DSLR Camera Remote 

 December 5, 2009

By  Pascal Depuhl

You know I love this app for my iPhone. It is actually the only app I have paid for – well I did buy the Chicago CTA app this summer to figure out the schedules for their public transportation – but that’s neither here nor there.

I really like onOne Software’s DSLR Camera Remote.

If you are a photographer that shoots tethered using Canon or Nikon, you know that you can control the camera from the computer – depending what software you shoot into. I use Phase One’s

How do they do this? Well I’m not a computer programmer – otherwise I would have written this – but here’s what you have to do:

1) Launch DSLR Camera Remote Server – a little program that sits on your computer and talks to the camera via a tethered cord and to the iPhone via the WIFI spot your in.
2) Launch the app on your iPhone
3) Turn on your camera – voilá! now you have control over your settings via simple scroll menus on the phone. Pretty slick.

Thanks to Apple’s Bon jour you don’t need to configure a thing – sweet!

Now for the really cool part: DSLR Camera Remote displays the photo you just captured. No I’m serious. Once you hit the fire button on the iPhone’s screen, your camera fires (it focuses first if you’re set to autofocus) and then your shot shows up on your phone’s screen – just like magic :) You can even double tap to zoom into 100% for a critical focus check.

Taking a digital capture with my iPhone
Taking a digital capture with my iPhone

The app also has an intervalometer and an auto bracket function. But what make me want to go and buy a Canon 5D Mark II today, is that this app also shows you the live view on screen. That’s incredible. Now, well once I have one, I can …

… stick my camera all the way against the wall of that hotel room to squeeze a few more inches out of the shots,
… I can have the camera shooting straight down on without having to climb up a ladder,
… I can have the camera sitting an inch of the ground, without lying in the mud,
… I can move a prop on set – without having to check through the view finder,

… because I can see what the camera sees in Live Preview. Hallelujah!


A few cautions: Be prepared to go through batteries – lots of batteries. I love the fact that the app keeps the camera awake all the time, but it does go through the two rechargeable ones in my grip in about 4 hours of shooting product photography – and I bet it’s even shorter once the camera is in live view. Same goes for the iPhone. It is awake all the time so you’ll need to charge it half way through the day, or plug it in when your setting up your next shot.

As I mentioned earlier, I shoot into Capture One, which is a little tricky to set up, because Capture One wants to control the camera as well, so here is the correct order in which to turn on the app, the server software, the camera and Capture One.

1) Turn DSLR Camera Remote Server on your computer.
2) Make sure that your WIFI network on the computer is the same as the one your iPhone is on. (I run a dual WIFI network at my house 802.1b for some of the older machines and for the iPhones in the house and an 802.1n for my Mac Book Pro).
3) Launch DSLR Camera Remote on your iPhone. You’ll get an error message saying: “No cameras can be detected on the selected server. Ignore that message it’s ok, as long as you have the DSLR Camera Remote screen pop up.
4) Turn on your camera. If you do that before this step the DSLR Camera Remote Server software won’t launch on the computer or the DSLR Camera Remote app won’t be able to talk with the camera. You will be able to capture a digital image now.
5) Capture One launches automatically, once the camera is turned on – if it did not start up, launch it. Unfortunately it will not go to the most current shot, but hey this set up does so much more than I’d ever expected that I’ll put up with scrolling down to the last capture and applying the corrections by hand (you can copy and paste them anyway), so it’s not that big of a deal.

You’ll also have to repeat this process when you turn of the camera to replace the batteries or when you have to break the connection between the camera and the computer. If you get a call on your iPhone, just relaunch the app again once you’re done telling whoever just called how awesome this app is and that they should go to the

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    Pascal Depuhl

    Miami product photographer, video producer, cinematographer and chief mindchanger at Photography by Depuhl I love to share the knowledge I've gained over the past two decades. Catching light in motion.