Connectivity Troubleshoot Guide for both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Cameras

Posted by: on Apr 18, 2017 | 4 Comments

Few things are more frustrating than being ready to shoot, but getting stopped dead in your tracks when a tethered capture session is not cooperating. With this easy-to-follow guide you’ll be able to troubleshoot any tethered connection so you can get connected and shooting in no time.

Confirm software compatibility

First, make sure that your software supports your camera make and model for tethered shooting.

Download the most recent version of your software

Software doesn’t always auto-update so make sure your software is installed correctly and all current updates have been made.

Ensure your camera’s firmware is up-to-date

If you are not familiar with updating your camera firmware, please view these links for the latest firmware updates:

Getting started
  • Turn on your computer and login. Keep camera powered off.
  • Securely connect your cable at both the camera and computer ports.
  • Open tethering software you will use to receive images.
  • Start tethered capture session in software.
  • Turn on the camera. Software should detect connected camera.
  • Begin shooting to see images appear in software.
Connection issues

If your connection was working during a tethered capture shoot but has dropped, here are steps to recover from a dropped connection:

  • Turn off the camera.
  • Ensure that your cable is snug and secure with Jerkstoppers at both the camera and computer ports.
  • Disconnect the camera from the computer.
  • Close software and restart the software.
  • Open software.
  • Reconnect the camera.
  • Turn on the camera and try tethered shooting.

If this sequence does not work, please restart the computer and repeat the Getting started process from above.


Ensure your camera’s sleep mode is turned off

The computer needs to recognize the camera at all times during a tethered shoot. If your camera goes into sleep mode, the computer may not recognize the connected camera and cause the tethered connection to drop.

Nikon users: remove the memory card out of your camera

When shooting tethered with Nikon cameras, the images are not written to the memory card in the camera; they bypass the card and are written to the computer’s hard drive in the folder you designate your images to be saved. If you have a card full of data, or a card in your camera at all, it could interfere with the data transfer. It’s best to simply remove it.

Tethering long distance

USB spec suggests that the longest base cable that should be used for tethered photography is 16ft (5m). Every additional 16ft (5m) you will want to have an Active Extension cable in the line.

Check battery charge

If your camera battery charge is low, you may find that tethering connections drop frequently. To ensure a solid connection, replace with a freshly charged battery or utilize Tether Tools Case Relay Camera Power System for uninterrupted power.


Dropped connections or no connection at all with a USB 3.0 camera and digital back?

If you are having trouble connecting your DSLR USB 3.0 camera to your computer using tethering software such as Lightroom, Capture One or other tethering software programs you’re not alone. The core issue is that computer manufacturers, mostly to be as efficient with power as possible, are either under powering or dynamically powering their USB 3.0 ports. These challenges are affecting some of the most popular cameras on the market, including USB 3.0 cameras from Nikon, Canon, Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, and Pentax.

As a solution, we recommend the TetherBoost Pro which conditions the line and regulates the power from DSLR/Digital Backs to the computer, eliminating these limitations and allowing your tethered connection to operate up to full USB3 speeds for tethering connections from 15 to 65 feet without any loss in signal. The TetherBoost Pro also features the TrueConnect LED indicator which ensures signal connectivity between a photographer’s DSLR, Mirrorless or Digital Back camera and a computer.

USB 3.0 tethered connection setups at distances from 15 to 65 feet

All setups read left to right, beginning with the camera and ending with the connection to a laptop. You’ll notice the 48′ and 65′ setup require more than one of the same item, as an example you’ll need two USB 3.0 Active Extensions in the 48′ setup and two TetherBoost Pros plus three USB 3.0 Active Extensions to achieve the 65′ setup.

Power your connection

The TetherBoost Pro set ups should work as shown without adding Power to the line. However, adding power to the line will help maintain camera and computer power, by not draining your device batteries, but rather pulling power from an AC or USB battery pack.

Need this Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide on-the-go? Download the PDF here: Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide



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4 thoughts on “Connectivity Troubleshoot Guide for both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Cameras”

  1. Hello… my name is Steve and I’m having Tether Cable issues. I have a 3 month old Canon 5D MK IV tethered to a MacBook Pro, operating system mac OS Sierra Version 10.12.4. I have Lightroom CC that has been up dated to the latest version when I use Canon supplied 3ft. 3.0 cable, tether works fine. When I use your Tether 3.0 USB AM 15 foot cable to Micro B straight it works fine BUT when in use the TetherPro USB 3.0 A to Micro B Right Angle cables it will not recognize my camera! I have two new cables from B&H Photo and will not work. Called B&H and confirmed that they were the right cables! What’s wrong? Steve 559-967-3330 THANKS!

  2. Steve,

    You may need to try the TetherBoost Pro. You may also check which ports on your MacBook Pro you are using. We have heard reports that the right side port gets the preferred power output from Apple.

  3. I have the Tether boost cable kit on order from B&H Photo, hope that fixes my tethering issues. Thanks.

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