Control Your DSLR with an iPad Using Manfrotto's New Digital Director

Manfrotto unveiled an intriguing new device at the NAB show in Las Vegas this week: Digital Director, which is the only Apple Certified interface that lets you operate, adjust and shoot photos via a live feed on a tethered iPad.

Digital Director is easier to understand when you see it in action so check out the demo video at the end of this post. The Digital Director system is composed of hardware, software (app) and firmware. You operate it by plugging a USB cable from Digital Director hardware into your camera (it works with Canon or Nikon DSLRs) and opening the app on an iPad Air.

A dedicated CPU (embedded in the Digital Director mount) provides an interface between the devices, which, via a cable, enables the camera protocols to be accessed and controlled by the iPad. Digital Director lets the user place their cameras in even the most awkward or difficult to reach positions and control it remotely via the iPad for shooting video or still photos.

Digital Director also turns the iPad Air into an external monitor, taking full advantage of its HD Retina Display. This is designed to give photographers and videographers a more detailed, enhanced control interface thanks to the bigger and higher quality iPad screen.

The dedicated Digital Director App lets you monitor and modify key settings (exposure, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, manual focus, white balance, image quality, focus camera/drive modes, battery status) on Canon and Nikon DSLRs in real time, allowing users to concentrate on creativity instead of the settings.

Shooting remotely via the iPad Retina Display, the App enables real time “Live View” monitoring and adjustments. The dynamic histogram and audio level display allows greater control. The Focus control can be used to select the focus point anywhere on the screen. The digital zoom magnifies the selected focus point to ensure crisp accurate focus.

Digital Director goes on sale in May 2015 for $499. Watch the demo video below to see Digital Director in action.