Does My Camera Shoot Tethered?

Posted by: on Oct 10, 2016 | One Comment
Photo Courtesy of Jordan Green

Shooting tethered can help fine-tune image quality, simplify the selection process, and in turn, save a lot of time. This is especially true if you’re shooting for clients. Your client can be on set, checking shots as you go, and you’ll all know the shot is perfect in a fraction of the time that it might take otherwise.

Before you can begin shooting tethering, you need to learn the specific requirements for both your camera and computer.

Camera Requirements for Tethering

Most DSLR, mirrorless and medium format cameras are USB – or Firewire-compatible, meaning they have a USB or Firewire port for copying images from a card to a computer. However, this does not necessarily mean that the camera has tethering capabilities.

Tethering is the ability to transfer images immediately during the capture process. Growing demand for tethering has led manufacturers to introduce and improve tethering functionality in many newer cameras. Even so, you should reference your camera manual to confirm that it’s capable of tethering and if so, identify which types of images it’s designed to transfer – JPEG, RAW or both. Remember to look for the phrases Direct Image Transfer and Instant Image Transfer as well as any references to tethering.

Some camera models support Parallel File Writing, where images are written simultaneously to both the memory card and the computer or tablet to which you are tethered. As of this writing, Canon is the only manufacturer offering this solution. For those using Sony, Nikon and other manufacturers that do not offer parallel file writing in camera, we offer some work-arounds later in this guide. Some cameras require their manufacturers’ proprietary software in order to tether, while others can use many of the familiar tethering software solutions we discuss in Chapter 3 of the Ultimate Tether Guide.

Confirming Your Camera Supports Instant Image Transfer

Be sure to check your camera’s manual to determine if it supports Instant Image Transfer.


To access your Canon camera’s manual online, CLICK HERE: select your camera’s model name, then scroll down to ‘direct image transfer’ to find out what type of image transfer options (JPEG or RAW or both) are available.


To access your Nikon camera’s manual online, CLICK HERE: locate the ‘USB connector’ section of the manual to find out which cable it requires to tether.


To access your SONY camera’s manual online, CLICK HERE: select ‘camera’, then click on your specific camera series and model. Under marketing specs, scroll down to ‘interface’ which will show you the USB port that is required for that camera. In the ‘user guide (printable pdf), find the section called ‘remote camera control’ which will show you how to setup your camera for tethering and provide information on downloading the software.

Cable Compatibility
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before purchasing a tethering cable, be sure to reference the CABLE COMPATIBILITY GUIDE on

TT-GuideThe Ultimate Tether Guide – Download Now for FREE

Tether Tools and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) just rolled out The Ultimate Photo Tethering Guide designed to walk photographers through tethered photography and to get you started. The guide is perfect for those who’ve never tried tethering and experienced tethered photographers looking to streamline their workflows.

The Ultimate Tether Guide is available as a FREE download to the public at



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