Ever since I started doing large scale photoshoots, I’ve always looked for a solution to wirelessly tether to my computer. Tethered shooting is a pain because I tend to move around too much and trip over my cables bringing the entire shoot to an epic end. Wireless tethering was only a long-gone dream with the only couple options the affordable Eye-Fi Card which was slow, unreliable and had terrible desktop software… and the completely unaffordable WT-5 units from Nikon. Why tether you ask? Focus checking, framing, presenting shots to the clients on an actual screen, camera controls, live view, just to name a few… And all those are possible tethered directly to an iPad or a Computer using a nifty 300$ device named the CamRanger. But as cool as all that is, what if you wanted the functionality of tethered shooting to Lightroom (apply presets, crop/frame, etc…) , without sacrificing the additional live view camera controls afforded by the CamRanger? Was there actually a solution? Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by CamRanger. After pondering for a while, I found the solution:

5 Easy Steps to set up your computer for wireless tethering to lightroom.

Step 1:

Wireless remote shutter system 2 640x640 Buy a Camranger – (Amazon | B&H | Vistek). Sorry but there’s really no way around it.  (Only works for Nikon/Canon. Be sure to check compatibility here) Though the EyeFi is somewhat of a solution, it is so terribly unreliable and unstable that I would NEVER recommend it for professional (or even semi-professional use).  

Step 2:

Load up the CamRanger preferences and select the “Saved Images Directory” that you want. Make sure that you select “Auto-Download Images” so that the images are automatically saved to your computer. CamRanger Preferences 1

Step 3:

Set you camera to transfer RAW+JPG (I personally use Fine+Small on my D800E but depending on which camera you have, your settings might be different. You CAN choose to transfer RAW files but those 50mb files take time to transfer!! DSF1150 as Smart Object 1

Step 4:

Set up “Auto-Import” in Lightroom. Head over to the Auto-Import Settings, and define your “Watched-Folder” by selecting the folder previously determined in Step 2. Lightroom wireless tether 1 Auto Import Settings You’re done! Enjoy the power of wireless freedom. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, here’s a preview of next week’s BTS video: Camranger 2

Note to bloggers: Please do not copy the contents of this article. Feel free to link to the video and direct people here. Thanks!


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  • So are you just transferring the Jpegs for preview? Or both files? Thank you in advance!

    • actually it only cache’s the data… it doesn’t even take up any of ur internal ipad memory until you actually decide to save them. It’s perfect 🙂

      • philip durrant

        This is great – Can you record both RAW and jpeg to the camera but choose to transfer only the jpeg image to the laptop (for speed)?

        USB tethering can be tiresome, will cam ranger help?!…

        I know it’s an old thread so I might not get a response!

        5D III. Macbook air 10.10.

        • Yes you can choose to transfer a small basic jpg.

          • Kathy Bauernfeind Howard

            How do you tell Lightroom to transfer only the jpeg image? I have searched settings in tethered cannot find. Thanks SO much.

          • Hello Kathy you can not set light room to only import jpeg. That would be done at the camranger software on the iPad or iPhone or whatever Device you are using. You want to shoot raw plus JPEG and then tell Camranger to transfer the JPEG file. If you are not using A cam ranger then you will have to shoot raw or JPEG or both. But keep in mind the transfer will be slower when you shoot raw .

          • Hello Jim, if I transfer only small jpeg to iPad how long a transferring. I just want to check image’s focus or preview to client.

            Thank you.

          • I haven’t timed it but it’s probably 4 or 5 seconds. Maybe less.

  • Hey Ben, huge fan love your work! Would you recommend a wi-fi sd vs the cam ranger? I havent used either so just wondering what the difference is.


    • Camranger is faster, more reliable, offers greater functionality (ability to control the camera settings, focus, etc…)

      Really it’s not even a competition!

  • Frank Blau

    Make sure you turn off Auto-View Images. 🙂 If that is turned on, it can’t move the file in LR.

  • Lana O

    So step 2, where do you load those preferences in?

  • Josh Katz

    can you still use an iPad to control the camera while saving photos to a computer?
    I’d like to use an iMac to display photos to clients while being able to monitor the shots and control the camera from an iPad.

    • You can do that if your computer is tethered to your camera. Transferring RAW files over WIFI is never recommended lol

      • Josh Katz

        So wireless tethering of raw files isn’t doable?
        Or is there just an issue when using an ipad while tethering to a computer?

        • Oh its possible, it just takes about 12-15 seconds to transfer a 50mb raw file lol.

  • Mark Q

    We’re developing such a wireless SSD device. It will process the RAW file to output JPG for preview. And you can view and manage your works with iPad via Wifi easily. Any suggestions would be great appreciated. Link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mportable-portable-wireless-ssd-for-photographers/x/8089777

  • Dwayne

    Cool feature if I ever need it!!

    **Not sponsored by CamRanger directly, but the affiliate links should have a disclaimer that you make money when purchases are made through your links…

  • dread locks

    Can someone check this out, its on kickstarter,similar to camRanger but better?


  • CC

    Hi Von, can I choose which photos I want to send to my iPad from the camera, instead of sending all photos I may take? I am a sports/events photographer and would like to select a few to send to my editor during an event.

  • Thanks for the tutorial! Since my 70D has wifi built in I manipulated your instructions to work with my built in features and my EOS utility

  • Does NOT support sony a7* cameras. Actually Does NOT support any other then canikon cameras..

  • Does this setup allow for remote tethering too?

  • Linda

    Can camranger be tethered directly to Lightroom on an ipad without a computer?

  • So you can choose which type/size files go to the laptop saving time and space? As you shoot does cam ranger have a window that you have to constantly close to get to LR to see results?

  • M A

    Hi, I just started using Camerangers for two cameras in my studio. Where do the raw files end up? The camera is set to both take raw and jpg but i can only find the jpg i my create folder on the mac.
    Also i need to take pictures from two different cameras (both with camrangers attaches, is there any way to sort the pictures so I later on in the computer can organize the pictures in order they where taken, mix the to camera shoots, in to a flow that is regulated after exakt time they where taken?
    Im also using LR for my campaigner photos.
    Regards Madelaine

  • acoolone

    Don’t waste your time on this $300 piece of junk. This can be done with cards that only coast about $40 bucks