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How To Tether Your DSLR to iPad Wirelessly

April 5th, 2011

I have been eyeing the Eye-Fi Pro X2 SD card for a while now. The idea of having wifi build into your memory card is kind of cool. The feature that pushed me over the edge to buy one is the promise of wirelessly tethering my 5DMKII to my iPad.

This video at fstoppers.com demonstrates the way wireless tethering to the iPad works. Notice you currently have to jailbrake your iPad to make this work. I know, not everyone will want to jailbrake their iPad. It turns out you don’t have to jailbrake your iPad. There are several other alternatives:

  • Use your iPhone 4 as a wireless hotspot so both the iPad and the Eye-Fi Pro X2 talk through your iPhone. OK, so you don’t have an iPhone 4, neither do I.
  • Use a battery powered pocket router to talk to both the Eye-Fi and the iPad. This isn’t ideal because a pocket router costs about $90.
  • The last and probably the BEST alternative is to patiently wait a few months and for the new version of microcode for the Eye-Fi announced at CES in January 2011 which will allow the Eye-Fi Pro X2 to talk directly to the iPad without a router.

Of coarse shooters that use Canon 5DMkII’s and other DSLRs that take only CF cards have another problem. The Eye-FI Pro X2 is a SD card. Well that’s easy, you say, just use a SD to CF card adapter. Maybe, and maybe not. My research indicates that some SD to CF card adapters can be hacked to work by tearing off the outside metal casing and other adapters just don’t work. So in general you can’t depend on just any SD to CF card converter working because the metal casing in the converter body shields the RF coming from the Eye-Fi Pro and keeps it from working.

So at this writing I have my G9 (uses a SD card) working to my iPad through my home wireless network and I’m waiting for the jailbrake code for IOS 4.3.1 to be released (I just updated my iPad to 4.3.1 and it typically takes 4 to 6 weeks for jailbrake code to be released after a IOS update is released). Also, I’ve got several different SD to CF card adapters ordered so I can find one that works with the Eye-Fi Pro X2. Of coarse if you are a SD card shooter you don’t have to fool with this last adapter hacking step. But Canon Shooters stay tuned until I get this last hack figured out. I hope to let you know how to do the last step soon.

I should point out that besides the general usefulness of capturing  and viewing all the images (JPG and RAW) you shoot on a much larger screen, this lash up with Eye-Fi Pro X2 and the ShutterSnitch iPad app, is a natural for looking at images you shoot from a PAP pole. More on that application later.

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9 Responses to “How To Tether Your DSLR to iPad Wirelessly”

  • Good deal. I was going to wait for the new version of the chip. I have been working out ways to use some camera remotes and stuff. Over the next year or two i have a feeling the tech will catch up and it will be easy to do.

  • I could not resist myself. I bought that Eye-Fi Pro X2 it will be here tomorrow. I can use my Jailbroken iPhone 4 as a bridge between the two. I will see how it goes and report back.

  • keep in mind you can not jailbreak the ipad2 yet.

  • @Robert you don’t need to jailbreak if you have an iPhone 4 use the personal hotspot feature.

    Android users… http://blog.knguyentu.com/2011/03/motorola-xoom-eyefi-nikon-d300s-android.html

  • I sort of try and Jailbreak or Root all of my devices. I mostly do it out of principal. Right now my iPhone 4 is jailbroken and running 4.2 because I don’t want to Jailbreak using 4.3 yet. I also don’t want to use the native hotspot application ever, I like the MyWi app. I have unlimited data and don’t want to be forced to switch off of it. If I enable the hotspot it will switch me off of the unlimited date to one of the new $*%& plans. Check out http://osxdaily.com/2011/03/17/att-cracking-down-on-unofficial-iphone-tethering-mywi-users/ They are trying to force people who use MyWi to switch over. Many poeple say though that they are just targeting unlimited users who use 8+ gigs a month with that message. One user reported that they never tethered and had the screen shot to prove it but he still got the message. He had used over 10gigs of data that month.

    The Eye-Fi card should be here soon. I will set it up and try it out using my iPhone 4 and MyWi as the bridge between the two. Looking forward to see how it works.

  • Is they’re a way to somehow tether the camera to the app to view live screen / mode?

  • Well I have it set up. I find that if I shoot with it in card 2 and save raw to my normal SD and jpeg to the Eye-Fi it will stream the info over that I want (shutter, iso, focal length, and stuff) It works well.

    If you want live view you have to use a couple different options. http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/dslr-camera-remote/

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