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Is the Canon 6D capable of talking to a phone over the phone's WIFI hotspot?

What I want to accomplish is to connect the camera to the phone without losing internet access for easy sharing of images to social media.

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Can the Canon 6D connect to a phone's WIFI hotspot and talk to the Canon app on that phone?

No. In order to use the Canon app on the phone to control the camera, use the phone to see any images stored in the camera, or transfer images from the camera to the phone the phone must connect to either:

  • the network created by the camera

or

  • a third device providing LAN access to both the phone and the camera.

To share images on social network sites or anywhere else in the web via apps on the phone, you need to first transfer the images to the phone, then

  • leave the camera's network and reconnect to the internet via your phone

or

  • Use the LAN connection via the third device to upload the images via the apps on the phone.

You can use the Canon Camera app that connects the camera and phone to queue your selected images already stored on the phone to a specific app, like Instagram. You can even select filters, etc. from the Instagram app on your phone while connected to the camera via the camera's network. But when the IG app tries to upload them to the web while still connected to the camera's network it will fail. They'll stay queued, though, and once you reconnect the phone to the web they can be uploaded.

Here's an article that covers it in more depth: How to Share Images on Social Media with Canon 6D Wifi. It is part of a series of articles by the same author covering several different aspects of using WiFi with the 6D. The base article is here.

You can use the camera itself to connect directly via WiFi to a LAN with internet access and upload images directly from the camera, but you won't be able to use the phone's interface, or any apps your phone uses, to do this if you are also using the same phone's hotspot as the LAN to which the camera is connected in infrastructure mode.

In order to use the phone to control the camera or view/transfer images from the camera to the phone, this choice must be selected in the camera's 'Wi-Fi function' menu:

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In order to upload images from the camera directly to the web, this choice must be selected in the camera's 'Wi-Fi function' menu:

enter image description here

Both choices can not be selected simultaneously.

It's unclear from the EOS 6D WiFi Instruction Manual if any web services besides the four shown in the screen samples ('CANON iMAGE GATEWAY', 'facebook', 'Twitter', and 'YouTube') can be added to the camera's menu or not. The account settings for those four web services need to be setup in advance using EOS Utility while the camera is connected via wired USB connection to a computer.

(Note: The WiFi setting must be set to disabled to connect the camera to a computer via a wired connection, or to shoot video with the camera. If you don't want to dig into the [Settings (yellow wrench) tab 3] menu to turn WiFi on and off each time, you can include that setting item on the list for the 'My Menu' tab.)

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    Note that the linked articles are from April 2014; Android introduced better support for multiple networks in Lollipop (November 2014), so it is certainly possible now to write apps which can connect to the Internet over 3G without disconnecting from the camera's wifi. I don't know whether Instagram, etc. currently take advantage of that ability. – Peter Taylor Jul 18 '18 at 11:58
  • @PeterTaylor You're still going to have to transfer the images from the camera to the phone before other apps on the phone will be able to upload them to the web via apps on the phone. Even if the camera is connected to the phone via the phone's hotspot and the phone is connected to a LAN by another connection the phone won't be able to access images on the camera other than with the Canon Camera app, which only allows images to be transferred to the phone within the capability of the camera app. To upload images to the web from the camera, the camera app must be closed. – Michael C Jul 18 '18 at 22:36
  • Oh. I understood your answer to say that the Canon camera app can pass the photos to third party apps such as Instagram, so that whether or not they can be uploaded without dropping the connection to the camera would not depend on the Canon app but on those third party apps. – Peter Taylor Jul 18 '18 at 23:17
  • When you use the Canon Camera app to 'pass images to third party apps' on the phone, the images are transferred to the phone at that point. If the third party app then uploads them to a website, it does so with the copies of the images placed on the phone. So you are still waiting for the images to be transferred at least three times (camera to LAN router, LAN router to phone, phone to LAN router). If the LAN router has multiple radios (some do, some don't), then it is effectively twice (camera to phone via LAN router, then phone to LAN router). – Michael C Jul 19 '18 at 9:27
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Is the Canon 6D capable of talking to a phone over the phone's WIFI hotspot?

Depends on the phone. On Apple iPhones, no, that capability is not supported. I'm not sure if Android phones natively support this feature, but I have seen phones running Linux Mint (or other distros), in which case this is more or less supported in Linux. But then, it might be problematic to run Canon's app on a modified Linux phone.

In general, phone OS manufacturers isolate tethered devices from seeing each other (in cases of multiple devices tethered to one phone), and the phone's user environment from seeing the other devices as well. This network isolation is primarily a security feature.

If you don't have a wireless LAN infrastructure to connect both your camera and phone to, then in order to achieve what you want with out-of-the-box phones (definitely iOS, probably Android), you will need two additional components:

  • a separate internet connection — wired, or even another phone or device capable of tethering;
  • a wireless router / bridge

Your phone (with the Canon app) and your Canon will connect to the wireless router/bridge. The WAN side of the router or bridge will connect to the internet connection (i.e., a 2nd phone's internet tethering connection).

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