Tethering a camera in Adobe Lightroom for overhead photography and camera scanning

When it comes to overhead photography and camera scanning, precision and control are paramount. This is where tethering - the process of connecting your camera to a computer - proves invaluable. Tethering allows you to preview your shots, adjust settings, and even trigger the shutter from your computer screen. In this post, we will walk you through the process of tethering your camera in Lightroom for overhead photography and camera scanning.


We're assembling this guide to help our customers get better results with their foot pedal remotes - a tool to work hands free when it comes to bulk processing images and objects for camera scanning.

Choosing Your Equipment
Not all cameras support tethering, so your first step is to ensure that you have a compatible camera. Most modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras from major manufacturers like Canon, Nikon, and Sony support this feature. For overhead photography and camera scanning, you'll also need a sturdy tripod or with an overhead arm or an overhead camera stand and we recommend our custom shutter release.

Setting Up Your Equipment
The key to great overhead photography and camera scanning is a stable and well-positioned camera. Mount your camera on the tripod or stand, ensuring it is securely fastened and directly overhead. For the best results, your lighting should be even and diffused to avoid harsh shadows.

Connecting Your Camera to Lightroom classic
Connecting your camera to Lightroom Classic is straightforward. Start by connecting your camera to your computer using a USB cable. 

Lightroom Classic File Menu for tethering

Open Adobe Lightroom Classic, navigate to the "File" menu, and select "Tethered Capture" then "Start Tethered Capture." In the "Tethered Capture Settings" dialog box, select your camera model from the drop-down list and create a new session.

Using Lightroom for Overhead Photography and Camera Scanning
Now that your camera is tethered, you can control your camera settings right from Lightroom. The "Tethered Capture" bar allows you to adjust settings such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. To test connectivity try clicking the shutter button on the control bar or by stepping on the connected foot pedal shutter release.

Camera tether control bar in Adobe Lightroom Classic

As each photo is taken, it will immediately appear in Lightroom. This allows you to review your images in real-time and make adjustments as necessary. You can even apply presets or adjust color balance, exposure, and other settings for an efficient workflow.

For camera scanning, Lightroom's "Auto Import" feature can be a game-changer. You can set up a watched folder that Lightroom will monitor, automatically importing any new images that appear.

Tips and Tricks
Tethering your camera in Lightroom for overhead photography and camera scanning gives you a level of control and efficiency that's hard to match. It may take some getting used to, but the benefits far outweigh the learning curve. So go ahead, try it out, and discover a new way of capturing images that works best for you.

Adjusting Your Capture Settings in Lightroom Classic
You can tailor your photography experience with these Lightroom Classic capture settings.To tweak capture settings, click the Settings button in the lower-right corner of the floating bar. You can adjust the Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, and White Balance straight from the floating capture bar.

To snap a photo, click the shutter release button—the large round circle—or use your camera’s own shutter release button, or pedal foot switch release.

Customize your image on the fly by selecting a preset from the Develop Settings pop-up menu.

If you're grouping photos by shots, create a new shot by pressing Ctrl+Shift+T (Windows) or Command+Shift+T (macOS). Alternatively, click the current shot name and input a new one.

Mastering Live View Tethering in Lightroom Classic
Here's how to experience real-time image capture with Lightroom Classic's Live View tethering. Click Live on the Tether bar to initiate the live feed from your camera in a separate window.

You can then hone your image's sharpness directly from the Tether bar's Focus Control buttons. Toggle the AF button to switch the Auto Focus mode on or off. If Auto Focus is disabled, take advantage of the "<<" and ">>" buttons for manual focus control.

How to Show or Hide the Tether Bar in Lightroom Classic
Manage your workspace with this handy shortcut, to toggle the floating tethered capture bar, press Ctrl+T (Windows) or Command+T (macOS).

Wrapping Up Your Tethered Capture Session in Lightroom Classic
When you're finished with your session, you can end the session by either closing the floating tethered capture bar or selecting File > Tethered Capture > Stop Tethered Capture.

If you encounter any issues during tethered capture, don't panic. Ensure your camera is on, the USB cable is properly connected to your computer, and the camera is recognized by Lightroom. Sometimes, simply restarting Lightroom and/or your camera can resolve connection issues.

Additional things to try if a hard reset didn't work:

Canon EF 100M Macro lens optimized for overhead camera scanning
  • Make sure to pay attention to the focal distance of your lens. If you're trying to capture an overhead image that's too close to your subject, you might need to elevate your camera. This ensures that your lens' minimum focal distance is met.
  • Try using the foot pedal with another compatible Canon camera to confirm if it functions correctly. This can help determine whether the issue lies with the camera or the foot pedal itself. 
  • If you're using an OEM continuous power supply while tethered, be aware that some camera models may limit data functionality. Consider swapping to a battery produced by your camera's manufacturer as an alternative to continuous power.
  • If you're shooting without a card, ensure your camera is configured to do so. Check the settings menus and either adjust your camera to shoot without a memory card or insert one.
  • Confirm that your shutter is in a mechanical shooting mode, in some models an electronic shutter cannot be fired by an external cable release.
  • Ensure that the lens is entirely seated on the camera body and the communication contacts are free from dust and debris.

top down view of an image shooting mode dial on a canon 5d

  • Experiment with your camera in different image modes like manual mode or bulb mode. Some camera models may have specific requirements for pairing with a certain shooting modes on your camera.
  • Access your camera's menu and navigate to the custom function settings or the shooting settings. Look for options related to remote shutter release or external accessories. You might need to adjust these settings to enable or configure a foot pedal.
  • Lastly, make sure you're running the most recent version of Lightroom Classic and that your camera's firmware is up to date. You can check for updates on your camera manufacturer's website.

    Please note, this is a general guide and steps may vary depending on the specific camera and computer model.

    Here's a list of all of the camera models currently compatible with Lightroom Classic's tethering feature - minimum software requirements are available via the Adobe Support Hub:

    • Canon
      • EOS 1D Mark II, EOS 1D Mark III, EOS 1Ds Mark II, EOS 1Ds Mark III, EOS 1D Mark IV, EOS 1DX Mark II, EOS 1DX Mark III, EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 100D (Rebel SL1/EOS Kiss X7), EOS 350D (Rebel XT/EOS Kiss Digital N), EOS 400D (Rebel XTi/EOS Kiss Digital X), EOS 450D (Rebel XSi/EOS Kiss X2), EOS 500D (Rebel T1i/EOS Kiss X3 Digital), EOS 550D (Digital Rebel T2i/EOS Kiss X4 Digital), EOS 600D (Rebel T3i/EOS Kiss X5), EOS 650D (Rebel T4i/EOS Kiss X6i), EOS 700D (Rebel T5i/EOS Kiss X7i), EOS 760D (Rebel T6s), EOS 750D (Rebel T6i), EOS 1000D (Rebel XS/EOS Kiss F), EOS 1100D (Rebel T3/EOS Kiss X50), EOS 1300D (Rebel T6, Kiss X80), EOS 2000D (Rebel T7), EOS Rebel T5, EOS 1D X, EOS 5D, EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R, EOS 6D, EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 7D, EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 20D, EOS 30D, EOS 40D, EOS 50D, EOS 60D, EOS 70D, EOS 77D, EOS 80D, EOS 800D, EOS 850D, EOS Kiss X 10i, EOS M50, EOS R, EOS R3, EOS R5, EOS R6, EOS Ra, EOS R7, EOS R10
    • Nikon
      • D3, D3S, D3X, D4, D4S, D5, D6, D90, D300, D300S, D500, D600, D610, D700, D750, D780, D800, D800E, D810, D810A, D850, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500, DF, Z5, Z6, Z6 II, Z7, Z7 II, Z9
    The following Canon camera models support Live View in Lightroom Classic:
    • Canon
      • EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 6D, EOS 5D Mark II (Live view for Canon 5D M2 works only with the Still Only mode), EOS 7D, EOS 80D, EOS 5DS, EOS R3, EOS R5, EOS R6
    • Nikon
      • D500, D610, D750, D850, Z6, Z7


    Additional Lightroom Classic tethering troubleshooting tips are available on the Adobe Support Hub

    If you believe your camera's pedal is experiencing mechanical failure, don't hesitate to reach-out and we can help you get it repaired ASAP. There's a chatbox in the bottom right corner of the site that will leave a message with us if we're not immediately available to help you out.



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