Canon R5 Tethering Nightmare - Any Ideas?

My primary concern with my gear is that is has to be reliable. I will spend 5x on gear unrelated to image quality, like stands and bags, because it just makes my life easier and less stressful when everything works.

I've now covered team's media days with the Canon R5 and I've been impressed with the camera.

The trouble is, a lot of these media days I shoot tethered and that has been a very stressful experience.

My understanding is, the best way to tether is via Lightroom Classic. I read forums and watched a bunch of YouTube videos to learn the specifics of how you have to turn on Lightroom Classic first (because if EOS Utility 3 registers the camera as connected first, Ligthroom Classic won't be able to recognize it). I've read how you have to be very specific about the folder it points to. When the batteries depleted during a 5 hour session, I had to make sure I followed all the start-up steps just perfectly. Same when my card ran out of storage (45MP RAW+Jpg adds up quickly!) and replacing the card effectively turns off the camera (not the case for Olympus) and I have to reconnect the tether.

I also ran into an issue where the card took too long to write, and so it just stalled out. I had 8 images of a student-athlete that fired, but just didn't record, not to my laptop, not to the card, no where. Since I was using a new ProGrade 512GB card, I assumed it was the card, and reverted back to buying a trusty ol' SanDisk. Thankfully I noticed before the student-athlete left and we were able to re-take her headshots.

Tipping Point

It came to a head this week, working with a top gymnastics recruit (trains with Simone Biles and recently made the national team) when I COULD NOT get the tethering to work.

I tried all the various restarts and removal of batteries and cables. And ultimately had to give up to keep the session going on time.

The camera still worked and the images were fine, but the staff, teammates and family didn't get to live-view the images on computer and ipad which is a service I typically offer. And more so, I just felt unprofessional trying to troubleshoot in front of a client. (I learned as I was arriving my usual hour early, that they wanted to start ASAP, so my set up was rushed with them present, but I don't think that would have made a difference)

When I got home, some forums suggested that maybe the card in the camera needed to be empty. So I tried that and voila, it worked!

Such a simple solution seemed too good to be true and I didn't totally trust that would be the reason the tether didn't connect, so I turned the camera off and back on... and sure enough, I'm back in the same boat where I cannot seem to get the tether to connect. If not worse, because now I'm getting a error code on the camera, note that the camera is turned off in this image AND Lightroom Classic enters "the spinning wheel of doom" when I try to start tethering... even when no camera is connected?!

Does anyone have a better recommendation to reliably tether with an R5?!

Ultimate Reliability

Now maybe I just don't like change... but I miss my OM-1 cameras. In the past, I've used Olympus Capture and Olympus Workspace (now OM Capture and OM Workspace) and it has worked reliably every time. When we were launching the EM1-X, Olympus shared the handwritten notes of lead designer of 40 years, Yoshihisa Maitai, and his belief that it was the responsibility of Olympus to provide "Ultimate Reliability" to photographers and that these three attributes were required to achieve Ultimate Reliability.

1. Precisely: ensuring the moment is always captured accurately and beautifully
2. Surely: ensuring the camera is always ready and never malfunctions
3. Confidently: ensuring the photographer can easily hold and operate the camera without undue effort

So Now What?

The good news it, I still have my OM-1 cameras and for my recruit session today, I'll be using them again. The 20MP isn't a problem since these recruit photos don't end up being cropped in to headshots that need to be blown up to billboards, and it's extra convenient because I am going straight from the recruit session to cover a soccer game, so I won't have to bring two-sets of gear.

But the real question is... what comes next-next. I have one more media day next week and then two-weeks before my next media day session. Will I have figured it out by then? Will I bring canon, but also bring Olympus just in case?



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Hello! I am a photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I primarily photograph sports (action, events, and portraits) ... and my feet.




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