Sure, they all perform the same functions, but some are better at it than others. An app’s usability comes down to the company’s resources and developers also keenly listening to their users.
As a camera journalist, I’ve tried all the apps from every brand, and the one that stands out as the best is Canon Camera Connect. When traveling, on a shoot or just trying to cut down on production cycles, working in the camera can save me lots of time.
Besides the obvious functionality, I wanted to know more about why the app works so well, so I asked Canon a few questions via email and they responded.
Byron: What’s the background on the app and its usage?
Canon: The current version is 2.1 and has seen a few significant upgrades over the last year, including the ability to stay connected to a device via Bluetooth. Canon Camera Connect is actually the second generation of our mobile workflow—we started with Canon Camera Window. The Canon Camera Connect application brings together all of our cameras under one application—PowerShot, Vixia, EOS M or EOS line of cameras. See this compatibility list.
Byron: How do pros use it at shoots?
Canon: We are always looking to improve the features and functionality of the application, and we do know of many professionals using the application daily in their creative process. Photojournalists, studio photographers, news agency and even landscape photographers in remote locations can benefit from using the application.
Byron: Why is it so good compared to other apps?
Canon: The Canon Camera Connect app and today’s cameras work seamlessly. Our setup guide is built into the app and guides a customer how to connect their device whether it’s an iOS or Android device, whether they are using Bluetooth or WiFi or a combination of the two.
Not only can you select and download the images on the camera’s memory card you have taken with the camera, you are able to control the camera via the mobile device—settings such as shutter speed, ISO, aperture, control focus, zoom (select cameras) and then you can remotely trigger the camera. If you’re taking a family and friends group shot you want to be in, a selfie, or keep the camera on a tripod perfectly still, you can control the camera without having to disturb or shake the camera. With select camera models, you can even apply GPS data from your mobile device to the camera and image files via the app.
Now With RAW
That’s an extensive app feature list, and I haven’t used any version except 2.0 and with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, but do know they got it right, because I’ve not been frustrated by it. Just remember the first thing to do is to turn on WiFi via the camera’s menus. That’s in the fourth sub-menu of the settings menu (Yellow) and under Communications settings. Select that and then on the next screen enable WiFi. Follow the on-screen guides to finish the setup.
I used the app most recently to share this still of a crew of seagulls harassing an eagle above my house. My time-saving workflow when traveling is to find a suitable still, import it to an iPad via the app, perform some quick edits in Lightroom for Mobile and then upload to Instagram or other social networks.
That may not sound like much, but it’s only recently that a workflow like I shared actually worked well, and iOS now imports and edits RAW files, which is a game changer, especially on a device like the iPad Pro.
The Canon Camera Connect app is free and available for iOS and Droid devices. Note that while I was unable to determine if the Droid version of the app transfers RAW files, Lightroom for Mobile does on both platforms.
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