Best Tethering Software for Tethered Photography with a DSLR Camera

Posted by: on Dec 20, 2012 | 6 Comments

Want to get started shooting tethered, but not sure which software to choose?  There are many options available – everything from the free software already included with your camera – to super-charged programs incorporating all your post-production needs into one solution.   Here are some we think are worth exploring:

Canon EOS Utility software is available free with Canon cameras and includes many features found in purchased software packages.  The EOS Utility is a robust full featured software package that has been continually updated to add new features.  Available for Windows and Mac.  You will need your orginal software disk that came with your camera for the initial EOS Utility installation.  Once installed updates can be download directly from Canon.

Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 does not come with Nikon cameras, but is a full-feature tethering software package allowing full control of all compatible camera’s settings.  Available for Windows or Mac.  Here are additional details for Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 and Nikon compatible cameras.

Capture One Pro 7 is a professional RAW converter and image editing software which also includes robust tethering features.  It contains all the essential tools and high-end performance in one package to enable you to capture, organize, edit, share and print images in a fast, flexible and efficient workflow.  PhaseOne offers users the compatible Capture Pilot, a free app for your iPad or iPhone which integrates remote image viewing & zooming, rating, tagging and more.   Capture Pilot works on any iOS device but must be used in conjunction with Capture One Pro 7.  Available for Windows or Mac.  Here are additional details for Capture One Pro 7.

Lightroom 4 incorporates tethering functionality in its comprehensive RAW processing and photo management software.  The tethering feature is compatible with select Canon, Nikon and Leica digital cameras.  Here a list of supported compatible cameras.  A few of the many features include importing photos as they are taken and loading them to a selected catalog.  Lightroom offers access to many of the camera’s settings directly from computer as well as instant viewing, zooming, rating and tagging of shots.  The ultimate benefit is checking focus, lighting and composition in great detail.  Available for Windows or Mac.  Here are additional details for Lightroom.

* Currently working in Lightroom 2 and want to tether?  You will still need an independent tethering software program but read Scott Kelby’s work-around solution.


Aperture 3
also introduced tethering functionality with this version, allowing one to shoot directly to their Mac.  Aperture 3 is a comprehensive photo management software, which includes image storage and management, detailed metadata, customized presets as well remote backup.  Available for Mac.  Additional details can be found at the Apple Store.

SofortBild is a free tethering software for Mac users working with Nikon cameras.  This robust and reliable software features full control of many camera settings, bracketing, time lapse intervals and instant image review.  Sofortbild even supports LiveView with compatible cameras.  Simple settings to import into Apple’s Aperture and iPhoto (auto import into Adobe Lightroom is provided by setting up Lightroom’s watch folder feature).  Available for Mac computers and compatible Nikon cameras.  Details and the software can be downloaded directly from Sofortbild.

ControlMyNikon is one of the most comprehensive and feature rich tethering software programs for Windows (plans for a Mac version in the future) users working with Nikon cameras.  Besides all of the standard tethering software features, ControlMyNikon goes above and beyond offering features like loupe view, voice control, white balance calibration, iPad/smartphone integration and many, many other features.  The software is priced extremely reasonable and the online training tutorials are superb.  Available for Windows computers and compatible Nikon cameras.  Details, tutorials and software can be downloaded directly from ControlMyNikon.

PK_Tether is a free tethering software for Pentax cameras and Windows users.  Set parameters like shutter, aperture, ISO and file format as well as shutter release.   Available for Windows and compatible Pentax DSLR cameras.  Details and the software can be downloaded directly from PK_Tether.

TetherPro is a full-feature tethering workflow package aimed at Nikon professional studio photographers and hobbyists alike. Offering full screen reviewing, customizable workflow, full camera remote control, automatic image back-up and LiveView. Great for studio/portrait, products, event and astrophotography – available for Windows users. Full Software details available at TetherPro.


Breeze Systems
offers a wide range of tethering software options for Canon and Nikon cameras on either a Mac or Windows platform.  DSLR Remote Pro, PSRemote and NKRemote offer a full range of robust features including multiple camera tethering and photo-booth software.  Available for Windows and Mac computers and compatible with Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras.  Software details and camera compatibility can be found at Breeze Systems.

Camera RC is a full featured tethering solution for Nikon DSLR cameras including the D4, D800 & D600.  CameraRC provides complete camera control and many features at a very affordable price.  Camera RC includes live view mode with re-sizable and floating windows making it easy to compose and capture your images and customize features.  Available for Windows and Mac running Windows in Boot Camp.  Compatible with Nikon DSLR cameras including the D4 and D800.  Software details, camera compatibility and a free trial version can be found at RC Camera.

Do you have a favorite tethering software not currently listed above?  Let us know.

6 Comments

  1. Victor Douglas
    December 20, 2012

    Is there a reliable way to tether (wired or wireless) DSLRs to a tablet, such as an iPad?

  2. Andrew Macphrson
    December 30, 2012

    I’m really hoping that Google will soon release an update to DSLR remote HD which was a really great phone/tablet remote (via laptop). Unfortunately Canon 5D3 is still not supported, possibly down to Canon not releasing the interface

  3. Morgana Creely
    December 30, 2012

    I’ve been using DSLR Remote Pro by Breeze Systems for a few years now, both on my laptop and my Desktop and I love it. Fast, easy to use and very user friendly. I definitely give it 5 out of 5 :)

    [Nope, I don't work there, just a fan. ;)]

  4. Stanley
    January 4, 2013

    Canon EOS Utility software …
    There is no 64-bit-driver available for a Canon350D camera as Canon says.
    My tries on tethering (using 64bitWin7) weren´t successful.

  5. Alex Kroke
    February 22, 2013

    I have been using them all, but when it comes to tether support i can only recommend Capture One Pro

    The speed of rendering a preview is the best, professional controls , and fast processing.

    When i do a beauty shoot in a long day, i come home with 2000-3500 photos

    Great product.

  6. What To Do When Your Camera Doesn't Support Tethering to Lightroom | Tether Talk
    May 20, 2013

    [...] goes into this folder, the contents automatically populate into the Lightroom catalog. So use a tethering software that supports your camera and let it run in the background. Point both software applications to the same folder and with the [...]

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