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In-camera Wireless. Is it useful to you?
  • Most of the newest cameras have wireless built-in the camera with the exception being the Canon 7D MKII. Canon obviously believes this feature is not a requirement for high end enthusiast cameras.

    So the question is “Is built-in wireless something you would use”? Have you used it before? Has it been beneficial to you or did it not meet your needs? Did you have trouble getting the wireless to work?

    I think wireless is one of the least understood new features that the cameras have. Everyone thinks of it as just another way to post a “Selfy”. When it actually could be a very lucrative tool in a Professional Photography portfolio.

    There are some circumstances where quality is not the absolute number one priority. News reporting is one of those situations. In that scenario time to post is the ultimate priority. Image quality is definitely a goal but getting the picture distributed in near real-time is essential.

    Sports often require near-time distribution as well. Laptops and even tablets are not always practical solutions for editing and uploading in the field. That is where built-in wireless and in camera editing can be very beneficial.

    The problem is that all of the in-camera wireless implementations I have used have been cumbersome. For example Panasonic’s Lumix Link App will only upload very low resolution (960x540) images to social media sites.

    They have an app built directly in the camera for uploading as you shoot the images. However, that app cannot create a separate folder or album when it uploads. Therefore, it just dumps everything into a generic “Mobile Uploads” folder that becomes very cluttered and unmanageable.

    In addition, their upload while you shoot function doesn’t work with the new images from video feature. It won’t trigger the upload automatically like it does with the regular Still images mode.

    I wonder if these flaws in the implementations are preventing users from seeing the potential of wireless? Hopefully, the companies will start to fine tune the wireless capabilities so that this feature is adopted by more users.

    What would it take for you to use in camera wireless?

  • 14 Replies sorted by
  • Well, camera companies need time to understand that they sell specialized computers now :-)

    They resist with all possible force, but time will come :-)

  • Well, camera companies need time to understand that they sell specialized computers now :-)

    So well said VK. That is entirely true. Have you ever used the built-in wireless or even an Eye-Fi card?

    Everyone wants the instant upload capabilities of their phone and the image quality of their interchangeable lens cameras. The only way they will ever accomplish that is if the built-in wireless function in their cameras is improved.

    I am surprised that so many companies haven’t devoted more resources to it. I tried to explain how to use the wireless function to someone who just bought a new FZ1000. She just gave up and put the $1000 camera on the shelf. Probably never to be used again.

    However, two seconds later she whipped out her iPhone and started snapping away. It was so easy she didn’t care that the images looked terrible. At least she was able to get something posted. Sometimes something(Or just anything) is better than nothing.

    I just wish there was a great way to have good images in near real-time.

  • Yes, I use the wireless, I find it useful for the wide angle camera on events. I use it to check framing and to start and stop the camera as the speakers make their presentations.

    I have also used in on Quad/Hex flown cameras -- the lag here can be tricky, plus with ProTune as soon as you start recording the video stream stops.

  • For me wireless is one of my number one deciding factors in choosing a camera. One of my reason why I completely crossed off the Cannon 7D MKII from my list. I just don't only use it for selfies lol but I have taken some really good nature pictures and videos of animals in the wild by hiding my camera close to their nest and taken some really great photos.That's one of the reasons I have stayed with Panasonic for a while.

    I have tried the wireless system in the Nikon D750 (I hope the improve it) as I wanted to have a full frame camera with my kit and it doesn't come close to what Panasonic has to offer.

    With my GH3, I can pretty much do all my adjustments from the app though it's a lil slow to response on the camera. They might have fixed it on the GH4 (I don't know, haven't tried it)

    On my phone (Android), the Lumix link app has a folder where I transfer my pictures from the camera in full resolution jpeg (4608x2592) then I do a lil editing with PIXLR EXPRESS before I share it on any social media site. I don't share it direct to social media.

    Could it be improved, yes! Connecting to the mobile device is sometimes slow. Some other small kinks with the app workings. ( I haven't tried the GH4 so I don't know if they fixed some of them) But again, a lot better than the Nikon D750 app and implementation.

  • Those are great points. I don’t use the built-in wireless as much for remote viewing as I do for remote sharing.

    We use the GoPros as video review cameras for our climbing competitions. They even released an app last week that will live stream the GoPro cameras video. I tried it and it worked but in very low quality.

    I really think that Canon and perhaps Nikon are going to miss the bus on this feature. Canon just seems oblivious to it and Nikon treats it like just another tick line on the spec sheets. Sony and Panasonic really are leading in this area but Olympus is getting into the game as well.

  • I use the Panasonic iPhone app with a GH4 to control the settings and start/stop recording when it is in an awkward position. I also use the live preview to adjust lighting from 'on-set' if I don't have an assistant.

  • So well said VK. That is entirely true.

    Problem is not that it is true. Problem is that all this companies underestimate complexity of software in computer.

    SO, we can have good hardware that sucks due to software. Example - almost all cameras and TVs.

  • @andyharris - I was always told by my RC mentors a couple years back to never use the wireless link on gopros when using them to shoot aerial. They work on 2.4GHz which is the same as what nearly all radio transmitters use as well. This could cause all sorts of unknown issues that could lead to loosing control of your heli while flying. It could also affect the RTH function since the signal could be getting crossed between input on the sticks and gopro signal. Haven't had the issue personally as I've never tempted fate here. But have witnessed 3 separate crashes / flyaways over the past year from random newbies trying to do exactly this. I can't say for sure that this was the cause. But even using to simply for framing while flying seems downright dangerous due to the lag. That being said, the gopro version is plenty useful for framing and such in a pinch. Not as good as using a monitor, but better than nothing. And great for adjusting settings. Way faster than using the cameras buttons.

  • Using Wi-Fi is very helpful when the camera is in a position where you can't see the monitor, and an HDMI cable won't fit -- for example, on a large jib/crane, or a top shot high above a scene.

  • @filthy I'm using a DX18 with telemetry so I can see what the signal levels are. The DX18 is using multiple hopping channels in the 2.4GHz range. In principle you are right, two 2.4 sources close to each other could cause interference beats. Two years ago DSM,DSMx were still pretty new, most issues have been nailed down now.

    On my hex I have 5.8GHz video downlink. On the quad, which is small, I have two satellite receivers for coverage. The particular shot that I framed was a slow speed drift over water and was about 25metres from the talent. I could only review the start of the shot since with ProTune the feed goes as soon as you start to record. I have 200+ flights on the quad, only about 40 on the hex. One crash on the hex - mea culpa - I knew what went wrong and why!

  • Wi-Fi is very helpful when the camera is in a position where you can't see the monitor

    I want a wireless eyepiece viewfinder. I'll use it much of the time. Where I live there's too much light and for good composition my camera is rarely held at eye level.

  • An older iPhone, with the smaller screen + appropriate app for your cam + cheap LCDVF clone + stylish sweatband and/or Ace bandage = wireless EVF :)

  • Any time you're filming yourself, it's immensly useful. And as shared before, I also use it and can put the camera somewhere I wouldn't normally be able to monitor.

  • Having just used the smartphone photo sharing feature on the GH4 for an event recently, I can say that I love this wifi feature. For live tweeting photos from an event it worked much more smoothly and seamlessly than the Mobi Eye-Fi card we had in a 5DmkIII. Live monitoring is also a very nice feature but being able to beam select photos to a smartphone in seconds is a great feature, albeit a very niche one.