CamRanger: Wirelessly Control Canon and Nikon DSLRs with an iOS Device


Wireless adapters for digital cameras can be very pricey accessories, especially when you’re dealing with high-end DSLRs. Manufacturers can squeeze more money out of those who pay thousands for a camera by charging hundreds for an adapter, even though a cheaper one could work just fine. What’s more, the adapters are often designed specifically for certain cameras, making them useless if you change models or makes.

CamRanger is a new device that’s designed to solve all those inconveniences. It’s a standalone wireless adapter that connects to Canon and Nikon DSLRs using an ordinary USB cable.


Once connected, the CamRanger creates an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network that you can connect with using your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. The system can likely work with other mobile operating systems as well, but currently the company only develops its free companion app for iOS devices.

Once the device and your iOS phone or tablet are connected, you’re free to control your camera from a distance of up to 150 feet. There’s no need for a separate computer or Internet connection.


Features include live view, image capture, settings changes, movie recording, and an intervalometer.

When using live view, which displays at 6-18fps on your screen, simply double tap the image on your screen for a magnified look at what your camera is seeing. Single tapping allows you to focus on a point in the frame and make minor focus adjustments.

One of the benefits of this is in macro photography. You can perform focus stacking without touching your camera itself. There’s even an automatic focus stacking mode that makes the focus adjustments for you!


For capturing images wirelessly, thumbnails appear on the top of your screen whenever a photo is snapped. Tapping this thumbnail enlarges the image on your screen for you to review. You can program the app to have it optionally download the photos to your device, and/or to automatically display them whenever they’re created (there’s a “client mode” that makes your device’s screen “view only” without any camera controls”.


For time-lapse photographers, the CamRanger offers a built in intervalometer. Once you get it started, you can disconnect your iOS device and the shutter triggering will continue to happen. There’s also advanced bracketing modes for HDR photography as well.


In terms of hardware specs, the CamRanger is powered by a rechargeable (and replaceable) battery that lasts 3-6 hours on a charge, or 11 hours if you’re simply using it as an intervalometer. Charging is done through the USB cable or through an AC adapter.

Here’s a video that introduces the device and shows how the app is used:

The CamRanger is extremely flexible, but it doesn’t come cheap: each unit costs $300 a pop through the CamRanger online store (you can also find it on Amazon). However, do keep in mind that comparable wireless adapters for higher-end DSLRs cost the same or more, and the CamRanger is compatible with most Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Jim!

  • Me

    Pffft on iOS

  • Mick O

    For those wanting to snap something on to their iPhone to make a better camera, why not just snap a 5DMkIII on with this. It can save the photos to your iPhone, and you can send that to Instagram. Just what you aaaalways wanted!

  • Jackson Cheese

    This could be great for wildlife photography.

  • JJ

    Any chance of this being available on a non Canikon camera? Eg. Sony or Pentax? Then it would be cool.

  • annonymous

    making this useless*

  • Hnanson

    good job petapixel! this is really cool.

  • svdv | fotografie

    Way to slow, the bird will be gone when you press the shutter lol

  • Kamer Man

    And does this mobile app work without their dongle, if my camera has wireless?
    Any info on that?

  • bob cooley

    I’m not connected with the company, so this isn’t an ‘official response’ but I have one, have put it through a fair bit of testing and have spoken w/ the developer. I doubt you would be able to use this without the dongle. One of the cool things about the device is that it creates its own WiFi hotspot, which you can connect to your iOS device from a range of up to 150 feet or so (I got a little better range – more like 200, but it depends on line of sight, and other things that affect wifi signals). Most internal solutions (like eye-fi) are more limited in features and very limited in range. I have the eye-fi too, and I’m much happier w/ the CamRanger..

  • PaulJay

    Developers love iOS. Why? Not 200 device baselines to test and update on. Incredible stable OS, great developer tools and they actually make money for their hard work. Pffffttt Android.

  • MattB

    Bob’s reasons are exactly why I prefer to develop for iOS than for Android.

  • HakTor

    $300 why not try $15 solution, $5 for the app and $10 for the dongle, the DSLR.Bot look it up in the iTunes Store. It may not do all the features but, it will do most of them and I have used it to great success.

  • Philip Han

    Are you kidding me? You’re comparing Apples to Oranges.

    You get what you pay for.

    You said “It may not do all the features” which is why those extra features cost more.
    One of those features is live preview which is priceless when DSLR.Bot only does remote shutter without any preview, reviewing, downloading, or anything more advanced than being a remote.

  • mark

    Too lazy to read, does it transfer JPG, or RAW, the eyefi only did JPG on the previous versions……………..

  • Toby

    Too lazy to reply.

  • Noob

    Can you send existing images in your camera to the iOS device with the CamRanger?

  • T N Args

    Oh please, surely this is just an advertorial. What a dumb product, trying to make obsolete cameras talk with cool modern devices. Hopefully the modern wave of wifi cameras has already made this product into obsolete flotsam as I type.

  • AlexMay

    I use the wu-1b wifi adapter and – although it has many drawbacks – it’s shutter trigger from an iPhone is instant. The live view lags but if you keep an eye on the actual scene it’s ok.
    edit: just saw this post was 2 years old, ok then :)