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Old 16-09-2014, 20:54   #1 (permalink)
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WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

With 3 notable cameras introduced this week in preparation for Photokina 2014, I thought I would take a look at an option that is becoming fashionable - WiFi built into the camera.

First the 3 cameras:-
Canon 7D mark II : no WiFi offered
Hasselblad H5D-50c : introducing inbuilt WiFi to the Hasselblad range
Nikon D750 : introducing inbuilt WiFi to ProSumer full frame DSLRs : already in D4(s)

In my innocence I thought that WiFi was for transferring files to mobile devices that didn't have capability to read a memory card directly - namely Apple's iPad and iPhone, probably because of their sleek design prevents inclusion of a reader, amongst other things. Displaying photos is what I wanted to do at a wedding, but I ended up doing nothing because I couldn't find anything fast enough at a reasonable price.

For those who like 'immediate', as it seems is the way things are today, transferring the latest picture out of the camera as it is taken looks like a great idea. But !! What are the possible transfer speeds of a WiFi system and what is on offer?

The newer cameras are getting appreciably larger sensors, and transferring files over WiFi will need a suitable speed. There are various websites giving relative WiFi speed information, both quoted as attainable and realistic, but to give an idea of bottle necks, the old standard of 802.11/g was approximately 50Mbps. In a simple test tranerring 1Gb took nearly 30 minutes. As it is only sensible to send jpeg to a device like an iPad, this would be the equivalent of around 35 photos on a Nikon D800 - each photo would take approximately 1 minutes to appear on the remote device. Even sending the embedded jpeg of a RAW file would take a while. Definitely not able to keep up with constant shooting.

So what is WiFi for? Remote control of the camera from your mobile or tablet? I guess so having quickly read the brochure notes for the Hasselblad. Although the Hasselblad does have the faster transfer rate of 802.11/n which approximates to 450Mbps they tend to suggest wireless tethered use.

If I were keen to show my clients the photos that I had just taken I might well take the approach of Canon and not install WiFi. Have to hand a number of small sized cards (say 8Gb) and put the cards in a laptop or similar while shooting onto another card. It will be quicker than transferring files across the WiFi. WiFi should mean not breaking off from what you are doing but having to wait for buffers to clear down is not really an answer if this is what WiFi entails.

A few specifications to ponder over:
the latest Apple devices, iPhone 6, iPad (since Oct 2013 I think), MacBook Pro all have 802.11/ac = maximum speed of 1300Mbps. Many Android phones and laptop computers made since the beginning of 2014 will have 802.11/ac as well. iPhone 5 only has 802.11/g even though it is not that old, but it just missed the boat for the latest electronics.

The 3 cameras in question:
Canon 7D mark II : no possible remark
Hasselblad H5D-50c : 802.11/n - maximum speed = 450 Mbps
Nikon D750 : 802.11/g - maximum speed = 54 Mbps

802.11/a was the initial implementation of WiFi
802.11/g was the new thing around 10 years ago
802.11/n had been around for a while before being generally available in 2008.
802.11/ac ratified in 2013 and has seen rapid implementation this year.

Any comments welcome but I cannot see the point of introducing built-in WiFi technology on cameras with large sensors without using at least the latest technology if they are to be used for streaming the photos to a computer. On the other hand as a remote control (wireless tethering) they could have their place.
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Last edited by grease spot; 18-09-2014 at 08:47. Reason: Added D4(s) - missed out of FX set with WiFi
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Old 16-09-2014, 22:33   #2 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

When I eventually replace my 5D mkii (no plans at the moment), I would require a number of additional functions in a replacement. This does include WiFi. I currently can control my 5D2 usinga Tesco's Hudle and USB cable. I would prefer to use an iPad and Wifi. I have no need to stream the images and would be happy for them to just be written to memory cards as now.
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Old 16-09-2014, 22:55   #3 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

I find the WiFi in my Fuji X-T1 very useful at work.

Increasingly I'm shooting pro quality stills on shoots with the X-T1 and D800 - shooting video with the D800 - and posting on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all on location.

The WiFi allows me to upload "proper" photos to the Social Media sites rather than iPhone pix.
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Old 16-09-2014, 23:50   #4 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Thanks for those comments guys .

One thing I had not considered was streaming 'real' pictures to websites, where even 802.11/g would probably be adequate, as even VDSL just tops out at around that speed. Again actual speeds will determine whether it's worthwhile. Interesting you stream your D800 video to websites -Oy-. Are you using the Nikon WiFi adapter or streaming out from something like an EyeFi (specification = 802.11/n)?
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Old 17-09-2014, 06:25   #5 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

I use an eye-fi in my D800 when I want to sync right to my computer without being tethered. It works but is a LITTLE pokey/slow.. But works flawlessly. it is 802.11g but in my experience, it doesn't utilize all the bandwidth 11g allows for.

I have to admit I'm kind of really liking the 7D Mk II specs I'm seeing. Money is an object though, and I can't go and buy one without selling what I have. Which I'm not about to do.

My next DSLR will be at least 10fps and have wifi built in. And that moment will probably be at least 5 years in the making..
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Old 17-09-2014, 08:09   #6 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

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Originally Posted by grease spot View Post

Interesting you stream your D800 video to websites -Oy-. Are you using the Nikon WiFi adapter or streaming out from something like an EyeFi (specification = 802.11/n)?
No - I don't stream video. I just transfer stills from my X-T1 to my iPhone then post them on the various Social Media sites from there.
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Old 17-09-2014, 08:16   #7 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Slow is what i would have suspected Loyd, especially downloading from a D800 over 802.11/g. The new eye-fi cards are quoted as 802.11/n with an outdoor range of 90ft/30metres which makes them more interesting for streaming.

What interests me is the possibility to control a camera remotely using a tablet or mobile/cell phone. This would be impossible with Nikons using an eye-fi card because I believe that there is no route to pass directions from the card to the camera, as there is in Canons, where I believe you can extend way the camera works with (uncertified?) add-ons.

An inbuilt WiFi that allows remote control would definitely have some benefits, but it would still be necessary to have something like the Camranger MP-360 motorised panning unit to be able to swivel the camera.

Calling it wireless tethering seems paradoxical but I used it because tethering seems to be regularly used to mean control of a camera through a link to a computer, rather than considering the physical connection
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Old 17-09-2014, 10:53   #8 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

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Slow is what i would have suspected Loyd, especially downloading from a D800 over 802.11/g. The new eye-fi cards are quoted as 802.11/n with an outdoor range of 90ft/30metres which makes them more interesting for streaming.
Very interesting.. From the look of things, my card *IS* backwards 802.11n 2.4ghz capable. (unfortunately it does not communicate at 5ghz) Which means the performance is even worse than I thought it was, or I am a few revisions old..

I know it's not lack of 2.4ghz 11n capability - I have airport expresses for WAP's in my house and office. Those automatically provide 11b/g/n and now AC service.

Alas, I cannot find my eyefi adapter plug for programming it at the moment.

Looking at their website there have been several updates since I purchased mine. Some saying performance increase or radio power increase. I know i'm at least 2 or 3 firmware revisions behind. I'll have to find my adapter and update..
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Old 17-09-2014, 10:58   #9 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

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What interests me is the possibility to control a camera remotely using a tablet or mobile/cell phone. This would be impossible with Nikons using an eye-fi card because I believe that there is no route to pass directions from the card to the camera, as there is in Canons, where I believe you can extend way the camera works with (uncertified?) add-ons.
Through Magic Lantern? Man ML is cool.. Another thing I'm jealous of Canon for.

you're right, there's no way to control using an eyefi. In my D800's case, there is a very expensive wifi module addon.. WT5a, and it's over $1000. Insane.
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Old 17-09-2014, 11:24   #10 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Agree about the price Loyd. When you think about the cost of home networks, no-one would throw that money at a WiFi tool. There needs to be a better solution for the amateur in terms of price and performance.

An SD card does not leave a lot of space for adding extra antennas which where extra speed is gained in 802.11/ac. So I'm not sure we will see this solution. If they do manage to meet the challenge, I cannot imagine that the speed will be that fast, because of the antenna space.

I've always found the 7D well spec'd, and the Mk II looks good on paper (to a Nikon User's eyes). I have the feeling that if Nikon (and other manufacturers) did not behave so secretively and made sections of their software open-source we would see a massive increase in interest in their products, with more add-ons being created like Magic Lantern. I believe mobile phones often sell for 2 reasons:- 1) design and 2) the apps.
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Old 17-09-2014, 13:34   #11 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Interesting reading....I'm still lighting fires for smoke signals.
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Old 17-09-2014, 21:30   #12 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting



If all this technology gives up yours will still be working
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Old 19-12-2014, 16:20   #13 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Has anyone seen this DSLR Controller :: Home
The description looks very tempting.
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Old 19-12-2014, 19:28   #14 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Quote:
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Has anyone seen this DSLR Controller :: Home
The description looks very tempting.
Got it and use it (occasionally) with my 7D -> Samsung Galaxy S2/3. Works pretty well though find it quicker to use an anglefinder (the reason I got it!)
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Old 20-12-2014, 13:35   #15 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

As you all know I am a dinosaur, just cant see what the rush is to have an image on the web almost before it's been taken. We have that "touch them together" thingy, G.P.S. ( I usually know where I have been taking images). Now Wi Fi. Why not just build a smart phone into the camera and have done with it.
Or is that the same as a phone with a camera ? While all this is going on maybe a manufacturer will have a vision of a camera that just takes images....
In my cameras I have 2 little square things, I put them in my computer and press a few buttons to send the images to DXO, then go and make a brew. By the time I get back it is ready for me to sort the images while drinking my tea. Quite fast enough for me, I can still get the images to anyone needing them before "end of day". We seem to "need " to do things just because we can.
Still as I said I am a Dinosaur, ( but a happy one).
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Old 20-12-2014, 13:50   #16 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Charles - marketing is behind most, if not all of these 'innovations'. What is marketing? Finding solutions to non-existent problems.
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Old 20-12-2014, 14:42   #17 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

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As you all know I am a dinosaur, just cant see what the rush is to have an image on the web almost before it's been taken. We have that "touch them together" thingy, G.P.S. ( I usually know where I have been taking images). Now Wi Fi. Why not just build a smart phone into the camera and have done with it.
Imagine you're in a studio taking pictures, WIFI means you can wirelessly tether your images to a computer with larger screen to see your results quickly without having to stop shooting. Those can be viewed locally or piped to colleagues inside the building, or even around the world for immediate feedback.

To the consumer type user, wifi means you are able to upload your images once you are close to your home network by powering the camera on.

To travelers, wifi means you could sit in an internet cafe.. and upload your pics to home so you don't risk getting them deleted or lose either in customs or by losing your memory card. without hauling a computer with you.

It's more of a gimmick to the home user. For pro 'togs, it is quite a feature, IMO..
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Old 20-12-2014, 15:39   #18 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

I used the Iphoto ipod adapter long ago, which was very slow but seemed like a good way to gain more space to empty your card with out a lot of hardware. They still have them for ipads, but the built in card reader on the laptops are fast but only SD card compatible. That was my only interest at that time. While researching this easy transfer tech. I read up newer wifi distance limited to laptops from cameras then after filtered by an editor sent on to the customer for selection. This was atleast 6 six years ago, I would think that it would be fully devoloped by now. I might have missed some thing,,,sorry. I am interested in wifi print from your pads and phones, that is something I might use as my nice printers I send off to witch doctors for ink. Nice thread, I get the feeling from a few that I feel sometimes is that the fast change in hard ware performance is a pain and takes away from the photographing experence. Good reading tho.
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Old 20-12-2014, 15:46   #19 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Thanks for that Lloyd, I guess it comes down to horses for courses. My images are 95% out doors and after a day photographing events or museum work, the images are not normally required until the following week. In the event that they are. my boss just downloads the memory cards to the office computer before I go off site.
The same holds true for images I take for another organisation, I had a request for an "urgent" copy of an image from an indoor evening presentation for press use, converted to j peg and e-mailed same day, no problem. I guess my life is just slower paced than most.
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Old 20-12-2014, 15:47   #20 (permalink)
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I am so glad I don't have all these problems.
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Old 22-12-2014, 14:45   #21 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackadder View Post
As you all know I am a dinosaur, just cant see what the rush is to have an image on the web almost before it's been taken. We have that "touch them together" thingy, G.P.S. ( I usually know where I have been taking images). Now Wi Fi. Why not just build a smart phone into the camera and have done with it.
Or is that the same as a phone with a camera ? While all this is going on maybe a manufacturer will have a vision of a camera that just takes images....
In my cameras I have 2 little square things, I put them in my computer and press a few buttons to send the images to DXO, then go and make a brew. By the time I get back it is ready for me to sort the images while drinking my tea. Quite fast enough for me, I can still get the images to anyone needing them before "end of day". We seem to "need " to do things just because we can.
Still as I said I am a Dinosaur, ( but a happy one).

For me photography is about taking your time and getting a nice image.

It's great you can get a days shooting on your screen that same evening but does it really need to be much faster than that??
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Old 22-12-2014, 14:52   #22 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

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Originally Posted by blackadder View Post
Thanks for that Lloyd, I guess it comes down to horses for courses. My images are 95% out doors and after a day photographing events or museum work, the images are not normally required until the following week. In the event that they are. my boss just downloads the memory cards to the office computer before I go off site.
The same holds true for images I take for another organisation, I had a request for an "urgent" copy of an image from an indoor evening presentation for press use, converted to j peg and e-mailed same day, no problem. I guess my life is just slower paced than most.
Charles.


Hope it's ok to mention it but I'm doing vol work for a local museum.

I wonder what your tasks are?

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Old 23-12-2014, 09:10   #23 (permalink)
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Re: WiFi built into cameras ... What I Find Interesting

There are loads of things to do at the museum David, we do historic re -enactments, experience days, school visits, weddings etc. Then there is recording refurbishing the buildings, paths, artefacts and things.
Also there are "my" images of sunrises, farm animals, horses, and when we are closed from end of November to April and there are no visitors I can get "winter" images and some angles impossible to shoot with people about.
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