Photography News Issue 31

Photography News | Issue 31 | absolutephoto.com

44 First tests

CamFi £115 More and more photographers want to control their camera and to view or download pictures remotely and wirelessly whether it’s for a selfie or something a little more interesting. Joining the range of gadgets that offer this functionality, the CamFi works with your smartphone or tablet (or desktop computer) and is attractively priced at £115 too. Set up is easy. The small unit has an on-board battery, rechargeable via an USB input, so I got that charging while I downloaded the free app onto my iPhone and iPad. Once the unit was charged – the blue LED goes out – it was time to play. A micro USB cable is supplied but, of course, there is no standard when it comes to camera interfaces so you need to make sure you have a suitable cable handy. The CamFi website tells you which Canon and Nikon cameras (no other brands currently are compatible) work with the supplied cable and which might need an optional lead. Plug the unit into the camera, secure the unit with the fitted lanyard or the supplied hotshoe adapter and turn it on. It takes 12 seconds to start up and you are looking for a constant green LED. Connect your device to the CamFi’s Wi-Fi, then open the app and the pair connect up. The claimed range is 50m and certainly at 30m it was working fine on my test. To be fair, it was dead easy and I got a connection immediately with the three different Nikon DSLRs I tried. Tap Live View and a couple of seconds later you’re seeing the camera view through your smart device’s screen. The app itself I found easy to navigate and use. Tap anywhere on the viewing image and the camera will autofocus; you can pinch and spread to zoom into the image – up to 7x – to check focusing and you can fine-tune focus with the MF option too. The app even tells you when you have reached the limit of the lens’s focusing range. In terms of AF efficiency, you are at the mercy of the camera’s

Specs

In the box CamFi remote camera controller, mini USB camera connect cable, micro USB cable for charging, double screw/hotshoe adapter, lanyard, quick start guide Camera compatibility Wide selection of Canon and Nikon DSLRs – see website Software platform iOS8.0 and above; Android 4.0 and above. Mac OS X 10.10 and above; Windows XP and above Signal distance 50m Speed 150Mbps Battery life 6 hours Battery 1800mA lithium rechargeable Dimensions (wxhxd) 89x4.4x2.6cm Weight 77g Contact cam-fi.com

live view system rather than the CamFi unit so a bit of hunting for focus is no surprise. When I tried exposure bracketing, the camera refocused between each exposure so the process isn’t especially speedy. With the refocusing and a delay of a few seconds between each shot, this is a potential drawback if you are shooting for HDR merging later. The range of control available is impressive. Being able to change exposure mode, aperture, ISO and shutter speed (in 1/3EV steps) is simple and painless with minimal time lag, and in bracketing you can set up to +/-3EV and up to nine shots (this depends on the chosen step value). There is a programmable focus stacking option too. The interval timer function is very versatile where you can set start time, the interval between shots and the number of frames, and there’s a B timer available too (the camera has to be in B mode) with a two-second delay before the shutter opens. You don’t get live view in B shooting. There is a fractional time delay between pressing the smart device’s shutter button and the picture being

Verdict

taken. That could be an issue, for example, if you’re shooting birds because the subject could be gone when the shutter is released. This is both with and without live view. You can wirelessly download and share your shots too. A large JPEG or a Raw from a Nikon D810 took under ten seconds to transfer. I had two issues with the CamFi, both bugs and probably resolvable. When trying to recordvideo remotely, I kept getting the same error message, ‘CamFi is not responding’. But I knew I was connected because the live view was still showing the live image and the other features were operable too. I also managed to go back to still shooting straight afterwards too. That’s is something to check if you are intending video use. And the other was the desktop app which I couldn’t get working at all. It could see the camera but I got no further so that was disappointing. WC

The app itself I found easy to navigate and use

The CamFi definitely has potential and its price isn’t outrageous – a Canikon programmable cable remote release will cost you more as would a branded wireless remote control set. Obviously whether the CamFi is worth the money depends on whether you envisage yourself needing wireless camera control. If you do, then at this price, and assuming you don’t get the video and desktop app issues I had, the CamFi is a very attractive proposition and it’s a very capable and versatile unit. Pros Attractive price, it works – mostly Cons Slight delay with shutter release, video function didn’t work, the same with the desktop app

Advanced timer

Bracketing

Focus stacking

Manual focusing

Mode change

Playback

Quality mode

Zoom in focusing

www.photographynews.co.uk

Powered by