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Controlling a 1Ds3 via a WFT-E2 and iPhone

  |   Articles and reviews, Canon 1Ds mk3, iPhone, photo-hacks, Photography Ideas, Rumour camera test   |   3 Comments

Controlling a camera with a WFT-E2 and iPhone

WiFi is only slowly coming to DSLRs – a simple experiment

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Remote control of a Canon 1Ds3 with WFT-E2 and iPhone

Time for a quick experiment.

I know that the WFT-E2 wireless adapter has a server mode, and can create it’s own wireless network. The iPhone happily connects to our office network, so what about connecting it to the camera one?

If you have some experience of wireless networks and networking, then it’s not to difficult to configure the WFT-E2 when attached to the camera. Here it is attached to the 1Ds3 – next to my piano.

WFT-E2 connected to 1Ds3

WFT-E2 connected to 1Ds3

I’m not going to go through all the steps to connect it – I found a good step by step guide that looks a bit simpler than my route through the configuration screens ;-)

Setting up the iPhone is pretty easy too (the link above has some info if you’re unsure)

Here are some of the many wireless networks to be found once I step out of the house.

local wireless networks

local wireless networks

I’m connected to the default Canon one.

Once connected, connect to the web server in the WFT-E2


Assorted web pages bookmarked on the iPhone

I’ve tried this before and was expecting the pretty basic functionality you get

wft-e2 server interface

wft-e2 server interface

You can press the shutter release, or look at what’s on the cards

Server interface for 1Ds3 with WFT-E2

Server interface for 1Ds3 with WFT-E2

Just tap the remote release button and a picture is taken.

You can zoom in a bit.

WFT-E2 interface and iPhone

WFT-E2 interface and iPhone

I’m across the street at this point

Remote release of Canon 1Ds3 using iPhone

Remote release of Canon 1Ds3 using iPhone

Actually viewing the images was a problem until I realised I’d got the camera set to record RAW files only.

So, I have a wonderfully complicated (and battery draining) way of doing at great price what I could do with a radio controlled shutter release (under £100)

That’s not the point though :-) it worked!

I normally use the WFT-E2 connected to a laptop, either to download files whilst I’m taking them, or more usually with EOS utility, where I have control over the camera.

It’s interesting to note that Canon have announced a new version of the WFT-E2 which will have full control of the camera. No doubt I’ll have a go once I’ve got a 1Ds4, and my 1Ds3 and WFT-E2 are up on eBay :-)

Another ‘techy challenge’ box ticked, and like many such experiments, perhaps not ready for real (i.e. business) use yet.

I suppose that in the tradition of iPhone photography, this post would not be complete without a seemingly random picture of nothing much ;-) :-)

Lens cap and Grand Piano

Lens cap and Grand Piano

Oh, all right, here’s a 100% crop showing noise at 1016 ISO…

100% crop of iPhone 1016 ISO image

100% crop of iPhone 1016 ISO image

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More experimental and How-to articles

All articles and reviews are listed on our main Articles and Reviews page, or use the search box at the top of any page. Experimental items, hacks and how-to articles are all listed in the Photo-hacks category Some specific articles that may be of interest:

  • Using old lenses on your DSLR
  • The 1Ds digital pinhole SLR camera A Canon 1Ds pinhole camera, making a 50mm 'standard' pinhole and a 200mm zoom version - results are compared to a lens some £1400 more expensive.
  • Canon View Camera An adapter ($20) to use an old MPP 5x4 view camera with a Canon 1Ds. Article shows details of construction and just what it can be used for. Could be adapted for any DSLR and many old large format cameras.

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  • Alex Koloskov | Nov 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you, Keith,
    You are right, usually there is no much time during the shoot (on location) to review the photos. I work fast, saving client’s money :-)

  • Keith | Nov 18, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Alex

    Yes, it is fun, but the question with gadgets is how well ‘fun’ translates into day to day usefulness ;-)

    The WFT-E2 works quite well, but in reality, I’ve found the number of times I need it quite few. It does help to check pictures on a large screen, but for a lot of my work (think busy factories) it’s not always practical. The new version of the WFT-E2 looks much more useful in that you can control the camera much more easily.

  • Alex Koloskov | Nov 18, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I see you start to enjoy your little iPhone now:-)
    In a studio I use USB connection, as I have a power cord attached to a 1Ds3 anyway, but on location… For now, working on location, I download photos to a laptop only if I have time for this, usually I can do it only after everything done.
    Do you use WFT-E2 on location? How far you can go staying connected? Are you happy with your WFT-E2?
    Now I am thinking it will be helpful to check the results not only on a camera screen, but on a laptop as well, especially working on interiors.

    Alex Koloskov

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