At the weekend I shot tethered for the first time ever. I shoot with a Canon 7D and was tethered to Lightroom 5.4 which was running on my laptop.

I did notice that the downloading of the images was quite slow. And I'm wondering if there were any settings I could change to speed things up?

Background: I had my laptop connected to a TV so that people could see their pictures as soon as they'd been taken.

I was shooting RAW + JPEG in the camera, but I'm not sure this would have any bearing. I wasn't shooting in continuous mode, so at most was capturing 1 frame per second, but it was taking 20-30 seconds per image to download.

The clients loved having the ability to see their pictures almost immediately so it's definitely something I'll use again in future, it would just be nice if it was faster.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you maybe elaborate on how you connect the camera to the laptop? Do you use an USB hub? Which USB version is used? Also: have you tried using Canon's remote capture application to see if that is faster? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 12:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am connecting the camera to the laptop using the Canon supplied USB2.0 cable. It is connected directly, not through a hub, and the socket is definitely USB2.0. I haven't tried Canon's software yet, this is something I will have to look into as an alternative. The convenience of using Lightroom tethering is that the images are already in a catalogue for processing later if they need any adjustments. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pakman
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it turns out that the Canon software is faster you can keep the convenience of using Lightroom (i.e. the images are ready for editing) by setting up a watch folder. You can ask another question on that later. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've just tested it with a 7D, lightroom 5.4, usb 2.0 on a hp6830s and shooting raw+jpg take about 4/5 seconds to show image on LR. Shooting more than one photo reduce speed about to 7/8 seconds \$\endgroup\$
    – Christian
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its not just in version 5.4, in every version of Lightroom that I've tried (starting with LR 4) tethered shooting is much slower than using the free Canon DPP software. I guess that LR does a lot of processing to make previews, etc. I gave up, and just use DPP for tethered shooting, then import the raw images into LR. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


Certainly shooting RAW + JPEG does take more time to transfer since it is more data, but it shouldn't be that much more. Most likely your combined file size is only around 20 to 30MB and should take almost no time over USB 2.0. Interestingly however, the estimated transfer time for USB 1.1 would be around 22 seconds.

I would probably try doing some tests to verify you are actually getting USB 2.0 speeds and that there isn't some driver or configuration problem preventing the port you are using from reaching USB 2.0 speeds. Possibly try the tethered shooting on another system and see if both have the problem.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I haven't had a chance to test this yet but from the figures you provided this sounds like it's probably the problem. Thanks for the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pakman
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 8:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Having now been able to test this, I found that the files were actually taking less than 10 seconds to arrive on the hard drive. Perhaps it's the speed of the hard drive that's actually slowing it down. It's still slower than I'd ideally like but my laptop is getting on a bit now (HP DM1Z). Thanks for the help. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pakman
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 21:00

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