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Shooting with Your Camera Tethered to Lightroom

Learn how to use tethered capture in LightroomWith Lightroom Classic and earlier versions, you can connect your camera to your computer with a USB cable, and as you shoot, have the images immediately and automatically imported into Lightroom. This is not only handy for studio portrait and product photographers who want to judge sharpness and review images with their clients immediately, but it’s also handy for amateurs: whether you’re at home and tethered to your desktop computer with a long USB cable, or out in the field with your laptop, you can immediately judge sharpness and composition of your macro flower shots, night photos of star trails, and much more.

Tethered Capture is only supported in Lightroom for certain Nikon, Canon and Leica cameras. Mac Sierra and High Sierra are not compatible with tethered capture in Lightroom 5 – upgrade to Lightroom 6 or Classic if you want to use this feature.

Watch my video tutorial below to learn how to use all the features of Tethered Capture in Lightroom. This is one of 101 videos in my 22-hour Lightroom 5, 6 and Classic 7: The Fundamentals & Beyond video series.

For best quality, after hitting Play click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.

If you enjoyed this video, I bet you’d enjoy the 101 videos in  my Lightroom 5, 6 and Classic 7: The Fundamentals & Beyond video series!

2018-07-01T14:28:31+00:00 June 28th, 2018|4 Comments


  1. Erick Wand June 29, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Laura, thanks for sharing your tips and techniques. Your video explanation saved me research time in learning if Lightroom might have updated their tethered capture process in recent versions. I enjoy your clear and concise teaching style.

    In our image750 bottle shot studio, we are always tethered, but not using Lightroom’s Tethered Capture. We desire far more control over the capture before the image is transferred to Lightroom. Canon’s Live View and EOS Utility application provide nearly complete access to camera settings from the tethered computer. Live viewing of the composition and remote access are wonderfully convenient. For example, focus preview and adjustments are extremely well executed and a real time saver in our workflow. Once the shutter is triggered, the shot is then automatically transferred to Lightroom where all the benefits you indicated in your video are available.

    The issue I’m having, however, is getting the file to automatically transfer into Lightroom without having the “Import” dialogue pop up each time. I’ve tried various combinations of Lightroom’s Auto Import Settings but have not found a way to eliminate that darn “Import” screen. It’s a minor nuisance to dismiss the dialogue after every shot, but it would be terrific if there were a way the images to get transferred seamlessly.

    Have you encountered this and perhaps have insights to share?

    Thank you,

    • Laura Shoe June 29, 2018 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome, Erick. Thank you for pointing out that one can do tethered capture outside of Lightroom. From my (fairly limited) experience with this, as long as in the Auto Import dialog you specify a watched folder and a destination folder, and the destination folder is accessible (i.e. on a drive that is plugged in, has read and write permissions and space available), and you check the “Enable Auto Import” box at the top, your images should auto-import as soon as they are added to the watched folder, without the Import dialog opening. The Import dialog opening suggests to me that LR doesn’t think the destination is accessible and is prompting you to specify one that is – but I’m just guessing. I’d suggest posting in the Adobe Lightroom forum.

  2. Don Dement June 30, 2018 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Is it just possible that the Edit/Preferences box for “show import dialogue when card is detected” is checked, and that there’s an inadvertent recognition of that during tethered shooting mode? I’d at least check that one out and report back if it changes anything.

    • Laura Shoe July 1, 2018 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Good idea, Don!

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