How to Connect Canon Camera to Computer While Shooting

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There are many ways you can connect your Canon camera to the computer while shooting. This allows you to view your images on your computer while shooting. You can do this through the different software available on the market.

How to Connect a Canon Camera to a Computer While Shooting

There are many ways you can connect your Canon camera to your computer. One is wireless which involves connecting through WIFI. Another way you can connect is through a wire connection. 

Man checking his shots from his camera

What Equipment Do You Need to Shoot Tethered?

  • You need a tethering cable. You need to see that your cable is compatible with your computer. (The new MacBook only has a USB-C input). Also, make sure that the length of the cable allows you enough flexibility to move around. However, it should not be too long as it leads to slower transfer speeds.
  • You need the right software. Adobe Lightroom, Capture One and EOS work perfectly.
  • While this one is optional, you can also get a platform or table. This is essential if you are setting this up outdoors because a raised platform will allow you to see what you are capturing.

Connecting Wirelessly

You can easily connect your Canon camera to your computer wirelessly thanks to the new technology available. However, you must ensure that your camera has a Wi-Fi connection feature by going into settings, and then connectivity to turn the Wi-Fi on. After that you need to follow these steps:

  1. First, you need to see if you are connecting to a MacBook or a Windows computer. Windows computers are more compatible with Canon software and hence it is advisable to use a Windows computer if you are planning to connect wirelessly.
  2. Next, you need to connect your desktop or laptop to a reliable WIFI connection. This is extremely necessary because it makes the process smoother.
  3. Next, download the required software from your Canon manual. This software is needed to make sure that your computer recognizes your camera when it is connected. 
  4. After that, fetch your camera and switch it on. You will now need to turn on the wireless Canon camera transmission. You will find this in settings, in the connectivity tab. If that does not work, try the hotspot app.
  5. Now your computer will start getting the wireless signals from your Canon camera. You will have to wait for your computer to recognize them and connect to them.
  6. After connecting, your computer will open the folder of your photos on your camera. Make sure the computer has space because the size of some pictures can be quite large. 
  7. Now you can shoot with your camera while being connected to your computer. However, you need to make sure that you do not go too far while shooting because your connection will break.  
LCD panel of a Canon camera

Connecting With a Wire

A lot of cameras do not come with a WIFI connection option and some that do are buggy, which puts you in a conundrum However, you can always connect your Canon camera to your computer with a wire. You just can use any of the following software for this purpose.


Lightroom is one of the most accessible software out there because many photographers use it for editing their photos. Through the following steps Lightroom can be used to connect your Canon camera to your computer:

  1. Make sure your camera is closed when you do this.
  2. Assuming you already have Lightroom, open the app. Go to File and under Tethered capture, you will find Start tether capture. Click on it to start. You will be shown a toolbar here to adjust the settings on your camera.
  3. Next to Exposure settings, you will see a live view button. Click on that and now you will be able to view what your camera is capturing in real-time.
  4. You can now adjust the ISO settings, Aperture priority. Moreover, after you are done capturing you can save it on your computer and edit it directly on Lightroom.

Capture One

Capture One is a custom software built to connect your cameras to your computer. It is a paid app and works with most camera models including Canon. You need to follow these steps for the process:

  1. Download and install the application on your computer.
  2. Open the application and make sure that your camera model is the only one that is selected.
  3. Connect your camera to your computer, ensure that it is closed at this moment.
  4. Go to the capture tool tab and here you can adjust whether you want the live view option or not. You even have the option to adjust your camera settings once connected.

EOS Utility

While Lightroom and Capture one are paid options, you can also use the EOS utility for tethering your Canon camera to your computer for free. It is also released by Canon itself and will hence work best with the camera. You just need to follow these steps:

Man connecting his Canon camera to his laptop
  1. Go to the Canon website and download EOS Utility. 
  2. Connect your camera to your computer through a wire. Make sure your camera is closed at this time.
  3. Install it and open the software. After that go to the remote setting option.
  4. You will now be able to use the EOS interface. Go to live view mode to see what your camera is capturing right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Advantages of Tethering?

  • If you are able to see the picture on a large live screen as soon as you capture it, you are better able to focus on what you are trying to capture. 
  • It allows you to see if there are any problems with the picture easily and quickly. This puts you in the right direction.
  • The camera screens usually have low resolution while the cameras have the ability to capture around 20-24 megapixels. Hence, you are not able to see all the details on the camera screen, which you will be able to see on your computer.
  • The remote device or your computer allows you to control your camera. You can use a remote trigger for example.
  • You can directly transfer the file. This hence reduces chances of data loss and saves time later on.

What Are the Disadvantages of Tethering?

  • Tethering leads to a quick drain of your battery on both your phone and your computer and hence you are able to capture fewer shots than normal.
  • You need to purchase extra equipment which just adds to the cost of photography.
  • It can lead to a lot of time wastage because you first have to set everything up and then you constantly look at the pictures on your computer and can get caught up in them.
  • Moreover, the software is very buggy and can stop working anytime. It is thus not very reliable. 


It is essential to know how to connect your Canon camera to the computer while shooting to get the most out of it. You can either do it through a wire or wirelessly. All of this allows you to get better-quality images, but try not to get too caught up with it.