Tethered in Lightroom?

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Between Beta 2 and Beta 3 of Lightroom, there was much discussion over the value of tethered shooting. Jeff Schewe announced that there would be too much work in getting all DSLR’s to tether in the time frame for the V1.0 release. As has been pointed out Phase One’s software allows tethering from their own cameras and that of Canon (there may be more but as I don’t have experience with C1 Pro, I can’t say). Bibble apparently will tether to more. Instead of getting direct tethering in Beta 3, Adobe took another route. The ‘Watched Folder’.

Lightroom allows us to choose a folder that it will then watch and import whatever file appears in the folder. The way it works is simple. In Lightroom Preferences we choose the Import tab. The middle section has the information we need to apply. Tick ‘Enable Auto-Import’ and use ‘Choose..” to select the folder you want to watch. Easy. Next we can automatically apply metadata to our imported files and rename in the process. To do this we click on “Auto Import Settings”.

First up we have our renaming section which gives us a fair amount of tokens to choose from including filename, date, shoot name and sequence. We can also set a start number here too. Next we select a shoot name and can select a containing shoot. We can automatically set deeper containing shoots by using ‘/’ between our containing shoots, e.g. 2006/aug/studio/fashion1. Next we can apply a Metadata or Develop Preset to our image. Finally we can keyword our new images.
For Auto Import to work the chosen folder that we want to watch must be empty. It will not work otherwise. I know, I’ve tried it. When Lightroom imports the file into the library it then deletes the original and waits on the next image to show in the folder. It was able to cope no problem with a burst from my 20D.
To actually make use of this form of tethering we must run our camera’s capture software, which in the case of Canon is now EOS utility. We run EOS utility in the background and then let Lightroom take care of the importing. When a file is imported it simply goes to the Grid view. A few of us have asked for it to update the image in Loupe view to give a full screen view of the image, Adobe responded well to the suggestion so fingers crossed for Beta 4.

4 thoughts on “Tethered in Lightroom?

  1. I usually do shoot RAW. And I’m on 10.4. I’ll do a quick runthrough soon. (I’m on holiday but have camera with me)
    Which software are you using to tether? EOS Capture or EOS Utility?

  2. So I’m curious, are you shooting in RAW on a Mac?

    I can’t seem to get tethering to funcion with canon’s software. Near as I can tell from Canon’s tech support, they didn’t offer teathering for the 20D on the mac because Mac 10.4 had it built in — but the Mac software only handles jpegs.

    If (in lightroom) I still have to shoot, remove the cf card, and put it in a card reader, then having a “watched folder seems pretty useless because I’d have to redirect the software to a new folder everytime I put a CF card in.

    I shoot primarily product work, and moving the card back and forth every time I shoot a test is becoming more of a pain — thus tethering is a VERY important function to me.

    If you’ve figured out a way to simplify that using the watched folder, I’d like to know how.

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