Tethered Shooting

Often when doing high production or studio shooting it's nice to transfer the images directly to a computer for editing/printing or critical review. In order to do this you have a couple of options.

Wireless tethering is nice, but most cameras don't support wireless natively, it is typically more expensive, it can be finicky, and it is almost always slower.

The other option is wired tethering, but that also introduces a couple of issues. Cable strain relief in order to protect the camera/computer ports, and the risk of someone getting tangled in a cable resulting in your gear crashing to the ground or someone getting hurt.

In regards to cable strain relief, many cameras come with little plastic clip things. Personally, I don't think they work that well and I find them fiddly/annoying to use. Plus, I generally loose them. There are commercial solutions such as this item which costs $16.95 + shipping.

That seems pretty nice, but a bit pricey for what it is. And you need additional cable side connectors for each cable or you have to swap it around. 


Here's my solution. A piece of cord and a short cable. 

The cord can be whatever you have handy that isn't too large; dental floss works well. Just tie it into a loop of whatever length suits you. The loop shown is large... for the camera I use a loop about 4 inches in diameter. It is then attached to the camera lug/eye.

sorry about the blurry image

I don't use camera straps attached to the lugs on my DSLR's so I remove the split rings (after having cracked an upper LCD screen with one). I just leave the string attached permanently; but if you wanted it to be easily removable you could attach it to a paper clip or small spring clip instead. Then it can just be hooked to the lug/eyelet when in use.

The cord then secures the short cable like this.

The purpose of the short cable is to act as a "break away" connection. If someone gets tangled in the cable the slip connection will (hopefully) pull apart before anything bad can happen. I recommend using them on both ends of the main cable if possible.

Or like this.

At the computer end I have a hole drilled into my table for securing the cable.

But if you don't have a dedicated tether table, or you don't want to drill a hole into whatever you are using, then you can just use a larger loop around something nearby. Here I am using the longer loop from the first image around a leg of the tripod that supports my table.

I guess you can't exactly say it's "free," but it's darn close!

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