Shooting tethered refers to when you attach your camera to a device such as a laptop or a tablet so you can view images on that device as you taken them.
Tethering is useful for product and studio photographers because it allows them to check details from a shot that would be harder to spot by just looking on the cameras screen.
Types of tethering
The basic types of tethering are wired or wireless. Wired tethering uses a cable to connect between the camera and tether device, whereas wireless uses a wireless connection.
The advantages of using a wired connection is that it is more reliable and faster.
once you have your camera tethered, there are various options of what you can do with images on the tethered device. You can review them and you can edit them. If you’re tethered to a laptop, you can use your favourite editing software, such as Lightroom, Captiure One etc to edit the images, and even on a laptop there are tablet versions of these editing applications. By using the tether setting on these applications, your images will import directly into the application ready to edit.
You can also use the application to control the camera, using it to take a photo and change camera exposure settings etc.
My Tether Set-up
I usually shoot tethered for product, studio fashion and beauty photography so that I can check details that are not easy to spot on the back of the camera, such as misplaced shadows and reflections, dust or finger marks, eye catchlights etc.
I tether to an 11inch iPad Pro because it’s lightweight and compact to bring to a shoot, however don’t use it to edit my shots, I do that later usually on a laptop that is too big and heavy to take to a shoot, so my set-up is just for image review only.
To connect the iPad to my Z9 I use a cable because it’s more reliable, faster and easier to set-up than a wireless tether. I use a Tether Tools cable. It’s 3m long and bright orange so is easy to spot when moving around a set.
One of the “features” of some camera tether set-ups when using an editing application is that the shot is imported to the tethered app but is not written to the memory card in the camera. The problem with this is that sometimes an image does not import, and so is lost.
This is another reason why with my Z9 camera I only use the tethered device to review the image and don’t import it into an editing app.
Here’s an example of a shot of some vegan shoes that I took without tethering, where I wish I had had the opportunity to check the shot, because afterwards during the edit I noticed that there was a grease mark on the heel. I didn’t spot it on the back of the camera, but it would have been easier to spot if I had thethered.
Here’s the problem: