We compare camera apps that use the in-built wi-fi connectivity, to see which offers the best user experience

Many cameras now allow you to connect to your smartphone or tablet via wi-fi connectivity using a first-party app. We look at a range of camera apps two find out which offers the best user experience.

See our guide to wi-fi camera apps

Canon Camera Connect

Website: www.canon.co.uk/apps

Canon App 1

Our experience with the Canon Camera Connect app was somewhat frustrating. While we had no problem connecting to an Android smartphone running KitKat, with a tablet running the latest 5.1.1 build of Lollipop we couldn’t get the two devices to talk to each other. User reviews on Google Play confirm that we aren’t alone in this. It’s hard to say whether this is a fault of the app itself or a more general problem with Lollipop. Connection issues aside, app functionality isn’t bad and we appreciated being able to take control of shutter speed and aperture while shooting remotely in manual mode. That said, a few more advanced controls as seen on other first-party apps certainly wouldn’t go amiss.

MOBILE PLATFORMS: iOS & Android
REMOTE STILL CAPTURE: Yes
SHUTTER SPEED/APERTURE CONTROLS: Yes
REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: No
IMAGE TRANSFER SIZE: Original, optimised for mobile
GPS TAGGING: PowerShot & IXUS models only, not available on EOS cameras
TESTED WITH: Canon EOS 70D

Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility

Website: www.nikon.co.uk

Nikon Nexus 9

We had no problems connecting any of our Android or Apple mobile devices to our D750 using its built-in Wi-fi and the Wireless Mobile Utility app. The WMU’s interface is clean and simple, making it easy to use. The remote shooting side of things is rather limited, though, and lacks any ability to remotely control shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation or ISO as seen on many other first-party mobile apps. That said, the touch-to-focus AF point works well and response times are near instantaneous, too. Downloading images from your camera is much better implemented, with options to download images at their original file size, as well as a ‘recommended’ size or in VGA quality.

MOBILE PLATFORMS: iOS and Android
REMOTE STILL CAPTURE: Yes
SHUTTER SPEED/APERTURE CONTROLS: No
REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: No
IMAGE TRANSFER SIZE: Original, Recommended, VGA
GPS TAGGING: Yes
TESTED WITH: Nikon D750

Fujilm Camera Application

Website: app.fujifilm-dsc.com

Fuji Nexus 9

While we found the connection process to be fairly straightforward, there’s no password protection available, which means there’s no way to prevent other users of the app from connecting to your camera. Unlike the more advanced Camera Remote app, Fuji’s Camera Application app doesn’t support remote shooting and is limited to image transfer duties. That said, the interface is intuitive, which makes using the app pretty straightforward. Batch transfers are limited to no more than 30 images totalling 2GB in size, and images can only be transferred at their original size, with no re-sizing options offered. GPS tagging is also supported.

MOBILE PLATFORMS: iOS & Android
REMOTE STILL CAPTURE: Only with selected Fuji cameras
SHUTTER SPEED/APERTURE CONTROLS: Only with selected Fuji cameras
REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: Only with selected Fuji cameras
IMAGE TRANSFER SIZE: Original size only
GPS TAGGING: Only with selected Fuji cameras
TESTED WITH: Fuji X-A2

Pentax Image Sync

Website: www.ricoh-imaging.co.uk

Pentax Nexus 9

We tested the app with the Pentax K-S2, which creates a password-protected Wi-fi network. You’ll need to input this password into the Image Sync app before you can connect your mobile device. Thankfully, the password is easy to find within the camera’s Wi-fi menu and the app will remember it. Once up and running, Image Sync is undoubtedly one of the better first-party apps, being both richly featured and easy to use. The depth of camera setting controls when used in remote control mode particularly impressed, with the app providing white balance and ISO options in addition to basic shutter speed and aperture controls. In fact, the only thing the app really lacks is any kind of GPS tagging.

MOBILE PLATFORMS: iOS & Android
REMOTE STILL CAPTURE: Yes
SHUTTER SPEED/APERTURE CONTROLS: Yes
REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: No
IMAGE TRANSFER SIZE: Original size only
GPS TAGGING: No
TESTED WITH: Pentax K-S2

Panasonic Image App

Website: www.panasonic.net

Panasonic Nexus 9

Panasonic has clearly invested a great deal of time and effort into the creation of its Image App. The app is not password protected by default, but using the Lumix G7 we were able to easily set one up using the in-camera Wi-fi menu. Once your mobile device has this password stored, you won’t have to input it again. Alternatively, if your Lumix camera supports it, then you can also use NFC to connect the two devices together. Once connected, the image transfer and remote control aspects of the app are both fully realised, each coming with a stack of options that allow you to take full control over your camera’s settings. Overall, it’s a very well thought out and nicely designed app that’s also easy to use.

MOBILE PLATFORMS: iOS & Android
REMOTE STILL CAPTURE: Yes
SHUTTER SPEED/APERTURE CONTROLS: Yes
REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: Yes
IMAGE TRANSFER SIZE: Original, medium, small
GPS TAGGING: Yes
TESTED WITH: Lumix G7

Sony PlayMemories Mobile

Website: www.sony.net/pmm

Sony Nexus 9

While we didn’t experience any connectivity issues, the way Sony implements the Wi-Fi functionality of its cameras is a bit long-winded. If you want to get full functionality from the Remote App then you’ll first need to update the ‘Smart Remote Control Embedded’ app found on your camera, to the ‘Smart Remote Control’ app, which is found within the Sony PlayMemories Store. If you don’t update this important in-camera app, then the Remote App on your tablet will only offer limited functionality and very basic remote capture options. With the updated app, however, you’ll be able to control a much broader set of things including shutter speed, aperture, ISO and suchlike.

MOBILE PLATFORMS: iOS & Android
REMOTE STILL CAPTURE: Yes
SHUTTER SPEED/APERTURE CONTROLS: Yes (requires in-camera update)
REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: Yes (selected models, requires in-camera update)
IMAGE TRANSFER SIZE: Original, 2MP, VGA
GPS TAGGING: Yes
TESTED WITH: Sony A7

Samsung Camera Manager

Website: www.samsung.com

Samsung Nexus 9

We used NFC to connect the Samsung NX1 to our tablet, and it worked first time. After this initial success, however, we found establishing a connection wasn’t always straightforward and we regularly found ourselves waiting for the two devices to iron out their differences and start talking. Once connected, however, the Camera Manager app is one of the better ones out there. Remote shooting mode particularly impresses, with a generous range of controls including shutter speed and aperture, white balance, ISO, exposure compensation, drive mode, metering mode, still image size, movie quality, and flash – all on one screen. In addition to shooting still images, you can also use the app to record video remotely.

MOBILE PLATFORMS: iOS and Android
REMOTE STILL CAPTURE: Yes
SHUTTER SPEED/APERTURE CONTROLS: Yes
REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: Yes
IMAGE TRANSFER SIZE: Original
GPS TAGGING: Yes
TESTED WITH: Samsung NX1

Olympus Image Share

Website: www.app.olympusimaging.com

Olympus Nexus 9

Image Share is a well-rounded app that offers image transfer, remote control, geotagging and image-editing tools. While the image-editing functions are actually limited purely to the application of Olympus Creative Filters, other aspects of the app are much more fully featured. We were particularly impressed with the degree of control over camera settings the app gave us when used in remote control mode. In addition to shutter speed and aperture controls, we were also able to access a number of more advanced camera settings including sensitivity, white balance, drive mode, plus the self-timer and time-lapse mode. Image transfer is similarly detailed, with a generous choice of image transfer size options to choose from.

MOBILE PLATFORMS: iOS and Android
REMOTE STILL CAPTURE: Yes
SHUTTER SPEED/APERTURE CONTROLS: Yes
REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: No
IMAGE TRANSFER SIZE: Original, 2048×1536, 1920×1440, 1600×1200, 1024×768
GPS TAGGING: Yes
TESTED WITH: Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

See our guide to wi-fi camera apps

  • Jim Bennett

    Ok now this round up is much better, why don’t you just delete the one you posted the day before this one 🙂

  • Galaxy_Surfer_007

    LOL, Just noticed a major inconsistency in the remarks on the Pentax Image app!

    “.. In fact, the only thing the app really lacks is any kind of GPS tagging.”

    Yet, you also reported this:

    “REMOTE VIDEO CAPTURE: No”

    Sounds like one more thing that’s missing!

    Also, readers need to be especially careful about these apps as their functions vary dramatically by camera model within the same company! Just because a camera has Wi-Fi or is listed by a company as having remote shooting, that doesn’t mean it will have the features shown here or listed here!

    Even if a company’s camera is a model can be controlled remotely, it may only be able to snap a photo, but might not have ISO or WB control, or might be a model that doesn’t shoot video; or could be one that does NOT provide any aperture or shutter control; etc.

    And the camera companies should be ashamed of themselves as they either do not provide the information at all on which models have which remote features–or, have buried it somewhere in some hard to find document! Even then, the documents are hard to decipher, filled with asterisks, exceptions, double negatives, omissions, and are outdated.

    It’s too bad because remote shooting has a huge range of uses and extensions of camera abilities.

  • Galaxy_Surfer_007

    This is a fantastic round up! Several of the companies do NOT even provide such info on their websites or on iTunes. It’s as if they are embarrassed by the limited functionality– or, don’t understand the value of remote shooting– or, have farmed out their app development elsewhere and just don’t care!

    Thanks so much for doing this!