Author Topic: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?  (Read 1959 times)

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2113
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« on: December 07, 2020, 22:06:42 »
I spent about 30 minutes the first try but I didn’t know the ritual myths and especially secret handshakes. Another 45 minutes the next day and finally magic! Then I tried to change the USB password and oops! Finally I got SnapBridge connected a second time. 

SnapBridge is fun but what’s it really good for? Social media? Uploading photos for eBay? I think it’s transferring GPS location data to my camera but I’ve always been in the same location so I'm not sure. My camera is a Nikon D850.

What options are members finding for serious preview of full resolution JPG(s) on a laptop or desktop computer with low latency? Which option: USB or WiFi? What is available in standalone Windows and MAC programs?

What options are available for serious remote camera control? Especially important is pre-focus in live view with low latency shutter release. Having the camera focus in live view before releasing the shutter is not useful for many applications.

Thank you!

Dave Hartman
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Birna Rørslett

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2885
  • A lesser fierce bear of the North
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2020, 22:48:35 »
I only use Snapbridge to feed GPS data to my Z50. All other functionality is turned off.

Why one would want to participate in the flooding of "social" media with yet more jpgs straight off camera I fail to comprehend.

Tristin

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1081
  • Nothing less, always more.
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2020, 01:13:40 »
The failure on behalf of ILCs to allow users quick ways to send/share images is a massive one.  I've had many family members come to me asking for camera recommendations, and I just tell them to upgrade their phone.  I wish I could point them to something like a Z50, but know they would hate it for this one crucial aspect it lacks.  I often find myself using a phone instead of my Nikon because it is simply superior most of the time.  My "real" camera has become a niche tool.  I personally am hoping future Zs correct this, and I can begin relying on my Nikon for all of my picture taking needs.
-Tristin

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2113
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2020, 01:23:34 »
I only use Snapbridge to feed GPS data to my Z50. All other functionality is turned off.

Why one would want to participate in the flooding of "social" media with yet more jpgs straight off camera I fail to comprehend.

Well some love to post any and every photo they take. I don't know why either. For them SnapBridge should be great (or maybe not).

Sharing photos with friends and relatives is a reasonable thing to do if there is some restrain. In the past one might have a roll developed. 2x prints made and a few chosen and mailed to family.

I'm looking for something to preview photographs as full resolution JPG files. I'd be shooting NEF + JPG Fine. I'd like serious remote, hands off, camera control. SnapBridge is deficient in both.

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

MFloyd

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1458
  • My quest for the "perfect" speed blur
    • Adobe Portfolio
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2020, 01:29:10 »
SnapBridge works OK with the D6; it gets more complicated with the D850.

My workflow in the field is camera -> SnapBridge -> Lightroom Mobile for editing -> broadcast through Lr Mobile to social media / press officer. This all in a matter of minutes. It has been a “life”saver in regard of confinement / separate groups, not always having access to press room because belonging to a different (COVID-19) “bubble”. Images are 1600x1000 px / 1 MB size, sufficient for internet publication. Classic editing for more traditional media (eg printed press) takes later in the day, through the normal way. But you like it or not, most news info flows now through Twitter, Insta and the like...
Γνῶθι σεαυτόν

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2113
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2020, 01:34:22 »
SnapBridge works OK with the D6; it gets more complicated with the D850.... etc

This makes sense. I don't have a D6 to compare. Maybe I'm panning SnapBridge because it's not fulfilling my needs. If I still shot PR I might find it more useful.

I'm interested in Studio use.

Best,

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Akira

  • Homo jezoensis
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 10110
  • Tokyo, Japan
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2020, 02:10:38 »
If I remember correctly, Ann uses Yongnuo wifi transmitter for the more professional tethering.  Apparently that is discontinued now.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2113
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2020, 07:31:15 »
Should I assume few if any here use USB or WiFi tethering other than some find SnapBridge useful despite its limitations?

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Akira

  • Homo jezoensis
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 10110
  • Tokyo, Japan
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2020, 07:51:14 »
Should I assume few if any here use USB or WiFi tethering other than some find SnapBridge useful despite its limitations?

Dave

Dave, you would have to use Nikon's genuine Camera Control Pro2 for the tethering with the computer via usb.  According to Nikon's website, D850 is compatible.  So far as the wireless connection is concerned, I've only heard of Ann's solution.

Most of pro photographers I personally know uses Canon cameras for the tethering with iPad, Mac or PC via wifi without any additional hardware.   They say that the efficient wireless tethering ability is one of the bigger reasons for them to opt for Canon.  I know only one pro who tethers Nikon, and his D810 is connected to his Mac via usb.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

MFloyd

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1458
  • My quest for the "perfect" speed blur
    • Adobe Portfolio
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2020, 08:13:15 »
Should I assume few if any here use USB or WiFi tethering other than some find SnapBridge useful despite its limitations?

Dave

I’m favoring the Bluetooth low energy connection option, leaving the WiFi channel open on my smart device for communicating with the “outside” world. No additional gear needed like the over-expensive WT-x transmitters.
Γνῶθι σεαυτόν

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2113
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2020, 08:44:49 »
More fun with SmartBridge: just now I had multiple failure to swtich from Bluetooth to WiFi. I pulled the battery out of my D850 and replaced it. Still no joy.  >:(

Then I decided to try restarting my Moto G7, Android phone. Bluetooth pairing happened instantly and switching to WiFi to download photos succeeded on the first try.  :)

...but I really want the camera to connect to a laptop not a phone.

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2113
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2020, 09:15:55 »
I’m favoring the Bluetooth low energy connection option, leaving the WiFi channel open on my smart device for communicating with the “outside” world. No additional gear needed like the over-expensive WT-x transmitters.

Point well taken regarding phone communicating with the outside world.

My D850 has built in WiFi but I don't pay for cellular data so I loose connection to the internet when the phone switches to WiFi to communicate with the D850.

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1312
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2020, 16:03:24 »
I spent about 30 minutes the first try but I didn’t know the ritual myths and especially secret handshakes. Another 45 minutes the next day and finally magic! Then I tried to change the USB password and oops! Finally I got SnapBridge connected a second time. 

Yeah, Snapbridge can be tricky to connect sometimes. If there is a lot of radio interference e.g. when in the vicinity of my home wifi router, or in big public events with large numbers of cell phones around, it might not connect. But usually, when in absence of such disturbances its recent versions connect reasonably painlessly and then you can transfer images to the world without a computer.

I find the D6 version to work somewhat more fluidly (I assume it is similar with Z6, Z7 and other newer cameras) and it also allows wifi transfer to computer (using Nikon Wireless Transfer Utility) which is more reliable and "sticky" than using the built-in wifi to connect to a smartphone (with smart devices, Snapbridge is sticky when using bluetooth but the wifi connection is easily dropped which is a bit annoying). The technology started as really finicky and erratic but it is gradually improving and I think in 5 years many people might not remember that there ever was a problem using it. :D

Quote
SnapBridge is fun but what’s it really good for? Social media? Uploading photos for eBay? I think it’s transferring GPS location data to my camera but I’ve always been in the same location so I'm not sure. My camera is a Nikon D850.

It does transmit GPS location data from the phone once the bluetooth connection is turned on. I use Snapbridge to transfer small jpgs to my friends when photographing if I have an interesting image that I'm excited to share, I'll use it.

Quote
What options are members finding for serious preview of full resolution JPG(s) on a laptop or desktop computer with low latency? Which option: USB or WiFi? What is available in standalone Windows and MAC programs?

I have connect to camera or dslrdashboard (same app, different names) which can be used to use a laptop or desktop (as well as mobile devices) to transfer files. However, whether the latency is low is debatable. You may need to use more basic JPG settings to get fast transfer of images wirelessly than you're used to when using USB cable or memory card reader.

On the D6 (I believe also Z6, Z7 etc.), also the camera itself can transfer images to laptop or desktop (using the  WTU software that Nikon makes downloadable for free). This is really fast for basic jpgs but a bit slower for fine quality jpgs or raws. The JPG quality setting makes a huge difference to transfer times.

If you need high speed transfer of large fine quality jpgs then you may want to use a USB cable (or ethernet cable in the case of D6) to do it. This is much faster than the built-in wireless capabilities but I personally hate tethering with a cable (for safety reasons).

Quote
What options are available for serious remote camera control? Especially important is pre-focus in live view with low latency shutter release. Having the camera focus in live view before releasing the shutter is not useful for many applications.

I have three options for that: the connect to camera / dslrdashboard application, Nikon's own Camera Control Pro 2, and Manfrotto Digital Director (which is like an iPad adapter using USB cord and a mount). However, I rarely use them.

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1312
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2020, 16:26:19 »
Dave, you would have to use Nikon's genuine Camera Control Pro2 for the tethering with the computer via usb.

It depends on what features you want for tethering. I use Lightroom to tether in the studio with USB cable and it works perfectly fine with D850 or even D3X when I just want the images to display in the software rather than control the camera. Some users say Capture One is the better software for tethered workflow but I am used to Lightroom.

However, if you need live view to control the camera then Camera Control Pro 2 does provide that capability (as well as some third-party applications).

Quote
According to Nikon's website, D850 is compatible.  So far as the wireless connection is concerned, I've only heard of Ann's solution.

Nikon provides wifi transfer of images to laptop or desktop with newer cameras but not D850, and even in newer cameras the built-in wifi supports transfer but not control from laptop/desktop, if I recall correctly. Both transfer of images and control of the camera is possible with USB cable or WT-7 wifi accessory (WT-6 for D5/D6) using Camera Control Pro 2. Via third party app (dslrdashboard / connect to camera) control and transfer are possible also using built-in wifi.

Quote
Most of pro photographers I personally know uses Canon cameras for the tethering with iPad, Mac or PC via wifi without any additional hardware.   They say that the efficient wireless tethering ability is one of the bigger reasons for them to opt for Canon.  I know only one pro who tethers Nikon, and his D810 is connected to his Mac via usb.

It's possible to do this with Nikon cameras using third-party software or in newer camera models using Nikon software without additional hardware. However, the built-in wifi in older Snapbridge-compatible cameras was only opened to third-party software in 2019, so there was a 3-year period where some Nikon cameras could not do this with the built-in wifi as it was locked behind the Nikon app and initial bluetooth connection. This was a fiasco obviously and annoyed a lot of people.

However, most studio photographers that I know about still use a cable to do tethering because the connection is faster than wireless. I personally dislike the cable but appreciate the speed when using one. Although the D6 can do the transfer of images to a laptop or desktop via built-in wifi, the speed of transfer is a bit on the slow side for RAW files and I haven't convinced myself to move in this direction. The WT-6 is also a bit too expensive for this purpose for me although it would allow fast transfer or RAW files. If I were convinced that I am not clumsy and will never trip on the cable nor with any of my subjects, then I might be happier using the cabled connection. But I'm not convinced.

David H. Hartman

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2113
  • I Doctor Photographs... :)
Re: SnapBridge: that was fun! Now what: USB Tethering? WiFi?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2020, 22:22:59 »
Ilkka,

Thank you! Great information.

I have installed DigiCamControl and tethered via USB cable and my D850 was recognized immediately. I'm now exploring DigiCamControl.   

Dave
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch!