Nikon NX Tether 2.0 adds live view and wireless camera control
As well as the new firmware for the Nikon Z8 (buy here), Nikon has also released NX Tether 2.0. The new major version update brings some big changes. It now offers full remote control with live view display in real-time.
It finally looks like NX Tether is more of a complete tethering solution. It won’t be a Capture One or Lightroom alternative for everybody, but NX Tether does have one big advantage. It’s free.
NX Tether 2.0 with Camera Control Pro built-in
The biggest new feature in NX Tether 2.0 is the incorporation of remote control functions. These functions previously only existed in Nikon’s Camera Control Pro 2 software. This was a paid application. Those features are now free, thanks to their inclusion in NX Tether.
This will make a lot of Nikon owners, particularly newer Nikon owners, very happy. Now, new camera owners can play around with tethering their cameras without paying for Lightroom or Capture One. I still think those applications are a logical next step from NX Tether 2.0, but it’s a good, free place to start if you’re new and learning.
Now with Live View
NX Tether 2.0 also adds Live View capability to the application. This is what allows the remote configuration and control from your computer. It also offers a full-frame Live View feature. This allows photographers and clients to check the results properly as they come in on a larger monitor.
Users can select from various file formats (jpg, raw, heif), and you can choose which files to transfer back to the computer if you’re shooting multiple formats simultaneously. For example, if you shoot raw+jpg, you can choose to have only the jpg transfer to the computer for faster throughput while shooting.
Wireless camera control
The days of USB cables are rapidly disappearing. At least, they are for remote camera control. WiFi control from smartphone apps was introduced to DSLRs quite a few years ago. I can’t recall the first, but I can remember a friend of mine showing it off as a feature of his Canon EOS 6D, released in 2012.
So, it’s been a while.
Now, Nikon has implemented WiFi control with camera models that have built-in WiFi. This will be extremely useful for those who might have static cameras mounted and rigged in awkward locations – above a stage, for example – where USB cables would be difficult to run.
What else is new?
Here is the complete list of changes to NX Tether in the new version 2.0 update.
Primary features of NX Tether Ver.2.0.0
- Support provided for still-image and video recording.
- The functions that were available for a charge with Camera Control Pro 2, are now offered for free.
- Addition of a live view display, required for remote tethered shooting from a computer. The application also features a full-frame live view display option that allows photographers and clients to check that the desired results are being achieved, on a large monitor, even when they are away from a computer.
- Camera operation functions for control over shooting settings unique to Nikon, such as Picture Control and Active D-Lighting, are also available.
- Users can select the format (JPEG, RAW, HEIF) in which images are recorded. What’s more, when recording RAW + JPEG or HEIF, the user can choose to have only the JPEG or HEIF images transferred to the computer.
- Wireless control is also possible by utilizing the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi to connect to the computer with Nikon’s free Wireless Transmitter Utility software. (Supported cameras: Z 9, Z 8)
- Supports an efficient workflow with the switch between still-image and video recording and a multifunctional yet simple and easy-to-use user interface.
- The application window layout can be arranged to suit each user’s preferences and workflow, providing flexible operation in any situation.
Microsoft Windows 11
Microsoft Windows 10
macOS Sonoma 14
macOS Ventura 13
macOS Monterey 12
It should be made clear that NX Tether 2.0 doesn’t support all Nikon cameras. If you’re using DSLRs, you’re probably going to need to stick to the original NX Tether app and if you need remote control and live view, pay for Camera Control Pro 2.
NX Tether 2.0 only supports a couple of Nikon’s DSLRs and not all of their current Z mount mirrorless lineup. Here are the fully compatible cameras.
- Nikon D6
- Nikon D780
- Nikon Z9
- Nikon Z8
- Nikon Z7II
- Nikon Z6II
- Nikon Z7
- Nikon Z6
Nikon does say that other cameras, including the Nikon Zf, Zfc, Z5, Z50 and Z30 do offer basic tethered shooting functions, but that’s about it. You won’t get the same level of support as the cameras listed above.
Beyond the Nikon D6 and D780, there’s no mention of DSLRs at all. So, whether they’ll get the same basic tethered features as the Z mount models mentioned is unclear. The app’s free, though, so it’s easy to download it and find out if it works with your camera.
Price and Availability
Nikon NX Tether 2.0 is available to download now from the Nikon website at no cost whatsoever. That’s right, it’s completely free. It’s nice to see Nikon rolling their Camera Control Pro 2 features into NX Tether 2.0.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.