I've been a huge fan of tethering in my photography for pretty much as long as I can remember. It all started when I used to work event photo booths and eventually made its way into my everyday workflow.
I love having my files show up immediatly on my computer so my client can see then and pick their favorites right on the spot. I could go on an on about why you should tether, but that's not the point of this post.
What I really want to talk about is the new Air Direct by Tether Tools. One of the biggest pains about tethering is the long cable that's quite honestly pretty easy to trip over, especially if you're as clumsy as I am. The Air Direct alleviates that pain by giving you all the convenience of tethering without the cables.
You might be wondering what makes the Air Direct different than other wireless tethering options that have been released in the past. Below are the 5 key features that I think really set the Air Direct apart from its competitors.
Unlike other wireless tethering options, which typically only supported Canon and Nikon cameras, the Air Direct supports not only Canon and Nikon, but also Fuji, Sony, Hasselblad , Leica, PhaseOne, and my personal favorite, Panasonic Lumix.
The Air Direct also works with all the major tethering software like Capture One Pro and Lightroom. The way the Air Direct works, is by essentially tricking your computer into thinking there's a camera attached via a cable, so however your camera works with a cable connection, it will work the same way with the Air Direct.
Another hassle that I always had when tethering wirelessly was complete lack of reliability. In theory it was a great idea, but when I had my connection drop 2 to 3 times a shoot it really wasn't worth the hassle. I've been shooting with the Air Direct for about 2 weeks now and haven't had any connection issues whatsoever. I even taught live demos on the show floor at Imaging USA where there were about 6 or 7 photographers who were also using Air Direct's and even then I kept a strong connection without any interference.
#3 RAW Transfer
Another really cool feature of the Air Direct is its ability to wirelessly transfer raw files. I'm just going to answer the question before anyone asks, and say that the wireless raw transfer won't be quite as fast as a cable connection, but it's honestly a lot faster than I thought it would be! Think of it like this, if you were to transfer a file from your computer to a hard-drive that's connected via a cable, and you upload that same file to dropbox, it's probably going to take a little longer to upload the file with a wireless connection. It's a similar concept when transferring files with a wireless connection like the Air Direct. I would like to reiterate that it's still a much faster transfer than any other wireless option that has been available in the past.
#4 Multiple Power Options
This is a feature that could be easily overlooked, but I think it's a huge feature that deserves to be talked about. Unlike its competitors that usually had a built in rechargeable battery, the Air Direct comes with a LP-E6 Canon battery which means that it's really easy to find extra or replacement batteries.
The Second power option is a DC port on the side that allows you to either plug into a wall or more likely use mobile power pack to maintain power while you hot-swap a new battery. This is a really convenient feature because it allows you to maintain your connection while replacing the Air Direct with a new battery.
#5 General Ease of Use
The final point I want to touch on is just how easy it is to use the Air Direct. Straight out of the box it's basically ready to use. All you have to do is download the Tether Tools Air Direct Utility which is a program that runs in the background on your computer that helps establish the connection between your camera and computer.
The Air Direct conveniently connects to the hotshoe on-top of you camera, but if you're like me and you use a flash trigger, you can purchase a separate clamp that allows for a cold shot attachment to an arca L-bracket.
If you just scrolled down to the bottom to watch the video, here it is!
If you're serious about taking your photography to the NEXT LEVEL, join us for our next workshop on March 14th here in Franklin, TN. Early bird tickets are still available but won't last long.
Until next time!