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How to use Wi-Fi for an expert photo workflow

Derrick Story | Jan. 20, 2014
Much has been written about the Wi-Fi capability of new cameras. But how do you integrate these features into a useful workflow?

Much has been written about the Wi-Fi capability of new cameras. But how do you integrate these features into a useful workflow?

In part, the answer depends on the abilities of both the camera and its companion app. I've tested a number of cameras for this purpose and have settled on two that I use for my work: the Canon 70D and the Olympus OM-D E-M1. (Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, and others are also doing a great job in this area.)

As a real-world example, here is the workflow that I used to cover the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year. With these tools, I was able to use remote-control capture, transfer pictures to mobile devices, sort images, apply filters, and publish to online sites.

Setup and tools
Using the iPhone 5s and the iPad mini with Retina display, I published photos daily from the Las Vegas Convention Center, while my MacBook Pro was locked in the hotel room safe. Before leaving for my assignment, I downloaded and tested the EOS Remote and the Olympus Image Share iOS apps on both devices.

My iPad mini uses Verizon cellular and my iPhone 5s uses AT&T. If the network for one device is jammed, odds are good that I can get through on the other. This proved true in Las Vegas. Show organizers helped by beefing up cellular connectivity on site.

The cameras were set up to capture RAW+JPEG, with the JPEGs limited to medium size. Scaled-down images increase transfer speed yet still provide enough resolution for online publishing. An advantage to using the iOS apps from Canon and Olympus is that I didn't have to worry about the Raw files ending up on my iPad. The apps grab the JPEGs and leave the Raws alone. (I'll address those Raw files later in the workflow.)

The JPEGs that appear on either device are automatically backed up via Photo Stream and Loom. So even though I may have edited a file on the iPad, I can use it on the iPhone later thanks to cloud sharing across my devices.

Shooting with the Olympus OM-D E-M1
I captured the night photography that would be used for Facebook banners and intros to articles by using the Remote Control function of Olympus Image Share. This allowed me to position the camera for the best composition, even if it was at an awkward viewing angle, and then comfortably control it from the iPhone or iPad.

The Olympus Image Share app shows a preview of the scene on my iOS device and allows me to change camera settings, including exposure mode, white balance, drive settings, ISO, and more. I can position the camera at a distance from my perch, then trigger the shutter as desired from the mobile device.

 

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