How to Connect Your Camera in Lightroom (2023)

Lightroom is a highly flexible image management and processing software, but in addition to powerful tools and settings to enhance your photos, it also offers features that help you during the actual photography process. Have you ever felt that even with constant resolution and growth in physical size, camera LCD screens are not big enough for comfortable viewing of images in the field? Fortunately, Lightroom offers a way to import photos and review them as you shoot them. This feature, called Tethered Shooting, is especially useful for studio photographers who don't move around a lot. It can also be equally useful for landscape photographers. In this article in the Mastering Lightroom series, I'll explain how to connect your camera. This lets you import footage directly into the Lightroom 4 environment for quick and convenient review while shooting.

table of contents

(Video) Tethered photography - tether camera lightroom classic tutorial video

1) When should I use it?

The best time to use Tethered Capture is when you are working in a less active environment. For example, studio and landscape photographers, who tend to bring their laptops with them to shoots, will find this very simple and uncomplicated. However, wedding photographers, who tend to move around all the time and change their shooting position, will find Tethered Capture annoying, to say the least. Who would want to shoot a wedding with a USB cable constantly connected to the camera and a laptop running through it? You would need an assistant just to carry that laptop behind you! In many other situations, Tethered Capture can make reviewing images much more enjoyable.

If you have your development settings set accordingly, you can also import images with your favorite settings already applied. In other words, you get the final image as you shoot, except for exposure and other minor adjustments, all within Lightroom without the need to manually import photos after capture.

2) How do I connect my camera?

First, you'll need a USB cable to connect your camera to your computer. Connect it to both devices and turn on your camera. Now, open the desired Lightroom catalog into which you want to import your photos while capturing them, and choose "Start Connected Capture..." from the File->Connected Capture menu. A "Connected Capture Settings" window will appear. Let's go through the given settings one by one.

One note: if, after completing all the settings listed below, Lightroom does not detect your camera, try connecting (powering up your DSLR) after completing the settings, not before, as above.

(Video) Lightroom tutorial: Tethering a Camera to Lightroom

2.1) Session configuration

Enter your session name in the Session Name field. Be brief but easily understandable. Later you will also have the opportunity to use the session name as the image file name. The "Segment photos by photos" option allows you to group similar images into separate subfolders during capture (for example, by model or pose). The first subfolder name option appears when you click "OK" in the "Connected Capture Settings" window. To create a new subfolder (or Take, as Adobe calls its package), press Ctrl+Shift+T (Windows) or Command+Shift+T (Mac OS) during the Tethered Capture session.

2.2) Name configuration

Choose from different name presets or create your own if you like. This name will be applied to RAW files as they are saved to your computer during the connected shoot session.

2.3) Destination

Choose where you want your images saved while shooting.

2.4) Configuration of information

These settings will help you find your images in Lightroom. Specify keywords based on the session and, for example, the equipment used, as shown in the image above. Specify the metadata preset to use if you have any saved. You can choose to create this preset from the dropdown menu.

(Video) 📷 DOING THIS made me a BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER: Tethering into Lightroom (including Sony) Why? How?

3) Linked capture window controls

After completing all settings in the Connected Capture Settings window, Lightroom will continue with the session. A connected capture window will appear on the screen. It is quite small and unobtrusive and does not distract from the images. If you want to hide the window, press Ctrl+T (Windows) or Command+T (Mac OS). Use the same keys to reopen it (sometimes I accidentally hide it). Anyway, you can start shooting now and the images will appear on the screen after they are imported (sometimes it may take a few seconds). You can take pictures using any of the shutter buttons, one found on your camera or in the Tethered Capture window. If you want to review the session settings again, simply select the Settings button in the lower right corner of the Tethered Capture window, just below the Close button.

During the linked capture process, you can pre-apply any Lightroom preset you like (read our“How to manage presets”article). In other words, except for certain exposure and white balance adjustments that may be necessary, you can judge captured images as they appear.

You will often notice that certain settings may not be included in a specific preset. For example, I don't include sharpening in my presets, but I have a separate one for that setting. It's a pity that it's not possible to select multiple presets to use for the import. Still, using the Develop Settings pop-up menu lets you see the nearly finished image as you shoot. To assign such a preset, choose Build Settings and select the desired preset as shown in the screenshot.

As you shoot, Lightroom displays the last enlarged image. If you prefer to select which image is displayed and don't want Lightroom to jump to the last captured image, go to File->Linked Capture and uncheck Auto Advance Selection in the list of options. Choose Stop Fixed Capture to end the session. Alternatively, you can simply close the Tethered Capture window.

(Video) How To Tether Into Lightroom Using a Sony Alpha Camera

4) Things to consider

Linked capture is a convenient feature, but with a small caveat. Not all cameras can be connected via Lightroom 4. The three manufacturers supported so far are Canon, Nikon and Leica (with its S2 medium format). Here is the complete list of supported Canon and Nikon cameras (as perAdobe help site):

4.1) Compatible Canon DSLRs

  • EOS 5D Mark II
  • EOS 1D Mark III
  • EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • EOS 1D Mark IV
  • EOS 5D Mark III * (read our review)
  • EOS 550D (Digital RebelT2i/EOS Kiss X4 Digital)
  • EOS 500D (Rebelde T1I (EOS/Kiss X3 Digital)
  • EOS 450D (Rebel XSI/EOS Kiss X2)
  • EOS 1000D (Rebel XS/EOS Beso F)
  • EOS 600D (Rebel T3I/EOS Kiss X5)
  • EOS 1100D (Rebel T3/EOS Beso X50)
  • EOS 7D
  • EOS40D
  • EOS 50D *
  • EOS 60D *
  • EOS 1D X *

As you can see, four of Canon's DSLRs - the 50D, 60D, 5D MkIII and 1D X - have additional notes.

  • If you have a Canon 50D, be careful not to remove or insert the CF card during the Connected Capture session. In that case, images may not be imported to your computer. If you need to change the CF card, start a new session.
  • For the rest of the cameras - 60D, 5D Mark III and 1D X - you need to have a card inserted during Tethered Capture for it to work properly. Other cameras can import images directly to your computer without the need for a card in the camera.

We can only guess if Adobe is working to eliminate these downsides.

4.2) Compatible Nikon DSLRs

  • D3
  • D3 (read our review)
  • D3x*
  • D4
  • D90*
  • D300
  • D300s
  • D700 (read our review)
  • D800 (read our review)
  • D800E
  • D5000 *
  • D7000 (read our review)

There are additional notes for Nikon cameras.

(Video) How To Tether with Adobe Lightroom Classic

  • When using the shutter release in the Lightroom Tethered Capture environment, the captured image must be saved to the computer before the next exposure can be taken. When using the shutter button on the camera itself, these limitations do not exist.
  • Images are not saved to the CF card, only to the computer.
  • You can only connect one Nikon camera at a time.
  • Windows 7, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.6 are not officially supported by the Nikon D3x, D90 and D5000. They may still work, but they are not guaranteed.

Adobe is also likely working on official support for other Nikon cameras like the D600 and D5200.


How do I connect my camera directly to Lightroom? ›

How to Use Lightroom Tethering
  1. Plug your camera into a computer using a long USB cable. ...
  2. Go to File → Tethered Capture → Start Tethered Capture. ...
  3. A dialogue pops up where you can set the Lightroom import settings for the entire session. ...
  4. Click OK to start. ...
  5. Start shooting!

Why does Lightroom not calibrate my camera? ›

1 Correct answer. With Lightroom open and in the develop module go to Window >panels and click on camera calibration. Or, right-click on one of the panel headings in the right-hand column and make sure there's a checkmark for camera calibration.

How do I tether my camera to Lightroom CC? ›

Connect a supported camera to your computer and open Lightroom Classic CC. Choose File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture. In the Tethered Capture Settings dialog box, specify how you want to import the photos. Click OK to start your photo capture session.

Why does Lightroom not recognize my Camera Raw files? ›

It is usually because Camera RAW is too old to understand your images, and needs to be updated. How to solve this issue: Update your version of Adobe Camera RAW by going to "Help > Check for Updates…" in Lightroom or "Help > Updates" in Photoshop.

Why is Lightroom not finding my photos? ›

If you're seeing the error on one photo, simply click the exclamation point on the top right of the photo and select 'Locate. ' You may have accidentally deleted the image, or you may have moved the file somewhere else.

How do I use the professional camera in Lightroom? ›

  1. When you first open the LR camera app it will default to Auto in the lower left corner.
  2. To change this setting, tap Auto in the lower left corner and select Professional from the menu that pops up.

How do I enable my camera in Adobe Connect? ›

To enable video for all participants, click the video pod on the tool bar, and select Enable Webcam for Participants. To enable video for specific participants, select one or more in the Attendees pod.

How do I install Adobe camera RAW in Lightroom? ›

How do I install Camera Raw created V2 profiles into Lightroom?
  1. In Lightroom, choose File > Import Profiles & Presets from the menu bar.
  2. In the Import dialog that appears, navigate to the path below and select the profiles that you want to import. Win: C:\ProgramData\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles. ...
  3. Click Import.
Mar 21, 2022

How do I add photos from my camera to Lightroom? ›

Click icon at the upper-left corner of the window. Alternatively, choose File > Add Photos... from the menu bar. From the context-menu that appears, choose the camera. Your images will be available to review before adding to Lightroom.


1. How to Connect and Use Sony Cameras for Tethering in Lightroom
(Desiree Rodriguez)
2. Tethering a Camera to Lightroom Classic CC (NO PLUGINS) - Sony, Canon, Nikon
(Charles Cabrera)
3. How To Use Tethered Capture In Lightroom | Lightroom Crash Course
(SLR Lounge | Photography Tutorials)
4. Importing Photos From Camera to Lightroom for Beginners
(Jason Hermann)
5. How to Tether Sony a7iii to Lightroom
(Clare JoAnna)
6. Lightroom Has Its Own Camera... But Why?
(David Addison)
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