Wireless, High-Speed Tethering System

Review by Gilmar Smith

The Air Direct by Tether Tools is a wireless, high-speed tethering system that allows you to transfer RAW or JPEG images to your computer using the software program of your choice, or to a mobile device using Tether Tools’ Air Remote app (Nikon and Canon users only). Air Direct can be mounted on the hot shoe, or an L-Bracket using the Arca Clamp accessory available for purchase on the Tether Tools website, and connects to the camera through a USB-C cable. It has the option of 2.4-GHz or 5-GHz bandwidth for faster transmission, less environmental interference, and further distance (up to 200′). The Air Direct only weighs 6 oz and measures 1.5×3.6×2.7″. 

The unit is independently powered by an LP-E6/N battery, so it doesn’t take power from your camera, and the battery life is 3.5 hours. The Air Direct comes with a DC port that allows you to change the battery without losing power and interrupting your session. 

The Air Direct currently has compatibility issues with macOS Catalina, but Tether Tools is working on a fix. (If you haven’t made the update to Catalina, or you use Windows, there are no compatibility problems.) As a Mac user, I had already upgraded to Catalina when I received the Air Direct for review; so, in order for it to work, I had to download Smart Shooter 4, which is compatible with Nikon, Canon, and Sony cameras. (Smart Shooter costs $69.95, and the Pro version costs $195.95, but there’s a free 30-day trial available.) 

The Air Direct worked wonderfully, and I was able to wirelessly transfer my images to my computer via Smart Shooter with no issues. I love having the camera “untethered,” because I mostly work with kids, I usually forget the camera is attached to the computer via a cable, and I’m clumsy. ■