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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Toolbox: Wireless Solutions

Options for controlling your camera and downloading images untethered

Labels: CamerasGearAccessories
This Article Features Photo Zoom
OLYMPUS
When used with an optional Toshiba FlashAir memory card, the Olympus Image Share smartphone app (OI.Share) for iOS and Android is compatible with several cameras in their PEN line of mirrorless cameras, including the E-PL5 and E-PM2. (The E-P5 is the only current camera from Olympus to house an internal WiFi signal.) The app provides basic camera controls, image transfers and sharing, but you can also add Art Filters and GPS information. The One-Time Connection mode lets you send images to several smartphones at once, with simple app setup through a QR code on the camera that's scanned by your device for automatic pairing.

For image transfers from older models, Olympus also offers the PP-1 PENPAL Bluetooth for PEN-series cameras holding the Accessory Port 2 interface, including the E-M1, E-M5, E-P3, E-P5, E-PL2, E-PL3, E-PL5, E-PM1 and E-PM2 cameras. This Bluetooth device is only compatible with Android and Windows smartphones with OBEX file transfer capability, however. List Price: $79 (PP-1 PENPAL); $949 (E-P5 PEN).

PANASONIC
As an electronics giant, Panasonic models are seeing a lot of the WiFi love in several compacts, including the waterproof Lumix DMC-TS5 compact, DMC-SZ5, DMC-ZS30 and DMC-LF1. The mirrorless Lumix DMC-GM1, G6, GH3 and GF6 camera bodies incorporate internal WiFi that works with Panasonic's Lumix Link application on Android and iOS devices for remotely controllable options like shutter release, focus, exposure compensation, image transfer, ISO, white balance, photo style and other features like zooming with compatible lenses. The GF6 sports an NFC WiFi hot spot that allows you to pair your smart devices simply by touching a smart device as it runs the Panasonic Image App to the camera. List Price: $598 (Lumix DMC-GF6 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless digital camera with 14-42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 II lens).

Sharing almost the exact same feature set and design as the Panasonic Lumix LF1, the luxurious Leica C adds a Leica exterior and much higher price. The Leica C is the only camera from the company to feature WiFi and NFC communication with remote access and control over features through the Leica C Image application for iOS and Android. List Price: $699.

SAMSUNG
As a top competitor in the mobile segment, Samsung is no stranger to WiFi, and several of their compact cameras sport incorporated WiFi technology, including the Smart Camera MV900F with built-in social-media uploading, EX2F, ST200F, DV150F, DV300F, WB2100, WB250F, WB30F and WB800F. The NX series of mirrorless cameras also includes the feature in the NX20, NX210, NX300, NX1100, NX1000 and NX2000.

Samsung's remarkable Galaxy Camera is essentially a compact camera that also acts as a smartphone, and the possibilities behind the technology have culminated in the new Galaxy NX, a camera that runs the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system as its menu structure with dedicated applications and cloud access alongside the high imaging capabilities of a mirrorless camera body with interchangeable-lens mount and 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor. The Galaxy NX includes light sensitivity of up to ISO 25600, 8.6 fps burst rate, Lens Shift image stabilization, shutter up to 1⁄6000 sec., and Advanced Hybrid Auto Focus system with both phase and contrast autofocus detection. List Price: $149 (DV150F); $175 (WB30F); $199 (DV300F/ST200F); $249 (WB250F); $299 (EX2F/WB800F); $329 (WB2100); $349 (MV900F); $449 (Galaxy Camera); $1,599 (Galaxy NX Mirrorless Digital Camera).

SONY
Sony has a few remarkable WiFi camera models, including two new Lens Style cameras that take the camera sensor and place it directly within the rear of the lens. Both the 20-megapixel, 3.6x zoom DSC-QX100 and the 18-megapixel, 10x zoom DSC-QX10 can be operated on their own, or they can be used in concert with the free PlayMemories Mobile app to view and work with images from smart devices. Both models come with NFC communication and smartphone mounts, which, in essence, makes them free-standing lenses that can also be used as a high-quality zoom for your phone or tablet. List Price: $499 (DSC-QX100); $249 (DSC-QX10).

Sony has also just announced the A7 and A7r mirrorless full-frame cameras with built-in WiFi and NFC communication, and the majority of their recent camera releases sport WiFi, including the NEX-5R, NEX-5T, NEX-6 and RX100 II cameras. Sony compacts and superzooms with WiFi include the HX50V, HX30V, and Cyber-shot WX80 and WX300. List Price: $199 (WX80); $279 (WX300); $399 (HX50V); $420 (HX30V); $499 (NEX-5R); $549 (NEX-5T); $649 (NEX-6); $749 (RX100 II).

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