Adding wireless connectivity to Capture One opens up possibilities in the studio and on location


When Capture One recently announced the addition of wireless tethering for select Sony cameras, I was intrigued. Although I don’t shoot much in the studio, I occasionally shoot portraits and executive portraits on location. The ability to tether without having to deal with cords—a notable tripping hazard—was the one thing that kept me from consistently using the tether with my clients.

I decided to test the wireless connection capabilities of Capture One with a friend of mine and an old English horse saddle she had. Sure, it wasn’t a portrait, but it allowed me to test out the technology without having to worry about things like posing or working with a model.

Here’s how it works.

Configuring your camera

Getting started is pretty straightforward, as long as you use the Wi-Fi Direct connection method. Below are instructions on setting up wireless tethering on Sony cameras with the modern menu system.

First, go to Network tab in the menu. Next, go down to PC Remove Cnct Method, and change it to Wi-Fi Direct. Finally, turn PC Remote on On.

If you scroll to Wi-Fi Direct information., it will provide you with the wireless network your computer can connect to, and the password. Simply choose that Wi-Fi network on your computer, enter the password, and you’ll be instantly connected to the camera.

Next, open Capture One and use the Tether Tool tab to control your camera. Here you can click on the shutter, but also change settings such as white balance, aperture, shutter speed and ISO. If you want to preview on your screen, go to Window > Live View.

Wireless connection with Sony cameras works on a9 II, a7R IV, a7C, a1 a7 IV, a7S III, FX3 and ZV-E10. For cameras with the old menu system, the setup is very similar, but you need to make sure that Ctrl with Smartphone is turned stopped in the Network1 tab.

For instructions on using the Wi-Fi hotspot connection instead of the direct connection method, click here.

And if you’re shooting with a Canon camera, Capture One also offers wireless connection for select Canon cameras. Click here to find out how to set it up.

Different connection methods

There are two ways to set up wireless tethering, and Capture One actually recommends using WPS on your access point. This can be very confusing though and only really works in a studio environment. If you’re working remotely or onsite (or have no idea what WPS is), you’ll want to run a WiFi Direct connection. This creates an independent network on your camera that your computer can then connect to.

Finally, if you change lenses, note that you will need to reconnect your computer to the camera. Turning off the camera will in turn disconnect your computer from the camera’s wireless network.

How does wireless tethering work?

Tethering wirelessly is like filming with a traditional tethering cord. All controls in Capture One’s interface (and its Live View window) work the same way. This makes it easy for anyone familiar with Capture One’s connection workflow to switch to a wireless setup.

When connected, you can use your camera or computer to trigger the camera shutter. But you’ll want to preview the photos on your computer. After all, that’s the whole point of tethering: seeing your photos on a bigger screen!

The most important thing I noticed is that wireless tethering is a bit slower than regular tethering. Instead of 2-3 seconds, it took about 6-8 seconds to get my camera to the computer using my a7 IV. While it’s not the fastest, it’s not a dealbreaker. I don’t know many photographers – myself included – who need to shoot bursts when attached to portraits or still lifes. It just doesn’t have to be super fast.

For me, using a wireless connection setup opens up a whole range of possibilities. It allows me to strap myself in without tripping, but it also allows me to move things around easier than ever. I can easily flip my laptop over for my client to see. Or, I can move my camera around without having to worry about pulling the tether cord and pulling my laptop off a table. It just makes things easier and more convenient.

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