Tethered shooting with Lightroom and Canon 40D – How To

Canon tethered to Lightroom tutorial.

Having not used a tethered setup in a while as I usually work on location, I had to double check everything was working correctly for an upcoming project. I thought I would compile my thoughts into a ‘How-To’ for other people who might have problems setting up tethering.

How to shoot tethered with a Canon 40D and Adobe Lightroom.

Install Canon EOS utility for your canon camera, in my case I was using the Canon 40D, I found that the EOS utility from the Canon XTI worked fine (I think it’s the same program for the majority of Canon models). You’ll need your existing software, as only the updates are available on the Canon software website these days.

First of all, i’ve plugged my camera straight into my laptop via usb, turned it on, and fired up Canon EOS Utility.

1. Open EOS Utility and go to preferences. You can see that the camera is attached, and ready to just work normally – we now need to change the preferences to make it work properly tethered. So once you have opened the program, if you click on the “Preferences” bottom left, it will take you to some options.

Specify watched folder in the EOS File Utility

1. Fire up EOS Utilty & Click on preferences

2. Configure your destination folder that it saves to.

On the destination folder tab, I have selected the destination folder, which in this case I have put on the desktop for testing purposes. I have ticked the boxes; download images, remote shooting and monitor folder. You can see here that it makes a new destination folder as a subfolder – based on the shooting date – this folder must be empty before it will work.

Specify destination folder

2. Specify destination folder

3. Set to save to memory card.

I have chosen to save the images on the memory card, because it serves as an instant second backup, and also if I shoot quicker than the write speed to the computer, it’s still saved regardless.

4. Set to save to memory card

3. Set to save to memory card

4. Configure Lightroom. Now that the Canon EOS Utility is set up, you can now start up lightroom.

Go to File -> Auto Import -> Auto Import Settings, not forgetting to tick the Enable Import.

4. Set to Auto Import

4. Set to Auto Import

5. Configure import settings. You can see here that I have specified the watched folder, which is pointed to the new subfolder in the folder structure (You’ll find if something doesn’t work for you, it’ll be the subfolder selection that’s been missed, I did it myself!)

I have chosen to copy my file from the desktop into my usual lightroom file structure, which is on an external 500GB drive. You can just choose the destination folder you want, or wherever your file structure dictates.

5. Configure Import Settings

5. Configure Import Settings

Now you are ready to shoot, so try taking a photo with your tethered camera, wait a couple of seconds and you will see your ‘Import’ button bottom left in lightroom click on and off – and the image will appear in your Lightroom window!

That’s it, there is very little to it.

Let me know how you get on.

4 thoughts on “Tethered shooting with Lightroom and Canon 40D – How To

  1. Great post! Tons of useful information. I keep getting an “Import Photos” pop-up from lightroom and it’s getting very annoying. When I click cancel or close the pop-up box, it imports as normal. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I can send a screen shot if need be. Thanks!

  2. Re the “Import Photos” pop-up when trying to tether to Lightroom.

    The problem is EOS Utility and how it calls the monitored folder the “Destination Folder”. It’s actually the “Watched” folder that should go in the “Destination Folder” path. You set the folder that the images get saved into inside LR, not in EOS Utility.

    So to recap: EOS Utility calls the Monitored location folder the “Destination Folder” and to confuse matters LR calls the same Monitored location the “Watched Folder”.

    The files are then moved by LR from the Watched Folder location to the final *LR* Destination Folder where they are saved.

    This causes all the confusion! Just set mine up on a new machine and as it had been a while this one foxed me too until I found:

    http://jefflynchdev.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/shooting-tethered-with-the-canon-50d-and-lightroom/ which has a great walkthrough of the process with screens.



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