We most likely had the same thought when first looking at this — they’re USB cables, what can be said about them?
That’s true, to a point.
Area51 Tether Co. is a company making USB Cables and other camera tethering accessories for photographers. For years I have used Tether Tools cables for my tethering needs. So it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to test the Area51 cables and compare them to the brand that has been the king of tethering in the photo industry for years.
Area51 offers a variety of USB cables with your standard connections including USB-C, USB Micro B and USB-3 A. The cables have right angles for the camera connections, and straight connections for the computer connections. They also offer extension cables that do not lose any speed even with the added distance. The longest length available a the time of writing this is a 31-foot cable and a 16-foot extension.
That’s some distance!
The cables are thick, they’re a nice bright red (but not too bright), with a matte finish. They’re textured slightly so you have a good grip on them. The tubing is made of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) which makes it quite durable and strong. Each port or plug is gold plated for optimal quality of transmission.
The extension I received does not offer a cable locking mechanism inside of it. However, Area51 does offer cable protectors even though it’s not clear if it works with all of their extensions.
The Hanger strap that Area51 offers is an inexpensive tool to secure your cables while photographing tethered, ensuring that someone tripping on a cable doesn’t break your equipment. It can also be used to wrap your cable when not in use. Two birds, one strap.
For those who tether a lot and use a tripod, they offer a beautiful Arca-Swiss camera plate, with a cable port going through it. That way you can tether and keep your cable securely plugged in without risk of damage.
Overall I’m pleased with the quality of the cables and the data speeds I’m getting. They’re fast, although not too much faster than my current alternative. They’re heavy-duty, which is what I care about more.
Plus the color is less in your face, but still visible on a dimly lit set.