CamRanger Review – Rapid Gear Review Episode

Gear & Apps October 19th 2013 10:50 AM 4 Comments

CamRanger Wireless Camera Controller – Introduction

The CamRanger is a wireless transmitter that allows you to control your camera from an Android or Apple device. Check out our video review and the written article that discusses this product in depth down below.

Watch The CamRanger Review Video

Setup and Product Specifications

Our Test Setup

CamRanger Specifications

  • Wireless network connection reaches up to 150 feet away with no obstacles.
  • Compatible for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac Computer, and Android devices.  iOS version 4.3 and above is required.
  • Operates on a rechargeable and replaceable battery. Replaceable battery can be bought separately and charged in advanced. Typical battery life lasts between 5-6 hours.

What Exactly is the CamRanger?

CamRanger

The CamRanger is a small wireless device that attaches via USB to your camera, once setup, the CamRanger will allow you to preview and control your camera via external devices such as an iPad, iPhone, Mac Computers and Android devices. An absolutely beautiful ability for those with cameras that don’t have built-in wireless control capabilities.

But, what about cameras such as the Canon 6D? The Canon 6D already has built-in wireless control functionality, so why would you need the CamRanger? Built in wireless capability, such as that in the Canon 6D, is generally going to be a little more limited. While you have control over basic camera settings, you may not have access to control more advanced functions. While basic camera control may be enough for a lot of people, users that want more advanced camera control and functionality may still want to get the CamRanger.

The CamRanger enables you to have the same basic controls over your camera’s basic exposure and focus settings, but it also provides advanced functionality such as HDR bracketing control, focus stacking and even intervalometer and bulb control. In addition, since the CamRanger is constantly under development, more features and functionality can be expected in future updates to the devices firmware.

In the end, if your camera already has built-in wireless control, you will want to check and see if the additional functionality of the CamRanger is worth the purchase price.

Why We Love the CamRanger

For indie film and cinematographers, the Cam Ranger is an amazing tool for all of the above reasons, in addition to having a larger screen to preview and focus from. For me, it is an incredibly handy tool because now I don’t need to bring in a second person to help me verify my camera focus. I can setup my cameras, and then verify my exposure settings and focus directly from the device allowing me to record completely on my own.

Those that are into nature and landscape photography will absolutely love the CamRanger‘s functionality in regards to HDR bracketing and focus stacking. Its built in intervalometer and bulb mode functionality makes time lapse photography a breeze. In addition, being able to see the cameras live view preview makes it a wonderful tool when the camera is placed in low, high or otherwise awkward to view places.

CamRanger to iPad

Once all of the settings have been dialed in, you can capture still or video on the camera, and then view them back on your Android or Apple device by tapping the thumbnail at the top of the screen.

Areas that can be Improved

Ok, so we have sung the CamRanger’s praises, but it does have some room for improvement in certain areas.

The first thing that you will want to check is whether or not the CamRanger supports your specific camera. In addition, while your camera model may be supported, certain functions we mentioned above may not be. So to check, visit the CamRanger Supported Cameras page to see which cameras and functions are supported before purchasing the CamRanger.

The biggest area we see room for improvement is in improving the real-time playback resolution and frame rate. Depending on the camera, the live preview playback can range from 8-18 fps (frames per second). There was also a noticeable lag when you want to preview photos from your Android or Apple device, as the CamRanger must transfer and load large amounts of data from your camera back to your device. In addition, we weren’t able to play back the videos we have recorded from our iPad.

All of these issues are simply due to the CamRanger‘s internal wireless connection not being quite quick enough to support a higher bit rate transfer. If the CamRanger had a high enough wireless bit rate, it may even be possible to use it like a field monitor for indie film productions.

However, given the current live preview frame rate and lack of ability to playback video files, this isn’t yet a possibly. Although we do have great hopes that future models will improve in this area, hint hint.

Conclusion

In conclusion, with an online list price of $299.99, we give the CamRanger 4 out of 5 stars. The slow playback frame rate was the only reason this device didn’t get a perfect score. As it is presently, the CamRanger is an absolutely wonderful product that we can wholeheartedly recommend.

From the photographer that needs advanced wireless control of their cameras, to the indie filmmaker that would like to make setting up cameras and focuses a breeze, the CamRanger is a wonderful device to have in your toolkit!

SLRL_Review_4_Stars

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Pye

About

Pye (AKA Post Production Pye) is a founder and the Managing Editor for SLR Lounge. Pye is also a Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography, an Orange County based wedding, engagement and portrait photography studio. Connect with him on Google Plus

4 Comments

  1. Mariusz

    How would yo compare it to the Weye Feye in terms of tethering functionality?
    I’m interested in CamRanger’s “Client Mode” – simple wireless preview on a tablet for a client, while raws are being saved in camera (not a tablet)

    Reply 0
    • Pye
      Pye

      Haha, at first I thought you mispelled WiFi =) I have never tried a Weye Feye. The main thing I would consider is basically the control feature set. Weye Feye should have a list of what functions are actually supported, I would compare that to the CamRanger, and then to the built-in WiFi the camera has (if it has it) and see which has the features you need.

      1
  2. BARRY FLIEGELMAN

    ARE YOU GIVING ANY AWAY I WOULD LIKE TO WIN ONE LOOKS GREAT

    Reply 0
  3. Justin Haugen

    Love this device. I’ve been able to use the CamRanger wifi connection to have my ipad connect to a printer and will be using it to print 4x6s as apart of a photo booth setup. It was also very useful on a recent studio shoot as I was able to hand the client the ipad and even let the snap photos with it from time to time as the camera was on a tripod as the models posed. The live was also handy to pull focus on a video shoot as I was shooting at a very thin field of focus and having the speaker sharp was essential.

    Reply 0

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