When Canon recently updated the firmware for both the Cinema EOS C300 and C500, they made it possible for more than one person to remotely log in to the camera via the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E6A for the purpose of remote control of camera functions and for entering metadata like script notes, for instance. While only two users can log in at any given time, it is now possible to create ID’s and passwords for three users. However, it’s important to know which User ID(s) to log in with to gain access to the correct camera functions, which depends on whether you want to input metadata, change the ISO, iris, shutter or many other common camera controls.
Originally, the WFT-E6A allowed for only a single user configuration with a very straightforward single user UI (user interface) – and this system still exists, as long as you understand the login procedure. However, taking advantage of the new firmware update that allows for two users – one person to take control of the camera settings, while another inputs metadata – presents a slightly different UI and login procedure.
There have also been other improvements to network configurations that make it simpler to connect. In this blog post, we’ll look at the best setup and log in procedure to hit the ground running with the WFT-E6A, whether you’re using it for a single user sign-on or preparing it for access by two people at the same time.
In the following step-by-step screenshot examples, I’m using a Cinema EOS C300, with the Wi-Fi setup and connection procedure identical to the Cinema EOS C500. Before we get going, I’m assuming that you’ve already attached a WFT-E6A wireless file transmitter to the camera.
All in all, it’s a four-step process: Create a Network, Create User IDs and Passwords, Create Camera Settings, and Login from a Remote Device (User 1 or Users 2 & 3). So, let’s get started.
Let’s start by reviewing the procedure to setup a simple Ad-Hoc, or point-to-point Network, that you’ll more than likely be using on a shoot. This is very similar to the way you may have your computers, tablets and phones connected to a wireless router at home or at the office. Confirm that the Wi-Fi icon is displayed. Also, notice that when we begin, the Wi-Fi icon at the top of the LCD screen is yellow – meaning it is not available to log in because we haven’t setup the network, yet.
Go to [Menu]>[Other Functions]>[Wi-Fi Remote]>[Set Up New]:
Next, select [Connection Wizard] and press SET or push in on the joystick.
Select [Manual] and press SET:
Assuming that you may be using smart phones, tablets, and laptops to access the camera, select the wireless connection mode [AP 11b/g/n], which works best for these devices:
Now, set up the SSID, or network name, that will show up later on you remote devices:
Choose [Input] and use the joystick to enter a name, then press OK. To keep it simple and to help identify it easily when I choose to connect, I’m going with the name of the wireless file transmitter, “WFT-E6A”:
Confirm this SSID by pressing OK:
Select [Auto ch] unless there are other on set conflicts. Press SET/OK:
Similar to setting up your wireless router at home, you can select to encrypt the network here. I suggest skipping encryption unless there is an overwhelming need for this extra security – it will save you time signing on.
Select [Open/No encryption] and press SET/OK.
Next, select the IP address assignment method. Select [Manual]:
Next you need to enter an IP address. You’ll need to remember this number for when you go to connect from a browser. If you forget this number later -- no problem -- the camera offers an easy way to retrieve it.
Enter an IP address, and then press SET:
For the Subnet Mask enter these values and press SET:
Leave the Default Gateway Blank and press SET:
Now, confirm your settings by pressing SET/OK.
You can set up a total of five different networks in the camera, so choose an available one and press SET (If you don’t like the name of the configuration, “No. 1,” you can rename it using the [Wi-Fi Remote]>[Edit] menu):
You’ll be asked to “Save network configuration,” and definitely press SET/OK or all of this hard work will be lost.
This will take a few seconds before you get a confirmation screen. Press OK to exit the Connection Wizard.
The default [Port No.] is 80, and you can leave this port number alone unless you have some other network requirements. To change it, select [Port No.], press SET, and enter a new port forwarding number.
Next, select [Camera ID] and name the camera. This is extremely useful in multicam shoots. This is a good place to call it by the designation given to it on the set, like “ACAM” or ”BCAM,” for instance. This unique identifier will show up on the UI screen in the Live View box after you log in.
Now, navigate to [Other Functions]>[Wi-Fi Remote]>[User Setting] and make IDs for as many as three users. This is a good place to assign IDs by what functions they’ll be able to access just to keep things straight. Here’s how it works: User 1 will be able to access both camera controls and metadata (I’m calling this the “master”). This will be the only User Name you need to make, if only one person is accessing the wireless file transmitter, so you can call it anything you like. User 2 will get only the camera controls, so this could be called “camera.” User 3 will get only metadata, so call this “script” or whatever department is entering notes, like “VFX,” for instance.
For a password, you can use up to eight characters. Here’s my setup:
This is what the [User Setting]>[User Name] interface looks like. Just create a name and press OK:
That completes the in-camera setup. Notice that after a few seconds, if you set everything up right, the Wi-Fi icon at the top of the LCD screen turns white, meaning that it is attached, setup properly and ready for a connection. So now you need to decide which combination of users to configure for the connection. Let’s select User 1 and look at those options first. Remember, User 1 will have the option of accessing both UIs.
In the menus go to [Other Functions]>[Wi-Fi Remote]>[Select User]>[User 1]:
Now, you need to log in to the WFT-E6A from a remote device. This can basically be any smart device that has a wireless connection like a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. For my screenshot examples, I’m using an iPhone and an iPad2, but the Android devices I tested worked about the same.
First, select and join the wireless network you created in camera for the WFT-E6A. Notice that the IP address created in the device is exactly the same as the cameras, except for the last digit, and the subnet mask is the same, also. This makes the device part of the camera’s wireless network.
Now, open a browser window and type the IP address you assigned to the wireless file transmitter (mine was “184.108.40.206”). This brings up an “Authentication Required” login box where you need to enter the [User 1] login information:
When you log in as User 1, you’ll get the Advanced Control UI for the camera settings with “ACAM” in the Live View screen as verification you’ve entered the right camera. Press the “Live View” button to see an image from the camera and go to work...
Now, from this screen you can switch to “Metadata Input” to make scene remarks and script notes...
Or use the condensed version of the UI, “Basic Control,” (works great for smartphones)...
Users 2 & 3
If you intend to use the same device you used for User 1, go to your browser settings and clear the browser history, cookies and data. Alternately, you could go back into the camera and set up an additional network. You might do this, for example, if you wanted to come back and continue the User 1 configuration that allows for accessing the entire WFT-E6A UI.
The main thing to remember in this configuration is that when two users log in at the same time, User 2 will get the Advanced Control screen and User 3 will automatically access the Metadata Input screen. However, these UIs will be slightly different in appearance and function from when a single user joins. Let’s see how this works:
Go into the camera menus and select [Other Functions]>[Wi-Fi Remote]>[Select User]>[Users 2 & 3]. Wait for the Wi-Fi icon box on the Display to turn white:
Go to the tablet, smartphone or laptop and join the wireless network you created for the WFT-E6A:
Open a browser window and type the IP Address for the wireless file transmitter (mine was “220.127.116.11”) and enter the information for either User 2 or User 3 in the Log In window.
User 2 will get a slightly modified version of the Advanced Control screen (there is no way to switch to Metadata Input or the Basic Control screen):
User 3 will get a slightly modified version of the Metadata Input screen (there is no way to switch to the camera’s Advanced Control or Basic Control screen):
One last thing, if you ever need to know the active IP address created for the WFT-E6A (perhaps you were handed the camera body and it had already been setup), you can always access this information by pressing the STATUS button on the left side of the camera. Scroll through the STATUS pages until you reach “Wi-Fi Remote 3/4” page:
For more information about controls and data, download the WFT-E6A Guide for Canon Camcorders from the Canon, USA website.
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