Capture One’s addition of wireless tethering opens up possibilities in-studio and on-location
When Capture One recently announced the addition of wireless tethering for select Sony cameras, I was intrigued. While I don’t shoot in the studio much, I do occasionally photograph headshots and executive portraits on-location. The ability to tether without having to deal with cords — a notable trip hazard — was the one thing holding me back from consistently using tethering with my clients.
I decided to test out Capture One’s wireless tethering capabilities with a friend of mine and an old English horse saddle she had. Sure, this wasn’t a headshot, but it let me test the technology without having to worry about things like posing or working with a model.
Here’s how it works.
Setting up your camera
Getting started is pretty simple, as long as you’re using the Wi-Fi Direct connection method. The below are instructions for how to setup wireless tethering on Sony cameras with the modern menu system.
First, go to the Network tab in the Menu. Then go down to PC Remove Cnct Method, and change it to Wi-Fi Direct. Finally, turn PC Remote to On.
If you scroll down to Wi-Fi Direct Info., it’ll provide you with the wireless network for your computer to connect to, as well as the password. Simply choose that wifi network on your computer, enter the password, and you’ll instantly be connected to the camera.
Then, open Capture One and use the Tether tool tab to control your camera. Here you can click the shutter, but also change settings like white balance, aperture, shutter speed and ISO. If you want to view a preview on your screen, go to Window > Live View.
Wireless tethering with Sony cameras works on the a9 II, a7R IV, a7C, a1 a7 IV, a7S III, FX3 and ZV-E10. For cameras with the old menu system, setup is very similar, but you have to ensure that Ctrl w/ Smartphone is turned off in the Network1 tab.
And if you’re shooting with a Canon camera, Capture One offers wireless tethering for certain Canon cameras, too. Click here for a run-through on how to set it up.
Different connection methods
There’s two ways to setup wireless tethering, and Capture One actually recommends using WPS on your access point. This can be super confusing though, and really only works in a studio setting. If you’re working remotely or on-location (or have no idea what WPS is), then you’ll want to run a WiFi Direct connection. This creates an independent network on your camera that your computer can then connect to.
Finally, if you’re changing lenses, note that you’ll have to reconnect your computer to the camera again. Turning off the camera will in turn disconnect your computer from the camera’s wireless network.
How does wireless tethering work?
Tethering wirelessly is just like shooting with a traditional tethering cord. All of the controls within Capture One’s interface (and its Live View window) work the same. This makes it easy for anyone used to the tethering workflow of Capture One to switch to a wireless setup.
When tethered, you can use either your camera or computer to trigger the camera’s shutter. But you’ll want to preview photos on your computer. After all, that’s the entire point to tethering — to see your photos on a larger screen!
The biggest thing I noticed is that wireless tethering is a bit slower than regular tethering. Instead of 2-3 seconds, it took about 6-8 seconds to bring my camera over to the computer using my a7 IV. While it wasn’t the fastest, it’s hardly a dealbreaker. I don’t know many photographers — myself included — who need to shoot bursts when tethering with portraits or still life. It’s just not necessary for it to be super quick.
For me, using a wireless tethering setup opens up a whole realm of possibilities. It lets me tether without a trip hazard, but it also allows me to move things around easier than ever. I can easily flip my laptop for my client to view. Or, I can move my camera around without having to worry about pulling the tethering cord and yanking my laptop off a table. It just makes it way easier and is more convenient.