Skip to content

How to Use a DSLR Connected to an iPad via a Tethered Cable

You can use our platform to shoot privately-delivered and branded photos with a DSLR attached to either an Android tablet or an iPad.
This article covers iOS.

Picture Marketing offers a complete kit with a complete set of tested devices and all needed accessories.
You can also use your own equipment. Just follow these hardware requirements.

For iOs, you need;
  1. a compatible DSLR camera
  2. a cable C-Connector to a Mini-B Camera Port (to connect the camera to the iOS device)
  3. A relatively late-model iPad (It must have a C-connector...not a Lightning connector port)
The best way to ensure compatibility between these three items is to try them out, but here are some notes on compatibility:

1. The DSLR Camera
For iOS, we have only tested a limited number of Canon cameras in our lab setup.  You will definitely want to test our your setup well before your event.

2. The C-Connector to a Mini-B Camera Port 
There are several cables available on Amazon and other places that support these connections.  But not all of them work, so it's really important that you order your cable and test it well before your event takes place.

The connector on the left in the image above attaches to the Canon camera
The connector on the right in the image above attaches to the iPad

You cannot just randomly connect the devices while they are running.  
The camera and iPad must be connected as described below;

Here are the exact steps to follow to get started

Most important point; The camera must be connected and turned on BEFORE you launch the FotoZap App.  If you are running the App and THEN connect the will not work correctly (the shutter button on the camera will not trigger the photo). If you lose the connection or the connecting wire becomes unplugged, you can try just plugging them back in but if the camera doesn't respond when press its shutter button, then you may need to SIGN OUT of the App and start the connection process over, following the simple steps below.

1)    Start with all devices disconnected and camera powered OFF and FotoZap Booth NOT running. Make sure you are logged out of FotoZap.

2)    The DSLR must have an SD card inserted. Make sure it is empty or make sure it does not have a lot on it. Reason: The camera LCD will show BUSY while the iOS app reads the card. So...if you have a 32MB card with lots of images, it may show ‘BUSY’ for a long time. If your card is not very full, BUSY will disappear after a few seconds.

3)    Plug in your DSLR camera using HDMI Mini < > C-Connector (Lightning connectors will not work!)

4)    Turn your DSLR camera ON. You iPad should also be on, but not have FotoZap open.  You should be signed out of FotoZap.

5)    Ensure you can Capture an image through the camera as normal. If the SD card needs to be read in, it will say BUSY when you push the shutter button. As above, delete images on the card if it is too full.

6)    Now launch FotoZap Booth – 

7) On the Admin screen on your iPad, do the following

Set to BACK CAMERA and Turn on the EXTERNAL DSLR (It's also handy to show the SETTINGS ICON)

Your are almost final step.....SELECT YOUR CAMPAIGN

After following the above path, the DSLR now allows triggering of the shutter using DSLR shutter button, OR iPad.

You will know it is connected when you see this icon in the upper right hand corner of your iPad screen.


You can use that icon to trigger the DSLR, or you can use the DSLR shutter button.


If the above sequence is not followed, the card may remain BUSY…but you can still trigger the shutter with the App, by clicking the icon shown above on the app screen.  But the camera's shutter button will not trigger the shutter.

If you plug the camera in with FotoZap running, the icon shown above may appear on the screen, but the camera will ONLY respond to FotoZap trigger.  The shutter button on the camera will be unresponsive. 

If you run multiple campaigns (using the "...with Selection Screen" button), the app bypasses the sharing option screen and just uploads the photos.  You must choose a single campaign to be able to collect email or sms info.

We have only tested this with specific Cannon camera models.  We can’t guarantee that it will work with all models or camera brands.  

There are several connector cables on the market.  Here are links to three cables that all worked (Available on Amazon in the Winter 2023)




It's really important that you test your setup prior to your event. If you want to order the equipment and connectors from us, we'll guarantee they will work.  But that's not necessary!  You can use your own equipment.  Just test everything well ahead of your event to avoid a last-minute panic. 




Feedback and Knowledge Base