Free Tethered Shooting Script for Nikon

Update: This version is now obsolete,

download latest from here .

Update: The With Bridge version provides almost instant image viewing in Adobe Bridge without any keypresses.  If you use Bridge instead of Adobe Lightroom then download that version.  I’ve also made a video to show how to use this script.

If you’ve been keeping up with the blogs of various big photography bloggers out there you’ll certainly have been seeing quite a bit about tethered shooting recently. Not that it is a revolution or anything, but it certainly is a help to be able to see your images immediately on a big screen — and that doesn’t just go for those with failing eye-sight but basically the images you see on the LCD at the back of your camera are only the jpg preview, not the RAW (should you be shooting raw).

Even if you are shooting jpg just having to view them on such a tiny screen really makes it hard to tell if they are sharp or perhaps shaded as you are hoping. Sucking them right into your PC seems just so logical.

If you are a Canon shooter then no issue – the software comes with the camera (so I’m told).

If you are a Nikon shooter then it gets a little more difficult. If you are a Mac user you could use Aperture, but for Windows you seem to be stuck with Nikon Camera Control Pro. That’s a $160 or so software which does a lot more than just tethered shooting, but is probably overkill if like me you are a hobbiest just messing around.

So in true geeky DIY mode I thought it can’t be that hard to write a script that sucks pictures out of a USB connected camera and saves them onto the PC. And after a little poking around I find that actually it’s true, it isn’t that hard.

The thing that makes it practical is that most of what you need is built into Windows, another chunk comes as a standard optional microsoft download, such that the glue you need to pull it all together is just a few lines of code.

Part 1 is Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) – that’s built in

Part 2 is WIA Automation Layer

– a free download from Microsoft for Windows XP SP2 or higher

Part 3 is a script to tie it all together – which I present here

DOWNLOAD

This is now obsolete, use instead the free DIYPhotobits.com Camera Control 4.0

application.

Requirements:

  • Windows XP SP2 or higher
  • A Nikon DSLR (D40, D60, D200 and D300 tested ok)
  • USB cable

Installation:

Well nothing really, just unzip it and put it in a folder anywhere — I suggest c:\program files\tethered but anywhere would do.

Usage:

  1. Empty your camera card — that’s optional but a good start for reasons that will be apparent later
  2. Plug your camera in via USB — you should make sure USB in your menus is set to PTP
  3. If your PC pops up one of those windows wanting to download stuff, just cancle it
  4. Run “tethered.cmd” by double clicking on it
  5. Open your image viewer of choice – I use Bridge – and set it to look in the c:\tethered folder.  If you are using Lightroom then you’d want to set that to be a watched folder.
  6. You are now ready to start shooting.  Anything you shoot will turn into a file in a folder called c:\tethered within a second of you completing the exposure
  7. When you are done just close the Tethered window.

Notes:

  • All your images are also stored on your memory card so you have a backup without using a D3 and two cards
  • If you shoot more than 1000 images in one session it is liable to give an error as the filenames wrap around.  That’s why it is good to empty your memory card first so that you are starting at file number 000.
  • I’ve tested this with a Nikon D40 and it works fine, in theory it should work with any WIA compatible camera but the other Point and Shoot ones I have refuse to take pictures while the USB cable is connected so I can’t test them.  I’d be very pleased to hear from those of you who have tried it on other cameras and if it worked or not.
  • If you want the images stored somewhere other than c:\tethered then edit the .wsf file to change the location

166 Replies to “Free Tethered Shooting Script for Nikon”

  1. This is a great program. I’m using it to do a timelapse of the upcoming eclipse.
    Does anyone know code for how to grab images directly from the camera’s buffer, instead of downloading them from the SD card AFTER they’ve been saved?
    Thanks to anyone who can help!

  2. Hi all
    I have been trying to get the tethering up and running from my Nikon D80 to my laptop running vista. I have downloaded version 4 of the tethering script. Using Adobe Bridge once I snap a pic I have to go back to “Get Photo” and wait for it to download to view in bridge. Any ideas or suggestions you might have for me to try and resolve.
    Thanks much
    Mike from Ontario.

  3. Hi
    I was just using your software with Lightroom
    and a Nikon D3. Every thing worked except
    I had no manual control of the camera in
    the shutter and aperature sections of the UI.
    I did have control of the ASA.
    It would be nice to have a button for the focus as
    well.
    Thanks for all your hard work in making this
    program.
    Chris

  4. Thanks for this, now i don’t have to shell out another $100 bucks on a proprietary Nikon software. Anyway i’m using this with my Nikon D80 and at first it worked and showed me 2 images instantly on lightroom but after that everytime i click the shutter release i get this “script error” which says:
    “An error has occured in the script on this page.
    Link: 157; char: 2; Error: Index out of range” can someone please help me?

  5. This does not work with D300 Vista 32 bit and NX2. It does not give an option as in the video to download immediately. It does not preview raw or jpeg after tethered mode is selected or not and neither does it push an image into NX2. The images do get downloaded to selected folder but that is all. Adds to the workflow, so for all these reasons…..Im out!

    In fact all it did was waste my time!

    John G.

  6. Thanks for letting me know. I guess? FYI the “Download immediately” option was removed from the latest version as I realized it was redundant, the “Start Tether” basically does the same thing.

  7. Raymond….

    Will this work with Vista 64-bit?
    Worked great with my D30 and Win XP but have upgraded my laptop.

    Thanks
    Carl

  8. I tried this with a D40 and XP, just used the 4.1. I can take pictures, and they show up very small on the DIY page. I could click on the picture, and then it would show up in the Windows picture viewer. Shortly thereafter though, it would say ” can not find ///c.//. I also had no control or feedback on the adjustments.

    The timelapse worked just fine. The pics would go into the designated folder, and it would find the camera OK. It just wouldn’t put the pic up large enough to view. I uninstalled, and will try again just for kicks.

    Thanks for all the work you have put into it. I would like to be able to use a wireless USB of some sort for timelapse on the D40, as I don’t know of any other way.

  9. raymond // Jun 6, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Thanks very much Tony for letting me know that. My main problem at the moment is finding a long enough USB cable!

    >>>try to buy usb to lan extension cable.You can make much loger usb connection that way.

  10. Works *great*! Using a D300, WinXP, version 4.1 of your driver. Love it — pictures show up almost instantly, show up in Lightroom, ready to print in under 10 seconds.

    Thanks for your work! You saved me from a much more onerous workflow at a shoot this weekend, and saved much hardware wear (ejecting a CF card several dozen times over the course of the shoot so that clients could have their photos within minutes).

  11. Thank you! It’s been a struggle to find a way to tether my old Nikon D70 to my laptop. Most commercial software doesn’t seem to support it. Finally something that works AND is free.

  12. It is working great with my Nikon D50. I can control the manual settings for shutter speed and f stop right on my PC laptop running on Vista. I have a question:
    What is “Push external viewer To display the latest image” used for?

    Thanks.

  13. I have XP SP3, can’t find the ‘tethered.cmd’ to double click as per the instructions. Downloaded the ‘WIAAutSDK.zip
    ‘ and your DIYPhotobits 4.1. Unzipped it all. I can get to your program through Start, All Programs, DIY 4.1, but the preview size is small (about the same size as my D90 screen) even though I change it on the interface. What am I missing? Thanks.

  14. Have downloaded v 4 for my d300. Can remotely operate shutter but can’t get images to preview anywhere. I am using elements 5 so is that problem? Have set the watched folder to C:\programs\tethered in elements but nothing appears.
    Any thoughts welcomed.

  15. Thanks Buddy!!!!!!

    Never thought I could get this to work, was trying Nikon CCP2 but to no avail,

    Got a XP64 bit system PC so thought I might be like a lepper to most software manufacturers

    Thanks for the wonderful app, have mentioned you on my blog here: http://goughphoto.wordpress.com/

    Have a great day, you’ve just made mine

    Thanks again

    Andy

  16. Raymond, your a legend. Works perfectly with d80 on windows 7. Cheers for that!

    P.s To john G that left a message on 08/10/09 and who said ” this was a waste of my time and for those resons, im out” Stop watchin dragons den and learn some maners. You sound like a Dick….

  17. Thanks eoin, glad it works for you. And thanks also for the PS in my support. It is hard not to be disheartened by the negative comments.

  18. Thanks for making this available. It’s working great for me using a D40x tethered to my laptop running XP.

    I notice that if I fire the camera using multiple presses of the shutter release button in the software, the maximum rate I can get it to fire at is about a frame a second (estimated), rather than the 3fps the d40x is capable of. Is there any way to get the software to fire the camera any faster? I can certainly fire faster (but not 3fps) using the Nikon infra-red remote, so am wondering why this is slower?

    As I’m trying to shoot moving objects with the camera located remotely on a pole, its fantastic to be able to set up the composition remotely. However, it’s very difficult to judge when to fire the shutter as the object passes through the frame, so being able to shoot continuously as fast as possible for a few seconds would give me the best chance of nailing the optimum composition. Just wondering if there’s any trick to being able to do this?

    Thanks.

  19. A huge thank you, app works perfectly with D300s, Windows Vista, since I got the camera I can’t afford to spend out on Nikon’s expensive software. If you were local I’d buy you a pint!
    Completely agree with Eoin’s PS
    Thanks

  20. @FD, I doubt it. Why don’t you try and let us know. It’s free!

    @Neil, I appreciate your support!

    @Paul, sadly I can’t work out how to do that. Something about the camera insisting on finishing writing the image to card before it will tell the PC it is ready for the next shot.

  21. Googled “Tethered Nikon”, and found this site.

    WAY COOL! Thanks for the tool! Connected my camera, and using Adobe Lightroom, wow, really nice. It was driving me crazy to pull my SD card and then plug it into my PC to truly get a good perspective on my shots. I did not really want to spend an additional $70 USD to connect my camera. The only problem I face now, I have to engineer a good hookup for my other tripod and put my notebook on it!

  22. Pingback: Software Question
  23. awsome, well done raymond, this is cracking and its free, why do people moan, just be greatfull.
    thanks again ray

  24. ok I did the download..unzipped the folder to my c drive, checked the usb setting on my Nikon d300 (only other option I saw was for mass storage)
    I feel like a knucklehead but I can’t figure out the step 4
    4.Run “tethered.cmd” by double clicking on it

    I tried going to programs but it just lets me see the script
    I tried start..run put in tethered.cmd
    says windows can’t find what am I doing wrong?

  25. Just started shooting tethered again with my d60 nikon and your script. Can I shoot RAW???
    I’m also having trouble link the images to lightroom. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

  26. Works fine for my D90. I’m running Vista and RAW on camera No problems copying the NEF file into Bridge. What a great little prog.
    Thanks Raymond

  27. I downloaded the program and unzipped it. Im trying to figure ou how to do step #4 in the usage section, and I have bridge, but how do I set it to lookin the c:\tethered folder?

  28. oh Great
    just tested with Nikon D90.
    version 5.1/2 😉 on XP prof SP3
    works great
    ok after a while i understand how Bracketing
    works too
    wish for 5.3 preselectable shutter speed low and high for bracketing (if possible)
    greetings from Germany

  29. Many thanks. I do not require camera control only the ability to view pics. on laptop. Knowing nothing about computers my son installed all the technical bits. Works well with both D50 and D80 in Windows 7 64 bit platform. Only problem no Raw images. I need the camera loose to walk around with during my portraiture sessions so your program has saved me a lot of hassle and money.
    Once again many thanks.

  30. wow compare to LR,i just simply straight away go for yours..simple n fast,never been better!!
    anyway,just wondering if it is possible to auto rotate the images especially for vertical shot?
    once again,job well done man!!
    greeting from Malaysia..

  31. Hi

    Downloaded ver5.2 using Nikon D80 with Ver1.11 firmware and WinXP .When i click shutter release, i hear the shutter click but the image is only on the camera memory card-no image is being stored on pc folder and no preview either…any suggestions?

  32. Can you teach mo how does diyphotobit camera control works? i tried plugging my d3000 on my laptop but it captured anything. what setting should I change? i need 1800 photos.. thank you 🙂

  33. Wow! Fantastic program. Does not look pretty, but it works with my D80. I can instantly view my jpg photos. Now if I can just figure out how to show NEF files, then I’ll be in fat city!

  34. Excellent bit of software – thanks so much for developing it.

    How difficult would it be to include bulb control to control long exposure photography and any chance of you doing it? That would be awesome!

    Cheers!

  35. I just came from seminar where the instructor talked about shooting tetthered. I have a Nikon d300. I had Nikon Camera control when it first came out and it s### so bad I forgot about it. I found your program tonight, my d300 on a 1.7 processors is doing fine. Now I need to get this on my other machine and into Bridge to see what it can really do. The fact that it captures to both the camera and the compter is wondeful. Something I couldn’t do with the Dx2 and Nikon camera control.

  36. Raymond, Thank you so much for creating this fantastic program. Its everything I needed and It all works fantastic with my D40 and my D90!!!

  37. Thanks for this programme. Please confirm if I’m correct. When I take a picture, I have to import it in Lightroom or “Get from camera” in Bridge to see the pics, which is what I can achieve. But in a tutorial on YouTube it looks like the photographer can see his picture on screen after a few seconds, no import first. Thanks again.

  38. What I have found in using this. Is that although it occasionally has trouble connecting to my D90, I am able to get it working after a try or two. It downloads both jpeg and NEF files although it only shows jpeg files in its review. What I do is have it save the files in a folder that I have ViewNX2 running in the background. The picture list is automatically updated by ViewNX2 and I can easily look at the NEF and make any changes I want, although I mostly use it to verify the focus point and check the histogram.

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