What is Tethered Shooting?


What does tethered shooting mean?
Anand Kapur, Rajasthan

This article was originally published in October 2016.

This process lets you connect your camera to a laptop, computer or tablet so that the images can be seen in real time, on a larger screen, as well. In tethered shooting, the images get downloaded to a computer, while simultaneously getting written to the memory card. It is useful when a group of people need to view the images while they are being shot, and when you wish to review images more intricately than your camera’s LCD screen allows.

Setting Up the Workflow
Every camera has different capabilities when it comes to tethered shooting. For instance, some also allow tethered live view (using your computer’s monitor to see the Live View stream in real time). This is useful feature when shooting video.

With photography, our recommendation is to shoot first and use your tethered computer to review images later. Another feature you should look out for is the ability to write images simultaneously to a card and the computer.

For connectivity, you are either going to use a USB cable or WiFi. Most cameras today can use a standard USB cable, but some use proprietary cables, so you may need to keep those handy. If you are using WiFi, slow internet speed can cause lag.

Connect the cable to the fastest USB port on your computer or laptop. USB 3 features in today’s high end DSLRs will be redundant if your camera is connected to a slow port on the computer. USB 3 works best but you can work well with a USB 2 port as well. Certain apps also let you connect your tablet to shoot tethered as well.

Choosing the Right Software
Practically every camera manufacturer has their own version of a tethering sofware available today. Additionally Phase One’s Capture One, Hasselblad’s Phocus and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom allow you to connect cameras from various manufacturers.

Personally, Lightroom works best for us. Since it is a complete workflow software, using it for tethering is easy. Basic exposure corrections on the go become easy… even more so when you have a previsualised style in mind.

Once your camera is connected, in Adobe Lightroom, go to File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture. The pop-up menu will allow you set a name template for the images, save the location and lets you add metadata and default keywords. Sticking to the tether-and-edit in one software philosophy, PhaseOne Capture One works well too.

Tags: LIGHTROOM, ask the expert, Tethered Shooting