Using Manfrotto’s Digital Director

Photo 09-03-2016, 20 26 36

We gave Manfrotto Ambassador Kaye Ford a go with Manfrotto’s Digital Director and asked her to shoot with it, and feed back and write up her experience with it

We hope you find it useful as we think this is such a great tool for photographers AND videographers:

So, what is the Digital Director? In laymans terms, it is essentially a tethering piece of kit that can be used with an iPad. It is for the iPad Air or iPad mini 2,3. It is a device that clips on to the iPad and is then powered by batteries or via the mains. It can also charge the iPad and for that I would recommend using mains power. It comes with a USB cable, but if you need longer you can use your own one. The USB plugs into the Digital Director you have just clipped on to the iPad and then the other end plugs into your camera. Currently the DD (Digital Director. From now on, this will be referred to as DD) only works with Nikon and Canon cameras. I use it with my Canon EOS 6D, and if you do have something with wi-fi inside of it you need to disable the wi-fi completely before the DD will work

Once all connected up, you can turn the DD on. There will be a power button on it. You can then start up the ‘DD’ free app on your iPad and turn the camera on. Once the camera is on you should then start to see everything the camera is seeing on the iPadPhoto 09-03-2016, 20 24 37

This is where it is more than just tethering. Yes I can use the DD as a remote viewfinder and I can mount it onto a tripod if I wanted to so that I have a larger viewfinder for video work, but I can also see focus peaking and zebra stripes (most commonly used in video). I can see all of my ISO information, my aperture and shutter speed, white balance. I can even see lighting information if I have Manfrotto’s LYKOS LED’s connected via bluetooth and I can control those lights also

The screen on the iPad shows you what the camera is seeing, and I can change the focus point just by tapping on an area of this screen. It also highlights your rule of thirds if you are into composing images that way. You can flick between video and stills taking and change all of your settings through sliders. So I can change my aperture and ISO information and also then see the affecting results on the screen, so I know exactly what I am getting before I have even taken a picture

You can even have a look through all of the images currently on the memory card within the camera also, which is a great way of showing clients what you have already shot

Another great way to utilise this is for people who are into vlogging or creating content for Youtube. You can have the camera and the DD facing you so that you can adjust everything with ease

Shooting with the DD attached really helped me quickly change any settings I needed to and see how my shot was going to come out before I had even started shooting, allowing me time to get the model to be comfortable with me and be comfortable in front of my camera

One of the resulting images from my little shoot with it is this:

Steve (3 of 9)

The DD makes sharing images really simple also as when viewing the images you can then choose to save some to your iPad, then allowing you to email the images or share them on social media straight away. I love sharing unedited, straight from camera pics on my social media so that people can then see how little editing I actually do when they see the ‘finalised’ images from my shoots

Thanks for reading!
Kaye Ford
MANFROTTO_ Logo Ambassador

You can shop for the Digital Director on Keyphoto’s website and prices start at £399.95