CamRanger Overview & Review

CamRanger was kind enough to send me a loaner device to test for in my Udemy course, Adding An iPhone & iPad To Your Photography Workflow.

Instead of just doing s video overview of the product, I thought that I would share my thoughts on the device. Before I do, let me give you a quick blurb on my history of Wifi photo transmission from camera.

When the Eye-Fi SD card first came out many years ago, it intrigued me. Having the ability to capture a photograph on a camera and have it automatically send to a computer is am amazing thing. This is great for moms and dads, but also great for professionals who like tethering but can not stand wires. There are two major problems with the Eye-Fi system.

  1. It is only available in SD form, which means to use the card in a DSLR that only accepts compact flash cards, an adapter is needed and most of the time prevents the Wifi feature from actually working.
  2. The card needs a wireless network to be activate in order to be used, and/or needs an annual subscription to gain access to the adhoc network feature.

At the same time, there is a big advantage of the Eye-Fi system over the CamRanger Wifi system. SD cards are inexpensive, so for under $100 you can have the Wifi tethering experience, and using an app like ShutterSnitch to get the best experience on your iPad.

CamRanger Overview

Below is the video I created using the CamRanger and the Mac beta software. I used this instead of the iPad for one reason. When you are using the CamRanger, the iPad has to be connect to the device’s adhoc Wifi network. That means I could not use my iPad screen recording software to share the actual iPad app. However, the Mac software is extremely similar to the iPad experience.

CamRanger Trailer

The video below is the official video from CamRanger. In the ~3 minute video, the CamRanger team shows you how useful the device can be for any photographer.

CamRanger Experience

I had two encounters with the CamRanger. The first was while I was at the Historic Mills Photo Workshop. I noticed that one of the students (an older gentleman) was using the CamRanger and his iPad throughout the mills. After spending a minute watching him use it (with jealousy of course) I asked him why he was using it inside the mills. His answer was not what I was expecting, and it was a short one too.

“Because my eyes suck”

— by Gentleman using a CamRanger & iPad

Well, that made perfect sense. He was using the CamRanger and iPad for live view, focusing using the touch system rather than his camera. Doing so forced him to take more time, use a tripod and so on. Great move, man!

camranger

My personal experience was a lot of fun. Using the CamRanger is extremely simple and I had the ability to let me client sit in front of my iPad, viewing every photograph I captured. Using the CamRanger and iPad meant that my client was not sitting over my shoulder or squinting to get close to the LCD.

My only rant about using the system is the necessity to photograph on RAW + JPG because on the Nikon D800 each RAW file is over 40MB. The size is too large for the iPad to load through Wifi at a good speed. So the CamRanger team was smart and created a warning to remind the photograph to change their camera settings.

Two final noteworthy comments before I finish this overview. One is a tip and one is a request.

  1. If you plan to shoot wirelessly tethered so clients can view your photographs on a computer or iPad then do not hit the live view button in the CamRanger software. Doing so prevents you can having the ability to control any settings on the camera, or even push the shutter button. Once live view is on in CamRanger, you must control every aspect of the camera from within the software.
  2. I know for sure that Nikon and Canon cameras have the ability to send data through the hot shoe of the camera. While it might be slower than the USB port, which the CamRanger uses, it is definitely possible that a device could be built as a hot shoe mounted Wifi tethering tool. If PocketWizard and CamRanger partnered on this endeavor it would be an amazing thing. The less cables that photographers have to attach to their cameras, the better.

In closing

Thank you again CamRanger team for giving me some time with the product. I have fallen in love with its simplicity, design, size and function. Simply put, this device works when needed and without fail. Anyone interested in picking up a CamRanger system for themselves, just click on that link and grab it from Amazon. It’s an affiliate link, so please support my work reviewing the product by clicking through my links to purchase one. You can also purchase it from their website. CamRanger is $299 and well worth it if you are in need of something like this.

Before I forget: If you purchase CamRanger from Amazon it will only come with a USB 2.0 cable. So if your camera needs USB 3.0, then either purchase the device from CamRanger direct or pick up a USB 3.0 cable from Amazon.

camranger-accessories

In the box

  • Black Protective Case
  • Battery (extras are $19.99)
  • White USB Charging Cable
  • US AC Power Adapter
  • Black USB Cable for Camera Connection
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Ethernet cable for firmware upgrades for potential enhancements.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

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