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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gadget Bag: Look! No Wires!

WiFi technology now lets you compose, shoot, review, send and share your photos free from physical tethers

Labels: Gadget BagGear

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Built-in wireless features have most often been found in the compact camera market, frequently viewed as a way to quickly share photos with social-media networks.

But now the technology has taken on a wider scope, with manufacturers bringing the technology to higher-end cameras, triggers and card readers, and incorporating additional creative control and design. To this end, photographers are now able to use wireless features in every step of the workflow, picking and choosing which wireless features best adapt to individual needs.

Olympus OM-D E-M1

WiFi Camera
Typically, most wireless technology has followed the schema of using a proprietary app on your smart device to connect to your camera for viewing and transfer of photos. This is still the norm with many, but some manufacturers are adding control functions to the app, or eliminating the smart device intermediary and integrating apps ability in the camera itself.

Using a QR code for quick connection, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless camera (www.getolympus.com) uses the IO Share App for asset and transfer, but takes wireless control a step further, giving you the ability to preview composition, make basic setting adjustments and use live-touch autofocus, as well as trigger the shutter from a distance. You can transfer images to up to four different smart devices. List Price: $1,399.

Sony DSC-QX100
Sony (www.blurb.com) has taken the smartphone-as-viewfinder concept to the extreme in the QX line of compact Lens Style cameras. Relying exclusively on wireless or NFC connections to turn your smartphone into a real-time viewfinder, Sony has completely removed the optical viewfinder and LCD screen from the back of the DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 cameras, while maintaining a high-quality sensor identical to the RX100 II. In doing so, creative options multiply. While you can physically connect the QX camera to your smartphone for a traditional camera feel, shooting with the two parts separated provides the ability to capture new angles and perspectives in a fluid, organic and comfortable way. Additionally, images are saved to both the camera's internal SD card and the smartphone for instant sharing and backup. Estimated Street Price: $500 (DSC-QX100); $250 (DSC-QX10).

Breaking away entirely from the smart device-as-controller concept, the Samsung Galaxy NX (www.samsung.com) uses an integrated Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Operating System for 3G/4G and WiFi connectivity. This makes it possible to upload and share your images to social media directly from your camera, as well as download additional Android apps. The app functionality gives you the ability to edit photos and videos from the Galaxy NX before sharing. You can also upload to Dropbox to access your assets from any smart device or computer. Estimated Street Price: $1,599.


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