Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wirelessly Tether Your Camera to Your iPad

Hey Everyone,

When shooting on location in the past, it's been difficult to make accurate decisions on whether an image is in focus or if the shot is exactly what you want when viewing the image on the small LCD on the back of your camera.  While shooting tethered is not a new revelation, dragging a laptop to an on location shoot is not ideal.

Welcome the arrival of the iPad!  By shooting wirelessly tethered to your iPad, you can now make those critical decisions about your images based on the large, beautiful screen of the iPad.  You are also not hindered by cables that are required for other tethered configurations.

So, how do you go about setting up your gear to shoot wirelessly tethered to your iPad?

Well, this is one of the most requested how-tos that I get so I finally decided that I would put the instructions together and share them.  As you will see there are A LOT of steps but none too difficult to tackle.  Simply follow the steps below and at the end you will be very glad you did.  I am creating these instructions based on my gear, but there are several variations to the configuration that can be used depending on what gear you use.

My Gear:
    Canon EOS 5D MkII with WFT-E4A attachment
    iPad (note you will need to purchase an App called "ShutterSnitch"$9.99)

How It Works:
In the most basics of terms, the way this whole thing works is that the WFT-E4A (Wireless File Transmitter) camera attachment allows you to  send an image from the camera to a receiving device, in this case your iPad.  To do this, it uses File Transfer Protocol or FTP;  as you may know FTP is a language that the devices use to share information with each other.  In this case, an image that you take on your camera is being shared/sent to your iPad.  While this particular attachment allows you to do several other really cool things, I'm only focusing on this particular functionality for this article.  Additionally, this technique works on any model of the iPad or iPad2.

Setup Your Camera:
The first thing you will want to configure is your WFT-E4A.  You do this by using your camera's menu system.  This process assumes you have already attached the WFT-E4A to your camera.  The WFT-E4A gives you the ability to save settings for up to 5 different networks.  We will use one of those settings to configure your camera to wirelessly tether to your iPad.  Take a deep breath and let's get down to it ...

1)  Press the Menu button on your camera

2)  Navigate to the 5th menu from the left as shown in the FIGURE 1 below and select "WFT settings".

     FIGURE 1
3)  Select "Communication mode" from the menu and set it to "FTP trans."


4)  Select "Set up" from the menu


5)  Select "LAN settings" and choose a set that you have not previously configured.  For my example, I'm using Set 2.

6)  Select "Change" from the options


7)  Change the "LAN type" to Wireless


8) Select "TCP/IP" on the menu and configure as shown below:
    a.  IP address set. = Manual setting
    b.  DNS server = Disable
    c.  DNS address =
    d.  IP address =
    e.  Subnet mask =
    f.   Gateway =
    g.  Security = Disabled


9)  Select "FTP" server from the menu and configure as shown below:


         a.  Target server
                 Address =  (NOTE THIS WILL BE THE ADDRESS YOU GIVE YOUR iPAD later in this tutorial)
                 Port No. = 26000
         b.  Login password
                 Login name = snitch
                 Password = snitchMe  (you can set this password to anything you want)
         c.  Target folder - Leave default setting
         d.  Directory structure = Default
         e.  Overwrite same file = Enable
         f.  Passive mode = Disable
         g.  Proxy server = Leave default setting

10) Select Wireless LAN


       a. SSID = Randys 5DMkII (This is the name that you will see later on your iPad when you are searching for networks so set this to something you will recognize)
       b. Advanced settings
              Connection method = Ad hoc 11g
              Channel = 7
              Encryption = WEP
              Key index = 1
              Key format = Select "Enter 5 ASCII characters" and enter a 5 digit code for the value and then press the "Menu" button to save your settings.


11)  Press the Menu button two times until you get back to the LAN Settings menu shown in the figure below.

12)  Select the "Change settings name" from the menu and give your settings a name like "iPad" and press the "Menu" button to save.


To make sure that your camera is using the new settings, you can go into the menu and select the newly configured set.

    1)  Select "WFT settings" from the menu

    2)  Select "Set up"

    3)  Select "LAN settings" and select the Set number that you configured and then select the "Select" option from the menu.

 NOTE:  The light next to the word LAN on your WFT-E4A should be blinking green now to indicate that your network is running and available.

Setup Your iPad:

Now that you have your camera configured, you will need to setup your iPad.  You will need to log into the App store and download an app called "ShutterSnitch" before performing the steps below.  Also, make sure that your camera has not gone into power save mode.  If it has, simply press the shutter button half way down to wake it up.

1)  Tap the "Settings" icon and select Wi-Fi from the options

2)  You should see the name that you entered on your camera setup in step 11 above.  Select that name and enter the Key that you entered in step 11b above.  You should get a check mark next to the entry on the iPad indicating that you are now connected to your camera.  NOTE:  Be sure that your camera hasn't gone to sleep mode or you will not see it in the list.


3) Tap the blue arrow to the right of the listing for your camera and tap the option for "Static" and enter the following information:
     IP Address =
     Subnet Mask =
     Router =   
    Note:  You only have to do this one time.


4)  When exiting Wi-Fi setup make sure that you have selected your camera network and that it is connected.

5)  Launch the ShutterSnitch app and create a new collection.  It will say "No Images" in the middle of the screen.

6)  TAKE A SHOT and VOILA you should see the image appear on your iPad!

Now that you have setup everything for shooting wirelessly tethered to your iPad, the next time you want to shoot with this configuration just follow these steps:

     1)  Go into your camera's WFT settings - Set up and select Set 2 for the LAN Settings option and then select "Select"

     2)  Go to your iPad and tap Settings - Wi-Fi and select your Camera from the list to connect to.

     3)  Launch the ShutterSnitch App and either select a collection or create a new one.

     4)  SHOOT!!!

Now go out and have some FUN!        


Gurleymon said...

Nice documentation on the setup. I am a Canon ProMarket Specialist and with this, you have made my life easier. Thanks. Glad it works well for you.

Unknown said...

I have checked, double-checked, triple-checked the settings listed here (which is by far the most detailed instructions for tethering the WFT-E4A to the iPad I've seen), but I still haven't gotten a picture to successfully transfer to the iPad. :(

Unknown said...

Hey Michael, be sure that the last thing you launch is ShutterSnitch and check the settings from within the app by tapping on the wrench icon in the top right when in the collection and it will tell you what current settings are. Shoot me a note if you still need help.

Caio Ferreira said...

Hi. I have followed all the step and haven't got it to transfer any image. Everything seams to work fine but the network. The one you called "Randys 5DMkII"... The iPad recognizes but it seams to be unstable. I'm starting to think the problem is the "wft-e4a" I have.

Unknown said...

I'm having some of the same problems these other guys are having. I have tried setting this up by reading several blogs, and yours seems to be the most straight forward. The ipad is connecting to the right network, but I'm not getting any images to tranfer. My WFT-e4a seems to be "working". The green light flashes, but after waiting a second to see if the file transfers, I get a red flashing light. Could this be trying to tell me something?