Want to get started shooting tethered, but not sure which software to choose? There are many options available – everything from the free software already included with your camera – to super-charged programs incorporating all your post-production needs into one package. There is even pro-level wireless tethering solutions. Here are some we think are worth exploring:
Canon EOS Utility software is available free with Canon cameras and includes many features found in purchased software packages. The EOS Utility is a robust full featured software package that has been continually updated to add new features. Available for Windows and Mac. You will need your original software disk that came with your camera for the initial EOS Utility installation. Once installed updates can be download directly from Canon.
Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 does not come with Nikon cameras, but is a full-feature tethering software package allowing full control of all compatible camera’s settings. Available for Windows or Mac. Here are additional details for Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 and Nikon compatible cameras.
Sony’s Camera Remote Control is an free software package for Alpha Series DSLR’s. The program is available on the bundled software disc included with the camera purchase. Limited in features, the software does provide access to some camera settings including shutter release and white balance control. Once the software is installed and up and running, there is a handy little work-around to tether a Sony Alpha into Lightroom to access some more robust features.
PhaseOne Capture One Pro is a professional RAW converter and image editing software which also includes robust tethering features. It contains all the essential tools and high-end performance in one package to enable you to capture, organize, edit, share and print images in a fast, flexible and efficient workflow. PhaseOne offers users the compatible Capture Pilot, a free app for your iPad or iPhone which integrates remote image viewing & zooming, rating, tagging and more. Capture Pilot works on any iOS device but must be used in conjunction with Capture One Pro 7 or newer. Available for Windows or Mac. Here are additional details for Capture One Pro.
Phocus is an free software package designed for Hasselblad cameras. Phocus software provides all the power, performance and advanced tools that photographers desire in an easy-to-use and attractive working environment, making even the largest files simple to handle. Besides the more common tethering features, Phocus offers scene calibration, moire removal and camera configuration to name a few. There is also Phocus Mobile which integrates an iPad or iPhone into the workflow and Phocus Quick for one touch image preview. Here are additional details for Phocus.
Adobe Lightroom incorporates tethering functionality in its comprehensive RAW processing and photo management software. The tethering feature is compatible with select Canon, Nikon and Leica digital cameras. Here a list of supported compatible cameras. A few of the many features include importing photos as they are taken and loading them to a selected catalog. Lightroom offers access to many of the camera’s settings directly from computer as well as instant viewing, zooming, rating and tagging of shots. The ultimate benefit is checking focus, lighting and composition in great detail. Available for Windows or Mac. Here are additional details for Lightroom. Do you want to shoot tethered wireless into Lightroom – here’s how.
Apple Aperture introduced tethering functionality with its 3rd software version, allowing one to shoot directly to their Mac. Aperture is a comprehensive photo management software, which includes image storage and management, detailed metadata, customized presets as well remote backup. Available for Mac. Additional details can be found at the Apple Store.
SofortBild is a free tethering software for Mac users working with Nikon cameras. This robust and reliable software features full control of many camera settings, bracketing, time lapse intervals and instant image review. Sofortbild even supports LiveView with compatible cameras. Simple settings to import into Apple’s Aperture and iPhoto (auto import into Adobe Lightroom is provided by setting up Lightroom’s watch folder feature). Available for Mac computers and compatible Nikon cameras. Details and the software can be downloaded directly from Sofortbild.
ControlMyNikon is one of the most comprehensive and feature rich tethering software programs for Windows (plans for a Mac version in the future) users working with Nikon cameras. Besides all of the standard tethering software features, ControlMyNikon goes above and beyond offering features like loupe view, voice control, white balance calibration, iPad/smartphone integration and many, many other features. The software is priced extremely reasonable and the online training tutorials are superb. Available for Windows computers and compatible Nikon cameras. Details, tutorials and software can be downloaded directly from ControlMyNikon.
PK_Tether is a free tethering software for Pentax cameras and Windows users. Set parameters like shutter, aperture, ISO and file format as well as shutter release. Available for Windows and compatible Pentax DSLR cameras. Details and the software can be downloaded directly from PK_Tether.
Smart Shooter is a comprehensive tethering software for Canon and Nikon cameras allowing full camera control from Mac or PC. Aimed at both the professional and amateur photographer, some key features include: full control of camera settings, Live View display including overlay mode, connect and control of multiple cameras simultaneously, ability to run scripts, bulb shooting with timed exposure and many more. Available for Mac or Windows. Software details and supported cameras available at Smart Shooter.
TetherPro is a full-feature tethering workflow package aimed at Nikon professional studio photographers and hobbyists alike. Offering full screen reviewing, customizable workflow, full camera remote control, automatic image back-up and LiveView. Great for studio/portrait, products, event and astrophotography – available for Windows users. Full Software details available at TetherPro.
Breeze Systems offers a wide range of tethering software options for Canon and Nikon cameras on either a Mac or Windows platform. DSLR Remote Pro, PSRemote and NKRemote offer a full range of robust features including multiple camera tethering and photo-booth software. Available for Windows and Mac computers and compatible with Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras. Software details and camera compatibility can be found at Breeze Systems.
digiCamControl is a free, open source program that gives you full control over Nikon cameras from your Windows PC. It supports tethering, live view, remote triggering, direct image transfer, controlling multiple cameras simultaneously and even offers you camera control from your tablet or smartphone. digiCamControl has support for almost all Nikon DSLR’s cameras. Software details and camera compatibility can be found at digiCamControl.
Camera RC is a full featured tethering solution for Nikon DSLR cameras including the D4, D800, D600 & D5200. CameraRC provides complete camera control and many features at a very affordable price. Camera RC includes live view mode with re-sizable and floating windows making it easy to compose and capture your images and customize features. Available for Windows and Mac running Windows in Boot Camp. Software details, camera compatibility and a free trial version can be found at RC Camera.
Kuuvik Capture is a Canon tethering solution featuring multiple innovative tools including split screen, live view zoomed in to multiple image areas, RAW histogram and focus peaking. Kuuvik Capture provides complete camera control capabilities as well HDR, intervalometer and time lapse with mirror lock-up control as well as WiFi support for the EOS 6D. The software provides a friendly user interface and tutorial videos are available as a learning resource. Currently available for Mac and compatible with many Canon DSLR cameras; software details, camera compatibility and a free trial version can be found at Kuuvik Capture.
Looking to go Wireless? CamRanger offers a nice software package with many pro-level features. Supports most Canon & Nikon DSLR cameras. CamRanger’s tethering software will transmit images wireless to any iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows PC or Android. It also has the ability to control many camera settings remotely from the tablet or computer. Hardware is required but the software is available free. Read more information about CamRanger and its features.
Want to shoot wireless into Lightroom? – here’s how.
Do you have a favorite tethering software not currently listed above? Let us know.