Shooting tethered means shooting with your camera connected to your computer via a cable. It’s a common technique amongst professional photographers as it allows you to see your images on a large screen instead of on the back of the camera. It also means that you don’t need to take the memory card out of the camera to transfer the images to your hard drive, they’re already there.
Pros working with clients and designers also like to shoot tethered because it lets anyone in the studio see the shots without them getting in the way or trying to see the back of the camera.
Being able to see a large version of your image makes it much easier to check exposure and spot any bits of dust etc on subjects. And it’s usually easier and quicker to clean them off and take another shot rather than clone out the offending article.
There’s usually a cable supplied with the camera to connect it to a computer. However, they’re usually too short to be useful and their quality isn’t always the greatest.
Tether Tools Starter Tethering Kit
The solution is to use a third-party cable and Tether Tools is the best-known supplier in the photo industry. You can buy the cables by themselves, but Tether Tools also offers a range of Tethering Kits. These kits include reusable cable tidies, the TetherPro Cable Organization Case and JerkStoppers that help prevent the cables from being pulled out of your camera or computer.
Tether Tools cables are up to 4.6m (15-feet) long and are available in black or orange. I went for orange as it’s the most visible. It means I’m less likely to trip over it.
There’s a range of cable connection types available to suit different computer and camera combinations. For example, you might need USB 3.0 to USB-C or USB-C to USB-C cable. There’s something suitable for most cameras and computers.
Build and Handling
It essential to ensure you buy the correct Tether Tools cable for your camera and computer. The easiest way to find out what you need is to visit the Tether Tools website and use the guide.
The price varies according to the length of cable and the type of connection. The longest cable is 4.6m (15-feet), but there are extension connectors if that’s not long enough.
Tether Tools cables are thick and have a high-quality feel. The connectors are well made and fit easily into their designated ports.
I tested the Jerkstopper Camera Support (shown above) and a Jerkstopper USB Support. Both are very easy to use and stop the cable from being easily knocked out of the port. Helpfully, Jerkstopper Camera Support has a clip that can be undone to release the cable from the camera when you’ve finished shooting.
The Jerkstopper USB Support simply connects to an adjacent port so you just connect and disconnect this as required.
Conveniently, the case strap as a clip that enables it to be fastened around the spider of a tripod or other support. That means you can keep everything close to hand.
I found the Jerkstopper Camera Support the most useful of the two Jerkstoppers. It makes the cable connection little more secure. The Jerkstopper USB Support does the same thing for your computer but I find I’m less likely to knock that end of the cable.
The camera and computer detected their connection as soon as the camera is powered up. They also stayed connected and images transferred reliably during my testing.
There’s not really a great deal to test with the Tether Tools Starter Tethering Kit. Everything connects easily and the images transfer quickly from the camera to the computer. It does exactly the job it’s supposed to do.
The Jerkstoppers provide a nice backstop and the case is useful for storing everything in once you’ve finished a shoot.