PetaPixel

Canon 1D X Can Be Wirelessly Tethered Using a Sub-$50 Internet Adapter

cheaptethering1

Wireless connectivity is one of the hot features in the camera world these days, and many (if not most) new cameras either have built-in wireless connectivity or an optional wireless adapter that provides the feature. Unfortunately, the wireless adapters are often quite pricey, especially for higher-end cameras.

Here’s something neat that you might be interested in knowing if you shoot with a Canon 1D X: you can connect a cheap WiFi adapter designed for homes and offices to give your camera wireless tethering!

The tip comes courtesy of photographer William Bennett, who tells us he was originally put off by the $600 price tag on Canon’s official 1D X adapter: the WFT-E6A.

As he was setting up a security camera in his house, he began wondering whether an Ethernet to WiFi adapter would work on his 1D X. The DSLR has an Ethernet port, after all.

The Ethernet port on the Canon 1D X

The Ethernet port on the Canon 1D X

After doing some research, he purchased a Netgear WNCE2001 universal WiFi Internet adapter (a device that costs less than $50).

The NETGEAR WNCE2001 Universal WiFi Internet Adapter

The NETGEAR WNCE2001 Universal WiFi Internet Adapter

Bennett discovered that he could make his 1D X play nicely with this adapter, which meant he succeeded in adding wireless tethering abilities (e.g. wireless file transfers, remote shooting) to his camera for just tens of dollars rather than hundreds.

Furthermore, there isn’t any hacking required — all you need to do is buy the necessary components for the system and set them up to work together properly.

screens

The adapter is designed to connect devices to a network — devices that are Internet-ready but lack WiFi connectivity (e.g. Blu-Ray players, game consoles). The downside to using a universal WiFi adapter rather than an official solution is that you’ll need a power source for the cheapo adapter (Bennett uses a large power pack hanging from his tripod to power it).

Here’s a video in which Bennett introduces and demonstrates his poor man’s wireless tethering:

Getting this system set up for your own Canon 1D X isn’t too difficult, but you’ll need to spend some time going through a semi-long list of instructions. Bennett has published the step-by-step guide on setting it up over on his website. Head on over to get started!

Cheap Wireless Tethering for your 1DX with no Hacking [I Wanna Shoot Your Face]


 
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  • lidocaineus

    This makes absolutely no sense. You gain the freedom of wireless by tethering yourself to a power outlet. Genius. What exactly is this thing solving?

    Better solution: get a really long ethernet cable. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s way faster and much more reliable than wifi, especially in crowded spectrum locations, and you don’t need power.

  • frod

    Just get an eye-fi

  • Dre

    A slightly more versatile solution is getting an even smaller TP-Link TL-WR702N travel router which can work in client mode (exactly the mode described above, Ethernet to WiFi). Power comes through a micro-USB port from a separately purchased power bank which can be useful for other recharging other gadgets. $25 for the router, $20-40 for the power bank.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.mccausland Ian McCausland

    I’d have to agreed. I have a Nikon D4, used a WT-4 wireless adapter on location but in the studio I use the built in ethernet plug, the on board webserver and a REALLY long cord.

  • Thomas

    It runs on a 5v power supply, USB is also 5v so it would be very easy to aquire a USB battery and use it to power the WiFi-adapter.

  • lidocaineus

    5v at 1a? Not likely, and even if you could juryrig up even more Frankenstein nonsense, the battery drain at that rate would be horrendous.

  • Thewirehead

    I was reading along thinking this might be cool until I read that the adapter needs power. To me, that makes it a totally useless waste of time. As someone mentioned below, using an Eye-fi card is also an option.

  • Archit Joshi

    An eye-fi is an SD card…. a 1D-X uses CF cards. And no you cannot use a SD to CF adapter. Eye-Fi does not support it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/banan.tarr Banan Tarr

    Am I the only one who LOL’d at how long that network cable is? At least custom make one the perfect length so it has some aesthetics!

  • Bryan

    A very small battery powered device is made by Hame for $25. MPR-A1 I believe. I get 6-8 hours of shooting time while photos are transferring to my iPad. Doubles as a iPhone charger as well.

  • Bill

    I agree, I was in the testing phase when I put this all together. Didn’t want to cut or hack anything until I knew for sure that the whole ensamble worked together.
    The ethernet cable I have now for it is perfect length for what you see in the video, but the longer one would be used if I stored the battery pack on my belt.

  • Bill

    Yes, the eye-fi does not work with the CF card adapter, but did think of that first. Now I hear that eye-fi CF cards may be in the works (?)

  • Bill

    Sorry lidocaineus, my Vagabond pack was what I had available at the time, but definitely not the most user friendly for this project. I had a spare DSLR battery that was rated for the same but I didn’t want to start soldering anything until I knew for sure it worked. With the small DSLR batteries, I’m not sure what the run time would be.

  • Bill

    Sorry lidocaineus, my Vagabond pack was what I had available at the time, but definitely not the most user friendly for this project. I had a spare DSLR battery that was rated for the same but I didn’t want to start soldering anything until I knew for sure it worked. With the small DSLR batteries, I’m not sure what the run time would be.

  • Bill

    Sadly eye-fi does not make a CF card, at least not yet, and the CF card adapter does not work or else I would have gone with that.

  • Bill

    Sadly eye-fi does not make a CF card, at least not yet, and the CF card adapter does not work or else I would have gone with that.

  • russianbox

    Why has nobody pointed out how absurd this is? he didn’t want to spend $600 on the official cannon adapter but DID want to use a $5,800+ camera/lens/cards for a CCTV camera?!

  • Bill

    Ahh, No. Why would I use a Canon 1Dx for a security camera? You clearly missed the point on the article. The point was to show and share an alternative way to shoot wirelessly using cheap parts. Got the idea during the setup of my security system.

  • russianbox

    oooooh ok, Yeah that’s not too crazy then! I was thinking what waste of a good camera!

  • elias

    is it just me or does the guy need some lessons in focussing video?

  • http://twitter.com/kyrkhanarip kirk benton

    7 grand on a camera and they are worried about a $50 “wireless” set up thats not wireless?

  • Guest

    Looked wireless to me, not sure what exactly you saw but I didn’t see any wires coming from the camera.

  • lidocaineus

    Did you miss the part where it’s using a power adapter?

  • that guy

    Yes, i saw the huge battery pack, but if his specs are correct, this doesn’t look like a bad idea, at least an alternative. When you cobsider most dslr batteries are about 7 volts and about 1500ma and higher, the power consumption should not a big concern, just trying to make it small enouh to be a little more usefull. This battery he had is huge, i suspect it is for strobes and such. Overall, not a bad idea, i think.

  • lidocaineus

    So assuming the battery is perfectly made and doesn’t drop off in power, the adapter pulling a continuous 5V @ 1A out of a 1500mah (I’m assuming you mean mah, not ma) battery is going to last you two hours, IF the battery can even output 5v @ 1A (highly doubtful). This is without any camera operation. In reality, you’ll probably get less than an hour before the battery drops its output below a serviceable level.

    Uh huh.

  • Joakim Bidebo
  • that guy

    Not arguing with you, the math sounds about right, but everyone shoots in their own style and pace. I just think that with something small, like a dslr battery, his idea could be feasible, but obviously has some limitations. The larger the battery or power source, the longer you could run this, the way it is currently set up. I read his blog and in his video, he did state that his portable power pack, that large, you called franken battery, was just to see if things would work before venturing into the power source part of the equation. This idea may not be the most perfect in design, but I give the guy credit for thinking outside the box and coming up with a way to make things work then the norm. If I shot more in studio, I would be inclined to consider this idea, but the remote shooting capability is definitely a plus for me. I may have to try it out.

  • Bill

    I don’t lie, I stand corrected though if this works for the 1DX. I have not tried this myself, but it would be much easier then my project. If it works and is problem free, then I would go with this method.

  • lidocaineus

    I’m not arguing with anyone either. I’m just stating that it’s rather pointless to continue a project if the power requirements (which I’ve already tossed out there according to his specs) are ridiculous and haven’t even been addressed beyond “we can figure it out later”. Saying “the larger the battery the longer you could run this” is silly – of course it can. He can toss a car battery on there and run it for months. Understanding that the Netgear adapter needs 5v at 1a continuous and then just saying it can be solved later shows a severe lack of basic electrical power understanding that negates the entire point of the project.

    The whole thing isn’t thinking outside the box – it’s an exercise is complicating matters best solved with a cheap, flexible solution – a long ethernet cord, which, in studio, is simple to implement. Thinking outside the box would involve designing a solution that’s the same form factor as an EyeFi – small, unobtrusive, and provides more functionality than what’s available.

  • that guy

    Not trying to engage you on a silly post, you do have a valid point about thus guys power issue.

    But damn dude, looking at your post history, do you have anything positive to say about anything on here? I feel that this is an online therapy session for you to vent.

    I don’t know this guy and probably never will, but damn man, why so harsh?

    If it is silly, don’t use it.

    If it is pointless, don’t use it.

    The guy shares an idea, good or not, at least he is sharing the idea with the rest of us. If it doesn’t help you one bit, move on. Maybe someone with better tech skills sees this and will see a viable market for a better, more refined product.

  • lidocaineus

    Yes, actually, I’ve posted numerous times about people’s photo projects that are positive. I’ve also added constructive criticism (not inarticulate slams) to stuff I find issue with. And for everything else I leave alone, aside from extreme stupidity or stuff like this that is rather pointless.

    This guy is free to share his idea – I didn’t tell him he should self-censor. I just pointed out what was wrong with it; not sure why I’m the one at fault for pointing out a severe problem with his solution. Nowhere did I attack him personally.

  • that guy

    Well said and understood.

  • Joakim Bidebo

    I have no clue if it works with 1Dx, but since it can handle both type I and type II CF-cards it should work.

    But I know some CF type II adapters doesn’t work with eye-fi cards, so you need to be careful what adapter you buy.

    Did check some online for it but it’s to little info about adapters + eye-fi + 1Dx for me to be sure if it works all the way or not, all I can find is some video where at least the card works but have no clue if the wifi part of the card does…

  • Bill

    Just thought I would update the power situation for those that were interested, if not don’t worry. I appreciate all the comments, even the bad ones, I think some are funny.

    Before venturing further on something that wasn’t fully proven, I utilized an old camera battery for testing to see if it would work the same as my “franken battery” as one called it, LOL. I love some of those comments, funny as hell.

    The battery was a Sony NP-F550 rated for 7.2volts and 10.8Wh. I tested the wifi adapter using only this fully charged and got an average of 2 hours runtime under load (uploading 1GB files to a server online). The run time was actually longer, but I was trying to be conservative and not give anyone false hope. The longest runtime I got was 2:37 (that’s 2 hours and 37 minutes). Not too bad for the size and weight.
    The obvious choice would be a bigger battery, but that will affect the portability unless you clip it to your waist.

    There are similar power packs (that I have not tested) equally rated that should perform relatively the same and be easier to install and connect without too much fuss. The aesthetics will probably be better from the other products, if your worried about that.

    Again, I just wanted to re-iterate, I was not trying to re-invent the wheel, just another way to spin it. If it does not meet your standards and is not for your, don’t waste your time, simple as that.

    If you want something simpler like the 30′ ethernet cable, that will work and be cheaper, but it is not exactly the safest approach. A major tripping hazard let alone how funny it must look seeing your face as your camera goes flying across the floor.

    You want something easier, buy a CamRanger or an eye-fi with a sd-CF adpater, if it works, more power to you.

  • pincherio

    I don’t know how smooth the live view of your set up is but the CamRanger’s is slightly choppy. Otherwise, it’s a pretty good solution for wireless tethering and works great. From what I understand, the gadget is supposed to be a TP wireless router that is around 50 bucks too so maybe you could explore that as an option and hack one. I thought about giving that a try but I haven’t found a hack available online and I’m not mechanically inclined to invent one myself. The nice thing about the router is that it’s small and has it’s own battery so you don’t have to worry about the power drain on your camera.

  • Bill

    Found a nice easy all-in-one solution E-Bay Link.
    When I tested this, some time ago, it was with a netgear wireless gateway and it had to be powered. With that router, the LiveView worked very well, no noticeable choppiness within reason. I would assume if the distance was great, or you were in a heavily populated wifi area, there would be some choppiness or extreme lag and delay.
    When I tested mine, it was just to see if it was a viable option for studio use where a wired tether would be too cumbersome.

    So in short, if you have a camera that has an ethernet port like mine and you bought a self-powered wifi unit like the one on the ebay link, then using it as a wireless tether should be a good option without the worry of trying to hack anything or void any warranties.

    Good Luck!

  • pincherio

    Good to hear. I’m using a 60D so no ethernet port here but since I already have a CamRanger, it would be redundant to find another solution anyway. I was hoping for a better one but one that would work off the remote shutter port of my camera (it’s a micro USB I think)

  • Bill

    The only problem with the usb port is that it is not powered like one on a computer would be. On a USB cable, one lead has 5V DC, on it, but when using the camera in this fashion, the camera body does not provide power. When you download your photos from the camera, the 5v DC comes from the computer to the camera, to activate media to retrieve the photos. This is why you would need a self-powered device, but it may also work on the usb port, if you wired it correctly, not sure.
    To clarify, I believe it is actually a mini-usb not a micro, but I don’t have a 60D so you’ll have to be the final judge on that.

    USB Mini vs Micro

  • http://www.aditgroup.com/CCTV-Camera.html CCTV Camera

    It is fabulous camera for the people. I read all specification about the Canon 1D X. Its features are amazing and i don’t think that the amount is high for it.

  • ezeikiel

    just tried my eye-fi card with adaptor (cheapy of ebay) in my 1dx and it works only when your very close to the ipad, say about 300mm any futher then it don’t work!

  • Daniel Sergio Cantero

    I don’t remember where exactly i read or heard (I think it was the TWIP podcast) this but it seems that one of the main issues with making a CF eye-fi card is that the amount of power sent to a CF card differs from what is used in SD card and so it is not enough to make it reliable. From what I hear, the results do not seem to be consistent.

  • tomstorey

    So what if its a frankensetup at the moment. The first car wasnt pretty either, and with a bit of revision and development look at what we have now.

  • lidocaineus

    That’s not an apt comparison. An appropriate one would be releasing a car today that cost 3-4 times as much as a standard car, went slower, and was bulkier than the one you have, but it has a sunroof. So you’re saying even though there’s a better way to do it that costs less money, we should be using this?

  • tomstorey

    Im not comparing this solution to any other, so it is a valid comparison. What Im talking about is evolution. The first revision of anything is never as refined as something that has had additional time and effort put in to it.

    My comparison with the car was to suggest something the same. You have to start somewhere to prove a point, and then build up towards the optimal and more elegant solution.

    As a test the guy came up with an idea. Fair enough it used a bulky (underpowered?) battery hanging from the bottom of the tripod, but so what. It was a test, using on hand parts. Version 1, not even.

    Its anyones guess as to who wants to use this, but that doesnt make it pointless beacuse it doesnt plug in to the side of the camera without an external power source. Maybe some people dont care about that kind of thing because it gives them the kind of remoteness from the camera that they need. Maybe they use a different kind of connectivity like fibre. Who knows? None of us. Only the people that want to do that kind of thing.

    Anyway, I didnt pay attention to the fact this post was a year old when I replied, so I’m butting out.

  • lidocaineus

    You can’t take this solution on its own because it uses something that’s inherent IN the design (ethernet). It’s like saying that a wooden door you built for a car is better than the one that came with the car because it opens quieter.

    Prototypes and version 1s are fine IF they improve on something. This doesn’t improve on anything – it’s a step backwards. The version 1 of this would be when it’s more convenient than the built in ethernet port + a long cable. This is an alpha.