Tethered shooting with a Nikon D800e

It’s frustrating to learn that Adobe has dropped the ball with respect to tethered shooting. Tethered shooting allows you to connect the camera directly to your computer so that as you shoot, the images appear on screen. It’s a set-up studio photographers frequently use and one I am only tangentially interested in as I don’t make it habit of lugging my laptop out into the wilds for tethered shooting!

Nikon D800e w/ AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED; ƒ4.5 @ 1/1250, ISO1600

Be that as it may, it is lovely summer morning on the deck with an inquisitive chipmunk as my subject to get tethered shooting working. As a Lightroom user, I was excited to try this out… only to discover Lightroom doesn’t (yet?!) support tethered shooting for the Nikon D800/D800e or D4. A quick online search reveals that Capture One supports it, Aperture supports it, even onOne Software supports it. Why Adobe doesn’t is anyone’s guess. Even the latest version of Lightroom which came out after the D800 – version 4.1 – doesn’t support it.

I own Aperture, but I don’t really want to have a second photo processing/database app on the go. I prefer to keep things simple by using Lightroom, so I won’t be purchasing Capture1 either (although, it sounds like I should as its raw engine produces superior results to Lightroom). This led me to onOne Software. I have OnOne’s “Perfect Photo Suite” of applications but, being more of a “realist” when shooting nature, I have never felt drawn to the product, nor yet had the need of Layers for Lightroom. However, onOne  does offer a DSLR Camera Remote for iPad and iPhone. The app comes in two parts – the Server that’s loaded onto your computer and the App itself for the iPad or iPhone. Downloading the Server – which is free – allows you to shoot tethered to your computer without having to purchase the app for you mobile device.

And – best of all – it works! Within 2 minutes of downloading, I had it and Lightroom set up so that as each exposure is made, the file appears on screen in Lightroom. While I can’t control the camera remotely – I would need to purchase the iPad or iPhone app for that – the Remote Server tethering works perfectly well – as you can see from the photo above!

When you first open onOne DSLR Camera Remote Server, it creates a download folder for you. You can create your own folder or go with the one created. Lightroom itself was easy enough to set up. Under File, choose Auto Import > Auto Import Settings… and point LR to the folder created by Remote Server. LR will automatically move the photos from there to a folder you create. This can all be customized for each shoot you do, right down to the file names.

Anyway, technical gymnastics aside (it’s really only a cartwheel to get you started, nothing like we saw in the Olympics!), tethered shooting is easy to do. For me, I doubt I will use it often, but it’s a great facility to have available. Try it…You’ll like it!


With the recent release of Lightroom 4.2, you can now shoot tethered directly with Lightroom. Thanks Adobe for playing catch-up!

One comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.