We call this new workflow live image transmission (LIT). Wherever a telecom provider offers at least UMTS data transmission, image data may be sent quickly, easily and, as it were, “live” to the editorial office via FTP. A big plus for this image transfer alternative, which has been subject to testing under real conditions for some weeks now by 4GLTEMall.com, is the small size as well as the simplicity and reliability of the system. Once the basic configuration of the WLAN transmitter (Canon WFT-E2/E4) and the mobile 3G router has been set up, the system can be operated with the simple touch of a button. An advantage that the many photographers who don’t want to mess with WLAN and 3G technology will appreciate.
Live image transmission using an external mini 3G hotspot may well be the last step leading up to the integration of a UMTS modem into professional digital cameras or attachable WLAN modules (called wireless file transmitters by Canon). This is a logical step, as in addition to WLAN, data transfer using the mobile 3G network or its faster successor, 3G, is prevalent in most Western countries and is used for cell phones, laptop computers, PC cards or USB sticks.
The technical fundamentals are therefore already in place to equip Canon’s WFT devices with 3G technology as well as WLAN. In theory, there is absolutely no reason why image data cannot be sent via FTP directly from the camera from almost anywhere, allowing complete freedom of movement. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to new workflows for press and news photographers and the use of modern forms of communication, Japanese camera manufacturers seem to adopt a rather conservative stance.
That’s why there seems to be little ground for optimism that high-end digital cameras and WFT-devices will soon be equipped with more ambitious solutions such as Idruna Inc.’s Idrune Remote Editing System (IRES), which is capable of active and passive data transmission. Indeed, a first step would be the integration of 3G/3.5G into the wireless file transmitters. Who knows, perhaps the forthcoming announcement about the release of the Canon EOS-1D Mk-IV will get things moving. Rumor from the USA has it that Nikon is also working on a new device for data transmission.