Top Apps to Control Canon, Nikon dSLR with Android Tablet, Phone

Camera on current generation phones is on par with Digital camera we used to carry 5 years ago. And cameras like Samsung Galaxy Camera is perfectly suited for enthusiasts or a normal user who wish to do more.

However, Pros still stick with their dSLR when it comes to real photography. For those with high end camera rigs, a remote control system can be quite useful.

What you need:

  1. Any Nikon or Canon dSLR
  2. Android Phone or Tablet with 3.0 (Honeycomb) or later that support USB Host controller.
  3. Camer USB cable,
  4. Micro-usb to USB converter cable or socket
  5. An android app that lets you control your dSLR via phone/tablet.

There are couple of Applications in Google Play store that  let you control your Nikon or Canon dSLR via Android. We’ve tried couple of them with our very own Nikon and Canon gear, and created a comprehensive list of apps that you can choose to play with.

These DSLR controller apps let you use Android device as a remote shutter as well as take full control over the operations. e.g. You can see Live View, touch to focus, adjust  aperture, shutter speed, flash settings, ISO settings, etc.

dSLR Controller Apps for Canon & Nikon

1. USB Cam Controller

USB Cam Controller uses your USB host-capable Android device to control the shooting on your Canon or Nikon camera.

Key Features:

Canon:

  • Capture
  • Liveview
  • Touch to Focus, change Focus Points
  • ISO Setting

Nikon:

  • Capture
  • Change Focus Points
  • Setting Shutter Speed
  • ISO Setting

Nikon’s LiveView is still in works (at the time of writing). And for Canon Pressing the liveview once turns the camera’s liveview on, pressing it second time turns the liveview on the Android device on. Clicking it third time turns it off.

Video demo:

Download [Play Store] Free

2. CamCap

App is in beta stages, yet good enough to be paid. The app looks very neat but developer claims that as he adds more features, price of the app would go higher.

The app is among our personal favorites since it does good job with almost any modern dslr.

Camera compatibility:
Nikon: D7000, D300s, D70s, D40
Canon: EOS 400D, EOS 450D, EOS 500D, 1D Mark III, 1Ds Mark III

It supports other models too, but developer does not guarantee.

Key Features:
- Tethered shooting
- Change major shooting settings (aperture, shutter speed, etc.)
- Manual focus / Autofocus*
- Live View*
- Bracketing mode for HDR photos
- Time lapse mode
- Transfer images to the device (RAW + JPEG)
- Preview of transferred images (JPEG only)

* This function depends on the capabilities of the connected camera.

Paid $8.00: Download, Free: Download demo [Play Store]

3. Helicon Remote

Helicon Remote is another app we love. Helicon Remote has been long available on desktops (windows) and we loved it.  The version for Android supports both Canon & Nikon.


Requirements:

  • Android 3.1+
  • USB host

Key features:
- Automated focus bracketing
- Advanced exposure bracketing
- Geotagging (on devices with GPS receiver)
- Full screen Live View
- Focus areas highlighting
- Live View noise averaging
- Time lapse shooting
- Video recording (supported cameras: Nikon D5100 / D7000 / D800 / D4, Canon 1d Mk IV / 5D Mk II / 5D Mk III / 7D / 60D / 500D / 550D / 600D / 1100D)
- Hyper focal distance and DOF calculator

Cameras compatibility:

Canon: 1Ds Mark III, 1D Mark IV, 50D, 5D Mark II, 7D, REBELXsi/450D/Kiss X2, EOS Kiss X3/EOS REBEL T1i /EOS 500D, 550D, REBEL XS/1000D and later cameras.
Nikon: D3, D3X, D300, D5000, D90, D700 and later cameras (except for D3000, D3100 and D3200, which are not supported).

Paid version allows you to save images in RAW format, free version only allows JPEG.

Download [Play Store] Free

4. Remote Your Cam USB

Remote Your Cam USB allows you to control your Canon or Nikon DSLR camera from your Android 3.1+ device through USB.

The app does almost everything you would expect, and has support for wide set of Nikon and Canon cameras.

Requirements:

  • Android 3.1+ phone or tablet
  • Canon: EOS 7D, 1000D, etc or Nikon: D5000, D7000, D300, etc.

Key Features:

  • Live View
  • Histogram (Canon only)
  • Lens control
  • Gallery viewer
  • Zooming and panning of picture views
  • Control of the following settings: Shutter speed, Aperture priority, ISO sensitivity, White balance, Color temperature, Exposure compensation,  Exposure metering mode, Picture Style, Auto focus metering mode (Nikon only), Setting the focus point (Nikon only),
  • Setting the focus rectangle in live view (Nikon only)

Download $7.00 Paid,  Download lite Free [Play store]

dSLR Controller Apps for Canon

5. DSLR Controller (Canon)

Full control of your Canon EOS DSLR from your phone or tablet through USB !

DSLR Controller is the first and only app that allows you to fully control your Canon EOS DSLR from your Android device with only a USB cable. No computer or laptop required, no root required, only a compatible mobile device, a compatible camera, and the right USB cable.

Key Features:

- Live View
- Auto Focus (tap Live View)
- Manual focus adjustments (in AF mode)
- Histogram
- Zoom control
- Grid and aspect ratio display
- Bulb capture
- Continuous capture
- Image review (+ follow shot)
- Image filters (peaking, contrast, channel mask, grayscale, 4 modes/filter)
- Video recording
- HDR/Auto Exposure Bracketing
- Focus Bracketing
- Timelapse (incl. HDR)
- Extensive modification of settings
– Shutter speed
– Aperture
– ExpComp and Bracket
– ISO speed
– Auto-Focus Mode
– Focus and Zoom area (tap-and-hold Live View)
– Picture Style
– Drive Mode
– White Balance
– Color Temperature
– Auto-Lighting Optimizer
– Metering Mode
– Image and video quality and format

 

Video demo

Download [Play Store] $8.00

6. DSLR Remote Controller

Allows you control your Canon DSLR from your Android phone or tablet through Arduino Bluetooth Connection!

Unlike other dslr controller apps, this one operates wirelessly over bluetooth. Since cameras don’t have Bluetooth, you need to buy an accessory to make it work. The accessory is available at: http://dslrsystems.com/?page_id=57

Requirements:
- Android 2.0 or Up device
- Canon EOS DSLR
- The Hardware Arduino Bluetooth receiver

Key Features:
- Live View (basic function “Turn On/Off Live View on camera LCD”)
- Auto Focus
- Manual focus adjustments
- Capture
- Video Recording
- Timelapse Controller
- Focus position
- Zoom
- Shutter speed
- Aperture
- ISO speed
- White Balance

DslrRC Extended has new futures including:
- extended time lapse controller with Bramping option which using Camera Bulb Mode
- Hdr Controller (up to 17 Shots)
- Interacting with camera

Video Demo:

Free: Download, Paid: Download Ext. $2.00 [Play Store]

Update: Added new app

7. DslrDashboard
This is another app we are actively using for our DSLR setup with android Tablet. DslrDashboard is fully featured from bracketing to Live view.


Features:
- Remote capture
- Change camera properties,
- Browse images on camera,
- Transfer images from camera to Android device,
- Preview images (jpg and raw),
- Live view,
- Live view histogram,
- Manual focus movement while in live view,
- Start movie recording (only on camera models that support it),
- Custom bracketing (up to 9 images),
- Focus stacking,
- Time-lapse (simple and advanced with control file and ability to move focus and send commands to Arduino),
- Sound initiated capture (with spectral display and frequency/intensity selector,
- Nikon flash commander dialog (CLS) for easy settings (only on camera models that support it),
- DoF calculator.
- Custom profiles for camera properties, custom bracketing, focus stacking, flash commander
- Remote control over wireless network (Android devices must be on same network)

We recommend this app, tested works great with Nikon D7000.

Download: Free from Play Store.

Did we miss an app that deserved to be here? Let us know in comments.

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  • Torn

    Hello, I’m looking for the app “Usb cam controller” but can’t found it on the PlayStore.
    I’m in France so it’s probably the reason. Can you please host the .apk ?

    Thanks !

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  • http://www.articledashboard.com/Article/SAT-and-Cable-Liverpool-s-Leading-Retailer-of-Satellite-and-Cable-Products/2960797 Flytouch 7

    They all android applications are very interesting and helpful to who loves the photos and daily use Camera on your tablet or phone. According to me, The DSLR controller application is the best camera application which is the first and only app that allows you to completely management your Cannon EOS DSLR from your Android operating system with only a USB wire.

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  • cimidyue

    Thanks for the post. The DSLR Controller apps are so cool. Have you come across a similar app for camcorders?

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  • karlus

    Hi, do you know any app that would work on wifi – my new Nikon D3200 comes with wifi adapter – I don’t want to use wires.

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  • BeautNZPhoto

    You forgot to mention BBQDSLR another great wired/wireless app for Nikon or Canon….available at Playstore……

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  • Jack Torcello

    I have Nexus 10 and DSLRDashBoard with a Nikon D700. (OpenCV is also on my Nexus 10). When I plug in the OTG USB, DSLRDashBoard fires up – but no video. In fact, it says cannot detect camera! What shd I do?

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