Tethered Shooting To A Wireless iPad – Very Cool!!!!!

2 08 2010

iPad Users… You are going to LOVE this posting!!!!!

When the iPad was first announced, I was very excited about the using this device for photography.  Besides the obvious benefits of displaying photos, I imagined using the iPad as a tethered monitor for high resolution display of images in the field without having to lug a laptop around.  Alas, I was disapointed to hear that there was no USB connection on the first model.  While I love my iPad I had all but given up the thought of using it as a convenient high resolution monitor for tethered shooting.  Then all of a sudden I had a brain wave about how I could make this work.  When I tested it out, it worked like a treat.   I haven’t seen any mention of this on the internet anywhere, so hopefully this blog posting will help other photographers turn their iPad into a super convenient wireless monitor for tethered studio sessions.   Check out this video which will show it to you in action.

How Does It Work?

This should work with any Canon or Nikon camera

It definitely works with a Mac, however I’m not sure if there is an equivalent solution for Windows.

Here’s what you need.

  1. Camera (I know it will work with Nikon and Canon, but probably other brands as well)
  2. USB cable that you would normally use to shoot tethered.
  3. Mac Computer (Works fine on a Mac Pro laptop, iMac etc.)
  4. Tethering software (that runs on the Mac) I am using Lightroom 3, but you could also use Sofortbild or Canon tethering software.
  5. Air Display Software for the Mac (free) from Avatron
  6. Air Display Application for iPad ($9.99) from the AppStore on your iPad

Start by installing Air Display on your iPad.

Then download the Air Display Application for your Mac from Avatron.  You can get this by clicking here.

Get Airdisplay working as an extended desktop first (pretty cool eh)?

If you don’t have a wireless network operating in your shooting location, then you can create an Ad-Hoc Network from your Mac.  This means you don’t need a wireless router to communicate with your iPad… Your Mac computer will talk wirelessly to the iPad without any other hardware.

Then I started my tethering software (in my case it was Lightroom 3) and I configured my virtual second monitor into Loupe mode

Once I started my tethered shooting session the images just appear beautifully on my iPad.

If you drag the tethering control window onto the virtual monitor on the iPad you can remote trigger the camera.

Now I just need to design a cool little holder for my tripod… any suggestions?

I hope you find this posting useful… look forward to your comments and reactions.






54 responses

2 08 2010

pretty cool! would be realllllllly cool if you didnt have to plug your camera into another computer….I can see how it could be useful in a studio setting, but certainly not anywhere else i dont think.
I would have thought someone could come up with a wireless solution that connects an ipad directly to a camera and lets you remotely fire the shutter and view the images etc, without the need for the extra computer.

2 08 2010

Yes, the fact that you still need a laptop rather nicely undermines the whole “not having to lug a laptop” notion.

Where your solution can be useful is in a studio situation. The iPad could be a second monitor for use by your human subjects to see their images without having to step off set and thus break the continuity of the shoot. You can see the results on your laptop, and the model can see herself on the iPad.

Knowing as I do that you have an iPhone, a MacBook Pro and an iMac (I have the first two), where does the iPad otherwise fit into your usage? While it looks rather snazzy, I haven’t been able to identify a practical use for it. It seems to be a solution to a problem I don’t have, as it sits between an iPhone and a MacBook, but performs neither of those functions particularly well (if at all).

I’d be interested to hear how and why you use it, wireless tethering aside.

3 08 2010

Hi Brent,

there is an iPhone/iPad app that allows remote DSLR controlling for Canon and Nikon cameras called DSLR Camera Remote (http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=38). In their blog they talk about why the intermediary computer is still necessary (basically the camera manufacturers development of their SDKs is the limitation, not iPad developers). Nevertheless they are looking to develop tethered to the iPad at the earliest possible time. http://www.ononesoftware.com/blog/2010/04/26/dslr-camera-remote-1-3-on-the-ipad/

Cheers, Murray

4 08 2010

Hey Mathew

There are solutions for wireless tethering without a computer, but it requires you buy a wireless transmitter for your camera.

Check out the vendors site if you want more info on this.

My test was more of a cheap hack that doesn’t require a wireless transmitter for camera.


4 08 2010
Sandy @ Shots

Hanvon do a great little touch pad that does have USB ports….also great for non Mac users 🙂

4 08 2010

I love my iPad and use it heaps for the following.

When I travel now I leave my laptop at home and use my iPad for biz trips.


Photo portfolio

Great for watching movies/videos when travelling. I’m watching Mad men now which is such a GREAT series.

Some cool apps (Photo ephemeris etc.)

Awesome for browsing the net while chilling at home

I love it as a second monitor for my laptop when I’m on a photo shoot (I can use it with airdisplay to put all my photoshop menus on like at home.

Heaps of other stuff.

I LOVE my iPad.


5 08 2010
Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider Blog » Photoshop & Digital Photography Techniques, Tutorials, Books, Reviews & More » Blog Archive » Thursday News Stuff

[…] having multiple monitors so your client can see images live as you shoot as well). Also, check out his blog for the step-by-step […]

5 08 2010
Chris Martin

Very cool – thanks for sharing the details on the set up.

I’ve used a Joby to prop the iPad up. Still looking for a good frame that I can securely set it into though.


5 08 2010
Teymur Madjderey (icedsoul photography)

very nice. funny how I am using airdisplay for some time, but havent thought of this.

thanks a bunch!!!


5 08 2010
Zack Jones

Great idea! For once it seems PC users will be saying “Is there a version for the PC?” since Air Display is a Mac only product. I wonder if anyone does make a PC version.

6 08 2010

Hey Zack

I spoke to the CEO of Avatron (who make Airdisplay) and they are about to release a Windows version of the product, so Windows users won’t have to wait very long.


6 08 2010
Christopher goette

Did thisbwith windows weeks ago 🙂

6 08 2010
Christopher goette

Used maxivista and lr3

7 08 2010
Nikon/Canon Kameras mit dem iPad und Lightroom fernsteuern

[…] Die Idee dazu stammt nicht von mir sondern von Brent Pearson  […]

8 08 2010

Sweet mate, must try it out, just need a better studio set up. Did some portraits last week and probably should have looked at the pics on a bigger screen to check what I was getting. You can’t rely on the phase screen to give you any ideas. Keen for a shoot when you come over, just need to work out the dates then earn some brownie points. Thanks for the post, it is awesome you share your tips and tricks.

10 08 2010
Thursday News Stuff

[…] having multiple monitors so your client can see images live as you shoot as well). Also, check out his blog for the step-by-step […]

10 08 2010

Hey Brent,

Im really hanging out for one of these ipads but holding of till the next generation arrive, cant wait.

12 08 2010

Great Stuff, Brent. Thanks for the research.

12 08 2010

Oh and of course the video is well done too

17 08 2010

nice article. very helpful

Thanks !

19 08 2010
türkh web tasarım

There are solutions for wireless tethering without a computer, but it requires you buy a wireless transmitter for your camera.

20 08 2010
Antarctica, Lightroom and AirDisplay – Steve Black Photography

[…] Tethered Capture – combined with my iPad.  A few weeks ago, I read a great article (by Brent Pearson) talking about using LR3, the iPad and an App called AirDisplay […]

8 09 2010
John Nack on Adobe : Waiting for wireless tethering

[…] details about the setup are on Brent’s site. […]

13 09 2010
Tethering an iPad with an iPhone (Get Internet EVERYWHERE) | iTabWorld

[…] Tethered Shooting To A Wireless iPad – Very Cool!!!!! « Brent … […]

15 09 2010

I must go out and buy iPad now after reading this post. DO WANT!

15 09 2010

Cool … i love this site

17 10 2010

I find the touch interface has some offset to position where controls show in the screen. This causes unwanted results of course.

Anyone else experiences this?


29 10 2010
Ipad ??

[…] the main shooting for the UCLA Store catalog use something similar to the method described here: Tethered Shooting To A Wireless iPad – Very Cool!!!!! Brent Pearson’s Photo Journey Another possibility: Shooting tethered with the Nikon D3 and the iPad | Paul Cox Photography […]

31 10 2010
Beautiful American Girls :

my wireless router at home overheated when i used p2p heavily for 24 hours for the next 25 days ‘

19 11 2010
Mark Roe

This is great!

Worked well with my various Nikons, Aperture 3, iPhones and Ipads. Tried lots of different combinations but it worked first time every time.

Assistant in front of the computer, client with an IPad, me being left to get on and shoot – perfect!

Thanks so much for sharing…

19 11 2010

Here you go…wireless tethering to the iPad…no computer required!


Requires a jailbroken iPad (non jail broken is fine, if you are always going to be shooting in a studio with the same wireless router), EyeFi wireless sd card, and camera! 🙂

19 11 2010

Sorry, you do need to have a jailbroken iPad to make this work, in studio or out. Real easy to do. If I can anyone can…LOL!

4 12 2010
Electric Oven

you can always tell the quality of USB cables by looking at the thickness of the cable. thicker usb cables have higher quality -;;

7 12 2010
Du hoc Singapore

I think this book is useful for everyone: http://www.wowebook.co.cc/apple/the-ipad-pocket-guide/

17 03 2011

thanks very good site

1 04 2011
Adobe Lightroom 3 al iPad vía WIFI | Software

[…] solución creada por Brent Pearson para salir  al  iPad fue utilizando la App Air Display y Lightroom 3 sobre una red WIFI […]

2 04 2011
Troy Grover

Thanks for sharing this Brent!!

11 05 2011
Przemyslaw Szklarski

Very Good system

1 06 2011

hmm… Why have to connect to Mac book? If I have to connect to Macbook, I’d rather connect it directly to Ipad using IPAP cable kit $29, hang my Ipad right beside me and shoot. At least this way I can go anywhere and don’t have to worry about the cable that connect my camera with Laptop.

18 06 2011
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31 07 2011
Est-il possible de tirer attachés l’aide d’un iPad? | Questions sur la photographie

[…] ya une description ici qui montre comment vous pouvez le faire, mais il semble un peu d’une solution alambiquée. Je […]

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[…] una descripción aquí que muestra cómo se puede hacer esto, pero parece un poco de una solución complicada. No existe […]

1 08 2011
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[…] ist eine Beschreibung hier das zeigt, wie Sie dies tun können, aber es scheint ein bisschen verworren Lösung. Ich glaube […]

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[…] una descrizione qui che mostra come si può fare questo, ma sembra un po ‘una soluzione contorta. Non vi è […]

5 08 2011
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[…] 説明があるここでこれを行うことができますことは、方法を示していますが、それは解決策複雑なのだビット。 私は(現在の)何があなたのWiFiに計算されたリンクを可能とし、直接デジタル一眼レフが有効になっているしないでください。 しかし、私は確かに今まで起こってからそれを排除していないでしょう。 Nick Miners […]

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[…] описание здесь , что показывает, как вы можете сделать это, но мне […]

8 08 2011
mobile roaming

Good to see some of the greatest information on your blog, really nice work this is and I really like it.

13 08 2011

Thanks so much for this info. I have a shoot coming where I would like the client to view the images separately from the digital tech. By going to secondary display in loupe mode, the client can view the images without having to look over the shoulder of the digital tech.

29 09 2011
Damon Hair (@damonhair)

here’s another solution.

and as far as the attachment..look for an ipad holder that will mount to the back of a car seat to use as a mobile TV. most electronics stores sell them.

happy shooting. great post!

18 10 2011

Brent, I am curious to see if you are now running Lion on the Mac as Air Display has known issues (not working) on some older Mac’s (2008 and 2009 or so) per their website.

25 12 2011
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