Hyper’s iUSBportCAMERA has one simple goal—to disconnect your hand from your camera (have a tripod handy). Why might this be useful? Because the freedom you gain from not being tethered to your camera lets you change the very nature of photography; instead of being trapped behind the camera, you can get in on the action, compose novel shots you couldn’t previously have reached, and get an infinitely better preview than any camera’s built-in LCD can deliver. The iUSBportCAMERA and its apps provide live previews, shooting, and streaming of both video and still photos in a completely self-contained package.
Command and Control
Most hardcore photographers will want the full details, so if you’re concerned about compatibility, check out the iUSBportCAMERA’s product page, which details all the Canon and Nikon DSLRs you can remote control. It’s a pretty broad selection of the most popular models, though some of the features are not supported on all cameras.
The iUSBportCAMERA’s WiFi capability lets it generate its own network (great for shooting outdoors or on location where there is no network), or you can join it to an existing WiFi network (better for studio photography). The internal battery is rated for eight hours of shooting, and during testing I was able to get that without issues, though it takes a glacial six hours to recharge. Setup is ridiculously simple; just plug the remote cable into your camera and the iUSBportCAMERA unit, then start both devices.
Once the remote connection has been established, you can get a live viewfinder preview, adjust settings, and trigger the shutter from Hyper’s iUSBport app on your iPad or via a web app from any browser, just as long as your device is on the same WiFi network as the iUSBportCAMERA. The app lets you control settings like white balance, shutter, ISO, and aperture, depending on which camera mode you’ve chosen. And although not all cameras support it, by far the coolest feature is a tap-to-focus that makes your DSLR’s focusing as intuitive as the iPhone’s!
Shoot and Share Alike
Once you’ve configured your shot, the iUSBportCAMERA supports one of two shooting modes: pure remote control mode where images are streamed to the controlling iPad, or Self Control mode where images are stored on the iUSBportCAMERA’s 4GB Flash memory. This lets apps like Lightroom pick up files and import them automatically as you shoot, removing a redundant workflow step. In remote control mode, the Flash memory acts as a buffer for ~500 images, so you can continue shooting even as pictures are being transferred.
If you’re shooting and want to share images as they’re being taken, the iUSBport app also supports a Client Mode, which delivers the live viewfinder without camera control. The underlying iUSBport technology also provides file streaming from both the internal 4GB of Flash storage as well as a device connected to the iUSBportCAMERA’s USB port, so you can use it as a way to transfer files between iOS devices, Mac/PC computers, and Android devices, or simply use it to create a network for multiplayer games!
Does it Click?
Hyper has put a great deal of polish into the iUSBportCAMERA hardware and the apps are functional if not particularly elegant; the total package is an easy recommendation to photographers who want/need to unchain themselves from their cameras. The iUSBportCAMERA is especially handy in situations where it may be physically or socially dangerous to stand with a camera. Looking through a viewfinder can be disorienting, so if you’re in a precarious position you can set up a tripod and shoot with ease. Rather than standing in front of a crowd to get that perfect shot, the iUSBportCAMERA lets you set your camera and trigger it remotely, so your body isn’t in other people’s way.
Although pricey, the iUSBportCAMERA is a great addition to a photographer’s toolkit. It features speedy 802.11n and its own battery, so it’s faster and doesn’t drain your camera’s battery like a Wi-Fi-enabled SD Card. It offers functionality above and beyond simple camera control, and it’s compatible with a broad range of cameras, so even if you make the conversion from Canon to Nikon you won’t have to buy a new remote control setup. The Live Preview and tap-to-focus are the real killer features, though iUSBportCAMERA’s ability to act as a quick and dirty NAS solution for USB drives or portable hard drives is similarly crucial if you do lots of file transfers while on the road.
Provides: Remote DSLR camera control, live viewfinder, and media streaming
Minimum Requirements: Canon or Nikon DSLR with a micro USB remote control port (the iUSBportCAMERA product page lists compatible models)