Don’t Let Catalina Compatibility Issues Disrupt Your Tethered Workflow

Posted by: on Jan 25, 2020 | 15 Comments

Apple has released macOS 10.15 (Catalina) and, as can happen with an operating system introduction, many professional photographers have had their tethered capture disrupted by compatibility issues with Adobe Lightroom and Capture One as well as many other software applications. To date, Capture One has been releasing a regular stream of information on how its users can troubleshoot the issue. We at Tether Tools want to better explain the current issues that may be affecting photographer workflows and offer solutions that will allow you to get your tethered workflow back on track. 

Several issues that have been currently identified when it comes to tethering   

  • Lightroom is having an issue tethering with cable and wireless workflow solutions  
  • Capture One 20 compatibility has affected some wireless tethering camera setups  

With the recent release of Air Direct, we’ve gotten reports about how the Catalina compatibility issue has impacted Capture One 20 from recognizing the device. The chart below outlines current compatibility with common operating system and software combinations.

Through our continuous testing and speaking with our Tether Tools pros, we mean to offer up a number of solutions that have been found to be successful in restoring a tethered workflow into photo shoots. Read on to find out how you can still use Air Direct with Catalina and Capture One through an alternate set up while Tether Tools works to restore direct connection on that operating system.

Capture One Users: Wireless with Air Direct

Tethering wirelessly with Air Direct using Nikon, Sony or Canon cameras? A quick solution to capture wirelessly with Capture One and MacOS Catalina is to download a  30-day  trial of Smart Shooter . Below is Tether Tools Pro Erich Saide explaining his workflow using hot folders with Smart Shooter 4 and Capture One.

Capture One Users: Cabled Tethering   

Even with huge advancements in wireless technology, it is always good to keep a  tethered  cable on hand. In the case of Catalina compatibility with Capture One, your TetherPro Cable will help resume your tethered workflow without impeding in your productivity and business.  

Lightroom Users: Tethering to a Device with a Previous macOS Operating System  

Have an older  Macbook or PC running both macOS and Windows that still works? Get back to your tethering with this computer in the interim as it’s more than likely a previous operating system is installed. Business as usual. Keep in mind if you want to tether wirelessly with the Air Direct, you’ll need macOS High Sierra or later to work seamlessly.   

Canon, Sony and Nikon Users: Smart Shooter   

Have a Nikon, Sony or Canon camera and want flexibility to shoot with a cable or wirelessly with macOS Catalina? Tether Tools suggests downloading a free  30-day  trial of Smart Shooter  capturing software as it is compatible with the operating system. Smart Shooter provides tethering capture for compatible Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras to provide speed and performance for your tethering needs. If you’re looking to tether through a mobile device, Air Direct has an Air Remote Mobile Tethering App (compatible for Nikon and Canon cameras only) that features creative zone control, live view, bracketing, time-lapse, focus stacking, bulb time, movie mode and more. 

Determined to get your desired workflow setup to its original state? You can always go the route of reverting your Mac to a previous macOS version.  Apple has  guided instructions  on how to get this done.  

Final Tip: Take control of your software operating updates by turning auto updates off on your computer. This gives you the chance to assess and become aware of any issues that might exist in new software updates. 

As additional information becomes available, Tether Tools will be sure to keep our tethered photographers informed and educated to avoid the frustrations of interrupted workflows and compatibility issues that come with software updates.   

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15 thoughts on “Don’t Let Catalina Compatibility Issues Disrupt Your Tethered Workflow”

  1. So, I cannot use the Air Direct with Catalina at present. What are Tethertools plans and timeline to rectify the situation so that I can use this platform on my Nikon and Leica (SL) cameras. So far, I am only able to use my Nikon Z7 with the mobile app. Not useful at all for my workflow at this time.

  2. Hi Robert!

    This article gives you several options on how to use Air Direct while Catalina issues are being rectified. Once more Catalina updates emerge, we hope this will rectify the situation some users are experiencing with Air Direct. We also provide a free 30-day trial of our capture utility software, Smart Shooter, that users can use in the interim. You can download it here:

    If you have any further questions, get in touch with us at or 888-854-6565.

  3. I haven’t been able to use Air Direct with Capture One Pro and the Sony A7III and A9

    The customer support haven’t been helpful either 🙁

  4. Hey Andres,

    Sorry to hear about your frustrations! I will get in touch with customer support and see if I can have them reach out to you. We’re here to help!

  5. Please tell me that this issue with mac catalina, capture one 20 and air direct will be resolved soon. I am so frustrated that I have this device which I have been waiting for, for years is now available and I can’t use it.
    I will wait a bit longer, but if no resolution comes soon, I will return it to my retailer for a full refund.
    I have the tether cables needed and they work fine, but I want to cut the cord for good and this has been a real let down….I can’t believe that TT says nothing about compatibility issues on the website. They just let you buy it and be frustrated when you can not use it.

  6. My system relies entirely on shooting tethered with Cap 1-20 reverting to tether only shooting, not using your wireless option, air direct, renders this piece of equipment useless. Please advise how to begin return for refund process. Thank you.

  7. Hello!

    Please get in touch with customer service via email ( or phone (888) 854-6565.

  8. Hello!

    if you having issues with connecting to your capture software of choice, please get in touch with customer service via email ( or phone (888) 854-6565.They’d be more than happy to help troubleshoot.

  9. I already contacted several times but still no solution. Working with smart shooter didn’t work and also not a real solution because it should work on any software of choice….

    It is taking way to long for a proper fix!

  10. Hi!
    I’m shooting with Capture One 11 and have been experiencing many problems when connecting my Nikon D850. I’m following all the steps, but no success at all; to let you have an idea, every time I’m beginning a new session, I need usually 15-20 minutes to successfully connect my device to Capture One and begin the shooting.
    Once connected after trying many times, I pray to keep the batteries charged (if they shut down, the connection is lost).
    What can I do? Firewalls and other softwares aren’t operating at the session time. And I have a Mojave in my laptop.
    Waiting for your reply.

    Eugeni Pons, architectural photographer

  11. Thanks for the workaround solution. It works even faster since I only need to transfer JPG files for quick previews.

    In the video he is using SmartShooter to capture, then to a hot folder in C1, that also loads on the capture Pilot app. How is it possible to enable Capture Pilot when the Camera and Computer are using the AirDirect Network? its my understanding the Capture Pilot does not work over the AirDirect network. What is the solution for this? Thanks!

  12. We are in the middle of April 2020 and it’s beyond my comprehension that this issue still hasn’t been rectified. The product is worthless for users working on Macs running Catalina (OS released in October 2019). I would really like to know what Tether Tools are doing to fix this? And please make it an honest answer and not to kind of BS sales department answer! I do not wish to purchase another software just to be able to use the AirDirect, which was supposed to work with Adobe Lightroom or Capture One.

  13. Thank you for the comment and we completely understand your frustration. Please know we want to solve this issue as quickly as possible.

    When Catalina was initially launched, with version 10.15, the Air Direct ADU was fully compatible with all of the tethering software applications. The second Catalina release, 10.15.2, made a major change to System Kernel Extensions (KEXTS) which the ADU utilizes via its Driver. Drivers can no longer create KEXTS, instead Drivers need to use Apple’s new DriverKit and build drivers in UserSpace. We have had to go back and develop a new Driver which take time. We have a working Driver but it still requires more testing and optimization.

    In the meantime, we have been recommending Smart Shooter as it works with Catalina. Smart Shooter uses a the most a different communication method between Camera and Computer and talks directly to the computer’s Kernel; this method bypasses Apple’s new UserSpace. This was not planned or intentional, it just worked out this way. Lightroom and Capture One both communicate via ImageCaptureCore which requires communications go through UserSpace.

    I hope this helps clarify. Again, we understand your frustration and appreciate your patience. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

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