Cameras with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity are all the rage today, but not necessarily the most intuitive feature to unlock. Luckily, Canon seems to have listened to 6D owners, and increased the ease of use of their Wi-Fi platform by switching up the free mobile phone app that comes with the 6D. Previous versions of the app where called EOS Remote and Canon CameraWindow, but earlier this year, a new improved app called Canon Camera Connect, became the main app endorsed by Canon.
This is a visual tutorial on how the new app works. Please note that the tutorial is written assuming you already know how to enable Wi-Fi shooting on your particular device.
Step 1: Check for compatibility and download the app
Currently, Canon Camera Connect is a free app available for download on Android and iOS devices. The app is compatible with a limited range of Canon digital cameras, including select PowerShot point and shoot cameras, the EOS M2, and the EOS 70D and 6D. You can check full compatibility specs here. This tutorial was created using the Canon 6D camera, and a Moto X Android phone.
Step 2: Enable the Wi-Fi function on your camera
This step will likely vary depending on your model of camera. For the Canon 6D, this is a somewhat complicated process that merits its own tutorial, but the methodology can be summarized as such: you are effectively turning your Canon 6D into a Wi-Fi hotspot, that your phone must connect to as a means of communicating with your camera, for either remote shooting or downloading images. Thus, you must first activate the Wi-Fi hotspot on the 6D (or one of the compatible models), then connect to it via your phone’s Wi-Fi networks. Be aware that this WILL temporarily disable your phone’s functionality until you disable the connection with your camera.
Step 3: Explore the interface of the Canon Camera Connect App
After you have successfully connected your phone to your camera, the app should launch, and show you the opening screen, as seen below. The app’s menu is minimal, and pretty straightforward. You will most likely stick to the top two options, which are described in more detail below.
Images on camera
Pressing this will show you a gallery of all of the images on your connected camera, sorted by the date they were taken. To zoom in to any image, simply tap it with your finger. Three options will then appear at the bottom of the image: Save to phone, favorite (star), or trash. If you wish to share an image via email or social media, remember that you can’t do so without first disconnecting your phone from your camera. To work around this, choose the Save to camera option to store the photo on your phone, and then upload it when your phone has internet connectivity again.
Selecting this option enables live view on your connected camera, and lets you control most of the settings from your phone. Controllable settings include: changing the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, exposure compensation, drive mode, focus mode, and of course the activating the shutter button to take a photo. All the controls can be adjusted and activated using touch screen control. There are a few shortcomings to the remote control settings as listed below, but off the bat the app provides quite a few options for remote shooting.
The third and final main menu option in Canon Camera Connect app is probably the most useless: it allows you to set the date, time, and time zone of your camera. This is a feature you probably won’t use often unless you take your camera traveling a lot.
What the app does
Shoots in JPG or RAW
The app is very quick and responsive, even when shooting in large RAW files. Also, it easily resizes RAW files to JPGs when you save images to your phone.
Will read JPG files taken from any camera
If you have JPG files taken from any other devices, the Canon Camera Connect will likely be able to read, and transfer them to your phone or tablet. I’ve done this using photos shot from an Olympus Tough TG-2 point and shoot, Fujifilm x100s mirrorless camera, and Canon 5D Mark III, so I would assume it would also hold true for other camera models.
What the app does not do
These are shortcomings, specific to using the app with the Canon 6D; some of these issues may not be points of contention when using the app with other compatible camera models.
Adjust to portrait mode while remote shooting
If the app does allow this, the user interface needs to be adjusted to make this feature more obvious. As is probably obvious from some demo shots above, I haven’t figured out how to enable it.
Remote shoot video
Whenever the Wi-Fi function on your Canon 6D is enabled, you cannot simultaneously activate video recording, so unfortunately remote video shooting cannot be achieved.
While you can set your camera to shoot in continuous or self timer mode with the app, there is not the option to shoot time lapses. This is a feature that Canon will hopefully implement in future iterations of the app.
Hopefully this overview will help you see if this app is useful for you. If you have one of the compatible cameras listed, give it a try and let me know what you think. Do you have any other uses for remote apps I haven’t thought of or mentioned?