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TL/DR: Is there a way to be able to wirelessly tether with the live preview up to 300ft (91m) away.

I have a Canon Rebel T7i with in-built WiFi that I can use for tethering to my phone for controlling the camera, live view preview, and taking pictures. The problem with the in-built Wifi is the range, even outdoors with no obstructions, is only about about 30ft (9m). It increases some if I disable the live view preview, but that only gets me about 60ft (18m). Is there a way to be able to wirelessly tether with the live preview up to 300ft (91m) away.

I want to be able to use this system while backpacking, so a weight of under ~5lbs (2.2kg) is desirable.

I'm open to changing cameras if it makes things easier.

I've looked at Wi-Fi range extenders, but from my understanding they won't reach that distance. I also thought about a POV drone transmitter, but as far as I can tell that is video only and won't work with tethering.

Thanks for the time and any help.

Edit: The need for long range live view is because the camera itself will be on a moveable mount and I want to be able to see where it is currently pointing at.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you really need wireless or do you just need remote triggering? Remove triggers with that range do exist. For Wifi, most devices you find are omnidirectional while you mostly need something with a focusing antenna on the PC side. So you need a router with a good antenna or one where the antenna can be replaced by something like this or this. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Mar 8, 2022 at 8:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xenoid, yes the wireless live view is needed, as the camera will be on a movable mount and I would need to be able to check what the view is. I will add the detail to my question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zillakon
    Mar 9, 2022 at 21:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ by "moveable mount", do you mean a pan/tilt mount (where the only thing changing is the camera's aiming direction), or do you mean that the mount also moves location? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Mar 10, 2022 at 19:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scottbb the mount will have some sway to it from side to side as it will be suspended from a line, but will also pan and rotate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zillakon
    Mar 11, 2022 at 2:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ A WiFi range extended with a modest higher gain add on antenna should work. The camera presumably does not have an explicit WiFi antenna or connection point. A local modest gain antenna plus a coupling loop near the camera would help. People have almost certainly done similar already and the amateur radio community will be able to help. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 12, 2022 at 10:04

3 Answers 3

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I suggest using something like a CamRanger. With modern cameras with built-in Wi-Fi, it's not as compelling a device as when I first used it with my Nikon D800E, but it has the advantage of providing substantially longer range (up to 500 ft according to current support), as well as providing an identical remote computer/phone/tablet interface to basic camera and exposure features, regardless of actual taking camera (Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc.).

I own and paid for an original CamRanger. I haven't used the newer CamRanger 2.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Now I want to buy one... >:( even if I do not really need it... :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Mar 10, 2022 at 1:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rafael the Gear Acquisition Syndrome is strong... =) \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Mar 10, 2022 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ So I reached out to CamRanger about the CamRanger2 to ask about the range for live view. Their response was that the stream is relatively smooth out to 200-250 feet. I may need to reevaluate my distance if I can't figure something else out. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zillakon
    Mar 10, 2022 at 18:59
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As your setup is very specific, I would suggest a parabolic wifi extender. This way the wifi signal is not wasted in the universe.

Take a look at Parabolic Wifi and see if there is something you can use. Try adding the word "portable".

There are even some DIY projects. If you put your tablet in the focal point, the theory is that you will have better reception.


There are some drone-range-extender If your gear has an antenna, that probably can help.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems like this would potentially solve my issue, but it'll be awkward to carry backpacking as the smallest I can find is roughly a foot across. I did find an interesting instructable (instructables.com/…) for making one out of a wire strainer though. Seems like a cheap and easy way to try out the effects and see if I can figure out how to pack it with the rest of my gear. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zillakon
    Mar 10, 2022 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ When I go for multi-day backpacking, I always carry a lightweight umbrella. For your purposes, I'd suggest trying to adapt a reflective emergency blanket as a "liner" in the umbrella. You can fold 'gussets' in the blanket and fix them with packing tape to permanently form the roughly parabolic shape, and use lightweight velcro or perhaps short bungie hooks to keep the parabola tight and fixed to the inside of the umbrella. The wifi antenna would be taped to the umbrella's handle. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Mar 10, 2022 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the wifi signal needs to be a combination of "linear" and parabolic. I added a link to some antenna extenders for drone antennas, to see if it is useful. Some are surprisingly cheap. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Mar 10, 2022 at 20:27
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As you talk about outdoor you will need battery powered equipment. Also you talk about the maximum of practical range of WiFi (~100 meters). Extenders can cover the range, but you will probably need two of them as the camera WiFi is not powerful. One device you can use is TL-MR3020/TL-MR3040. This is battery powered router which can act as range extender. You will need to allocate one of them near to the camera and one on them in the middle of the distance between the camera and your location.

As this is battery powered device you should be aware that it can run with fully charged battery around 10 or (maybe) more hours. But there is a way to power it from bank of 4 AA batteries.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So in looking around, it seems that the original CamRanger was actually just a rebranded one of these devices with custom firmware. If the improved CamRanger2 (which has twice the range of the original) as mentioned in another answer is only capable of 200-250 feet for live view, then I would potentially need 3 of these. Seems like I need to do a test to see if hopping through multiple extenders affects the live view. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zillakon
    Mar 10, 2022 at 19:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zillakon, AFAIK the roots are in this project: dslrcontroller.com/guide-wifi_mr3040.php And outdoor the normal coverage of WiFI is 100 meters (300 feet). Your phone/tablet have good WiFi emitter so probably 2 will be OK. But test it \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10, 2022 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zillakon And Camranger2 cost 400 USD,, one 3020 cost 30 USD :) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10, 2022 at 19:39

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