My children — aged 4 and 2 — love using the Playstation Eye camera and EyeCreate software on our PS3. The shots they take, though grainy and small, are spontaneous and full of joy because they can see the picture right away; there is immediate feedback on what they shoot. They have a blast and it shows. However, point a “real camera” at them and they become awkward and stiff. What to do?
I looked into so-called “tethered mode” shooting. This means that you connect your camera to your computer and the photos are transferred directly to it. The last photo taken is displayed on the screen. I figured I could point a monitor at the children and give them the same kind of feedback that they get on the PS3 and hope for magic.
I pawed through the software that came with my Nikon D70. No joy.
I own a copy of Capture NX 2. Surely either that or some freeware on the Nikon site would take care of this. A quick search showed that Canon shooters get this functionality for free (as it should be) but Nikon has the temerity to charge US$180 for a product called Camera Control. I downloaded a 30-day trial copy from the Nikon US site. In my estimation, it is overpriced. Plus, it takes a long time to transfer the images to the PC but in fairness this is probably a limitation of USB.
Enter DIYPhotobits Camera Control. It does exactly what I need: I can tether my D70 to my computer (sorry, Mac users but the script is for Windows). It is still slow but maybe it’ll loosen the kids up a bit. I will let you know how it goes.
Now I just need to set up my home studio. Man, did I pick an expensive hobby.