Having a portable, powerful digital SLR is a great way to take stunning photos wherever you are. In our hyper-connected culture, though, it's hard to not want to share the photos you capture straight away, especially if they're once-in-a-lifetime snaps. Newer cameras integrate incredibly useful features like Wi-Fi and NFC, though, that make connecting to a smartphone or tablet simple, and that make it possible to edit and share photos from anywhere you have a mobile signal.
In partnership with Nikon, Gizmodo’s 2015 Photography Guide features everything from lenses, accessories to sharing photos on the go. My Nikon Life connects beginner, enthusiast and professional photographers through their love of capturing beautiful images in an online community.
Find The Right Apps For Your Mobile Device
Your camera should have free (or hopefully at least cheap) apps, usually on both iOS and Android, that will take care of the connection process. On Android, you'll also be able to use NFC if your camera and smartphone both support it — this little chip contains all the Wi-Fi connection info inside it, and should make a solid device-to-device link instantly.
Those apps are built to browse photos on your camera as you capture them, and to quickly and securely transfer them to your smartphone or tablet — so you can edit them, crop them, or just share them onwards to a social network, or even just email or an online storage service like OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive.
Once you've connected your camera to your mobile device, you'll be able to set up a simple, straightforward process for snapping photos, then looking through the list of images you've captured, then downloading them to your mobile device. From there, you should already know what to do — you can share directly to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or another social network.
Use Your Smartphone Or Tablet To Take Photos
As well as corralling your photos in one place — on a larger and more detailed one than on the back of your camera, with a direct connection to your friends and the internet — your smartphone, tablet or even a portable and lightweight laptop can come in handy for actually taking photos, using your camera and lens remotely, whether it's handheld or on a tripod.
Your app should have some kind of 'remote' option, too, and it'll be this feature that you use to control your camera's settings and take photos without actually touching it. Especially when you're using a tripod and shooting something like a stunning landscape, you want to touch your camera as little as possible, and avoid any unwanted vibration or shaking.
On more advanced cameras, you'll have the option to change shutter speed, ISO, aperture and focus just like on the camera itself, as well as potentially being able to adjust more advanced settings like white balance, picture styles and shooting options like autofocus method and autofocus point. From there, you should be able to take exactly the shot that you want.
Import Directly To A Photo Editing App On PC
If you want to edit your photos a little before you share them to friends, an online community like My Nikon Life or your favourite social networks, then it's easiest to connect your camera to your PC or laptop and import them directly into a photo editing application, then edit and upload from there.
There are a bunch of different photo editing applications out there, and some are free with the camera you purchase — like Nikon's Capture NX-D, Canon's Digital Photo Professional, or Samsung's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom bundle. If your camera doesn't come with software already, we'd recommend you try out Photoshop Lightroom for a month's free trial, to see if it's right for your needs.
You can either connect your camera with the mini- or micro-USB cable that came bundled with it in the retail box — you'd connect that to the USB port on your PC, and it'll appear just like a flash drive or portable hard drive. If you're on a laptop, check to see whether it has a SD card reader built in, or buy a third-party SD card reader if it doesn't and you'd prefer not to use a cable.
Questions, comments, tips? You can find me on Twitter at @csimps0n.