Every so often you may need to control your camera (usually an SLR) with your Mac. This could either be out of convenience, since you want to play with the files directly after they are taken, or you want to set up and create something complex using your SLR and your Mac. This can normally be quite difficult. Although most camera manufactures have an app which can do this, i’m going to show you an app which is free and control and connected Mac.
The first thing to do is download an app called Soforbild, this is the application we are going to use to control our camera. Once you have downloaded the app, you can install it. When you are ready you can plug in your camera. Make sure it is set on a setting called “MTP/PTP” instead of “Mass Storage”, refer to your use manual for more information. This setting will allow you camera to have it’s setting altered, instead of acting as a USB drive where you can access the files on the connected SD card (or similar).
When you connect your camera the application should display something similar to the following.
The application is a bit boring by itself, however, when you press the shutter you have a whole host of options to play with. In the image above, the top red bar is settings you can’t change, such as Lens, focal length, focus and exposure. On the bottom bar is setting you can change such as shutter speed (with a massive selection of speeds), aperture size, white balance, ISO, quality, size and metering. All the normal settings. Depending on your camera the amount of settings will vary. Expensive high end cameras will have a lot of options in the shutter speed and ISO settings for example. Cheaper cameras which lack the numerous settings will have less to choose from during the drop downs.
Once you have selected the settings from the bottom red bar using the drop down items you are read to take a picture. The last thing you have to adjust is the focal length and focusing distance from your lens. Then you press the shutter button from the top menu bar and you camera will take the picture according to the settings you have stipulated. When the image is take it will transfer it to your Mac and will be present in the application, at the same time if will also save the image into Pictures folder or the location you have said in the Preferences.
Once you get the hang of using the app its really easy to take pictures. Its useful for pictures where you are at your Mac and want to save and play with the images on the fly. The application also has lots function such as taking timed shots at specific intervals, great for time lapse high resolution photography. As well as this it also has a function for High Dynamic Range images by adjusting the exposure time, i’ll have more on this area of the program in an upcoming post.
All in all, this application does exactly what it says on the tin. Its good at controlling your camera and its a good application. I’ve had a good play around with it and have produced some interesting shots. This application is best suited if you are in a lab or studio environment and want a quick and simple way to take pictures and upload photos at the same time.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave one below. In the mean time check out Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, The Digital Photography Book or a new Fancy SLR to make your friends jealous.