Tethering a DSLR
Tethering a DSLR - It’s a Beautiful Thing
Tethered shooting allows you to connect a USB cable from your camera to your studio computer (or laptop) so they talk to each other. When they become one, it’s a beautiful thing. As you shoot, the images show up in seconds on the computer and can be rated, saved or tossed. Some tethered programs let you see the camera settings, view the shot live and even trigger the camera.
To Tether or Not? A Comparison Scenario
Let me share a real world side-by-side example that brought the issue home for me. The scenario: It was a two-day shoot, talent portraits for one of our clients, on site, 30-40 people. We had a small crew, portable seamless, soft boxes, kick lights, remote strobes, etc. You get the gist.
We set up and each person came through our remote set and quickly returned to work. One day we shot to the camera memory card, the next day we shot the portraits tethered to a laptop.
Shooting To The Card
Some of the experience was counter-intuitive. For example, shooting to the card was fast, real fast. Each sitting accumulated 25-30 shots. Bang bang bang. Of course we occasionally reviewed the shots on the little on-camera LCD screen. After several sessions, we stopped, downloaded the flash card to laptop and resumed. Lots and lots of takes on the session sheets.
The second day we tethered to our laptop. It was much slower, with less shots – more like 8-10 shots per sitting. After each shot we waited a few seconds for image to show up, we rated it, adjusted and shot again until we knew we had 2-3 keepers. Plus each person got to see the pics on the laptop screen and comment, some even picked the one they liked. Everything was saved to laptop as we worked.
So, the same job, two different days with tethering the only difference. After this A-B comparison, in my mind there is no doubt – do the tether thing!
- quality vs. quantity of shots
- the ability to verify on a higher res display
- a real time pre-selection process
- direct save to computer
- time savings in post
- great piece of mind