Tuesday, July 21, 2009


One of my favorite features in Aperture is the ability to tether (via USB) a camera to the Mac and get instant results from my shots. Start by going to the menu (there's no default keyboard shortcut): File > Tether > Start Session. The dialog that shows up should be pretty familiar to you by this point. It looks pretty similar to the Import dialog. Click the Start Session button, and you're ready to roll.

Click the shutter or hit the Capture button in the tether HUD. Bam! It's in Aperture. Take another shot. Bam! It's in the project. The immediate feedback is extremely gratifying. Set Aperture to full screen mode (F) and you'll see a full screen render of the image as it's shot. This can be useful and more accurate for dialing in settings on the camera (better than looking at the LCD screen on the back of the camera) or giving a model some immediate feedback. Just be sure to use a LONG (15' or more) USB cable or you might yank your Mac to the ground.

The biggest problem with tethered mode lies somewhere between Canon and Apple. Starting with the 30D and all their DSLRs since then, Canon changed how they support PTP. None of the new models can be tethered to Aperture. I'm currently shooting with a 40D -- I am a sad panda. (You Nikon people don't have anything to worry about for now.)

For a list of supported cameras, see the list at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1085