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New addition to my workslow.....

  • 06-03-2011 2:55pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    I thought I might post my findings here and maybe help others who would like to follow a similar route. If you are not too O'fay with researching, evaluating and piecing together computer and other digital technology then read on.

    A couple of months ago I started to look for new and better ways of showcasing and reviewing my work to current and potential clients. I wanted a system that would be flexible enough to support immediate review of the images taken, untethered by the constraints of a USB cable, reliable and fully usable in the field. I needed something that would enable instant review of images and would work well in different environments, ie Studio, Events, Family shoots, Outdoor lifestyle etc...

    My research identified certain components. These ranged from the Eye-fi wireless SD card @ €120 (not compatable with the 5D MKII), a CF adapter @ €30, the Canon WFT-E4A wireless device @ €800, the iPad @ €600, an android pad @ €400, a MacBook Air @ €1000, a slim PC notebook @ €500, Canon 60D @ €1200, a pocket N router @ €100 and software to support any of these. There's probably more devices and items for that list, but i can't recall them atm. Any of them, in one configuration or another, would hopefully do what i needed. In the end, the cost of setting up the system became the main stumbling block.

    Last night I photographed a 21st at a venue in town using the Lastolite Hi-lite, amongst other things and employing the new workslow system. Here's what I did with some brief explanations of my choices, for anyone who is interested... :)

    The components I went with:
    • The iPad.
      Now the old version. I don't need the extra processing and graphics power of the iPad 2. I got mine the day after the announcement of the iPad 2. The 32GB version for €479. Thats €120 off the old rrp. That was the tipping point for my choosing that device over other pads or notebooks. The main reason I had my eye on this thing was the beautiful back-lit screen and the form factor. Plus ease of use and undoubtedly the WoW factor was always a consideration.
    • The Eye-fi 8GB pro SD wireless card.
      Both my cameras (40D and the 5D MKII) use CF cards. The main reason for choosing this device is obviously the price over that of Canon's WFT-E4A. A few other reasons are speed. The Eye-fi supports N networks, albeit only up to 150Mbit/s but better than the G network of the Canon device which runs at speeds up to 54Mbit/s. But the tipping point for my choosing the Eye-fi was the availability of fast CF card readers. Up until last November there was no UDMA compatible CF type II adapter cards on the market that support SDHC. So my eye-fi card goes inside the CF adapter which my UDMA camera (5D MKII) accepts. This configuration is not supported by the Eye-fi company. It not only works but does it really well. So far no errors.
    • Software: Shuttersnitch
      The next item on the list is software for the iPad. It's called Shuttersnitch and is a quite a mature little app, on version 2 at the moment. It's raison d'être is to display and monitor incoming images and flag them when a certain preconfigured camera settings(shutter speed, aperture and ISO) was not met. Luckily, the developer, Brian Gerfort, apparently decided it'd be cool to integrate the Eye-fi api's into it and thus made Shuttersnitch 100% compatable with the Eye-fi. The app can be purchased in the app store for €12 and is IMO, damn good value for the money. It has no contenders right now but the word on the block is Eye-fi will be releasing their own app by the summer.
    • Wireless access point/router.
      The last piece of the puzzle is in selecting an appropriate router. The iPad dosen't support Ad-hoc networks. I could jail break it and install an Ad-hoc app, but i'm not prepared to do this yet. Apparently the new Eye-fi app to be released this summer will have Ad-hoc capability built in. I'll keep my fingers crossed on this. I have a spare Linksys G router that fits the bill for now. I'm using it till I get an N router. There's a couple of routers out there that i have my eye on. One by Ubiquiti Networks and the other by D-link. Basically they have to be mobile and accept a battery pack so will work while out and about and support the higher speed of an N network. I just need to find a european supplier. Hopefully i'll have one by the middle of next week.
    So that's it really. :) Over a period of 3 and a half hours, I took more than 350 shots with the hi-lite, BxRi's and the new workslow.... After the camera finishes writing to the card, it typically takes between 6-10 secs for the iPad to receive the small jpegs. The large raws were kept on the card. No errors anywhere.

    The estimated overall cost to setup the system is about €860. I could have spent nearly €3000 with other devices. That leads to the ultimate question. Did it improve sales on the night? It's hard to tell, no two nights are ever the same. One thing for sure. I sold a lot more larger images on strut mounts than I usually do but less keyrings. Only time will tell if it pays for itself.

    Early test and obligatory shot of Jessica. ;)
    150614.jpg

    A lot more detailed information can be found over on the forums at Eye-fi, Shuttersnitch and Rob Galbraith's site. Without these resources I wouldn't/couldn't have set this up...


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 842 daycent


    Interesting read Dave, thanks for sharing. I've been toying with the idea of an Ipad for showcasing work for a while now. I'm holding off till the new batch of Android tablets come out though. I'm a Windows user so might as well keep it in the family....


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,537 ✭✭✭ sunny2004


    Very interesting read..


  • Registered Users Posts: 604 hoganpoly


    Great post op ,very well put together ,nice too see someone sharing the knowledge


  • Registered Users Posts: 469 ✭✭ ttcomet


    I just seen this video recently and was wondering how to do the same thing. I was not aware that you could just put the cf adapters on the eye-fi cards so easily.


  • Registered Users Posts: 932 DualFrontDiscs


    First time poster in this forum. I found the OP's post on Google as I was just seeing if any other boards users have used Shuttersnitch and Eye-Fi.

    I have an Eye-Fi card in my Sony Nex 5. The Sony Nex 5 works well with the Eye-Fi, which is to say it has screen icons for status and there's a menu option that allows you to switch off the wifi element (presumably saves battery life).

    I've used it on a few wi-fi networks at this point, including a standard eircom wifi DSL router.

    I like what it does. And I'm only using it for fun! ;)

    DFD.

    PS. I use it with an iPad1


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭ Hugh_C


    Fascinating read Dave. Trying to figure how it might work for me and my workflow, but really interesting. Thanks, Hugh


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,250 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Borderfox


    Well done David, I met Keith Trainor a while ago and he uses usb tethering with repeaters to send the images to print directly but I would guess you dont print on site?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    daycent wrote: »
    Interesting read Dave, thanks for sharing. I've been toying with the idea of an Ipad for showcasing work for a while now. I'm holding off till the new batch of Android tablets come out though. I'm a Windows user so might as well keep it in the family....

    I hate saying well actually..... :D The Android OS is by Google. I've worked with PC's for the last 15 years or more and will in time change to Mac for working with general media, inc photography. I believe you should choose horses for courses.
    ttcomet wrote: »
    I just seen this video recently and was wondering how to do the same thing. I was not aware that you could just put the cf adapters on the eye-fi cards so easily.

    The guy in that video is using the Verizon Mifi hotspot. Three have on sale in Ireland for €69 with prepay. It is on the G type network so it will be a last resort if i get one.

    The CF adapter needs to be at least UDMA compatable and support SDHC cards. Also the camera needs to support UDMA. The 5D MKII and 7D fit into this bracket. The other option is to use a camera that fits SD cards. I nearly bought the 60D for this purpose alone.. :confused:
    Hugh_C wrote: »
    Fascinating read Dave. Trying to figure how it might work for me and my workflow, but really interesting. Thanks, Hugh

    Hugh, For your type of work it would be ideal imo.
    Borderfox wrote: »
    Well done David, I met Keith Trainor a while ago and he uses usb tethering with repeaters to send the images to print directly but I would guess you dont print on site?

    I've been thinking about getting a dye sub printer and doing 9x6 in a strut on the night. The printer would need to support Apples Air print protocol. I don't know of any dye subs that do this yet. Though I haven't really looked for any alternatives.


  • Registered Users Posts: 842 daycent


    oshead wrote: »
    I hate saying well actually..... :D The Android OS is by Google. I've worked with PC's for the last 15 years or more and will in time change to Mac for working with general media, inc photography. I believe you should choose horses for courses.

    You know, even as I was typing that I had a feeling I was wrong. Too lazy to google!

    Yeah I'll see what the competition is like first, and see what happens with prices etc. Looks like the way to go though for photo presentation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭ zerohamster


    Very interesting read and very informative.
    Its great to be able to use devices together in a pick and mix way to suit what you need them for like this.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,005 NakedDex


    This is pretty much exactly what I've had in mind for about six months now, but couldn't get past the network requirement. It never even occurred to me to simply put a router/access point on a battery pack, something I could make up in five minutes.
    I have a spare access point at home which might suit the job perfectly too. I may have to copy your workslow system.

    How fast is the transfer to the iPad? The use I have in mind is primarily for sports, so I'm thinking of whether the transfer could keep up with a burst of five or six frames in a second or two.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    NakedDex wrote: »
    This is pretty much exactly what I've had in mind for about six months now, but couldn't get past the network requirement. It never even occurred to me to simply put a router/access point on a battery pack, something I could make up in five minutes.
    I have a spare access point at home which might suit the job perfectly too. I may have to copy your workslow system.

    How fast is the transfer to the iPad? The use I have in mind is primarily for sports, so I'm thinking of whether the transfer could keep up with a burst of five or six frames in a second or two.

    I looked into doing this since last summer when I got my 5D MKII but fell at the first hurdle. Ie no compatible CF adapter on the market yet. I wasn't gonna pay the €800 on Canon's yoke. So I just went with a 5m usb cable attached to a 17 inch laptop PC. I never liked it and knocked it on the head after a few runs. It wasn't the solution I looked for.

    Anyway, the reason I'm going with wireless is I need a little bit of freedom to be able to move around without the usb tether. Now, I don't presume to know anything about sports photography, but don't you guys/gals sit in the one spot and shoot away. I'm probably wrong though. If that was the style of shooting I was doing then i'd probably bring a small notebook with usb tethered to it. If you do move around alot, then you'd need to do some testing with signal strength and network range. You'd probably have to buy an industrial strength access point and most likely a larger battery.

    The transmit speed of this setup varies a little bit. I shoot small jpeg and large raw. The jpegs get transmitted and I keep both jpeg and raw on the card. After the burst of 5 images the camera writes to the card. After the red light goes off (finished writing) on the back of the camera it can take 6 to 10 secs for the first image to arrive sometimes more. Then it's usually only a few secs but could be a lot more for the rest. So I'm guessing the throughput would be just enough for your needs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 679 ✭✭✭ Kbeg3


    Very interesting. Currently I shoot tethered with Lightroom to my laptop. Have an iPad so will look into your solution.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,250 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Borderfox


    Just a thought, for what sort of work you do would a setup like a 32inch hi def screen (or larger) beside the hi-lite bring in more customers? I had toyed around getting the canon wft for the mark 3 but most of the arenas I work in are too far/too much hassle to get wireless working to any improvement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,005 NakedDex


    In most things I wouldn't need to move around much, but when in shooting American football here (which is when I need it most) I move up and down the field between plays to follow the action.
    I was resigning myself to tethering to a netbook in a small backpack, but really that offered little advantage over my existing cards. Tethering to an iPad wirelessly would have been potentially more useful, but if I'm losing write-speed then the advantage is lost.
    The access point is the least of my concerns (I've had routers boosted out to 600 yards before), and the battery is something I could put together right now with relative ease.

    I'm going to the US next week, so I might see if the American prices for iPads will convince me to try it out.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    Borderfox wrote: »
    Just a thought, for what sort of work you do would a setup like a 32inch hi def screen (or larger) beside the hi-lite bring in more customers? I had toyed around getting the canon wft for the mark 3 but most of the arenas I work in are too far/too much hassle to get wireless working to any improvement.

    For the first few events I did I hooked up a 24" monitor to the laptop and as a second screen and played a slide show on it. It certainly made a huge difference for attracting punters. Especially when they were seeing their mates on screen. I've used a projector once too and that went down a ball. Most of the time though there isn't really enough room in the venue and transportation has been a bit of hassle. For debs this autumn I plan to have a large screen running.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    NakedDex wrote: »
    In most things I wouldn't need to move around much, but when in shooting American football here (which is when I need it most) I move up and down the field between plays to follow the action.
    I was resigning myself to tethering to a netbook in a small backpack, but really that offered little advantage over my existing cards. Tethering to an iPad wirelessly would have been potentially more useful, but if I'm losing write-speed then the advantage is lost.
    The access point is the least of my concerns (I've had routers boosted out to 600 yards before), and the battery is something I could put together right now with relative ease.

    I'm going to the US next week, so I might see if the American prices for iPads will convince me to try it out.

    Well a couple of things to consider. One is interference with other 2.4Ghz networks. They are all over the place. The iPad is 802.11N with a max speed of 150Mbit/s which means it runs on 2.4Ghz. That may be a hindrance to both interference and range. Once out in the field there are no options (none that i know of) for reconfiguring the access point's channel through the iPad.

    If you are gonna get an industrial strength access point, one i keep coming accross it this. Ubiquiti PicoStation M2 2.4GHz HP. It needs a 12v battery to use remotely. Another is D-link's DAP-1350 Wireless N Pocket Router & Access Point. It's a standard router with the added advantage of being powered by a usb port. You can get 5v batterys with usb out quite easily on the interweb. Don't forget you need the European versions of those routers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,860 ✭✭✭ TinyExplosions


    Could you use the personal hotspot feature on the iPhone to get your network (if you have a 4)... it should work... either way, thanks for sharing, it's a useful tip!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,407 ✭✭✭ Promac


    Interesting setup! Kind of like the digital equivalent of a polaroid back.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    Could you use the personal hotspot feature on the iPhone to get your network (if you have a 4)... it should work... either way, thanks for sharing, it's a useful tip!

    I don't have the iPhone, but i think i've read on one of the forums that it's possible to do a wireless tether. Don't know if it is only to route to the internet or not though.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    Promac wrote: »
    Interesting setup! Kind of like the digital equivalent of a polaroid back.

    Well yeah, I guess it is. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭ kjt


    Superb Dave, really well put together. You should work on putting your website/blog together. With a few posts like that you'll quickly get a good following!

    Ps - Fair play for sharing! We need more photographers like you!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 469 ✭✭ ttcomet


    Just wondering if you ever chose a final device for a wireless hotspot?
    I received my eye-fi card and cf adapter today and have it working on my home network. I will set it up to be wirelessly tethered to my laptop later. Now all I need is an IPad :).


  • Registered Users Posts: 604 hoganpoly


    ttcomet wrote: »
    Just wondering if you ever chose a final device for a wireless hotspot?
    I received my eye-fi card and cf adapter today and have it working on my home network. I will set it up to be wirelessly tethered to my laptop later. Now all I need is an IPad :).

    Where did you get your eye-fi card and cf adapter..thx


  • Registered Users Posts: 469 ✭✭ ttcomet


    I got both from Amazon.co.uk

    The adapter is here. I purchased it form the reseller called Sotel, it shipped from Germany via FedEx. Its a little on the expensive side so maybe try look for it on ebay although I could not see it when I looked.

    The Eye-fi card I got is here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    ttcomet wrote: »
    Just wondering if you ever chose a final device for a wireless hotspot?
    I received my eye-fi card and cf adapter today and have it working on my home network. I will set it up to be wirelessly tethered to my laptop later. Now all I need is an IPad :).

    I didn't get it yet. I've just spent a load on reorganizing my Apt into a studio and am kinda running out of money. In my mind, I've settled on a USB powered D-link N device and a 5v battery.

    I got my CF adapter from amazon germany here.

    I also removed the metal plate (as shown here) from the front of the adapter and it improved the data through put by about double.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    ttcomet wrote: »
    Just wondering if you ever chose a final device for a wireless hotspot?
    I received my eye-fi card and cf adapter today and have it working on my home network. I will set it up to be wirelessly tethered to my laptop later. Now all I need is an IPad :).

    To further update this thread. In the end i didn't buy a mobile router. The company that makes the eye-fi have released an app that enables ad-hoc communication for the ipad, ie direct from eye-fi card to ipad. No need for an access point. The app is available for android devices right now and is currently waiting for clearance from apple for the iOS. Should be available for download in the next few days.... ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,281 Ricky91t


    If it gets rejected by apple ( could possibly happen as they've done stuff like that before when programs are giving the device more compatibility... ) you could look info a mi-fi, They're battery powered, pocket sized and possibly only 54mbps but with a Duracell USB charger you'd definitely have a 12 hour day worth of wi-fi!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    Thanks, i've looked into that and it is certainly one of the options for me. If i do need to get an access point it'll probably a usb powered one from d-link.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,131 oshead


    oshead wrote: »
    The company that makes the eye-fi have released an app that enables ad-hoc communication for the ipad, ie direct from eye-fi card to ipad. No need for an access point. The app is available for android devices right now and is currently waiting for clearance from apple for the iOS. Should be available for download in the next few days.... ;)

    I've gotta correct that. If only for pig-iron....

    The company that makes the eye-fi have released a firmware upgrade for the card which allows it to create it's own network and thus enable the ad-hoc connection to the ipad. I just connect the ipad to the new eye-fi network and use the app shuttersnitch to receive and view the images. So, no need to wait for the new app. ;)


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