Wireless File Transmitter Setup Guides

April 27, 2012

Interested in learning more about WFTs? Read the introduction below. 
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Scroll down to the Additional Resources section at the bottom of the page.

The Canon EOS Wireless File Transmitter (WFT) allows you to wirelessly transmit still image files from your camera to a remote computer. When the WFT is set up for WFT Server or EOS Utility Mode, you can use your computer to control camera functions such as Live View, white balance, exposure and focus. Another option is Linked Shooting Mode, which allows you to wirelessly trigger up to ten WFT-linked cameras simultaneously. Compatible cameras and Wireless File Transmitters include:

Camera WFT Model
EOS C300 (remote control access only)
EOS C500 (remote control access only)
EOS-1D Mark IV,
EOS-1D Mark III*
EOS-1Ds Mark III*

With firmware upgrade

Shooting Modes
EOS Wireless File Transmitters offer four shooting modes. The guides are grouped according to mode, as described below, with separate versions for OS X and Windows operating systems. Download the guide most appropriate to your needs. Each version includes instructions for ad hoc and infrastructure network setups. A separate WFT Server Mode guide is available for Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Mode
In FTP Mode, a WFT-equipped EOS camera wirelessly transfers the images it captures to a computer set up as a remote FTP server. Depending on the configurations, one or more WFT-equipped cameras can automatically transfer images to a single computer.

Because FTP Mode is active only when sending image files, it has the least drain on battery power. It is therefore ideal for event photographers who simply need to transmit images from their camera to an onsite laptop computer, where they can be edited, sorted, and processed by an assistant.

WFT Server Mode
WFT Server mode allows you to wirelessly control your camera through any standard web browser installed on your personal computer, tablet, or smartphone. WFT Server Mode offers features similar to EOS Utility Mode (see below) but is less sensitive to disruption and can handle heavier data transfer rates.

When used in Live View mode, the browser will display what the camera sees. Control settings and shooting functions are also available through the browser interface. You can choose whether to have the image files stored on your computer hard drive only or on your computer hard drive plus your camera memory card. Image files you store on the camera’s memory card are displayed in a standard file directory that is accessible by the remote user. WFT Server mode is commonly used in a studio environment and in situations where you may want to remotely control a camera mounted to a ladder, a boom, or scaffolding.

EOS Utility Mode
In EOS Utility Mode, a WFT-equipped camera functions as if it was directly connected to a computer running Canon’s EOS Utility application. (You must have a current version of EOS Utility installed on your computer.) EOS Utility provides full remote control of camera functions such as exposure, white balance, configuration, and Live View, all via a wireless network connection. Image files can be transferred to a single networked computer and/or stored on the camera’s memory card.

Although EOS Utility Mode provides the most camera control options, is the most bandwidth-intensive, draws the most battery power, and is the most sensitive to disruptions. It is best used in a controlled studio environments and at relatively low frame rates.

Linked Shooting Mode
In this mode one WFT-equipped camera is set up as the Master, with the remaining WFT-equipped cameras set up as Slaves. No other equipment or software is necessary. The Master can be set up to trigger the Slaves with intervals and/or delays according to your preference.

Network Configurations
EOS Wireless File Transmitters can be set up in either one of two network configurations, Infrastructure or Ad Hoc:

Infrastructure Configuration
An infrastructure configuration enables you to connect to a computer or computer network via a single wireless access point such as a wireless network router. As long as you are within range of the access point(s), you can roam about without losing connection to the network. Infrastructure connections are generally faster and more stable than ad hoc. They also allow you to connect multiple WFTs through a single access point. On the other hand, an infrastructure configuration requires a few more steps to set up than ad hoc and requires a wireless router to serve as the access point. If your service provider dynamically assigns IP addresses to your router (DHCP) you will also need to update your WFT setup each time your provider assigns a new IP address.

Ad Hoc Configuration
An ad hoc network configuration enables you to create a wireless network that consists of a single WFT-equipped camera linked to a single host computer. This type of connection is most useful in environments where there are no wireless network access points available. Although it can be easier to set up and implement than an infrastructure connection, an ad hoc connection has a slower data transfer rate, draws more battery power, and has a more limited range (generally no more than 30 feet / 10 meters).

Guidelines for Safe and Effective Setup
These Step-by-Step Setup Guides will walk you through how to set up your computer and camera for wireless file transmission with an EOS WFT. They are intended for photographers who are using a WFT with their personal computer systems and who are familiar and comfortable with basic network setup procedures. Although these guides have been tested with the specified equipment and operating systems and are broadly applicable, they cannot be guaranteed to work with every possible hardware and software configuration. Consult with the manufacturer of your computer’s operating system or hardware if you encounter system-related setup issues.

It is important to note that these set-up instructions presume a single photographer is connecting a Canon WFT unit to a single personal computer. We strongly urge users not to attempt to connect to an existing office-type network, but instead to contact their network administrators for assistance or to perform any actual wireless network set-up. Canon USA cannot be held responsible for any network problems caused by trying to connect to an existing computer network, especially in a business or office environment.

Keep in mind that setting up a wireless network, especially with manual IP addresses, is an exacting procedure. Take careful notes of all pre-existing network settings before you change them, as well as any changes you make. The more careful your notes, the easier it will be to troubleshoot any issues that may arise and restore your previous settings. When troubleshooting, first make sure you have set the camera menus exactly as shown in the guide. Once you’re sure the camera menus are correct, concentrate on the computer settings. Pay particular attention to IP address settings and passwords. One misplaced digit, an added space, or a letter in upper vs. lower case can make the difference between success and failure.

Although our setup instructions provide for network security, you are ultimately responsible for maintaining the security of your own wireless network. Be especially careful with FTP mode setups because they require you to open a port in your firewall. Avoid such setups in environments where you risk being “hacked” and restore all firewall settings immediately after you complete an FTP session. Likewise, do not attempt a WFT network setup on someone else’s system without their explicit permission. If you wish to connect with a computer or network that is not yours you must obtain permission from the owner or network administrator. Canon U.S.A., Inc. cannot be held responsible for any network security issues that may result from individual or unauthorized user settings.

The maximum effective range is 150 meters (approximately 450 feet) between the WFT and the receiver (wireless router, computer with WiFi card, slave camera, etc.). The actual range will depend on the size of the WFT antenna (larger units have larger, more powerful antennae), the amount of ambient radio interference, and the type of connection you set up. It’s always a good idea to test the effective range at the actual location before you begin to shoot.

You should also be careful not to exceed the bandwidth capabilities of your wireless network and connection. WiFi networks are not designed to transfer a rapid stream of uncompressed RAW files. We recommend transmitting only JPEG files. When shooting at high frame rates, it’s best to increase the image compression and reduce the pixel dimensions.

The CDLC contributors are compensated spokespersons and actual users of the Canon products that they promote.


Additional Resources

  • WFT Linked Shot Mode
    Link multiple cameras

  • WFT EOS Utility Mode (OS X)
    Infrastructure or Ad Hoc Networks Mac OS X 10.5 - 10.6

  • WFT EOS Utility Mode (Windows)
    Infrastructure or Ad Hoc Networks Windows XP / Windows 7 Professional

  • WFT FTP Mode Ad Hoc Network (Windows 7)
    Ad Hoc Network Windows 7

  • WFT FTP Mode Ad Hoc Network (Windows XP)
    Ad Hoc Setup Windows XP

  • WFT FTP Mode Infrastructure Setup (Windows 7)
    Infrastructure Setup Windows 7

  • WFT FTP Mode Infrastructure Setup (Windows XP)
    Infrastructure Setup Windows XP

  • WFT FTP Mode (OS X)
    Infrastructure & Ad Hoc Networks Mac OS X 10.5 - 10.6

  • WFT Server Mode (iOS)
    Infrastructure & Ad Hoc Networks for Apple iOs Devices

  • WFT Server Mode (OS X)
    Infrastructure & Ad Hoc Networks Macintosh OS X 10.5-10.6

  • WFT Server Mode (Windows)
    Infrastructure & Ad Hoc Networks Windows XP / Windows 7

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