Are There Advantages to Using CamRanger Over Built-in DSLR WiFi Apps?

October 4th, 2016

camrangerSanjay in India asks:

What are the advantages of using a CamRanger for tethering instead of using the inbuilt wifi in Canon 5DMKIV which you can use to transfer images wireless to your laptop or to your Smartphone or iPad.

My understanding (I don’t use a camera with WiFi but do use CamRanger on my 5DMKII) of the functionality of the Canon Camera Connect App is that while it can control most of the camera functions but there are some things it can’t do that CamRanger does:

  1. It does not shoot time-lapse.
  2. On many models (6D don’t know about 5DMKIV) it cannot turn on video.
  3. CamRanger can do focus stacking (not a big deal for real estate).
  4. Some have reported that the wireless distance on some cameras is not very far. CamRanger is pretty reliably 150 feet.

So it depends on what you want to do whether or not CamRanger has any added benefits. CamRanger is now over 3 years old. It is very likely that the new direct connect WiFi Apps will soon overtake it in functionality.

What are your experiences with using remote apps with the newer cameras that have WiFi? Do they do everything you need?

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15 Responses to “Are There Advantages to Using CamRanger Over Built-in DSLR WiFi Apps?”

  • I agree, CamRanger is priceless when it comes to reliability. I always relate add-on features of cameras to add-on features of a phone. I remember when mobile phones just called and texted; they did those things very well, reception was clear, almost never any problems, and then you had data, cameras, etc; companies started to delegate more resources to the features instead of the phone. The same thing happens with cameras. My main camera is a Nikon D810 and from experience I have had better luck using CamRanger than my other cameras that have built in WiFi. My hope is that Nikon, Canon, Sony, don’t neglect the actual camera improvements to just add OK features that don’t compete with already existing, great alternatives.

  • An alternative to CamRanger, at a MUCH lower price:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/WiFi-Wireless-Live-View-Remote-Nikon-D810-Df-D610-D600-D800-D7100-D7000-D4-D3x-/360909353159?hash=item5407dfb0c7:g:eHgAAOSwoydWswRL

    I own one and it works great. When I bought it the app was free, now it’s about $9.00. I don’t use it often, and I don’t know much about CamRanger, but holy moly, it sure is a lot less $$$$.

  • Thank Gary, I guess I should of said that I shoot with both Nikon and Canon Cameras so with the CamRanger I am not tied to one brand. I don’t think that item you posted is for both. But def. good to know! Thanks for posting.

  • After posting a link to what I bought in 2014, I checked to see what’s new.

    How about a CamRanger for less than $50?

    Hardware – http://www.diyphotography.net/remote-control-dslr-less-40/ $39.95

    Software – http://dslrdashboard.info/ $8.66

    Works with Canon, Nikon, and some Sony’s.

  • Here’s what I use — another alternative:
    http://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconsoft-products/helicon-remote/

  • I haven’t used the mkIV and haven’t seen any wifi range tests on it, but I can’t imagine the range being better than a dedicated external router. And as Larry said, it offers more control than Canon’s control app.

    CamRanger is great for range, control, and because it saves my camera battery life. Historically camera wifi has been a battery hog when active, and I’ve never had much luck with it on my camera anyway.

    I don’t often recommend DIY for serious work, but Gary’s links are a great choice. Still reliable, great compatibility and control, and looks just as good but at a fraction of the price.

  • I have not used any of this type of product but I can see where it would be fabulous for so many applications. But why is it used for RE photography? What advantages does it give RE photographers for both stills and video? How do you guys use it and for solving what problems? Thanks. It is always good to be exposed to new solutions.

  • @Peter and others not familiar with how RE photographers use the CamRanger see this post where we talk about that: http://photographyforrealestate.net/2013/08/05/how-do-you-like-your-camranger-and-how-are-you-using-it/

  • Here I explain how to make one yourself for about $40. Works great.

    http://blog.alanlawrencephotography.com/control-your-dslr-for-less-than-40/

  • Don’t expect to send multiple 24Mb RAW images over wifi to your smartphone for editing. JPEG’s maybe. But not RAW files.

    I find that the remote functionality works well for taking pictures while walking around with a flash my hand. I use the Sony app.

  • Some advantages of Cam Ranger…
    *I find the cam ranger looks professional if your using a tablet to control your camera. People like to see the results and tend to wow at the histogram and camera control
    *using live view with the Cam Ranger enables you to focus anywhere in the frame instead of just using the limited focus points in camera – perhaps its greatest feature.

  • Another great benefit of CamRanger is possibility to control motor (through PT Hub + software) when installing camera on top of high-height mast or in some locations where physical access to the camera is restricted.

  • dlsdashboard doesn’t support the latest cameras. CamRanger is still king of the hill.

  • @Peter Daprix,

    There are several benefits to using a CamRanger (or similar)
    You can back the camera into a corner and use the remote to make level and comp adjustments since you can’t see through the view finder
    You are able to move light stands and stage the scene without having to make round trips to the camera and back to see how it looks
    You can walk into the scene with a flash and see how it’s working without going back to the camera
    It’s easy to review images destined for a light painted composite to catch any missed zones.
    Settings can be changed remotely without touching the camera

    I picked up a TP-Link router on eBay when a vendor was blowing them out for $10ea (new). I haven’t sat down and done the firmware changes and familiarized myself with DSLRDashboard. I still need to get a tablet to make it the most useful. The upside with going with CamRanger over a DIY lash up is the support. From the comments that I have seen, CamRanger provides excellent support in a timely fashion. If you are making money from a tool, it can be worth the money to not have to post a question on a forum and hope for an answer sometime in the next week or have an OS update break the product and have no idea on when/if it will get fixed. (My production computer and laptop are almost always behind the times since I can’t afford to smash my workflow. I have a Mac Mini that I use to test new OS updates and other software on first.)

  • I’d say that with my Camranger I have found that there is a place for focus stacking in real estate photography……………and am finding it a bit challenging with the Sony app with my A6000…maybe Wayne has a work – around?

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