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Camera Trends: Why Buy Wi-Fi?

Last updated on 08/11/2013

Manufacturers are boasting about wi-fi enabled cameras, but what, exactly, does that mean?
By Hillary Grigonis

Wi-fi is becoming a staple for new digital cameras. But is wi-fi a useless ad-on that simply adds to the cost of a camera without adding quality? Well, that depends on who you ask.

If you...

  • Love taking pictures with your smartphone to instantly share them online.
  • Are usually missing from group photos because you're behind the camera.
  • Like candid shots but can't ever seem to take photos unnoticed.
  • Want to take nature photos without scaring away the critters.
  • Then you would probably love the extra features in a wi-fi camera.

    But if you...

  • Don't own a smartphone or tablet.
  • Don't share many photos online.
  • Love the simplicity of using a self timer for group photos.
  • Mostly take pictures of family and friends.
  • Then a wi-fi enabled camera might not be worth the extra cost.










    Smartphones can be used as a remote for wi-fi enabled cameras and camcorders.





    Adding wi-fi to a camera adds more than just one feature, it adds several. Wi-fi allows the camera to connect to a smartphone or tablet to upload photos without removing the SD card or plugging the camera in. Once the photos are uploaded, images can be shared on the web the same way that smart phone photos are shared. Uploading with wi-fi, however, is generally much slower than plugging the SD card into a computer. And with the limited data on most smart phones, it's generally best to always back up the photos to a computer.

    Wi-fi cameras also allow the user to use a smart phone or tablet as a remote control, to snap a picture without actually being behind the camera. The screen will display what the camera sees, so you don't have to guess when to use the remote trigger. Depending on the manufacturer, the apps also allow for adjusting settings and zooming in or out.

    The remote feature is great for jumping in on group photos, snapping candid shots or capturing wildlife. Beware though, that the remote range is limited. You won't be able to set up the camera in a wooded property and leave, but you can point the camera at a bird's nest in your yard and operate the camera from inside the house.

    Cameras with wi-fi allow for the fast internet uploads that you get with a smartphone, with the image quality of a dedicated camera.

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