Tethering 101: Choosing the Right Cable for your Camera

Posted by: on Feb 24, 2015 | 6 Comments


Ok, you’ve got the camera, the computer and the tethering software. Now it’s time to do something about your cable. I know what you’re asking, “Can’t I use the cable that came with my camera?” The answer is absolutely. However, here’s the rub. That cable is usually 3′ or 1 meter long. That’s not going to be long enough unless you set your camera on a tripod right next to your computer. This may be possible when shooting macros or product shots, ┬ábut usually you’re going to want the freedom of a much longer cable.

This leaves you with two options.

  1. Purchase an extension cable for that wire that came with the camera.
  2. Purchase a new longer cable.

Both these options are good ones. USB 2.0 & 3.0 specifications limit cable length to 16′ before needing an active extension cable. This means you can buy a cable up to 15′ long, and than if you need longer, buy an extension for that cable. Here’s a handy cable finder to help you determine which cable you need:


Also, when choosing a cable, you may want to consider the non-reflective orange cable. It helps prevent people from tripping over it and it makes it super easy to find in your gear bag.

Next: Securing your Tether Cable


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6 thoughts on “Tethering 101: Choosing the Right Cable for your Camera”

  1. i have a question: my camera is Canon 5D Mark II and my laptop computer is Apple Macpro with USB 3.0 HI- Speed Bus, my question is : What kind of tether cable should i use?

  2. Hi team
    I would like to tether my Nikon D4s to my MacBook Pro(mid 2012) 13′ ..
    What cable do I need and what software please?
    Thank you

  3. @Neil,

    You need the TetherPro USB 2.0 to Mini-B 5-Pin cable (https://www.tethertools.com/product/tetherpro-usb-2-0-a-male-to-mini-b-5-pin-15ft-4-6m-gold-plated/).

    I would recommend either a JerkStopper Camera Support (https://www.tethertools.com/product/jerkstopper-camera-support/) or a TetherBlock (https://www.tethertools.com/product-tag/tetherblock/) to protect the USB port.

    For software, you can use Adobe Lightroom, Capture One, Smart Shooter, On1 or a few other. Visit this page for options: https://www.tethertools.com/tethering-software/

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