CamRanger – Easily send photos to your iPad! The ultimate Nikon D4 camera control device? – by Preston Mack

Preston MackPreston Mack is a professional photographer based in Orlando, Florida.
He is a graduate of the University of Miami’s School of Architecture. He shoots for advertising agencies such as Yellow Shoes Creative, The Meyocks Group, Mullen, GSD&M, Carol H Williams Agency, PUSH and Fry Hammond Barr. His corporate clients include Walt Disney World, Southwest Airlines, Pillsbury, GM, Kraft, Hy-Vee, Tupperware and Major League Baseball.
He shoots editorial assignments for magazines such as Reader’s Digest, The Sporting News, ESPN The Magazine and Forbes Magazine. His work has been recognized by the Best of Photojournalism, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, Southern Short Course, and the National Press Photographer’s Association. Preston is a board member of the Central Florida ASMP.
Hall of Fame

Baseball HOF inductees Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox
(Nikon D4, 24-120 lens, 1/200th @ 6.3 , 250 ASA)

As my career has progressed from B/W film, to chrome film to negative film and now to digital, I’ve seen the growing need for quicker delivery of images. The photographer has to be more than just a photographer – you have to be a solutions driven problem solver to make your clients happy. Technology can often help you with this.

I have previously blogged about the Nikon WT-4 transmitter. The WT-4 allows you to send images from your Nikon camera to a configured iOS or Mac/Windows computer. The Nikon transmitter is a good piece of equipment BUT it is way too expensive for what it is and it almost takes an IT professional to set it up. Also, the transmitter was tied to the brand, meaning the Nikon transmitters work only with Nikon, not Canon. This was once a problem when I booked an architecture shoot and I needed to use the incredible Canon 17mm Tilt shift lens. Of course, that required me to use a Canon full frame body and I didn’t have a transmitter to use for that shoot. I had to tether it to my Mac Book Pro to get a preview. A new solution recently presented itself to me. The CamRanger. I decided to use this new piece of gear on my favorite shoot of 2013 – Portraits of the newest Baseball Hall Of Fame inductees at the annual MLB Winter Meetings.

Retired Managers Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox had been elected to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee. This was announced on December 9 in a press conference inside the Disney Dolphin Hotel. My job was to take the first official portraits of the newest HOF inductees. I had my studio set up with 2 Profoto 7B packs, a 5′ Photoflex Octodome for the key light and a Profoto beauty dish for the kicker. The strobes were triggered by the PocketWizard X. I photographed each man separately but the important photo was the group picture. Everyone wanted the photo of these great friends together. The entire shoot lasted about 3 minutes and the CamRanger transmitted each JPG from the camera to the iPad. The large preview on the 9.7″ iPad helped me spot potential shadows that I would need to correct. After each shot, the people from the HOF would  also comment on how good they all looked together. This positive energy really helped energize the group. It became easy to get them close and to smile.

Hall of Fame

Nikon D4 transmitting JPGs to my iPad 4 via the Cam Ranger.

Now, if sending images to a device was all the CamRanger did, it would easily be worth the money. However, as I learned, the preview function is only one of the features.

CamRanger

The CamRanger comes with the device, power cable, a USB type A to USB mini B, battery and carry case. The removable, rechargeable battery is easy to swap out.

CamRanger

On the right, the small on/off switch is next to the micro USB b port (used to charge the device). On the left, is where you plug in your DSLR usb cable. The ethernet port is for firmware upgrade.
The Cam Ranger costs $299 and will work with both Canon and Nikon cameras*. The set up is very easy. After you download the dedicated Cam Ranger app to the device, you enter a unique code when you open the app. The code is located on the backside of the Cam Ranger. No more IP addresses, Target server addresses with the WT-4.

The CamRanger has the ability to:

• Send Preview images to a device (iOS or Android  device and Mac or Windows computer) for review

• Use Live view for both movie and still images

• Control exposure, ASA, focus and shoot photos (and movies) from your device

• Set drive mode, white balance, metering mode, focus mode

• Intervalometer for time lapse and bulb photography

• Macro photography, focus stacking

• HDR bracketing

I can see the remote camera feature very useful for me when I set up remotes at race finish lines. Often, these road races start so early that the finish line is in near darkness when you mount the camera. Now with the CamRanger, you can live view the image remotely, set focus and change exposure just before the finish. This is critical if the camera cannot be easily accessed.

You can then hand the iPad to an assistant, and they can use the device to actually fire the camera. I will write another blog post about this feature once I shoot some of those assignments.

*CamRanger  – Currently Supported Cameras:

Nikon:
• D5000
• D5100
• D5200
• D90
• D7000
• D7100
• D300
• D300S
• D700
• D600
• D800
• D800E
• D3
• D3s
• D3x
• D4

Canon:
• Xsi
• T1i
• T2i
• T3i
• T4i
• 40D
• 50D
• 60D
• 6D
• 7D
• 5D Mark II
• 5D Mark III
• DS Mark III
• 1D Mark IV
• 1Dx

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