In the field with the Canon EOS Remote app for iPhone

Canon's free EOS Remote app has been around for a while, but until recently I didn't have a Canon DSLR that supported it. I recently upgraded to Canon 6D gear, and was anxious to see if the app made my field photography any easier.

The app works on the Canon 6D and 70D. It creates a WiFi network letting you switch your phone to that network as if it was a wireless access point. The camera generates a unique identifier, which you use as a password.

Once connected, the app lets you adjust Av, Tv, ISO and exposure values, remotely select focus points, and release the shutter from your iPhone touch screen. You can also remotely browse photos on your phone, and even rate and delete them. You won't download the full size image, that would be too much for the bandwidth supplied, but you get a nice-looking, smaller image. The app doesn't support MOV files, and they can't be saved to your iPhone. You also can't remotely trigger movie mode. There is also a nice feature that lets you set your camera clock from your iPhone system time.

On a recent trip up to Monument Valley on the Arizona and Utah border, I put the app through its paces. Paring was easy, and the camera live view appeared on my iPhone screen almost instantly. Focus points were easy to choose by tapping, and the shutter release when done from my phone was quick to respond.

One issue showed up if your are shooting bracketed exposures or an HDR series. With the camera set up properly, you normally touch the shutter button on the camera and three, five or seven exposures fire off with just the one touch On the Canon EOS Remote, if you want three exposures you activate the shutter three times. Same for five or seven exposures. It seems a silly oversight. The camera button and the remote button should operate in the same way.

On the plus side, I like being able to trigger the camera without touching it. It keeps the vibration down, and gives me the equivalent of a hardware tethered shutter release with a lot of extra features a wired remote doesn't have.

Sadly, this app is iPhone only, which is a significant oversight as more and more iPads are finding their way into photographers' workflows. Maybe someday. Of course you can use the iPhone version on an iPad and view at 2X, but that's a nasty compromise.

Canon should get kudos for producing the app. It's free and useful if you have a Canon it will work with. Over time I expect to see Canon continue to add new features, but at its current status it is still both clever and handy to have along.

The app requires at least iOS 5 or later.