Using an external camera

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Breeze Booth for iPad can use a Canon camera instead of the iPad's built-in camera. This gives better image quality when taking photos and allows the use of flash for better lighting.

 
The external camera can be any recent Canon EOS camera or PowerShot camera (full list of supported cameras).

The Canon EOS M50 is a good option because it is compact and has Canon's excellent dual pixel AF with face detect in live view.

 

How it works

 

You need to use an external camera controller which is connected to the camera via USB and to the iPad via a wired or wireless network.

 

The external controller can be a Windows PC (e.g. an Intel ComputeStick or a mini PC) or a Raspberry Pi single board computer. A Windows PC is easier to set up than a Raspberry Pi and has the advantage that it can also be used to control the iPad. The Raspberry Pi has the advantage that it is compact, low cost and requires little or no maintenance once set up.

 

 

external camera

Mini Windows PC running the camera controller

 

 

external camera Pi

Raspberry Pi running the camera controller

 

 

To enable a connection to an external camera click on "Camera Settings" at the top of the start screen in Breeze Booth for iPad and then select external camera:

 

external camera no controller

 

The camera settings screen will display a graphic showing a camera with a red box underneath if it is not connected to the camera controller.

 
Connect the Windows PC or Raspberry Pi controlling the camera to the same network as the iPad using a wifi or wired connection and run the camera controller app. The iPad should connect to the camera controller after 5 to 10 seconds. The connection status is shown at the bottom of the camera settings screen. In the screenshot above the status is shown as "Controller: not connected" and "Camera: not connected".

 

The screenshot below shows the iPad connected to the camera controller with no camera connected. The status at the bottom of the screen shows "Controller:" followed by the version of the camera controller software and the iPad of the Windows PC or Raspberry Pi it is running on:

 

external camera no camera

 

Connect the camera to the Windows PC or Raspberry Pi running the camera controller software using a USB cable and turn the camera on. After a few seconds the graphic showing a camera with a red X will be replaced with live view images from the camera.
The screenshot below shows the iPad connected to the camera controller with live view images being displayed from the connected camera:

 

external camera live view

 

The status line at the bottom of the window will show the camera model.

 

Camera Settings

 

Tap the "Rotate live view" button to rotate the live view images from the external camera if they are not the right way up. The live view is rotated 90 degrees each time the "Rotate live view" button is pressed. The camera orientation does not need to be the same as the iPad e.g. the camera can be in landscape orientation with the iPad in portrait orientation or any other combination.

 

The optimum camera settings depend upon the type of lighting and the camera model. Set the image quality in the camera to JPEG not raw.The medium/fine JPEG setting should give good results and will be slightly faster than the large JPEG settings due to smaller file sizes.

 

The suggested settings for a number common set ups are listed below:

 

1) Canon Rebel series DSLR cameras (e.g. Rebel T6/EOS 1300D or Rebel T7/EOS 2000D) with a studio strobe/flash connected via the camera's hotshoe

 

Set the exposure mode dial on the camera to M for manual exposure and select the "External flash mode" setting in the camera settings screen:

 

external camera external flash mode

 

The "Photo settings" displays the camera settings that are used when taking photos. Tap on these settings to adjust them:

 

external camera external flash mode settings

 

When "External flash mode" is selected the only settings you can change are the aperture and the ISO. The shutter speed does not affect exposure when using flash and is set to 1/125 sec. The white balance is set to "Flash" to give good colors with flash.

Take some test shots with flash and adjust the flash power and the camera aperture and ISO to get the correct exposure.

Tap the "Test" button to take a test photo using the current settings.

 
When live view is active the app automatically sets the shutter speed to bulb and the white balance to auto. Setting the shutter speed to bulb cause the camera to use auto exposure for the live view to give bright live view images. Setting the white balance to auto should give good colors in live view as the lighting will be different from when the photo is taken using flash.

 

2) Higher end Canon DSLRs (e.g. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) and mirrorless cameras (EOS R series or M series cameras) with a studio strobe/flash

 

Higher end Canon DSLRs have a B setting on the exposure mode dial to select bulb exposure. This means that the "External flash mode" setting can't be used and separate camera settings need to be selected for taking photos and for live view display.
Set the camera exposure mode dial to M and switch off "External flash mode" in the camera settings screen.
For easy setup it is suggested that live view exposure mode simulation is disabled in the camera's settings. When this is disabled the camera will use auto exposure for live view and you don't need to set the shutter speed, aperture and ISO for the live view settings.

You also need to disable live view silent shooting mode in the camera settings when using a Canon DSLR otherwise the flash won't fire when taking photos. Alternatively you can select the "Disable live view" in the camera settings screen. The "Disable live view" will disable live view immediately before taking a photo.

 

external camera settings

 

Tap on the photo settings to adjust the camera settings when taking photos. If you are using flash you need to set the shutter speed fast enough to cut out the ambient lighting and no faster than the camera's flash sync speed. Setting it to 1/125 sec should work with any camera and flash. Set the white balance to match the color of the flash (normally the "Flash" setting will give good results).
Take some test shots with flash and adjust the flash power and the camera aperture and ISO to get the correct exposure. You can do this by tapping on the photo settings to display the camera settings for taking photos and then tap on the "Test" button.

 

The "Disable live view" setting to the right of the photo settings controls whether live view is disabled before taking a photo. This can be useful when using low end Canon DSLRs which don't have dual pixel AF in live view. When live is disabled before taking the photo the DSLRs normal AF system can be used to focus before taking the photo. You don't need to select the "Disable live view" setting if you are using a mirrorless camera or a DSLR camera that supports dual pixel continuous face detect AF in live view.

 

Tap on the live view settings to adjust the camera settings used when live view is displayed. You don't need to adjust the shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings if live view exposure simulation is disabled in the camera. All you need to adjust is the white balance setting to match the color temperature of the ambient lighting. In most cases setting the white balance to Auto will give good results.
If live view exposure simulation is enabled in the camera you need to adjust the shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings to get correctly exposed live view images. Setting the ISO to Auto will give auto exposure of the live view images.

 

3) Continuous lighting with any camera

 

If you are using continuous lighting (e.g. LED lighting) you need to use the same settings for taking photos and for live view. To do this make sure "External flash mode" is not selected in the camera settings screen.

For complete control over the exposure the camera should be set to manual exposure by setting the exposure mode dial to M. Then tap on the "Live view settings" and adjust the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to give the correct exposure. Then set the white balance to match the color temperature of the lighting.

Then set the "Photo settings" to the same settings as the "Live view settings" because the same lighting is used for both live view and for taking the photos.

 

If you prefer you can use one of the camera's auto exposure settings by setting the exposure mode dial on the camera to Auto, P, Tv or Av. When the exposure mode is set to Auto or P the camera selects the shutter speed and the aperture to give the correct exposure. Only the ISO and white balance settings in the camera settings will have any effect. Similarly when the exposure mode is set to Av *aperture priority) the camera selects a shutter speed to match the aperture and the shutter speed setting in the camera settings is ignored.

 

Windows PC Camera Controller

 

The Windows version of the camera controller will run on any desktop version of Windows. It does not require a powerful PC and will run on low cost Intel Atom based or Intel Celeron based computers such as ComputeSticks or mini PCs.
To install the camera controller simply download and install the Event Editor (this can be downloaded here).

 

When you run the camera controller for the first time you may receive a warning message from the firewall software running on the computer e.g.

 

external controller Windows Defender

 

This is normal because the camera controller needs to access the network in order to communicate with the iPad. Please allow the camera controller access to the network.

 

The screenshot below shows the camera controller running without a network connection to an iPad or a USB connection to a camera:

 

windows_camera_controller

 

Run Breeze Booth for iPad on the iPad, tap on "Camera Settings" in the start screen and then select "External camera". After a few seconds the iPad should connect and the camera controller screen will look something like this:

 

windows_camera_controller_connected

 

The controls at the top of the window are for monitoring and controlling the app and are described in the next section: Remote control and monitoring of the iPad

The rest of the windows displays status information about the iPad that's connected to the camera controller e.g. its name, battery state and amount of free storage.
The final line shows the camera status. In the screenshot above this displays "Detecting camera" because the camera was not connected at this point.

 

If the iPad does not connect to camera controller please check that the Windows PC and the iPad are both connected to the same local area network e.g. wifi or wired connections to a router or MiFi.
You may also need to manually set up the firewall running on the computer.

 

Connect the camera to the Windows PC using a USB cable and turn the camera on. The camera controller should automatically detect the camera and connect to it and then the iPad should start displaying live view images after a few seconds. When the camera is connected the camera controller window will look something like this:

 

windows_camera_controller_with_camera

 

Notes for setting up a dedicated Windows based camera controller

 

1.Set up the PC to auto run when the power is turned on. This is normally a setting in the computer's BIOS
2.Create a new user account which does not have administrator rights and set this up to automatically login when Windows starts up
3.Create a shortcut in the Windows startup folder to run the camera controller automatically when Windows starts up. You can do this by typing Windows+R to display the "Run" window and then enter shell:startup
4.Go to Settings->Updates & Security and click on Advanced options to pause Windows updates. This allows Windows updates to be paused for up to 35 days and to prevent automatic updates from disrupting the PC during an event
Alternatively you can disable automatic Windows updates by disabling the update service. An internet search for "disable windows 10 updates permanently" should provide details on how to do this.

 

Remote control and monitoring of the iPad

 

The Windows version of the camera controller can also be used to monitor and control the iPad. This is very useful when running an unattended photo booth because you can use remote desktop software such as TeamViewer, Logmein or Windows Remote Desktop to login to the Windows computer and control and monitor the iPad app. Please see the Remote control and monitoring of the iPad section for details.

 

Printing using the Windows PC

 

You can also run Breeze Hub on the same Windows PC to provide printing services for the iPad app. Breeze Hub allows any Windows compatible printer to be used for printing from the iPad app.
Please see the section on Breeze Hub for more information.

 

Raspberry Pi Camera Controller

 

You can also use a Raspberry Pi single board computer to control the camera. To do this you need a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 2GB or more of memory and a 8GB micro SD card.

 

First install Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit on the micro SD card by running the Raspberry Pi Imager: https://www.raspberrypi.org/software/

 

Next connect HDMI, keyboard and mouse to Raspberry Pi and power up. Follow the on screen instructions to change the password and update the operating system.

Reboot and run the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool (Pi->Preferences->Raspberry Pi Configuration) to select the following settings:

Boot to desktop
Boot as current user
Enable ssh and VNC interfaces

 

Open a terminal window and rename or delete the following file: /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-gphoto2-volume-monitor
e.g. run the command:

sudo rm /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-gphoto2-volume-monitor

 

Next download and install Breeze Camera by running the following commands:

wget https://bb4ipad.com/breeze_camera.tgz

tar xvzf breeze_camera.tgz

./run_breeze_camera.bash install

sudo reboot

 

Connect the Raspberry Pi to the same network as the iPad using a wired connection or by wifi. Then connect the camera to the Raspberry Pi using a USB cable and turn the camera on. Open the camera settings screen in Breeze Booth for iPad and select "external camera". After a few seconds the iPad should connect to the camera controller and start displaying live view images from the camera.

 

The Raspberry Pi can also be used as an AirPrint print server by enabling CUPS. Details of how to set this up are beyond the scope of this help file. Please search the internet for "Raspberry Pi AirPrint" for information on how to set up a Raspberry Pi as an AirPrint  server.

 

Troubleshooting

If the iPad displays the camera icon with a red rectangle underneath it means that the app hasn't connected to the camera controller. Check that the Raspberry Pi and the iPad are connected to the same network.

If the iPad displays the camera icon with a red cross it means that the app has connected to the camera controller but the camera controller is not connected to the camera. Check that the camera is connected to a USB port on the Raspberry Pi and is turned on. Then try turning the camera off for a few seconds and then turn it on again.

 

Network set up

 

For best results you need a fast reliable network connection between the iPad and the camera controller to give a smooth live view display. Both the iPad and the camera controller need to be connected to the same network to work.

 
One option is to use a cellular iPad and set it up as a personal hotspot and then connect the camera controller via wifi. This will allow the iPad to connect to the internet for sharing photos and to the camera controller to control the camera.

 

Another option is to use a mobile hotspot (or "MiFi") to provide the internet connection and to connect iPad and the camera controller to the hotspot using wifi.

Some mobile hotspots have an ethernet connection which allows the camera controller to use a wired network connection to the hotspot. This configuration should give better performance than using wifi for both the iPad and the camera controller.

 

Another option is to use a router which takes a data SIM to provide the internet connection. These usually support multiple wired connections allowing both the camera controller and the iPad to be connected using a wired connection. To do this you will need a suitable lightning to ethernet adapter (or USB C to ethernet adapter if you are using an iPad Pro). This should provide the fastest and most reliable set up of the options outlined above.

 

If you are running firewall software on the Windows PC or Raspberry Pi you may need to configure it manually to allow the camera controller software to access the network and communicate with the iPad. The camera controller requires the following network access:

Port 5010: UDP out
Port 5011: TCP in/out

 

 

Supported Cameras

 

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R

Canon EOS RP

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II

Canon EOS-1DC

Canon EOS-1DX

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Canon EOS-1D Mark III

Canon EOS 5DS R

Canon EOS 5DS

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 90D

Canon EOS 80D

Canon EOS 77D/EOS 9000D

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 60D

Canon EOS 50D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EOS 30D

Canon EOS 4000D/EOS 3000D/Rebel T100

Canon EOS 2000D/EOS 1500D/Rebel T7/Kiss X90

Canon EOS 1300D/Rebel T6/Kiss X80

Canon EOS 1200D/Rebel T5/Kiss X70

Canon EOS 1100D/Rebel T3/Kiss X50

Canon EOS 1000D/Rebel XS/Kiss F

Canon EOS 250D/Rebel SL3/Kiss X10/200D Mark II

Canon EOS 200D/Rebel SL2/Kiss X9

Canon EOS 100D/Rebel SL1/Kiss X7

Canon EOS 850D/Rebel T8i/Kiss X10i

Canon EOS 800D/Rebel T7i/Kiss X9i

Canon EOS 760D/Rebel T6s/EOS 8000D

Canon EOS 750D/Rebel T6i/Kiss X8i

Canon EOS 700D/Rebel T5i/Kiss X7i

Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i/Kiss X6i

Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i/Kiss X5

Canon EOS 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4

Canon EOS 500D/Rebel T1i/Kiss X3

Canon EOS 450D/Rebel XSi/Kiss X2

Canon EOS 400D/Rebel XTi/Kiss X

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

Canon EOS M200

Canon EOS M50 Mark II/Kiss M2

Canon EOS M50/Kiss M

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III