The Canon Camera Connect app in microscopy: wireless communication between smartphone or tablet and Canon EOS cameras
Especially when SLR and system cameras are used for microscope or macroscope photography, the ability to control the camera with a powerful mobile device (smartphone or tablet) is a key criterion for obtaining satisfactory results.
Luckily, Canon has listened to its customers and launched the Camera Connect app: a handy, feature-packed tool that offers better connectivity for Canon EOS cameras. We recommend high-resolution tablets with a screen size of about 10 inches for convenient use. The app establishes a wireless connection between mobile device and camera via WLAN/Wi-Fi. For basic operation, the camera shutter can also be released remotely with a Bluetooth connection, i.e. without Live View. The app is offered by Canon for free and is available for both Android (Google) and iOS (Apple). It can be installed from Google Play or the App Store.
When shooting remotely with the Camera Connect app, the Live View image on the display screen can be used for pinpoint focusing. While viewing the image on the screen of the mobile device, the display can be magnified to inspect the quality of sharpness and make focus adjustments as required. The live preview displays the exact look of the exposure and allows the photographer to see which adjustments (such as changing the light intensity) need to be made to obtain the desired image quality before the photograph is taken. Once all the necessary adjustments have been completed, the user just needs to press the shutter button on the screen of the mobile device to take the picture. Releasing the shutter remotely eliminates the risk of camera shake, which often occurs when the camera release button on the camera is used. This optimised capture method makes it both easier and faster to achieve high image quality.
The key features of the Canon Camera Connect app for microscopy are:
- Display of the Live View image
- Possibility to magnify the live image for pinpoint focusing
- Convenient shutter release via the mobile device
- Mirroring and rotation of the live image
- Camera settings: brightness, ISO, continuous shooting ...
- Transferring photos and videos to a smartphone or tablet
- Easy forwarding and sharing of images or videos via social media
Here is a quick guide to the key features of the app:
Once the Wi-Fi function on the camera is enabled, the mobile device identifies the Canon EOS camera. We used a Canon EOS 1300D for our test.
After the mobile device has identified the camera, launch the Canon Camera Connect app.
Now click the Live View icon for live image view.
The Live View mode starts.
The “Mirror” function is particularly important in microscopy, because depending on the microscope type, the construction, and the configuration of the phototube, it is possible that the image displayed on the camera screen is inverted. With the mirroring function, the image on the screen can be flipped back to its correct positon.
The “Rotate” function is also quite handy:
The image brightness can be adjusted directly:
Adjustment of the sensor sensitivity (ISO):
White balancing for the most common types of illumination:
Once all the necessary adjustments have been completed, you just need to press the shutter button on the tablet screen. The image is saved to the previously defined location.
Conclusion: Canon’s Camera Connect app is an excellent complement to the reliable Canon Utilities software, which enables wired remote camera control via USB or LAN. The camera can be controlled using the Live View display. For professional use in a studio or laboratory, we still recommend using the more robust Canon Utilities standard software, since it is better suited for continuous operation and the connection is even easier to set up.
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