Review: Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1b...

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Review: Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1b...

Postby Remorhaz on Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:15 am

First a quick summary - in short - at this stage don't bother...

The WU-1b wirelessly connects your camera to iOS and Android devices. With this adapter, you can transfer photos directly to your smartphone and tablet or turn it into your camera’s remote control.

Currently this adapter supports the D600, Nikon 1 V2, Nikon 1 J3 and Nikon 1 S1 cameras. There is also a WU-1a adapter which currently supports the D3200 and D5200 cameras.

The key features of this device are:

- Easy Transfer: Images from the camera can be downloaded to a compatible smart device as they are taken, or existing images can be downloaded from the camera's SD memory card.

- Wi-Fi Shooting: Images can be taken remotely using a compatible smart device using the camera's Live View preview on the smart device to frame and compose the subject. Note: Smart device is used to remotely fire the camera, maximum distance is up to 20m and the smart device can’t be used to adjust settings on the camera

The way it works is that the adapter creates an ah-hoc wireless network and you install an app (Nikon supplies the free WMAU app in the app store) which then connects to your adapter and controls your camera.

- the adapter is surprisingly small - much smaller than I was expecting it to be
- relatively cheap - I purchased mine from B&H for under $60 (not including delivery - I was already buying other stuff)

- it's flaky - it's probably not the adapter but rather the software is flaky - it disconnects whenever it feels like it - which is often - this isn't just limited to the IOS version I use but a friend also has one and gets the same result on Android. I hope it's just the software and this gets fixed in future because this basically makes the device very unreliable and thus unusable
- it's limited - I knew this to begin with but it would be nice (since the device plugs into the USB port on the camera instead of the remote trigger input) if it also supported other features like:
- intervalometer
- adjusting camera settings - Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, WB, Metering, Focus Modes, Bracketing, etc
- exposure bracketing (virtually unlimited steps, stops, etc)
- control focus for focus stacking
- movie recording
- I guess it might be technically possible for third party apps in future to implement some or all of the above - I hope so
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Re: Review: Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1b...

Postby Mr Darcy on Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:20 pm

Thanks Rodney.

Sounds like its just as well I have none of those cameras so I can't be tempted.
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Re: Review: Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1b...

Postby gstark on Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:59 pm

Remorhaz wrote:- it's flaky - it's probably not the adapter but rather the software is flaky - it disconnects whenever it feels like it - which is often


Could this be related to the fact that the camera powers itself down after x seconds without being used? I have seen this sort of issue with other add-on devices, in that where the add-on device relies upon the camera's power as its power source, but the camera powers down, the add-on device then renders itself turned-off and thus to be of no real use.

It's a basic conceptual fail within the context of an amateur shooter. Usually it can be fixed by working around the auto-off facility of the camera.
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Review: Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1b...

Postby chrisk on Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:56 pm

I dont think so gary. Similar connectivity issues are apparent with the gopro system and app and neither are powered off. It just drops in and out and also sometimes the lag in connection makes it incredibly frustrating or most situations.
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Re: Review: Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1b...

Postby Glen on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:46 pm

Just a little update on Remorhaz review of the WU -1b. I have the WU-1a and would wholeheartedly agree with the review, especially regarding the Nikon software, very, very basic it really only allows you to take pictures or transfer them wirelessly (seemingly the main aim for the device). I have also tried DSLR Dashboard software, available free from Google Play (also I think it may be available for Apple ).

DSLR Dashboard allows control of most of the camera functions such as aperture, WB, etc from the remote device. I used it for two half hour sessions, no connectivity issues on a Samsung Galaxy S2 and dropped out once on an Asus TF700 (probably more related to the Asus) all from within 3 metres of the camera. I can see this being useful for someone taking photos from an inaccessible location such as off a shop awning, from a balcony or 3 metre tripod over a room, etc. In other circumstances I would prefer to use the camera conventionally. Without changing the displayed screen resolution (I didn't even look to see if it was possible) I don't think it would be useful for macro.

If you have a WU-1a or WU-1b I would recommend DSLR Dashboard, great value for the price. If you have to purchase either WU device, I think you would really want a specific requirement to purchase this.

An image of the screen taken from the developers website and developers description:

DslrDashboard features:
Remote capture,
Change camera properties,
Browse images on camera,
Transfer images from camera to Android device,
Preview images (jpg and raw),
Live view,
Live view histogram,
Manual focus movement while in live view,
Start movie recording (only on camera models that support it),
Custom bracketing (up to 9 images),
Focus stacking,
Time-lapse (simple and advanced with control file and ability to move focus and send commands to Arduino),
Sound initiated capture (with spectral display and frequency/intensity selector,
Nikon flash commander dialog (CLS) for easy settings (only on camera models that support it),
DoF calculator.
Custom profiles for camera properties, custom bracketing, focus stacking, flash commander
Remote control over wireless network (Android devices must be on same network)
Support for WU-1a/1b adapter (PTP/IP) Tactical Torches - Tactical Flashlights Police torch rechargeable torch military torch police military HID surefire flashlight LED torch tactical torch rechargeable wolf eyes flashlight surefire torch wolf eyes tactical torchpolice torch
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Re: Review: Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1b...

Postby aim54x on Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:48 pm

Great stuff....people actually using these devices...I dont have a compatible camera but great to hear the feedback.
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