Five Things You Need to Know About Tethering In Lightroom

Could there possibly be more to tethering? Well, yes. These five glorious things:

Here goes:

  1. Not every camera can tether to Lightroom
    Here’s a list from Adobe of the cameras it supports for tethering. It’s pretty much Canon and Nikon cameras, with a few Leica camera models (the tethering in Lightroom requires camera manufacturers to provide Adobe with support for tethering to their cameras, so it’s not something Adobe can just decide to do on their own without their support).
  2. You can “super shrink” or hide the Tether bar (the heads up display)
    If you hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) and click on the little “x” in the top right corner of the bar, it will shrink the bar down to just a shutter button (yes, you can fire your camera’s shutter with that button). If you want to hide the bar altogether (but keep the tethering still active), press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T).
  3. That Table that holds my laptop is from Tethertools.com
    I always get asked where I got that table. There’s a company called Tethertools that does nothing but create accessories for people who tether, like the table. They also make an optional little slot under the table for holding an external hard drive; and (my favorite) a nicely designed pop-out drink holder (it’s handier than you’d think).
  4. Canon cameras write a copy to the memory card in the camera. Nikon’s don’t.
    It’s just the way they’re set up by the manufacturer — it’s not Adobe showing a preference. On my 5D Mark III, it writes to the compact flash card in the camera and I dig that because it gives me an automatic backup as I shoot, which is nice. NOTE: if you have trouble tethering to Nikon — try popping the card out of the camera.
  5. Once tethered, you can do live client proofing to an iPad
    You can hand your client an iPad and have them see images from your shoot live on the iPad as you’re shooting (btw: clients super love this!). Not only that — they can see the shoot live on the Web, even if they’re not there (or, if they are there, they can share the shoot with a colleague or friend off site. I have a short video that explains the entire process below.

Hope you find that helpful and hope it inspires you to give tethering a try. Once you do, you can’t imagine not tethering (yes, it’s that good!).



P.S. Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day here in the U.S., and our offices will be closed and thus there will be no blog tomorrow to give you all ample time to eat hot dogs and hamburgers cooked up fresh on the grill. Oh yeah! Have a safe and Happy Fourth, everybody! 



  1. Peter Bauer 1 August, 2017 at 15:02 Reply

    Hi Scott,
    great post, thank you! I never thought about that. But you can’t share your shoot if you’re already syncing LR from your desktop PC/Mac, can you? That’s an annoying “feature” from adobe that they should think about. Or have you got any idea to overcome this?

  2. David 3 July, 2017 at 11:12 Reply

    So, Scott, it appears that an article about tethering cameras (and scanners) through Lightroom’s ‘auto import’ feature should be up next. That way (if the software that came with your camera allows it) you could also change shutter speed and aperture from the computer (REALLY handy when the camera’s up high). Before Lightroom introduced tethering it was the only way to go and is still useful for cameras not supported by Lightroom’s tethering (and did I mention scanners?)

  3. Diego G. 3 July, 2017 at 04:02 Reply

    Hi Scott. I am following your blog and reading your books from some time now, and they are awesome >(

    About tethering in Lightroom, am I right to say that you cannot control the camera itself from the computer (aperture, shutter speed, ISO…). I can shoot with no problem, but I cannot change any of the shooting parameters in the computer, so I have to do it in the camera.

    I am using a Canon 7D in Lightroom 6 (Mac).


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