Shooting Tethered

Capture One Pro 7 has long been the industry standard for fast and reliable capture directly from your DSLR to your computer. Simply plug your compatible DSLR into Capture One Pro and begin capturing tethered immediately, with these benefits:

  • Instant capture with plug and play connection
  • Live View directly in Capture One Pro with remote focus control
  • Remote camera control with Mode, Capture Format, Aperture, Shutter, ISO, Exposure Compensation, Flash Mode and Metering functionality (where compatible)
  • Easy composition mode and more!

Capturing tethered with Capture One Pro 7 makes collaboration on productions easy, especially with Capture Pilot for iOS and web enabled devices. Capture Pilot allows additional people working on the set to view and rate images as the shoot takes place. Photographers can also use Capture Pilot as a remote capture device enabling control of the basic camera parameters.

In this tip, I will go through the main benefits of using Capture One Pro and tethered capture for your next shoots and give some advice on best practice for reliability.

Good Practice for Tethered Capture

A simple connection from the camera to your computer is all that is needed to get up and running for a tethered session, but to ensure reliability it is worthwhile investing in a good quality USB cable.

The maximum length of a USB cable is normally limited to 5 meters (approx 15 feet) to obtain good transfer speeds and reliability. However, you may find your own computer equipment may not be able to sustain a reliable connection even at that distance. Therefore, you should experiment to find the limits of your own system.

To solve this issue, add a powered USB hub or even an active extension cable. Good quality cables are available from many retailers including Tether Tools also have a good compatibility guide for USB cables. Check it out

If the connection to the camera is not very secure, think about ensuring that the cable is secured in some other way to the laptop and camera.The JerkStopper Camera Support is ideal for tethering ensuring the cable stays in and protects your camera from any stress or strain.

We can often capture a great deal of images when we work tethered so make sure you have plenty of space on your hard drive to cope with the high volumes of data. An SSD or a high RPM hard drive will help with speeding up the time from capture to the image being displayed on screen.

Setting up Capture One Pro

Before starting your tethered capture session, take a look at the Capture tab in the Capture One Pro Preferences and make sure your camera model is the only option selected.


Capture One Pro uses the respective manufacturers SDK (Software Development Kit) to enable the tethered capture functionality. The different SDK’s can interfere with each other, therefore it is best to disable the options not in use.

Storage Options

Captures can be shot directly into a Catalog or a Session. It is up to you what method you want to choose but most of our users choose to use a Session to work tethered. To find out more about Catalogs and Sessions, read some of my earlier tips:

Beginning Capture

After connecting your camera and deciding on which method of file management to choose, it is then a simple matter of looking at the tools in the Capture tool tab.


This tool tab contains all the necessary tools to control your camera, set file naming, control how image adjustments are handled and work with Capture Pilot. For more detail on setting up these parameters, watch our Tethered Shooting Tutorial below:

Only keep the images you need with Composition Mode

Capturing tethered can produce a lot of images that you don’t need! Sometimes it is wasteful writing every single one to disc, especially when you are setting up the shot. Therefore you can enable Composition Mode, which only keeps the last capture stored on disc. You can enable it in the Camera menu below.


Warning signs are overlaid in the Viewer to make sure you are aware that Composition Mode is activated.


Control your camera remotely and get Live View

One of the strengths of working with Capture One Pro and a tethered camera is Live View and remote focus control. It is a huge compositional aid to be able to have a high quality live image as you are used to on the camera’s LCD screen, shown in Capture One Pro. Live View can be started by clicking on this icon in the Camera Tool.


Use the controls in the Live View window to focus the camera accurately and aid your composition.  See this in action here
Compose your images accurately with the Overlay function

Another compositional aid is the overlay function. This is available directly in the Viewer and also in Live View. It allows you to super impose any image over the top of your current image. This could be a layout to fit to a magazine cover for example or to help in capturing a series of similar images.

I wrote a blog post about this in December: Composition Overlay with Capture One Pro 7

View the progress of your shoot wirelessly with Capture Pilot

Finally, Capture Pilot can really help you to collaboratively share the progress of a capture session. Capture Pilot is an iOS application for Apple Products that allows you to wirelessly view the shoot in progress. Users of Capture Pilot can view and rate images on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch.

Use Capture Pilot to keep clients away from your main capture station and as an extra preview for yourself and your subject. All you need is for your iOS device and Capture station to be on the same network. If you don’t have access to an apple device then any web enabled device can work with Capture Pilot, but with less functionality.

Watch the tutorial below for more information on Capture Pilot:

I hope this summary blog post has inspired you to try our feature-packed tethered capture solution.  For a list of compatible cameras for tethered capture, click here.


All the best,





August 8 2013

By The Image Quality Professor

Category: Professor Tips Tags:
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  • The Image Quality Professor
    The Image Quality Professor

    The digital pioneer, Niels V. Knudsen, is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor and founder of the IQP blog. Moreover, he is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in Capture One Pro.

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    Comments (29)

    Allan Marshall

    Where is the recent webinar, on this. Have a link sent to me. Unable to find it through this link.
    Also the recent webinar on sessions, missed the first part. So would love to see it again to catch up..

    Hi Allan,

    The webinars page is updated continously, and it usually takes some time after a webinar is done, until the video is converted, uploaded and then added to the website. We are working on improving the workflow.

    Hi Niels,

    I’m considering to buy a new laptop (Retina or last non Retina model) and was wondering what are your feedback with Macbook Pro Retina?
    I remember a discussion with you Niels last year for launching CO 7 in Paris, you was prefering a non Retina Macbook Pro, arguying that the Retina display will need more power due to the increase of definition.

    Did you made some tests beetween Retina and non Retina macbook pro and how is the situation today?

    Thanks a lot in advance


    The Image Quality Professor

    Hi Olivier,

    Thanks for your question. There is not a simple answer though.

    The old non Retina Macs has some advantages over the new Retina Macs like:

    – Build in FireWire port. If you work tethered with a Phase One back
    you can even supply power for the back via the FireWire port. If you
    use external FireWire discs they will also be powered directly through
    the FireWire port.
    – Can be configured with discs and RAM of your choice
    – Can be configured with the non glossy screen
    – Screen resolution absolutely OK without the need to process 4 times more pixels. With the non Retina Macs the best
    speed optimizer is to get it with the fast Solid State Disc drive.

    The Retina Mac:
    – The Retina display is generally a better display than the non retina
    displays and they are not very sensitive to the viewing angle.
    – The Retina Macs typically come with a more powerful GPU especially the
    latest one. If you process lots of files from your laptop then the extra GPU power
    will give you a benefit as Capture One can process files using the GPU.

    The downside is the screen resolution, which for most photographic task
    only give you slower update rates as it needs to process 4 times more
    pixel for the monitor. With the latest GPU version on the Retina Macs
    this extra GPU speed will probably make up for the extra pixels needed.

    If you need FireWire you will need an adaptor and you can not supply
    power for the camera back via the adaptor.
    As you can not upgrade the Retina Macs you need to buy it with the
    right amount of RAM and the right disc size. If you work with large
    files from digital backs I will make sure to get 16G RAM.
    Today the Retina Macs comes only with the fast Solid State Discs drives,
    which makes many task in capture one run faster.

    All the best,

    Can you tell me if these bogs are all archived, and is there an index, or is my only option to use the previous and next blog button to access the blogs?

    David Grover

    There is not an index per se, but you can use the search option in the top right hand corner.

    I wondered if you could help, I am having problems with file naming.

    Sometimes when I shoot tethered I like to untether my camera and run around and shoot some images to the card in my camera. However when I download the images from the card to my laptop at the end of the day, it’s hard for me to sort the images into the right order. As quite frequently I travel and camera and laptop are on different times, so to sort by ‘time of capture’ will not sort the images into the order in which they were shot during the day, they will be all jumbled up.

    I was wondering if there was any way to set up the tethered capture to name the files the same as what the camera would name them if the images were being written to a CF card, instead of on to the laptop. I thought the naming option in CP1- ‘camera counter’ would be the naming that I wanted, but it just seems to be a four digit number and not the number the camera would natively name a file. Which would make sorting my files into chronological order for the day very easy after my tethered and CF Card images were combined.

    Any help would be much a appreciated


    The Image Quality Professor

    Hi Daniel,

    Unfortunately the option in C1 to use “Camera counter” in a tethered workflow only works for Phase One backs. If a Canon or Nikon is tethered to Capture One there is no way of asking the camera of the current capture counter. We recognized the need for being able to shoot both tethered and un-tethered in the same session as you described and therefore we implemented the option of getting the camera counter from the camera back.

    All the best,

    Frank Justesen

    I often have some problem with tethered shooting with Capture Pilot – I use Nikon D 7100 and half of the time I loose the connection. Do you think it could be the usb cable and Can you recommend an usb cable better than the original cables

    Thanks in advance and greetings from Copenhagen – Frank

    David Grover

    Hi Frank,

    Lots of things to consider with USB!

    – Is it the right length? No more than 3m
    – Is your USB port carrying enough power? For example on my MacBook Pro I can only tether from one port
    – Consider using a USB powered hub

    Its normally one of those things as USB tethering should be very reliable.



    one photo, tethered, then capture on no longer recognizes the camera

    have to reboot?

    David Grover

    Hi Gregory,

    Its impossible to diagnose your issue without any system information.

    Therefore make a support case for the fastest response..


    David weston

    I had a huge issue shooting with capture one today.
    It was my first product shoot and found the need to shoot tethered for the first time.

    The images were being imported into capture one directly. Midway through the shoot, capture one crashed. Restarted and continued.

    Now I can’t seem to open the catalog. It keeps giving me an error message saying its corrupted. I’m freaking out and don’t know what to do to recover my files. Please help!

    The Image Quality Professor

    Hi David,

    Sorry to hear that you had a problem with Capture One today. I cannot say exactly what the problem is without having more details, but if you log a Support ticket our skilled Support team will help you asap:

    All the best,

    can I have a live preview image full screen?

    David Grover

    You could certainly enlarge the Live View window to fill the screen, yes.

    Alejandro Muñoz

    Is Eye-Fi supported? I know most of the Pentax (if one) are supported for tethered shots, however, Eye-Fi seems to solve part of this sending the info to the Workstation, so, could be possible to use it as a walkaround for tethering?
    Regards and I’m leaning to get a license for CO Pro 8!

    David Grover

    I would assume Eye-Fi would work as you could just capture into a hot folder in Capture One, then they would be automatically added.


    I like to test the 8.0 trial version but cant`t shoot with the Nikon D7100 tethered. In the Capture Settings are only Leaf and Mamiya as providers listed.

    With other software packages I´ve no problems. I use a iMac with OS 10.9.5.

    Do you have a solution for me?

    Best Jörg

    David Grover

    Hi Jorg,

    I am guessing you have started up Capture One in DB version in the trial. Go to the Capture One Menu and choose, “Licence” and revert to the trial. Make sure you start up in Capture One Pro.

    Tethering with the D7100 should work fine.


    Hi David,

    yes, it woks!
    Thank you very much.

    All the best

    i have a p45+ back and i recently bought a new i mac.
    I also bought the thunderbolt to firewire adapter but the firewire cable that i have doesn’t fit,are there more than one firewire cables?
    thank you in advance

    David Grover

    Hi Minos,

    There is Firewire 400 and 800 which have different plug types.

    You can get a Firewire 800 to 400 cable.



    I just have tried to shot tethered today. Very nice feature as I also set up the server for iPad Capture Pilot and let the customer look straight onto the process.
    I have a Canon 5dm3 and wonder if there’s the option to store files to the camera memory card as into C1 catalog at the same time?
    It’s even very good practice to have a backup in case of any failure with soft/hardware.
    Thank you!

    David Grover

    Hi Egor,

    It is not possible to save images to the memory card at the same time. If you are looking for a backup solution, it is far safer to use a utility like ChronoSync on the capture station.


    Gautier pellegrin

    Im really struggling with this, and its the main reason i’m using bridge and the native Canon software more than capture one right now : Is there no way to review my pics on my camera on the fly as i shoot tethered ? if i go to my computer and tell my assistant to let me look at the screen every time i want to see what my work looks like i loose all spontaneity and it becomes a very tedious job getting the right vibe out of my models… how do you deal with this ? thanks in advance

    David Grover

    Hi Gautier,

    Why not set up an iPad / iPhone next to your camera running capture pilot. Then you have the ability to see instant high res previews on a large screen.

    Get Capture Pilot from the app store.

    Alternatively, run a second monitor to your capture area.


    Milan Podsedly

    I am shooting tethered with Nikon D7100 into Desktop, Windows 7, Capture 9. Live preview on my computer monitor is very low resolution, If I zoom in, I just get very pixelated images. Since I am doing some macro work using stand, focusing using monitor is very difficult, I never know if I focused right until I take the picture. Have not found any settings regarding this. Is this normal, or I am missing something?

    David Grover

    Hi Milan,

    It is possibly a limitation of the camera, but without seeing an example it is hard to comment!

    I would get in touch with support and show some examples.


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