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How do I transfer pictures from my Canon T4i to my Surface Pro tablet automagically after each shutter click?

Posted on 2013-05-11
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Last Modified: 2013-05-11
Recently, I've been having a lot of fun re-taking photographs shot over a hundred years ago. The challenge is to find the _exact location_ that the original shot was taken from and then to frame it as close to the original as possible (and attempting to compensate for any aspect ratio / perspective differences because cameras back in those days used simpler lenses)

On my blog, I take the original and then slowly fade-in the modern shot and then fade back to the original in a loop. The results are quite pleasing/cool if the shots are composed such that all of the objects / buildings / landmarks are aligned.

Currently, my approach is to superimpose a picture of the aiming dots from my Canon T4i's viewfinder over the original picture and then print it out and put it on my clipboard (a real one) that I take with me as a reference for setting up the shot. I use the dots as a guide for framing the shot and it can work quite well if I'm _lucky_ enough to have taken the pic from the _exact_ same spot as the original photographer and the gods of perspective and camera lense physics are on my side (which is usually not the case).

Being off by a foot can make a world of difference so I usually take 50-75 variations of the shot hoping that one of them will turn out. I then hop back on my bike and take the camera home and load the images onto my PC .

I wrote a little VB.net program that displays the original shot in a window and then lets me zip through the 50-75 shots I took by superimposing them onto the original. It also lets me play with sizing so within a couple of minutes I can audition all of the shots and see if I'm going to have to go back and try again. The program also automates Photoshop so that if I find a shot that I think is close, it will load it, along with the original shot into Photoshop as separate opaque layers where I can prepare the final images for my blog.

I have a MS Surface Pro Tablet and it seems to me that if I loaded my little VB.net program onto it and took it with me, I could preview my shots in the field and not have to take all those "hail-mary" shots.

So I need a way to get the shots from my camera onto my Surface Pro automagically. I want to be able to take a shot with the camera and within 5-10 seconds be able to see them on my Surface Pro tablet.

My camera (Canon T4i) doesn't support wireless and requires that I connect a USB cable or pop out the memory card in order to transfer shots to my computer.

Can anyone suggest a way to get the pictures from the camera to PC/Laptop/Tablet as they are taken?

Since I do this on my bike rides, I have to travel light and everything must fit into my backpack. I need to be able to take the shots manually (camera in hand) and don't use a tripod because some shots require that you crawl into weird and wonderful places (hedges, bushes and porches etc. that weren't there a hundred years ago).

In a perfect world, my camera's memory card would be visible to my PC/Laptop/Tablet as a mapped networked drive and my program could simply monitor the appropriate folder to detect when a new image appears.

I would consider buying a new camera because I have GAS. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions
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Question by:ou81aswell
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3 Comments
 
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by:
Paul Sauvé earned 300 total points
ID: 39158586
since you mention that:
My camera (Canon T4i) doesn't support wireless and requires that I connect a USB cable or pop out the memory card in order to transfer shots to my computer.
you should use the USB cable supplied with your Cannon T4i. I don't know if the Surface has a USB port, but the laptop surely does. Keep the camera connected with the USB cable to the Surface or the laptop and transfer each pic as required. You can then test 'on the fly' if the pic is OK...

EDIT:
Otherwise, you should get a camera with Bluetooth capability, also required for the PC, the Surface has this built-in.
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by:tailoreddigital
tailoreddigital earned 200 total points
ID: 39158707
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Author Closing Comment

by:ou81aswell
ID: 39158934
Wired

Although I had envisioned a wireless solution, the suggestion to hook it up via a USB cable led me to the Canon EOS Utility (already installed on my machine) which appears to do EXACTLY what I want including letting me superimpose the photo I'm trying to re-take on top of a live preview from the camera. It's got grids to help with alignment aswell. I recall seeing the utility when I first bought the camera last summer but it was of no interest to me so I promptly forgot about it..

I installed the Canon EOS Utility on a Surface Pro and it works like a charm in my office (fingers crossed). Since the camera will have to be tethered to the Surface Pro, I'm going to take a lightweight tripod out with me to test it when it stops raining.

Wireless

I stopped by my local camera shop and ordered an 8Gig Eye-Fi card. I hope this turns out to be as convenient as it would seem to be!

Thanks.
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