I will admit it, I’m pretty new to Capture One 22, but one of the things I was really looking forward to was tethering my Sony camera to it. Something I miss from my old Nikon days. It seemed relatively straightforward until … well, it wasn’t. So let me share how I tethered my Sony a7R III to Capture One 22, and some of the issues I had.

I used to tether for studio shoots in Lightroom with my Nikon gear. It was simple and straightforward — plug and play. But then a few years ago, I moved over to Sony and Lightroom didn’t want to play anymore. I admit I did briefly look at Capture One, which came with my Sony many years ago. But I got frustrated and went back to Lightroom for editing.

Now, I know that there is a workaround for Sony to be tethered to Lightroom. And to be honest, well, that frustrated me too. So I was back to try my hand with the new Capture One 22.

Sony camera settings

Sony Alpha models require the USB Connection Menu to be set to PC Remote (page 4 in the Toolbox menu) to be able to tether. When I tried to access this feature, I found I could only select Mass Storage as an option. What I finally figured out — after quite a bit of Googling — was that this feature is not available IF you have the Ctrl with Smartphone setting turned on (Network, page 1).

I, of course, had been using my smartphone as a remote trigger, as I couldn’t find my usual remote. Once that problem was solved I turned the Ctrl with Smartphone turned OFF, then selected PC Remote in the Toolbox menu. Then I connected via USB to my PC. Both USB-A and USB-C worked, which is fabulous.

Now to get started in Capture One 22

So now when I opened Capture One 22, I started a new Session by going to File > New Session > Name Session. Then I connected the tether cable from my Sony to the PC, and the Camera Tool tab was activated, stating there was a connection.

But I couldn’t see anything. I could see my settings and randomly take a photo, even see my blurry photo, but not Live View. Again, I was missing something. Another Google search later and I realized that while the connection was there, I hadn’t opened the Live View window! It looks like a little video camera (see below in orange), and it’s right next to the large gray shutter button.

Turn LiveView On in Capture One to see the camera
Turn Live View on in Capture One to see the camera’s view

What’s hot …

Once Live View is turned on, you have access to loads of settings for your camera. You can change aperture, ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation and change from single to multi-shot. As long as your autofocus is on and it is in the desired location, you can press AF and set from Capture One.

To take a photo, just press the big round shutter button (next to the Live View button). The image will then appear back in the Capture panel (you will now need to minimize the Live View panel). Now you can edit directly, pretty cool. A copy of the image taken will be on the PC and on the SD card in the camera. You can add a grid, and even turn your image black and white.

Then there is the Overlay feature — VERY COOL. But I will leave that for another article. Capture Pilot also looks amazing. This allows a client to see, rate and check images remotely while you are shooting. It can make for faster and more precise communication between photographer, stylist and client. Fantastic. But for me, this needs a little more investigation and practice.

You can focus tethered, but it’s not super intuitive. You have to use the Camera Focus tool, located in the Live View window. Not all cameras are supported, though, like my a7R III. So if you aren’t able to adjust focus in Capture One, you’ll have to do so from the camera.

What’s not …

To be fair every program has its pitfalls, right? So what wasn’t so great?

First, I found it to be a bit of a pain juggling between the Capture window and the Live View window. Once you’ve used it a few times, it gets easier, but on a small laptop things can get lost easily.

Second, I missed being able to look at Peak Metering, which I typically use when shooting with my camera.

Getting into the swing of things

Now that I am slowly getting a feel for how things work in Capture One 22, I am keen to play with it some more. Once I am feeling totally comfortable with it, I am really looking forward to using it in the studio for clients, portraits and still life/product shoots as well as running during classes and workshops.

I feel tethering my Sony to Capture One 22 will be an invaluable tool on a much larger screen rather than my camera’s little LCD.