While the D5 and D500 understandably took top billing, Nikon made another announcement at CES that’s worth highlighting.
That news is an update to the company’s SnapBridge wireless image transfer technology.
The new SnapBridge takes advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy, a wireless technology designed to maximize power consumption for tiny connected devices (the so-called “Internet of Things”). With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), both your smartphone and your Nikon camera will stay connected, allowing image transfers from camera-to-phone to occur automatically and in real time.
Unlike the original SnapBridge, a user won’t have to manually initiate an image transfer to a mobile device–those will now happen as you shoot. You won’t lose Internet access on your mobile device while you shoot, either, so you can post images to social media as they populate your camera roll. Basically, BLE keeps the connection between camera and smartphone live and when it’s time to actually start transferring data, the connection switches to standard Bluetooth for better bandwidth, then back to BLE when you’re done.
You’ll only need to configure you camera and mobile device once, then it will be automatically recognized after that. You can pair up to five devices to a single camera.
To take advantage of the new SnapBridge, you’ll need to have the free SnapBridge app (iOS and Android) on your phone. The application allows you to key in image info (copyright, text and logos) as well remotely view your scene and activate your camera’s shutter.
By default, SnapBridge sends images as 2-megapixel JPEGs to your device, but you can also opt to wirelessly send full-sized JPEGs to your phone/tablet as well. It also takes time and location data from your mobile device and syncs it to the camera, so your camera settings are always aligned with the local time zone.
Nikon said that the updated SnapBridge technology will be rolled out to “almost every” Nikon camera in 2016, starting with the D500.
Get all the photo and filmmaking news from CES 2016.