CamRanger 2 First Job Review

March 17, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I recently photographed two entire days of headshots on location. About 250 employees and 1500 exposures for the two days. Just think of how many hours it would take you to do your initial sort. Not with the CamRanger 2, the subjects pick their favorite, give it a star rating and you move on to the next person. When it was time to post-process I only had to deal with the 250 frames that they had already selected, what a time saver that was! But, that was just the beginning, this is a game-changer for so many reasons.

Here are a few of the advantages I've discovered so far:

  1. The client picks their favorite photo on the spot. If they don't like it, you shoot a few more. You don't have to narrow it down to three or four, send them to your contact, they would have to distribute to all 250 people for them to pick their favorite and then they would send you a list of their "selects", back and forth until eventually you know what they want. Many hours of sorting and multiple uploads later, you are finally ready to finish the project. I saved many hours...possibly a full day with this system! Time is money as we all know. 
  2. No more reshoots! They leave happy and excited about their new photo. We heard it time and time again, "oh my gosh, these are great!" 
  3. Everyone "buys into" the process. There is a positive buzz and they sincerely appreciate the fact that their employer-provided this for them. Almost everyone asked if they could have a copy of the file, and several people took phone photos of my iPad!
  4. They have a professional portrait for social media and speaking engagements...that THEY picked!
  5. Workflow simplicity. Initially, the setup is a little time-consuming and finicky, but I'll point out a few of the workarounds I've incorporated that should save you some time researching and resolving.

CamRanger 2 with Fuji X-T3, 50-140mm lens and Profoto Air Remote transmitter on Sirui Tripod

CamRanger 2 works with most camera models. All the current "players" are supported: Canon, Fuji, Nikon, and Sony. I have been a happy Fuji shooter for 7 of the last 8 years. My reason is simple, I make a living photographing people. Flesh tones SOOC (straight out of camera) are incredible! My goal is to always use JPEG's when possible, and in a studio situation (for me) that should be every single time. I know, that statement divides a bunch of people. Many photographers are passionate about one or the other, and it is a personal preference based on your style and experience. Personally I still shoot RAW plus JPEG on almost every job. It is a huge safety net providing peace of mind in case I make a mistake. RAW allows me to save the job IF I need to. (and we have all needed to at some point) The CamRanger unit will accept an SD card internally. But, it will only record JPEG's so for some of you that may be a problem. If that's you, then just use your cameras SD cards to write your RAW files to. If you use the code NCOURY20 on their website, you will save $20.00!

I shoot a pair of Fuji X-T3's I use for 99% of my photography. It is pretty important to understand the inventors of the CamRanger aren't photographers, they are just super smart people that set out to solve a problem. There is a real advantage to this when you hit an obstacle, they typically are able to resolve it quickly. There are a few quirky settings that are different on Fuji and Sony, but they have addressed them on their website.

One of my early discoveries is that depending on your camera brand when you plug in the cable, the USB connection may attempt to power the CamRanger from the camera battery. This will drain your camera in a hurry! You can opt to buy two batteries and a charge when you purchase it and unless you are shooting for 8 hours straight, I doubt you would have any reason to plug into a power source. Because of that, I have several friends that are using these in action sports situations. Shooting and sending the images in real-time to the client. In fact, you can send it to multiple feeds that will allow someone from the school to post to all social media feeds almost instantly!

There is no way your camera battery can keep up with the demand for establishing a WiFi connection all day. No worries, there is a charging option on the CamRanger and it works like a champ! I should also mention that my iPad was on all day and running the CamRanger app with a single charge, so it doesn't need much to keep running. That was powered up, connected to WiFi...impressive! It worked the same both days with power to spare so I'm convinced it does the job very efficiently.

Having a talented HMUA on the scene makes my job so much easier!

Here is an overall view from the fill light position.


The client views and approves their selection on the spot!

I don't think there is a more customer-friendly way to offer location headshots. If there's something they don't like about themselves or the image, there isn't a better time to hear about it. And when they have selected the image, they have approved the image. It is the ultimate win/win for you, the subject, and your customer.




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