Canon EOS 70D Wi-Fi remote photography essentials

Wi-Fi is among the many great standout features of the new Canon EOS 70D digital SLR. The addition of Wi-Fi opens up a whole new segment of photography including wireless shooting and easy upload to the web or the “cloud” as that seems to be the latest buzzword.

Wi-Fi is among the many great standout features of the new Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera. The addition of Wi-Fi opens up a whole new segment of photography including wireless shooting and easy upload to the web or the “cloud” as that seems to be the latest buzzword.

Canon EOS 70D on left, Samsung Note II running EOS Remote on right shooting a scene on a TV
Canon EOS 70D on left, Samsung Note II running EOS Remote on right shooting a scene on a TV

The EOS 70D Digital SLR camera’s built-in wireless transmitter offers users six connectivity options to easily share their images

  • Transfer images between compatible cameras
  • Connect to a smartphone or tablet
  • Print images a using Wi-Fi printer
  • Operate the camera remotely using EOS utility
  • Send images to a web service like Facebook
  • View images using a media player

This article covers wireless remote photography using a smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS. The first thing you have to do is download the applicable free app for your Android or iOS device. Follow the user manual instructions to connect your device to the camera.

Once you have the app loaded and connected to the camera, you can

  • Access Wi-Fi–equipped EOS cameras wirelessly over a local network connection.
  • Remotely adjust shooting values on EOS cameras: Av, Tv, ISO, and exposure values.
  • Remotely select AF point positions, adjust focus, and release the shutter.
  • Remotely browse, delete, and rate still images and movies shot with EOS cameras.
  • Save images shot with EOS cameras to your device.
  • Share images for which device-specific remote viewing restrictions have been configured on EOS cameras.
  • Establish a direct connection with EOS cameras in Camera access point mode, in addition to Infrastructure mode connections.

At this point, the remote control features are pretty basic. No doubt someone will come along to make a more feature rich app. Controls are limited to shutter release, focus, and adjustment of ISO, shutter speed, or aperture depending on shooting mode. The smartphone or tablet will show a live view of the image with a very slight delay. Although the live view image cannot be recorded as video, it is possible to use this setup as a remote surveillance camera; even covertly if the shutter is not fired.

Benefits and applications for remote photography

  • The camera can go where the photographer cannot so use your imagination only limited by the Wi-Fi signal distance. Place your camera on a tethered hot air balloon, remotely capture a wedding from overhead, or capture lightning while safely sheltered indoors
  • Remotely capture skittish wildlife from afar.

Notable missing features include

  • No interval shutter control aka time-lapse photography (ie: shooting one picture every minute).
  • No way to change shooting mode. The camera has to be preset to shoot in Program, Av, TV, or Manual mode.
  • No flash on/off control although the flash will fire if the camera is set to use the flash.

Users should also be aware of the following limitations

  • Video recording will not work if Wi-Fi is enabled. The camera will offer the option to turn off Wi-Fi when you press the video record button so there is no need to navigate through the menu system.
  • You must go to the Wi-Fi settings menu on your remote device, search for and connect to the camera before using the app. Failure to do so will result in the app not finding the camera since it will probably be connected to another network.
  • There is a slight lag for the shutter release so it’s no substitute for the on-camera shutter release when timing is crucial.
  • Mirror lock-up is not supported since Wi-Fi shooting is always in Live View shooting mode with the mirror already locked up.
  • All drive modes such as High Speed multiple exposure and 2 or 10 second delayed exposure are supported. (Drive mode must be pre-selected on camera)
  • Interface connection cable is disabled when Wi-Fi is enabled.
  • If using an Eye-Fi card, Eye-Fi Wi-Fi is disabled if the camera Wi-Fi is enabled.
  • JPG and RAW images are converted to JPG and resized before saving to a smartphone.
  • Videos cannot be saved from the camera to the smartphone even though it shows as a thumbnail.
  • The wireless connection will be disconnected if the camera or smartphone powers down.
  • Up to 3 remote device profiles can be saved for easy re-connection.
  • The iOS app is an iPhone app only so it will appear small on iPads.
  • The shutter cannot be fired from the app if the camera cannot acquire focus and there is no way to change the camera to manual focus remotely.
  • Wi-Fi distance limitations. In limited testing outdoors with no obstructions using a Samsung Galaxy Note, the Wi-Fi connection was reliable up to 140 feet with additional lag time. The connection was dropped at 180 feet. Of course, each scenario is different depending on the device and environment. The Wi-Fi range on the 70D is far greater than the range using an Eye-Fi Pro X2 card which can be only 5-10 feet if you can get a connection at all.
  • If the Wi-Fi connection is lost between the 70D and the remote device, the camera may go into sleep mode and there is no way to wake the camera remotely. Photographers who plan on placing the camera in difficult to reach places will want to disable Auto Power Off on the camera.

My wish list for future EOS Remote app features

  • Motion based shutter release
  • Full interval shutter release for time-lapse photography
  • Voice activated shutter release such as those already present in the Samsung S4
  • Ability to view and transfer video files
  • Ability to remotely record video
  • More extensive camera controls from app
  • Ability to change shooting mode
  • Ability to turn off camera LCD screen to save battery life
  • Ability to wake camera remotely

Update 1

It’s also possible to use a smartphone w/o a data plan or a Wi-Fi only tablet to shoot remotely AND upload to the web as long as you have a working Wi-Fi signal such as a public Hotspot at Starbucks. 

I was at Americas Cup Park today and it has free Wi-Fi. I was able to use a smartphone to connect to the camera to browse photos and select a few to download using EOS Remote. It downloads to your phone album. From there, disconnect from the phone Wi-Fi and connect to the public Wi-Fi. Upload to the service of your choice.

Did I miss something? Feel free to add it to the comment section below.

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