What is the Cam Ranger and Why Should You Want One?

October 31, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
From the Cam Ranger Website
 
If you haven't heard of the Cam Ranger you really should do a little research on it.  I learned about this little jewel at the Texas School of Photography in 2013.  What first interested me was its ability to wirelessly show the images immediately on an iPad or laptop.  Very cool.  Sure you could tether but that requires a cord to drag around as you shoot.
 
So how does this work?  There are two parts to this product.  First is the hardware.  The Cam Ranger itself is about the size of an iPhone.  It must be connected to your camera via the USB port.  When you turn it on it creates a WiFi signal that you connect to with your iPad or laptop.  The only problem I found with this is that the USB port on my Nikon is directly behind my L-Plate that I use for vertical shots.  That means I cannot use my tripod for vertical shots as long as the Cam Ranger is connected.  Another minor problem is that your camera is basically teathered to the Cam Ranger so you have to be sure you don't disconnect if you move around during the session.  I usually just put it in my pocket and it allows me to move freely.
 
The other part of this system is the software.  Very cool and very powerful.  First you install the app on your iPad or laptop.  Then you have to connect to the WiFi signal created by the Cam Ranger unit.  This signal is only to be used with the Cam Ranger.  You will not be able to connect to the internet or email or any other network functions while you are shooting with the Cam Ranger.
 
Once the software is connected to your iPad or laptop you can do so many things.  The most simple is the live view of your images to your device (iPad or laptop).  You can use this for view only or to optionally capture your file on your device as well.  However, the original file is still saved on the card in your camera.  A little different than when you shoot teathered where the file is not saved on the card.
 
The most powerful functions are all the things you can do remotely with your camera.  Imagine this.  Put your camera on a tripod and frame the image.  Now go to the app on the iPad or laptop.  You have the following options you can select based on your need.
  • Adjust Focus
  • Adjust ISO
  • Adjust Shutter Speed
  • Adjust Aperture
  • Adjust White Balance
  • Set to shoot bracketed
  • Set to shoot HDR
  • Set to shoot Focus Stacking
  • Set to shoot with the Intervalometer
  • Fire the shutter release
  • Shoot Video
  • Share Images to Multiple Devices
All of these are very simple to use.  For example, just tap on the part of your live view image where you want to set the focus and the refocus occurs.  Just like on your iPhone.  However, not like your iPhone you can't zoom in and out.  So if you're using a zoom lens you have to be at the focal point you want before using these options.
 
The current price for the Cam Ranger is $299.99 on their website, but you can often find it for less at affiliate stores like Amazon.  Do some research and I assure you it'll wet your appetite for it.  Here is a really good independent review by B&H Photo & Video.
 
BTW, I use primarily Mac devices so I have only mentioned the iPad.  However, this also works with Windows and Android devices.
 
Happy shooting.

 


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