Cameras featuring WIFI connectivity are a relatively new phenomenon. The X-M1 was the first camera I used that offered a wifi connection to a mobile device such as iOS or Android phone. The Fujifilm mobile app enables the user to use the GPS feature on their phone to add geo-location data to images via wifi.
Fujifilm have taken the wifi feature a step further with their latest app “Fujifilm Camera remote” for both iOS and Android. Although I have the other Fujifilm mobile apps (Fujifilm Photo Receiver etc) installed the new Camera Remote App is my personal favourite. The image below shows the X-T1 on a tripod with what the camera is seeing displayed remotely on my phone.
Fujifilm Camera Remote
On first install I assumed the app was simply a wireless shutter trigger, a digital replacement for a shutter release cable but that doesn’t begin to describe what the power of this free mobile app. There is a hardly a feature on the camera I can’t control via the application interface.
Getting Started : Remote Capture
It is very easy to connect the Fujifilm X-T1 camera to your mobile device. I have programmed the FN button to open up the wifi settings on the camera, once you have paired your devices each future connection is a matter of pressing the wifi button to activate the wifi network on the camera.
Once wifi is activated on the camera, I access the settings menu (on the phone) and select the Fujifilm wireless network, once a connection is established I can open the ‘Camera Remote’ App. For those worried about battery life it should be noted the camera’s LCD screen is powered off during wifi connectivity.
I have been playing with this feature over the last few days and am in awe of just how powerful it is. I initially address the image composition and then let the mobile application take over the work.
It is amazing to see what the X-T1 is seeing on the screen of my iPhone, I was further amazed that I could tap any part of the scene (on my iPhone) to select the focus point, (See below) and the refresh rate is akin to live view.
Beyond Remote Shutter Release
Once the shot is set up it is at this point that the Fujifilm Camera Remote really comes into its own. Yes I can capture images, yes I can set the focus point but I didn’t expect was the ability to control just about every other aspect of the camera. Aperture, ISO, Exposure Compensation, Macro, and Film Simulation to name a few are all accessible remotely via my phone. The image below shows a JPG straight from camera using the monochrome+G filter. (See above for when it was captured remotely).
[X-T1 Mono Straight from Camera].
Gimmick or Benefit?
You might be wondering when you would ever need such a sophisticated camera remote but I think you may be surprised of the benefits. I find, particularly with long exposure photography that I end up with the tripod in all sorts of precarious situations.
These include cameras elevated above eye level to capture over rocks or the camera really low to the ground to capture the surface of the water (see below). Shooting images for 20-30 seconds at the time while standing in an uncomfortable position can be a challenge that the Fujifilm Camera Remote resolves this issue entirely.
The image below is a ‘straight from camera’ jpg of a long exposure image in the roots of the tree. The remote app meant I didn’t need to crouch down in the mud to see what was being captured and if it was in focus.
In addition, shooting long exposure photos at night can now be carried out from the comfort of being indoors or in a car, you can also say goodbye to the discomfort of arching over a tripod for long periods of time.
The tilting screen goes someway to offer creativity in camera position but the remote app offers a whole new level of liberation. You can see the countdown of a long exposure capture in the screenshot image at the end of the post.
Perhaps now nature photographers won’t need as long a lens, set up your camera, retreat to a safe distance and shoot remotely?
I even managed to feature in my first ever long exposure image although it was tricky to stay still in the wind I was able to control the camera directly from my phone.
Viewing Camera Content Remotely
It is also possible to review the images stored the camera’s SD card remotely using the same application. It should be noted that only JPG files are supported but you can view the contents of the card and select images for downloading to your mobile device. Tap to click which images you want on your mobile device and the application does the rest (see below).
The X-T1 wireless settings also feature an automatic image resizing option (on by default) for when transferring images over to mobile devices that is particularly useful, saving battery and transfer time.
Mobile Phones Replacing Cameras
I have always considered the idea that mobile phones will eventually replace cameras a little naive, in my opinion there is no replacement for good lenses and professional sensors. What I do see is photographers packing a tablet with their camera and the rise of mobile processing and publishing of images with less reliance on laptop and desktop devices.
The Fujfilm X-T1 and the Remote Camera application are one step in the direction of mobile processing and publishing. Applications such as TriggerTrap and ioShutter suggest the future of photography processing appears to be mobile. In the meantime if you have the X-T1 camera then the Fujfilm Remote Camera app is definitely a must download from the App Store or Google Play Store.