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CamRanger – Live View Tested

Canon vs Nikon

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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Last issue we made a quick preview of the CamRanger device which I have to say I was quite enamoured of. We mentioned at the time that the CamRanger was showing differing resolutions in live view for the Nikon and Canon cameras and we promised we'd do a further test to show more details about this. So here we are - we spent a bit of time shooting video of the CamRanger in action on a retina iPad at Brimham Rocks. We also gave the focus stacking option a little bit of a try out.

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  • David Barrett

    Tim, good informative review.

    Even without a Camranger (and I am unlikely to get one unless I win the FB competition!), I find the D800’s live view very fuzzy at high magnifications. Perhaps this is why the Camranger gets a fuzzy image. There’s a whole lot of discussion of this as an issue on DPreview, for example see: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/41042567

    I don’t know what I am talking about, but I suspect that the firmware/LCD just can’t cope with displaying all those megapix at more than 100 percent and is doing some dodgy/the best it can interpolation.

    Diglloyd seems to have workaround which I haven’t had time to look into.


    The way I cope with this is just not to zoom in too much in live view when focusing. I’ve also noticed, subjectively, that D800 live view is much inferior to the d700 live view in low light. Might again be due to more mp needing demanding more. Might not.

    • LShepherd

      Yes, live view is not the best and full zoom actually equates to something like 200% I believe. Something daft like that. It’s really only in low light I find it tricky though. I have the set button programmed to zoom in to medium magnification which works well in most instances.
      I’m not prepared to pay Mr Digiloyd for his tips and tricks but adjusting the picture settings sharpness does make a difference. I can’t believe it is something as basic as this he wants us to pay for though?! He also seems surprised by the effect on the histogram – standard fare in my experience…
      You’re right though – as I understand it – the display is interpolated and this just gets translated onto any associated viewing device I believe.

  • Jim Robertson

    Thanks for this Tim. I would be interested to get your opinion on how the focus stacking option compares with say Helicon.

  • The camranger does look like an impressive bit of kit, The wireless connection alone probably makes it worth the price alone.

    I’ve been quite intriqued by this option for remote live view on a slightly larger screen, Being a dirty Android tablet user the Camranger is out of reach for me.
    Going to be experimenting with using my Nexus 7 as a Live View device but with a wired USB connection to see if it does give me a bit of advantage over the 5d mk2’s standard live view. Should be interesting anyway and may save the back ache of some of the stranger positions you can get yourself in to whilst out and about.

  • Bruce Cairns

    Very interesting, Tim. I’ve only just caught up with last month’s article as well. This looks as though it may bridge part of the gap between the 5×4 experience and the DSLR compromise. Not only is it larger than a 5×4 screen, but it restores the ability to view the composition upside down, simply by inverting the iPad (I assume – I hope that if you lock the rotation on the iPad the software doesn’t override it?). That inversion is a compositional device that I really miss, having gone from 5×4 to D800. I still use my darkcloth on the D800 at times. I can now see myself with an iPad under the darkcloth, probably the best way of dealing with screen reflections!

    Before anyone comments, I know nothing can equal the ground glass experience for its zen-like qualities, but do you agree that this will go some way towards it?

  • isaksson

    This would be a great product for my digital medium format Hasselblad H3DII50 camera. Would be great to have for focus checking, especially when using the HTS 1.5 tilt shift adapter. Unfortunately only for Canon and Nikon DSLR´s at the moment.

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