allow you to connect your camera, USB card reader, or SD card directly to any iPad or iPhone.  The Apple Lightning to SD Camera Card Reader is just as straight forward as it sounds.  It allows you to plug you camera’s SD card in and upload the photos directly to your camera roll.  This is great because it does not use the battery of your camera but even with some of the fastest SD cards the download speeds using this adapter are pretty slow.

Next we’ll jump into Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.  This adapter gives you a traditional USB-A style port along with the lightning port. (So you can continue to charge your device). This is a noticeably faster way to load your images to your iOS device but keep in mind you’re using your camera’s battery to help that transfer as well as losing the ability to shoot photos while it’s happening.

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If you happen to shoot on micro SD cards with a standard SD card adapter (not recommended) you can simply enter that micro SD card into many Android devices.  For example I use the Samsung Tab S2 tablet and I’ve downloaded content directly from GoPro using this technique quite a bit.

Tethering Options

Tethering options have been around for a while when it comes to traditional computer tethering.  These options are somewhat limited in the Apple’s iOS ecosystem.

Apple doesn’t allow the type of tethering that we’re used to but if you’d like you can shoot refer to the USB 3 Camera Adapter mentioned above for the quickest way to upload photos.

Android on the other hand offers much more.  By downloading the app DSLRController you can tether to any supported android device and do a ton.  DSLRController gives you full control over the camera including Aperture, Shutter Speeds, ISO, White Balance, and more.  It also acts as a live screen with very little or no delay.  There are however a few cables you’ll need to make this work.

Micro USB (or whichever your mobile device uses) to a female USB-A Adapter   ($5)
Mini USB (or whichever came with your camera) to USB-A ($5)

I recommend that even if you have the cable your camera came with to invest in a longer one like the one linked above from Amazon.  6 Feet for five dollars.  You’ll thank me later.

I’ve used the app on a number of occasions.  I would say the most valuable part of this app is when you’re shooting video.  I like to use prime lenses to shoot video with a shallow depth of field.  So for me it’s important to know that I’m in focus and having a 9.7″ screen on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 really helps with that.

Wireless Options

Welcome to 2017 where almost everything can be done wirelessly.

Well Digital SLRs in most cases are no exception.  First thing you’ll want to find out is if your camera body has WiFi capabilities built in.

Here is a quick list:
Canon T6 Rebel
Canon T6i Rebel
Canon T6s Rebel
Canon T7i Rebel
Canon 70D
Canon 77D
Canon 80D
Canon 6D
Canon 5D Mark IV

Nikon D5600
Nikon D7200
Nikon D750
Nikon D500
Nikon Df
Nikon D810
Nikon D810A
Nikon D5

If you don’t see your camera body here don’t worry, you’re not completely out of luck but fist let me focus on these bodies.

Canon and Nikon both have mobile apps for both iOS and Android operating systems that you can download for free.  These apps will walk you through exactly how to pair you’re camera to that device.  Once connected you have a ton of control over your camera including but not limited to Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, and most importantly viewing the shots that you’ve taken and uploading them to your mobile device.  iOS 10 even supports photos in RAW now making your editing even more precise.  Don’t worry we’ll drive into editing tools soon as well.

I’ve found that pairing these devices after the initial pair isn’t as simple as it should be.  This causes me to avoid using it much.  I only find it worth the pain of re-pairing the device when I really want to share a photo in the moment.

Wireless Options for Bodies That Do Not Have Wireless Built In

As I mentioned earlier some bodies simply do not have wireless built in but that doesn’t completely cripple you from doing this thanks to our friends at EyeFi.  EyeFi is an SD card with wireless capabilities built in, making any camera that shoots to SD cards now WiFi capable.  EyeFi can send photos to any iOS, Android, or even desktop operating systems including raw files.  Now you’re not going to get the controllability of the camera like you do when WiFi is built in but you can still view and transfer your photos very easily on the go.  The one major drawback is the speeds aren’t incredibly fast and you cannot shoot with your camera while the photos are transferring.

Canon also has an add on wireless option via SD card known as their W-Ei WiFi Adapter. Keep in mind to use a system like this you need to have a dual slot cards like the Canon 7D MkII.  Early reviews on this have not been good at all.  I’m hearing that it’s very slow and really just not worth the hassle.  I’d steer toward the EyeFi if you absolutely need that option.

Mobile Software

IMG_6060Editing on the fly has become extremely simple and there are some great options to use out there.  I personally use Adobe’s Creative Cloud.  Subscription based softwares are becoming more popular and Adobe offers some pretty great options.  For as little as $10 a month you can get going with Photoshop and Lightroom on your desktop and mobile devices.

Lightroom for iOS and Android is actually free to test out and edit photos.  As someone who doesn’t do much re-touching and focuses more on exposure and color correction these apps are amazing for editing on the fly.

There are way too many apps out there to go through all of them.  If you’re using one that you love leave a comment below and I’ll try it out for sure.

 

My First Ever Impressions with Android

I’ve been tasked with developing basic troubleshooting tips and tricks for mobile devices by my employer.IMG_1747

Now, outside of two short and awful Android experiences, I’ve had no real world use with one of these devices but clearly I was going to have to become a pro with them very quickly.

So I ordered a Samsung Tab S2 tablet.  Why?  Well first off because it currently runs Android Marshmallow (Android’s 2nd most adopted OS to date), it will have the ability to upgrade to Nougat (Andriod’s latest but not yet adopted OS), and lastly it won’t have much of the garbage software that carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile install on Android devices before being sold.

First Impressions

Where the hell is the back arrow?  Using the back button located on the lower right hand side of the device is taking a lot getting used to.  With iOS when we need to go back we typically look to the top left hand corner of the app or simply swipe backward.

Why do I need multiple user accounts? (Google and Samsung)  One thing I learned at Apple is, people can’t remember their usernames and or passwords to save their lives.  Upon booting up my new tablet I was prompted to enter my gmail account for the Google Play Store (where you get all your apps) PLUS they wanted me to create a Samsung user name and password separate from my Gmail account.  I’m not exactly sure what they use this for but I’ve been getting prompted every so often to do so, so that I can take advantage of some “Samsung Essential Apps”.  This is very annoying and pops up on my screen regularly.

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Live Widgets are Fantastic.  Apple attempted to use live widgets but decided to put them in hidden places like Notification Center.  Android really allows you to customize your home screen for all of your up to date information.  I really hope Apple finds a non battery draining way to do this.

The Vibrance of the Display.  The “Super AMOLED” display is extremely vibrant.  It oddly does seem to be a magnet for dust and fingerprints though.  I find myself cleaning the screen extremely often.  I almost never have to on my iPad Pro.  Also it seems like many of the third party apps aren’t prepared to use such an available color palette.  Most of the third party apps have a very bland look and feel.

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What was that noise?  I’ve got my notifications set to minimum but I find that the device is almost always beeping about something.  You really don’t know what it is until you pull up your notifications.

Oh I get to nerd out?  Unlike iOS, Android gives you a ton of control over the device.  You can see RAM and CPU usage and how the impact battery life.  This is nice if you’re very tech savvy and want to know those things but don’t have a whole lot of real world use.  There are ways to completely customize this open source device which I haven’t really jumped into just yet.

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User accounts. Being able to have multiple user accounts (locally) seems pretty wonderful.  Our computers have been doing this for decades but mobile device haven’t.  If this device were to be shared with anyone that feature is amazing.

Day to Day Experiences

I found the tablet pretty easy to pick up for most day to day things.  Notification management can be a bit tricky and it LOVES to make noises whenever it can but I’ve just found that putting it in Airplane mode when I’m not using it, solves that issue.  Or does it?

One thing that drives me crazy is when it is in Airplane mode, it treats your notifications like water trying to get through a kinked hose.  We all know what happens when you un-kink that hose.  All the notifications come flying in at once making a horrible long lasting noise of notification awareness.  Even if I’ve addressed these notifications, such as email, from another device.

One big surprise was how well Android plays with Apple’s AirPods.  Apple specifically designed them to work optimally with iOS devices.  Now that doesn’t mean that they don’t play nice at all but it’s a different process.

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To recap how they work with Apple devices, any iOS or Mac with the same Apple ID remembers your AirPods even if they’ve never been connected through traditional pairing processes.  This makes it very easy to switch between devices.

With Android you just need to follow the traditional bluetooth pairing procedures and they work just fine.  I was surprised that the AirPods did not have to be re-paired traditionally with my Apple devices after being paired with my tablet.

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I miss the easily addable accessories such as my magnetic cover for my iPad and my keyboard cover that uses Apple’s smart connector.  I never realized how important they were to me and since I’d rather not carry around a separate keyboard this device is basically unusable for any long amounts of typing.  It seems Samsung is attempting to resolve this with the Tab S3.

Overall

I’m surprised how much I enjoy this device.  Being someone who has never ventured outside of iOS I was worried of the potential for culture shock.

The Samsung Tab S2 is extremely thin and light but I’m constantly afraid I’m going to scratch it.  I guess I’ve learned to trust what Apple devices can withstand as far as physical abuse over the years so this might change.

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I haven’t even really scratched the surface as to what this device can do but I’ll certainly get more technical with it as time goes on.  For anyone considering, maybe take a look into the more affordable devices and see for yourself.

Take it from someone who’s never ventured outside the box until now.  You may be pleasantly surprised.