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Is There A Cheaper Alternative To The CamRanger?

Published: 20/06/2016


Daniel recently said:

This might be a good alternative to a CamRanger at a cheaper price:

Jean-Louis asks:

I am thinking of getting a WiFi tether and can't make up my mind between CamRanger ($300) and Case Air ($150). Obviously, Case Air makes more sense economically. I know they are pretty similar in performance; I am wondering about their APP. Which one is the best? I will use it when I have a multiple off-camera flash setup. Being able to zoom in, focus on an area, and decide on exposure with the help of a good histogram are the main features that what I am after.

Over the years we have discussed CamRanger a lot and the cheaper alternatives (including Case Air).

I've evaluated several apparent alternatives to the CamRanger. But what I find is the gear I've tried that is $80 and $125 is in my opinion junk. I think what it boils down to is that to create a good piece of hardware a good application and good support is around $300 (what the CamRanger costs). Anyone creating a product less than that has to make shortcuts some someplace. None of them are worth the annoyances they create. You get what you pay for.

By the way, I tried my CamRanger out with my iPad Pro (the 12.9" one) and it blew me away. It is an awesome combination. You don't need a screen that large but it sure is cool. I like it much better than using Lightroom on a tethered laptop!

The bottom line is that CamRanger is very widely used by real estate photographers. It is good quality, reliable, works with most DSLRs, works on IOS and Android, and has great customer service. Most serious photographers that want a device like this are more than willing to pay $150 more to get good gear that works.

What do you think has anyone tried a less expensive alternative to the CamRanger that they really like?

Read our review of the CamRanger vs the Case Air.

Larry Lohrman

15 comments on “Is There A Cheaper Alternative To The CamRanger?”

  1. The problem I see immediately with the "Pulse" from Alpine laboratories is that it takes over your hotshoe on your camera. I use a Yongnuo YN560TX flash controller in my hot shoe on my camera which also gives me a remote shutter release. Using the Pulse would not allow me to do this. If Alpine labs added a pass through hotshoe to the top of the Pulse that would be great or if they added the ability to trigger and control my off camera flash to the software, even better. While I don't own a CamRanger it still allows me to control my flash units and use my 560TX controller. Maybe there is a way do this with the Pulse but I couldn't find it on their website.

  2. Hey Larry... I didnt know you can remote control the shutter as well with the yn560tx. Do you have a link to a video to show me how to do that?

  3. Love my camranger! Only problem I ran into lately was not being able to use my iPad on really hot days. After a few shots in locks up due to heat????

  4. Hi Brandi,
    Yes, you can. Connect it to the camera with the cord (in my case it's the 10 pin Nikon connection). Then I use a Yongnuo RF-603N II as the trigger. The 10 pin cord I mentioned comes with the RF-603N II. You will need to get the RF-603 that is compatible with your camera (they come in pairs). I know it works on my Nikon but can't say for sure on Canons or any other Nikons but I'd guess it will work as well with those.

  5. I’ve been using an easy to work with product found on eBay -

    They delivered it pretty quick, considering it comes from Australia. Turning it right side up was no big deal :-).

    Software -

    While it works great, I do have two very minor complaints. I don’t use it very often and because it uses a rechargeable battery, sometimes it’s not ready when I need it. Second, it may not tie up the hot shoe, but attaching it to the tri-pod with Velcro isn’t exactly the sophisticated solution you’d like. A shoe mount with a pass-through would be a better solution.

    It has a lot of features and ‘usability’ with complete control of your camera. If you shoot JPG’s, it’ll upload the pics to your smartphone immediately for instant delivery to your client. Yes, I would recommend it.

  6. I recently picked up this CamFi - at $130 it was exactly what I needed. Wireless remote triggering with live view on my iPhone, and I can browse and send a few "instant" photos to my clients on-site for their pre-marketing needs. (Often my agents are already getting inquiries about the property while I'm shooting.)

    It comes with a cold shoe mount so that you can put it in your hot shoe, but if your hot shoe is being used you can let it hang or apply a velcro strip or band to attach it elsewhere. It does not NEED to be in a shoe...

    Here's where it is on Amazon - (affiliate link) First heard about it on Phlearn in Aaron Nace's giveaway.

  7. Nikon do a little dongle WU-1a which plugs into the side of the camera and generates its own wifi which can be used with dslrdashboard.
    Really cheap too at £30 ($60)

  8. $300 is a good price point. Any cheaper and the product is going to be poor and/or there will be no customer support. I hear that the CamRanger has great support.

    Brandi, my Yongnuo YN560TX came with a cable to connect to my Canon 3 pin shutter release and I use a RF-603 as a remote. If I get a Camranger, it will trigger the shutter and I will use the RF-603 in the hot shoe and carry the TX with me velcro'ed to the back of the tablet to make adjustments (ala Rich Baum).

  9. I created a comparable version using an app called DSLR Controller and a TP-Link MR3040. I think that it's the same router the Cam Ranger uses. Super cheap.

  10. As a few others already mentioned... qDSLR Dashboard is a great alternative. It's exactly the same hardware as camranger (TP-Link MR3040). The router costs about $30 on Amazon. Then you simply have to upgrade the firmware. (easy instructions are on the website) DSLR Dashboard is open source so there's always smarter people than I creating new stuff for this thing. It's also free... but they request donations. The smartphone app is $10! Total cost for DSLR Dashboard $40 plus your donation to qDSLR.

    I have had both a CamRanger and the qDSLR setup. I will say that the CamRanger interface is more robust, but not so much that it's worth the $300 price tag. For 1/8 of the price... I stayed with the qDSLR Dashboard.

    Check it out...

  11. These guys put out the Case Remote a couple of years ago. They are just about to start a new Indiegogo campaign in July for a new product called the Case Air. Their website is Their current products are around $125-$150. I haven't had a chance to use their product yet, but there are reviews on their website and youtube.

  12. I saw Mike Kelly using one of these and thought at the time, now that is a very good idea and very useful. I wanted to place an order immediately for same but alas, the said product is only available for Canon and Nikon.
    I am a freelance press photographer and creative photographer. For my journalistic work, I needed a camera that wasn't so cumbersome like the said DSLR's and is far easier to handle in tight situations. In 2015 and changed my gear completely to Sony. I started with an a6000 then added an A7. I shall be placing an order soon for the A7RIII and if business goes really well I will order in addition an A9.

    Don't these companies who produce accessories for cameras realise many pro's are changing to Sony. OK, I understand they want to serve a larger market first but Sony is up and coming, I am convinced they will be a market leader within a few years overtaking the other two manufacturers by leaps and bounds.
    It was exactly the same situation with Profoto when they introduced their A1. I saw this and thought great and set about to order 2 of these units. Again, the same old Story, only for Canon and Nikon. Well, I don't need them anymore as I have found an excellent alternative - so Profoto, you have lost the sale of 2, yes two A1 units.

    I am not digging a Canon or Nikon or Profoto! They manufacture excellent products. Even their older products are very good.
    When my son went on holiday I lent him my a6000. In return he gave me his old Canon 30D as I needed to have two cameras for my press work. One to use and the second as a backup. No, Sony are not unreliable but it is very prudent to have a backup just in case, regardless of manufacturer.

    I actually shot many images of press conferences with the Canon as well as my other Sony.
    The results of the Canon, for an old camera were very useable. Albeit, when the lighting was low the Canon just couldn't cope and produced unusable images due to noise.

    So back to CamRanger. Similar to Profoto, I shall be researching the market for an alternative. No, I am not looking for something cheaper, in fact $300 for the CamRanger is a fair price, a price I would be prepared to pay. I just want a product that is reliable and can carry out the task it was built for. Price is irrelevant but of course the price/performance ratio must apply.

    Enough of my rant, I'm sure I've bugged some people now.


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