When using our high-level photography mast we have always used a series of USB expansion cables to make up a 20m long cable to remote control the camera and view the live video feed from the camera in real-time on an Android tablet via DSLR Controller or laptop with the Canon EOS software. This has always caused problems when using the Clark 15m pneumatic mast as it has the additional weight of the cables to lift and they swing around a lot with a slight breeze and are difficult to store without getting tangled.
I was sent a link by a friend to a wireless solution with apps for iPad and Android tablets called CamRanger on the Amazon website at £278.20 for the wireless module which he is planning to buy to use with his Canon EOS 5D Mk3 camera.
In the amazon review comments were links to the product which is the same hardware but different firmware and stickers which is over £240 cheaper called a TP-Link TL-MR3040 wireless router. A google search found a page on the DSLR Controller website with a guide to using this wireless router with custom firmware with the DSLR Controller software on my Nexus 7 and 10 tablets.
The guide to updating the firmware with very detailed instructions and video is available at http://dslrcontroller.com/guide-wifi_mr3040.php
I ordered the TP-Link TL-MR3040 wireless router from Amazon and followed the instructions on the DSLR Controller website to update the firmware and found that the process was very easy and simple to do.
My first impression when using the DSLR controller app with the wireless router was how easy it was to connect and use with the video framerate over wireless not being an issue when setting up shots.
When using the high-level mast we have now been able to remove the 20m USB cable from the control cables but the mast remote head still currently needs a power and control cable. The remote head system has space for a battery pack and we are planning to build a Bluetooth-controlled remote to pan and tilt which will either be controlled via the tablet with the DSLR Controller software or use one of the many older Android phones we have as a dedicated Bluetooth remote controller. This will be posted in a future blog post.
Price Comparision Table
|iPad Mini with retina display||7.9-inch||2048 x 1536 at 326 ppi||£319.00||Apple|
|Software included with CamRanger|
|Google Nexus 7||7 inch||1920x1200 at 323 ppi||£199.00|
|TP-Link TL-MR3040 Portable Battery Powered 3G/4G Wireless N CABLE Router||£35.26|
|Software DSLR Controller||£5.94||DSLR Controller|
|Saving with Android vs Apple solution||£357.00|
(Prices correct on 20th December 2013)