WiFi Solution for Nikon D4

Nikon has two WiFi solutions for the Nikon D4. One costs $1,000 and the other $877.  Also I have not had the best of luck with Nikon’s WiFi solutions in the past and especially with the Nikon D2Xs.  I bought the Nikon system for $600 and it dropped out so often and was almost impossible to sync.

Click here to buy CamRanger on Amazon

When I was at PhotoShop World in Atlanta this week I ran into my friend Gary S Chapman and he asked if I had seen the CamRanger booth?  I had not and then after he walked me over there I decided to buy one after their demonstration. Gary said he would wait on my review before buying one. Next gizmo we find he goes first.

The cost of the system was $299.98 and they had a special going for that price to toss in an extra battery and charger.

It comes with USB cable to connect to your camera [pick your camera when ordering for correct cord] and CAD5 cable for updates. Also comes with small bag that hangs on your camera strap.

The charger looks identical just minus the WiFi part.

CamRanger currently supports a large number of both Canon and Nikon cameras. To see the full list and see all the features for each camera go to this link and you will find your camera and what features will work with your particular model.

The CamRanger is supported by iOS devices, Android devices, Mac and Windows computers, and the Kindle. All of the following apps are free and will work universally with the CamRanger unit! The CamRanger can be registered with multiple devices and can be used with one device or computer at a time.

I have an Android phone, an iPad and a Macbook Pro that I would use with the CamRanger.  All work just fine.

My Settings

From shooting with the Nikon WiFi and also using EyeFi SD card I learned a few things that made me want to get the best performance out of the CamRanger. By the way had EyeFi made a card that would work in the Nikon D4 I would have never looked at the CamRanger, but they don’t so here I am using the CamRanger system.

Shoot RAW+JPEG—You are sending files over from one device to another. The bigger the file the slower it will take. You could shoot just JPEGs, but I prefer speed and therefore would prefer the smallest JPEG I can use to preview on the iPad for example. But when I need the higher resolution image I now create that from the RAW file.

Small JPEG—Go to the menu and pick image size under the camera icon. Select Small and this will help give you the smallest file size.

I would also use basic rather than fine. I want creative directors and art directors to use my iPad and see the images as I shoot sometimes. This way they are not over my shoulder, but can see the results.

If I am just tweaking the settings I can turn off the WiFi and then when I am ready for them to start seeing images turn the system on.

It connects right away to the iPad once you set it up. The setup just has you go into the WiFi settings on your device and select the CamRanger. Then you put in your serial # as the password. Once you are connected you use the CamRanger App that you downloaded for free to connect.

Two Main Ways I Use It—In general when I just want someone to see the images I just shoot and the images pop up as thumbnails and as a big image.

You can set up the controls in the App to client mode, which is where they just see the image and can star rate it if they like. I changed the default setting to have Auto View on so the image displays big when it is shot. The thumbnails let you go back and see previous images.

If I were shooting a lot I might turn off the Auto View and let someone just click on those thumbnails they want to see big without my latest image popping up while they were trying to see another image.

The second way I like to use the system is in Live Mode. You select Live Mode from the app and not from the camera.

In both modes you can see the camera settings and change them, unless you have Client View turned on.

I think that the CamRanger from my tests performs as well if not better than anything I have used up to now for WiFi connection to my camera.

Why use WiFi?

I first need to tell you about how I shot tethered for years when doing portraits. The images popped up and then quickly they were all in the computer where the subject was able to pick their images. Once I had the camera on a table and my foot caught the cable. Well that was $600+ repair for a shattered lens.

So the primary reason I started using WiFi was for the same reason I prefer radios for triggering flashes—No Cords.

When I am doing portraits the lighting is controlled and making the step of processing a RAW image pretty much a waste of my time. So here I can just shoot the Large/Fine setting JPEG and be done with it. Yes it takes a few seconds longer, but all the images are loaded on the computer and I can give the client all the images at the end of the shoot.

Another great reason to use WiFi is when I teach. I like to show everyone as I am doing setups, with lights for example, what I am doing. With a large screen TV or projector I can shoot and immediately they see the results and the settings on my camera. Great way to learn studio lighting or location lighting.