What’s so special about 3 new Wireless attachments for Canon’s latest ?HDSLR cameras? Unless you’ve been on a very long documentary in a remote rainforest without access to news or internet, you’ve noticed that the Canon 1D Mk IV, 7D and 5D Mk II, in addition to being wildly successful still cameras, have become the new electronic Eyemos and are busy shooting commercials, music videos, TV and features. It’s good to pay attention to their technology.
Canon announced 3 new Wireless File Transmitter units: WFT-E2 II A for the EOS-1D Mark IV, WFT-E4 II A for EOS 5D Mark II, and WFT-E5A for EOS 7D. FTP Mode file transfer lets you send images in real-time to a computer for instant editing, printing or projection onto event screens. You can geotag images with EXIF data using hard-wired or Bluetooth-connected GPS devices. And you’ll be able to fire up to 10 cameras at once from a “master” camera.
They use IEEE 802.11a wireless networking transmission protocol. Phone it in: the WFT units provide access to the camera from anywhere in the world via the internet as if it were an FTP site. You or your photo editor can download images in air-conditioned comfort while someone else is slogging through the tropical mud and snapping away.
The EOS Utility mode provides full-camera control while remote shooting with a complete full Live View preview on-screen, so you can see and shoot from a computer as if the camera were in-hand. EOS Utility mode is essentially a wireless version of a direct USB connection, and helpful for a studio that needs full camera control and instant feedback across a local network.
802.11 a/b/g Compatible
All three new Canon WFT units provide a wide range of different wireless compatibility options, as well as a wired option to ensure the unit will sync into any professional workflow. For this new series of professional WFT units, Canon has added IEEE 802.11a connectivity, a wireless networking transmission protocol for commercial and corporate environments, offering reliable data transfer rates, strong resistance to electronic interference, and worldwide acceptance in heavy bandwidth environments, particularly within sporting arenas, entertainment venues and retail establishments.
WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)
To help make connecting the WFT unit to a wireless network even easier than before, Canon has added a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) option for a one-touch connection to local wireless networks. This easy option helps ensure that photographers not familiar with wireless LAN setups can just touch a button on their WPS-compatible wireless router to connect it to their camera.
FTP transfer mode
The WFT units provide access to the camera from anywhere in the world via the internet as if it were an FTP site and can allow a photo editor download images with ease. Canon’s FTP connection is a direct file transfer mode that allows for the instant transfer of files across a local network or across the world via the internet. This is the connection used by many professional photographers looking to deliver their images with a wireless connection back to a computer as they are shot.
New WFT Server mode
The new WFT Server mode, previously called HTTP mode on legacy WFT units, allows up to three users to remotely connect to a camera via any standard Web browser for global access of images in real-time. Canon’s WFT Server mode allows for multiple connected users to download both images and video files from a camera, as well as view still images, see a remote live view of the camera’s rear LCD screen and remotely fire a camera all through the Web. The ability to initiate remote capture to a compatible personal computer while viewing the Live View display from either a computer terminal or mobile device such as a netbook, iPhone, or iPod Touch is a feature that can be used from within a local network or from across the globe over most web browsers. Multiple photo editors can now have instant access to a photographer’s images, or photographers can remotely control a camera and transfer images to a compatible computer from the comfort of their mobile devices.
“EOS Utility” mode
The EOS Utility mode, previously called PTP mode on legacy WFT units, provides full-camera control while remote shooting with a complete full Live View preview on-screen, allowing a photographer to see and shoot from a computer as if the camera were in-hand. EOS Utility mode is essentially a wireless version of a direct USB connection, and helpful for a commercial or portrait studio that needs full camera control and instant feedback across a local network.
New Camera Linking function
The new Camera Linking function enables photographers to link up to 10 “slave” cameras wirelessly to one “master” camera and fire all eleven cameras simultaneously for multiple images from various vantage points. Imagine being able to capture the crowd’s reaction while shooting the play on the field, or having a camera capture the view from the stage while shooting the event from the pit; with Canon’s new easy camera linking function the way a moment is preserved may never be the same. Each linked camera must be equipped with a compatible WFT unit.
USB Host function
While each Canon camera has a small USB port, the WFT unit includes a USB Host port, allowing photographers to connect large capacity storage devices or GPS units directly to the camera for maximum storage capacity or geotagging images. This allows for a huge amount of storage possibilities, as well as allowing for coordinate data input on image files. The new WFT unit is now also compatible with Canon Bluetooth unit BU-30, allowing Bluetooth compatible GPS devices to connect and append information to images wirelessly. This allows the photographer to be completely free of wires while shooting and still tag GPS coordinates to images.
New Media Server function
With the WFT-E5A’s new Media Server function, EOS 7D photographers can wirelessly transfer and display images on DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) -compatible televisions and photo frames, ideal for photo presentations and workshops. This feature is available exclusively with the WFT-E5A Wireless File Transmitter.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon WFT-E4 II A Wireless File Transmitter and WFT-E5A Wireless File Transmitter are currently available and sell at an estimated retail price of $699.99i each. The WFT-E2 II A Wireless File Transmitter is scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2010, price to be determined.