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Pentax 645Z Tethered directly to Lightroom + iPad

pentax-645z-tethered-ipad-system.JPG I have put together my Tether system for the 645Z, not 100% what I want, but I can now live with it.

I usually prefer to shoot with an HDMI monitor connected to my cameras, with this, the model can see her posing/composition without leaving her mark. Any creative directors / clients in the room can also see the monitor as I shoot. I know this is not the same as tethered, but its faster than waiting for an image download and I can scroll through shots from my camera, I shoot very very fast. Once my setup/lighting is 95% complete, this is when the talent and clients arrive, so shoot times are very low, and I like that an HDMI monitor just keeps up with me.

Well, without getting off topic too much, the Pentax 645Z does not have popper HMDI output, you either use your LCD screen or you use the HDMI output, can't have both.

Ricoh Japan was gracious enough to give me the plugin for Lightroom, so I can tether directly.


One thing I wish Lightroom did was have more tether options. Full tethering support, anyways more on this later... Here is a pic of tethered directly into lightroom:


Not only can I shoot directly into Lightroom, I can also use the stand alone 'Image Transmitter 2' software. I kinda like this software, sure I wish it was resizable, as I want to see as much of the image on my screen as possible, but having to go through the hoops I went through of poor support after dropping $15k on a camera system, I wont hold my breath.


What the Image Transmitter 2 software does that I really like, is allow me to shoot RAW+ (RAW + JPG), keep the RAW on the card, and only download the JPG file, this makes things so much faster, and if your only doing this for lighting and composition, use a small JPG and speed things up a ton.

Note: For my Nikons (36mp, D800 & D810), I rarely use lightroom to tether, I actually use DigiCam control, as I can specify to shoot RAW + JPG, and only transfer the JPG file for review as I shoot.

At this point you might be asking about the iPad? Its simple, I use a VNC viewer on the iPad, connect to the laptop (running VNC server) and view the screen of the laptop. I also zoom into just the image portion of the screen, so it appears that the iPad is showing just the shot


This system is pretty nice, if you have multiple computers, and perhaps a large monitor/tv in the studio, you can have several VNC clients connect to the VNC server, so multiple displays, or multiple iPads all viewing the tethered computer.


Note: VNC viewer/server require a network connection, if you are in the field, you can use one of those battery powered wifi devices

Mike Bradley

Author: Mike Bradley

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