Capture One tethering with D800

July 17, 2012  •  3 Comments

Yippee! It's here!

You can't tether a D800 in Lightroom and I don't fancy the sound of Nikon Capture (NX2 is enough of an interface PITA for me). Besides, I've been shooting C1 tethered with Medium Format in the studio and the field for ages. It is easy, stable, and has a great party trick, which I'll come back to.

If you're a C1 'virgin' read on. All will be revealed.

First download your trial copy  of C1 6.4.3 here. Install it. Open it. Oh-oh...

connected nikon copy So if you're shooting both, there's gonna be some fiddling to do on switching systems but hey...

Next, say 'NO' to the following offer or it will drive you bonkers in future:

use on connect copy Now you get to the meat.

You'll have a screen that looks like this but without the images, yet:

Untitled

 

Now I have found that doing things in the following order works best for me, in terms of getting the camera and the software to 'see' each other quickly and reliably. YMM unfortunately V.

Turn the camera off. Use the USB cable that came with it to connect it to your computer. Turn the camera on.

Go to the File menu>New Session and in the pop up give it a name, choose a path where you want it to save files and, most importantly, select "Tethered" from the Type dropdown. Click OK.

A new Session Window (like the one above) will open and after a second or two your camera will show up in the Camera tab in the left-hand column (click it to expand it if it is not open as in the screenshot above). You will also see under the Camera Controls tab above it, sections for selecting the Program (or Mode as we call it in Nikon Land) you want the camera to use. This will then context-sensitively allow you to set aperture, shutter speed etc. whereas the Camera Tab below it allows you to set File Format, ISO and White Balance. You can also use your first (or any other) shot to set a custom WB using the eyedropper and this will apply to all further shots in the session until you advise otherwise.

Now, in the Camera Tab click on Capture and, bingo, the AF focusses (if it's on) and the shutter fires and on my Macbook Retina, inside of two seconds the image appears on the computer screen and you can start to edit it.

Magic. And even more magic given that despite being over a year old, and having been sold as having USB connectivity built in and soon to be enabled, my Phase IQ180 back STILL can't use that bloody USB port because the firmware update hasn't arrived! (as far as I know: it has been at my dealer, for sale, for three weeks now so I can't try it, yet again, to see if this works yet).

Now this is very relevant: the new generation of MacBooks don't have Firewire and the new  generation of Phase IQ backs don't yet (AFAIK) have functioning USB. The D800 does. If you had a new macbook, which one would you choose to tether with?

Now for the party trick. Open your iPad or even iPhone and go to the App store. Download Capture Pilot (free) and then upgrade it (about £10.50) so that it can use Camera Controls. 

Open the app on your iPad. Now, in Capture One, Expand the Capture Pilot tab and select Start Image Server. The name of your current Session will appear in the iPad screen. select it on the iPad and all the thumbnails of the session you are currently shooting will appear on the screen like this:

photo1

(NOTE: the little camera icon, bottom left, might be white, in which case you won't see the Camera Controls panel on the right. Click the white icon, it turns orange, the Camera controls appear and you're good to go.)

See that sexy silver button? You got it. Press it and the camera will take a shot. Change the Aperture/Shutter speed/ISO (depending on which Mode you are in on the camera) as you like and shoot again. Gosh.

The image appears on my laptop within two seconds. In under 4 seconds, it is on my iPad as a thumbnail and if I tap on that thumbnail,  within about a second it appears full screen and fully zoomable. Which means you can check that your model's eye is in perfect focus, or that the movements you have set on your PC-E lens are correct, or that your lens isn't decentered or otherwise screwed.

photo

This, in my view, is a major contribution to life with the D800 and (apart from the lack of a really really good wide PC-E lens) the last great missing link for me as a 'coming from Medium Format' guy.

Awesome. BUT...

You'll notice in the Camera tab a little icon that looks like a speed camera. Click it and... The Selected Camera Does Not Support Live View.

Bummer. Not that Live View with my Phase backs was much clearer than a blurry TV program from another planet but it was useful for lining stuff up and even for fine focus if you were very patient.

Having said that, Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 DOES do live view with the D800 - not according to their website though! I downloaded V2.80 and then had to download the 2.11 updater and tried the whole shebang and - it works, looks promising, but lacks the potential 'all in one' feel of C1 because you need to have a viewer launched at the same time as you are capturing. And it lacks the magical iPad app. But you can fine-tune focus in the preview window, at full or 200% zoom on-screen, which looks.... not brilliant, but useable, like Live View on the camera itself!

 

FINAL THOUGHT:

This is a marvel. But Capture One as a RAW processing program is not to everyone's taste and, unlike Lightroom or Aperture, it has no built-in cataloguing program - though that is under development as Media Pro gets more and more well integrated.

I like C1 and it gives great results BUT it has a bit of a learning curve. In the end, I prefer LR because of the catalogue functions and print module. Many people think C1 gives superior RAW processing results, however.

If you have time to learn it, do: you might love it. If not, just capture into it using tethering and with all processing set to defaults, then export TIFFS to Lightroom. Easy.

 

 

 

 


Comments

Tim Ashley Photography
David, I had a looong go at the media pro application when it was stand alone (and this article was written before they integrated it into C1) and I utterly hated it! But the features that are in more recent versions of C1 since they were integrated are pretty useful. I still wildly prefer LR though, but that is surely because I know it well.
David Larsen(non-registered)
Thanks for this, I was wanting to know whether the tethering to Capture One could focus the D800 and from what you say, it does.

Just on your comment about a "built in catalogue program" it may not have one, but it does have Phase One do have Media Pro which I believe is the best cataloguing program on the market. Better in my opinion that Lightroom. It is a development of what was iView Media Pro which became Expression Media when Microsoft bought it out. Microsoft was not the right home for it. Phase One have taken it over and I believe it has found a good home.
Tim Ashley Photography
You can do it in the field with just a local computer to computer network over WiFi. Capture One's web page support tells you how:

http://www.phaseone.com/Search/Article.aspx?articleid=1922&languageid=1

I have done this myself easily BUT only on Macs - as a non-PC man for many a year, I am sure there's a Microsoft Way to do this but I wouldn't know where to start...
No comments posted.
Loading...
Subscribe
RSS
Archive
January February March April May June July (24) August (11) September (8) October (4) November (5) December (4)
January February March (2) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December