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fastest tethered downloading software (nikon d300)

Jay Reed , Oct 15, 2008; 08:44 p.m.

what is the fastest software for shooting tethered?, someone had mentioned to me that shooting without a card in the camera might be faster, allowing image to just be written to computer though it seems the nikon transfer or mac image capture or bridge only allows you to shoot tethered by shooting to a card then downloading to the computer (mac book). the problem I'm having is when shooting people with raw files the images come thru very slowly so there is nothing close to real time capture to check for sharpness/change of pose/expression. thanks for the help. great forum. -Jay


Ellis Vener , Oct 15, 2008; 08:48 p.m.

Nikon Capture Control or Capture 1 Pro.

Matt Laur , Oct 15, 2008; 09:37 p.m.

I think you need to have a race. You can download a trial copy of Camera Control Pro from Nikon, or a trial copy of Bibble Pro from Bibble Labs (which also supports tethered shooting). I'm not being a smartass, here - it's just that there are too many variables, including how fast your machine's USB2 ports are, other things that impact I/O speeds, O/S versions, etc., that might make one or the other app faster for one rig, and the opposite on another. RAM, disk speed, other peripherals, etc, will always play unexpected roles.

Walter Schroeder , Oct 16, 2008; 03:12 a.m.

Jay "real time" viewing of RAW files "after the fact" is a contradiction in itself but you will never get even close to it. The files are just too big. Also to see the RAW image on your computer you need to convert it which also takes time. But there is hope and the D300 offers life view just to do what you want to do. You can shoot tethered and at the same time look at a separate monitor in life view.

Kurt Heumiller , Oct 16, 2008; 09:18 a.m.

Capture One Pro does not tether with Nikons. You can view and work on the RAW files from Nikons but you cannot shoot.

Jay tethering is going to be kind of slow for portrait work, but I would try a couple different trial versions of the software because some will be faster than others. Nikon Capture Control and Bibble Pro have free trials. Someone told me, though I have not tried it in person that Aperture does tethered capture. Good luck.

Mark Dalrymple , Oct 16, 2008; 04:10 p.m.

I've used Aperture tethered. It's was reasonable speed-wise. I haven't compared it to any other software.

Bruce Stenman , Oct 16, 2008; 04:28 p.m.

The limiting factor is going to be the camera to computer. I was sorry to see cameras go from Firewire to USB instead of Firewire 800. Be sure to use a computer with USB 2.0 ports and use a separate partition on the hard drive that you can defrag periodically.

I would expect having the camera compress the RAW files before they are transferred to the computer would also help as would shooting JPEGs at the minimum size needed so as little as possible needs to be transferred for each shot taken.

Raymond Lowe , Oct 16, 2008; 11:23 p.m.

I've tested this a bit because of my windows tethered shooting script -- it takes about 8 seconds from pressing the shutter release (either the one on the camera or the one in my software) until I see it full screen in bridge. I mean it has rendered the nef.

This is D300 12bit raw with lossless compression. Windows XP SP2 on a Dual processor PC.

The bulk of the time is taken up by the USB transfer so if I don't connect it to a USB2 port of course it takes an awful lot longer. I don't think the flash card makes a big difference unless it is getting full -- though I admit I'm using Sandisk extreme III so they are fast. I presume the data transfer from camera to PC doesn't start until the file is written to the card so maybe if you had a slow card it would add a second or two.

If there is anybody out there with the various software I'd love to hear how my script compares to the other options.

I just wrote this new version with a GUI and installer and preview window:


Unfortunately i can't work out how to connect to liveview though. I think I need the Nikon SDK but I don't know how to get that (it's really for software companies, not hobbiests).


Joseph Wisniewski , Oct 16, 2008; 11:53 p.m.

As I recall, you can set the camera to shoot raw + JPEG, and set Nikon Camera Control to transfer only the JPEG, which will get you an image very fast.

Aside from that, for what you're describing, an image to view, pan, and zoom, if you've got a D300, D3, D700, or D90, I'd skip going tethered, and plug an LCD into the HDMI port, and you're there...

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