Back in those halcyon days of Photokina, I stood on stage and shot two wonderful models with an X-T1, my images freely flowing through the miracle of USB, tethered to a PC laptop with… Beta software; there were hiccups. The hiccups were eventually fixed. I eventually got rid of those cold sweats and had a wonderful time.
All of it was dependent on a PC-only application that was officially released a few months later. Good stuff. But I’m a Mac guy and I was still chomping at the bits… Until yesterday when Fujfilm announced what many of us had been waiting for with bated breath: Lightroom tethering plugins. Yes plural, as in Mac and PC.
Folks, for the past 45 minutes I’ve been playing with a beta version of that plugin and I’m just giddy. I mean, I’d tried everything: Eye-Fi cards with Ad-Hoc network (shudder), the wonderful but limited (for this) Remote app, Lightroom Mobile (nope)… None of these could to the job properly and I had resigned myself to waiting, fingers crossed. I can tell you this: it may be in beta, but it just works.
The plugin is installed like any other plugin, the easiest way being to open Plug-In Manager, click Add and navigate to the plugin file. Lightroom will install and enable the plugin right away, no restart required.
On the camera however, it’s important to make sure the correct USB mode is enabled. By default the X-T1 is set to MTP, which is the protocol required for mounting the camera to a computer desktop and transferring images: this doesnt work for tethering. In the menu settings navigate to USB (third blue menu section) and select PC Shoot AUTO. That’s it.
All that’s needed now is to plug in the USB cable, go to Tethered Capture in LR 5.7’s File menu and click Start Tethering. You’ll get the usual dialog window followed by the floating tethering “widget” from which you can read the camera’s main settings (shutter, aperture, ISO) and trigger the shutter. You can also choose a develop setting to be applied to incoming images automatically, perfect for a custom white balance in the studio.
Let me tell you: after the pain of witnessing the glacial procession of images trudging through a wifi card… This is frickin’ heaven. Click, boom, done. Just as it should be.
When I switched to a brand new, barely out of the womb system, I knew there would be compromises needed and I was prepared for it. I’m the type of guy who uses what’s available and doesn’t really think about what isn’t. Life’s too short. But it’s nice to see patience rewarded, to see the X-System evolving the way many of us had hoped and more.
I wish I could tell you about availability beyond what we already know. I’ve been told the Lightroom plugins WOULD indeed be available standalone (right now both will be bundled with the PC tethering application update due out soon) . No word on price either.
Huge thanks to Fujifilm Canada for providing me with this preview.
Fuji tethering? It’s REAL man… And it’s SPEC-TAC-ULAR.
Have a great weekend