CamRanger Turns Your iOS Device Into A Full-On DSLR Remote [Review]


I just took a picture with my DSLR... from my iPad
I just took a picture with my DSLR... from my iPad

“Wow, this is cool.” That was my first thought when I saw CamRanger controlling a full-size DSLR for the first time, then wirelessly beaming picture previews to an iPad 15 feet away.

Category: iOS/photography accessories
Works With: iPhone, iPad, Mac
Price: $300

From ISO, to shutter, to aperture, white balance—-even live view and touch-to-focus—-the CamRanger gives you amazing control of any compatible DSLR from your iPad or iPhone. All it takes to get the magic going, is the tiny CamRanger unit and their free iOS app.

What It Does

Imagine being able to control all the native camera controls of your DSLR on your iPad’s big, beautiful, retina touch screen. Imagine using your iPhone to set your shutter, aperture, white balance, and shot duration to create tens, hundreds, even thousands of images for a time-lapse video. CamRanger (or CR if you will), by tethering to your DSLR then connecting wirelessly to the CamRanger iOS app, allows you to do all that, and with a level of control that is altogether remarkable.

Histogram and camera settings at the ready.
Histogram and camera settings at the ready.

Live view access is another one of those CR wow features

Live view access is another one of those CR wow features; not only does it make taking selfies a lot easier, but being in the family photos as well, because you’ll be able to see what the camera sees, set the shot parameters, then activate the shutter, all from the iPhone in your pocket.

When you’re ready to view the photos, CamRanger beams previews your iDevice, where you can zoom in or even trash’em.

In Use

Ok, so here’s how it works. When CamRanger unit is turned on, it creates a Wi-Fi network, just like your home router. Then you connect the your iOS device to that network, connect the CamRanger to your camera, then boot up the app. Now you’re ready to shoot.

CamRanger makes time-lapse easy.
CamRanger makes time-lapse easy.

I can’t tell you how much fun it is to have so many of my Canon 5D’s photo settings right at my finger tips. Truly, there were no photo settings I could find that the CR could not commander. White balance is there. Shutter and aperture are there. Drive mode’s present. So’s a real-time histogram. Tapping your subject to focus works like a charm. CamRanger also lets you control video from its interface. Metering mode is easy to set. Like I said, full DSLR control, from setup to capture. Even previews of the images taken are present.

CamRanger also brings some features your camera may not have, like real-time gridlines for easier framing, a suite of time-lapse features, and an HDR mode.

And all of those features and settings, well they worked just fine and dandy with my DSLR, a Canon 5D Mark III. CR works with a whole list of other popular cams as well; popular models from both Nikon and Canon.

Faults, you ask? I did find a couple.

First, because it operates over Wi-Fi, I wouldn’t say the CamRanger is fast. You’re not going to want to use it for sports photography. That’s especially obvious when previewing photos. Or focussing. Or using live view. Anything that is data intensive, really. Those things can be rather sluggish.

Photo previews are beamed right to your iOS device.
Photo previews are beamed right to your iOS device.

I also had problems with the CamRanger app crashing, particularly when trying to set exposure compensation. It didn’t happen often, but enough to warrant a raised brow.

It’s hard to see the device as a practical tool in many photography scenarios

The Verdict? Well if the unit was $100 cheaper, a lot faster, and if the app didn’t crash, it would be an excellent little gizmo. But it’s hard to see the device, as it exists currently, as a practical tool in many photography scenarios, unless all you shoot is landscape. Is it fun to use? Absolutely. Is it practical? Not totally. It is a great product though, and it’s easy to recommend if you have an iPad and penchant for cool photography gadgets.

Product Name: : CamRanger
The Good: Completely control your DSLR with any iOS device.
The Bad: Wi-Fi operation can make controls sluggish.
The Verdict A novel photo accessory that might spark your creativity.
Buy from: CamRanger