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Canon EOS 6D and WiFi

Larry West , Sep 19, 2012; 09:14 a.m.

I was going to post this as a simple reply in the ongoing "Canon 6D - Full-frame body, $2100 at launch" thread, but I thought others would wish to see this who might not otherwise wade into the over 100 posts there!

Danny Wilson said here:
Although the camera is an all-around bore, I bet we will see the wifi get used in really cool and creative ways that we cannot yet imagine. You could have cameras setup to take video or photos remotely, you could have clients see photos in real time on an iPad, you could stream live video of a special event, or perhaps even shoot without a memory card directly to a networked hard drive. All of that sounds pretty cool.

A lot of that is coming, apparently...

Canon EOS Remote description (UK Canon Site).

The only thing I see that will disappoint a lot of folks is the images will be downsampled to "S2" resolution (1920x1280) for wireless transmission. I can see why, as sending a 25-35 MB RAW file would take a lot of time, and suck up a lot of space on the phone. It's really intended (at this point, anyway) for you to get photos to your smart phone, and upload them to social sites, rather than as a production tool for a pro.

(I find it intriguing, also, that some of the iPhone screenshots have "Canon EOS 7D" at the top... Could this also work with the 7D & WFTE5A?)

Responses

Dave Trayers , Sep 19, 2012; 10:37 a.m.

A few years ago I would shoot portraits on location with a 1DmkIII and WFT and had it configured to send a low res JPG to the computer for my preview and to show the parents and send the RAW file to the memory card for later processing. It was a little tricky to setup, but once up and running worked brilliantly.

Brad Trostad , Sep 19, 2012; 01:55 p.m.

I was under the impression that the later model WiFi grips could also be used by the EOS Utility and replicate most of the functions over the USB - I hope someone who has used it can confirm that? If so, then - as long as the protocol is open or can be easily figured out - then writing an iOS / Android application would be possible.

Another way to think about this one feature is that if it is done well (I sure hope so for Canon's sake). They have just put a multi $100 feature in a $2100 package. For those of us with older cameras, those WiFi grips cost a lot ($600) and they are only WiFi 'G' units (54Mbit). Now for $2100, you get almost the same thing as a 5D2 with this feature included.

It would seem that a nugget of information here is that the required scaling of the larger image for transmission is being done by the Camera vs the device. As long as the originals can also be dumped via wireless later on (or in the background) then it's probably not such a big deal. But, perhaps this is the reason cameras released before it would not be supported by the mobile software?

I did notice that video was not supported. Obviously some of the older tablets would not be able to display the HD footage and it would probably be to taxing for the camera to reduce while sending so its partly understandable. But for movie makers, the highest bit rate of the HD video will still fall within a wireless 'N' bandwidth. That means cameras could (in theory) be dumping the video over the Wifi with no delays provided a strong signal and fast reading recipient.

If the camera can somehow allow WiFi dumps of the movie streams it would open some interesting possibilities for really fast turn around of footage to editors with the card copies as backups.

Provided this is a 'N' wiFi point and does not have signal strength issues it might finally go from being a expensive $$$ so-so option to being practical. But, IMHO it's gonna be all the new software written on the back end that will blow it open - notice however, Canon will make the biggest chunk of the money on camera bodies and lenses :)

Who knows, I'm starting to think it all depends on how fast that data can get out of this camera. If you are in a studio and want to preview for others who are watching (eg. family photos, etc). Perhaps a 1 second delay is okay but if this thing takes 5 seconds per shot the feature will be useless.

It's fun to think about.

Scott Ferris , Sep 19, 2012; 05:37 p.m.

As cheap wireless remotes I see this camera selling by the ton to pros and creative types, let alone the crop camera upgrade market it is more probably aimed at.

I have used remotes at weddings and live music venues but haven't been fully happy with them, however with full control over shooting functionality and live feedback I can see putting one in a soundproof box (old pelican case) and shooting where I have never been allowed before. I recently really wanted to put a remote in a foliage archway where a couple were getting married but I knew I needed exposure control, this new camera would have been perfect for that application. I have wanted to put controllable remotes on stages for live music too but the cost of the complete setup was prohibitive, not now, the three song rule is going to be blown out of he water where I shoot!

I have used a setup similar to Dave, but I used an Eye-Fi card in my 1Ds MkIII to send small jpegs to an iPad for interested people to view the output in "real time", it works very well but gives no camera control.

I think the 6D functionality is perfect and short of abysmal sensor or AF performance I will be getting at least one.

Ruben Leal , Sep 19, 2012; 05:39 p.m.

Larry, if you find intriguing the "Canon EOS 7D" at the top of the iPhone screen shot, what about the "Canon EOS 4D" in the Wi-Fi demo video?

To see te video: go to http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_6d#Features
select "Built it WiFi...", scroll to the video player at the bottom of the screen, and wait for second 21.

Larry West , Sep 20, 2012; 10:09 a.m.

Larry, if you find intriguing the "Canon EOS 7D" at the top of the iPhone screen shot, what about the "Canon EOS 4D" in the Wi-Fi demo video?

"7D" is:

  1. very clearly shown on three screenshots from the UK Canon page I referenced
  2. a shipping product from Canon
  3. a camera I already own
  4. a camera that accepts a WiFi connection device
  5. a camera which may be getting a Mark II in the not terribly distant (18-24mos) future

Which, to me, is a lot more intriguing than fuzzy pixels that may or may not say "4D"! If you look at that screen, there was a LOT of manipulation going on. There are TWO status lines showing on that iPhone simulation with the clock, battery, wi-fi, etc. (and the same can be seen on some of the others).

I've no doubt Canon will likely bring along new models in the xD line, but I'm not clairvoyant, nor am I going to speculate about those fuzzy pixels. That's a job for CSI: Canon Screenshot Investigation ;-)

Larry West , Sep 20, 2012; 03:03 p.m.

I have used remotes at weddings and live music venues but haven't been fully happy with them, however with full control over shooting functionality and live feedback I can see putting one in a soundproof box (old pelican case) and shooting where I have never been allowed before. I recently really wanted to put a remote in a foliage archway where a couple were getting married but I knew I needed exposure control, this new camera would have been perfect for that application.

Indeed! I can see many applications for this technology. I've always wanted to shoot the songbirds that visit my Mom's feeders. With something like this, I can put the 7D on a tripod, outside, aimed & focused where I want it, and sit a few feet away in the warmth of her kitchen and shoot!

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