FAQ – Helicon Remote

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Q: Helicon Remote doesn't show up in Google Play, or shows up as incompatible

A: It means that the device is incompatible with Remote, either because it doesn't have USB host hardware or because Android doesn't have USB support. In the latter case installing a custom ROM with no such limitations, like CyanogenMod, might help (you should only attempt that if you have at least some idea of how to do it).

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Q: What cables do I need?
A: For Mac and Windows - the same cable you use for downloading photos from the camera. For Android - the same cable plus a USB OTG adapter (unless you use a tablet that has a full size USB socket, as opposed to micro USB. Then you don't need an adapter).

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Q: Camera is not detected (USB connection)

A: Make sure that operating system itself detects the camera. If the system detects your camera and Helicon Remote does not - send a bug report (menu -> Help -> Report a bug on Windows / Mac, menu -> Feedback -> Report a bug on Android).
On Android, there should be a pop-up prompt when you connect the camera and it turn it on (the prompt asks which app to launch to handle the camera). If there's no prompt, it's safe to say the problem is not with Helicon Remote app itself.
Determining the issue:
- Make sure you are using a USB OTG adapter. It's an adapter with micro USB plug on one end and USB A (full-size) socket on the other (unless usbport on your device is not micro USB, like on some Samsung tablets). If your addapter is different - it's wrong. If it's a long cable and not just a small adapter - it's most likely wrong. If your adapter conforms to the description, it still may be wrong (OTG adapter has a special pin layout).
- Connect a USB mouse instead of the camera. A mouse cursor should appear on the screen. If it doesn't, then either your adapter is not OTG, or your device has no USB host hardware, or Android has no USB support.
- If a cursor does appear but the camera is not detected, it means that Android is configured to detect some kinds of devices and not others, and cameras didn't make it to the white list. It can be solved by installing a custom Android ROM (like CyanogenMod), but you only should do that if you have some understanding of the process. Alternatively, if your Android is rooted you may try this tool (the "Fix" button), which sometimes helps: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.tauruslabs.usbhostcheck

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Q: How to configure Helicon Remote to save images to the memory card instead of downloading them to a computer or tablet?

A: Please find the detailed instructions in the relevant section of our Help manual

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Q: How can I shoot and adjust the camera's settings using the camera body controls and not Helicon Remote interface?

A: Turn live view off and camera body controls will become functional. Images taken this way (by pressing the shutter release button on the camera) will still be brought up for review (unless you've chosen to leave them in the camera and not download to Remote).

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Q: How to prevent Helicon Remote from activating live view prior to taking a shot?

A: This is controlled by a setting in Helicon Remote: preferences -> Shooting -> Activate live view when taking a shot -> set it to "No".
Note: this setting does not always have effect. If you have a Nikon camera, or you have a Canon 450D / 1000D / 40D / 1D Mk III / 1Ds Mk III, you can only shoot without live view if the lens is set to manual focus mode (which means that you can't perform focus bracketing by driving the camera's lens and avoid turning live view on). This is due to firmware limitations of these cameras. Also, for most cameras live view must be activated to drive the lens, so Remote may still turn live on for moving focus and then turn it off before taking a shot.

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Q: How to save the result of focus stacking on Android?

A: You can't. Focus stacking is for preview purposes only, so that you can make sure your images are good while you're still in the field and can re-shoot in case of trouble. The stacking isn't even done in full resolution (due to hardware limitations of mobile devices). For actual high quality focus stacking use Helicon Focus software on Windows or Mac.

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Q: Flash (strobe) doesn't work with a Canon camera, what should I do?

A: Disable silent release mode in the camera body settings. If it still doesn't work, go to preferences -> Shooting and set "Enable live view when taking a shot" to "No".

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Q: Reporting a bug on Mac OS X in case of Helicon Remote crash

A: There should be a pop-up message stating that the program has closed unexpectedly.

Press the "Show Details" button and it will open up long text that you should copy to clipboard and send us.

You can paste the text into the "Comments" field of Helicon Remote bug report.

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Q: How should I setup the camera body for use with Helicon Remote?

A: Please find the detailed instructions in the relevant section of our Help manual

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Q: I get a 'Video driver is missing' message

A: Go to device manager, find your video adapter, right click it and select Update driver software -> Browse my computer -> Let me pick from a list. Here make sure "Show compatible hardware" is checked, and see if there's Intel / nVidia / AMD drivers in the list (depending on what manufacturer's adapter you have installed). Double-click it. If there are several similar options - double-click the one with the latest version number or release date).

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Q: How to select live view or fast preview zoom level?

A: You can select the zoom level with mouse wheel on Windows / Mac (or the corresponding gesture on Mac), or with pinch zoom gesture on Android.

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Q: Although my camera is connected and Helicon Remote starts, nothing works: there is no Live View and all the controls are greyed out. What is the problem?

A: Your camera is probably not supported. See the list of supported cameras here. If your camera is on the list of supported cameras but you still can't see Live View, please report a bug; in your report please specify your camera and describe the problem. We will try to help you ASAP.

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Q: Why is my camera not supported?

A: Helicon Remote only supports Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras.

Helicon Remote can only work with cameras that support remote Live View and remote focus control. Canon cameras prior to 40D and Nikon cameras prior to D90 do not support these features. Helicon Remote also doesn't support the Nikon D3000 line of cameras because they lack remote control capabilities.

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Q: I cannot find my camera on the supported cameras list. Why is it not supported and when will it be?

A: The list of supported cameras is constantly updated. If you’re talking about a Nikon or a Canon DSLR that has just been released, it will be supported shortly (typically within one week). If it's not a DSLR, or a one from the brand other than Nikon or Canon, then it's not supported because it’s not compatible with the required remote control protocol or it doesn't have the relevant features (e. g. live view, focus adjustment).

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Q: How can I connect to my camera? What cable should I use to connect?

A: First you should decide whether you want to use wired (USB) or wireless (Wi-Fi) connection. Not all cameras can be connected wirelessly, see the supported cameras list for details.

Wireless connection: refer to the manual

USB connection: you need the regular data USB cable for connecting the camera to a computer. You've received one with the camera. If you're connecting to an Android device you will also need a USB OTG adapter. If you don’t use the adapter the connection will not be established.

Note that wired connection is IMPOSSIBLE on iOS.

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Q: I purchased a Helicon Remote mobile license. How can I get it registered on my Android/iOS device?

A: Please visit the Registration help for mobile devices page for get all the detailed instructions.

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Q: Why is the exposure of the Live View image different from actual shots? Can this be fixed?

A: It is normal for Live View image to have the exposure different from the one on actual shots. Camera manufacturers use certain tricks to emulate the actual exposure (with varying success), but the fact is that the exposure time cannot be accurately applied in Live View mode (because unlike the actual shot, the shutter isn't triggered for each Live View frame). That's why you should always use either the "Preview" or the "Fast preview" function of Helicon Remote to check the actual exposure before proceeding with the shoot.

Now that you understand Live View exposure will rarely be 100% accurate, here's what you can do to make it as accurate as possible.

  1. Make sure that the "Live View exposure simulation" feature is enabled in the camera body. You can do it from Helicon Remote by ensuring that the Tools -> Live view -> Exposure simulation is turned on (checked).
    Note that if your camera is an older Nikon, this item will be unchecked and grayed out because the camera doesn't have this feature.
  2. Make sure that the Live View brightness boost is disabled in Helicon Remote. This option will overexpose your Live View image which is handy for low light conditions but undesirable in most other cases. You can turn the boost off or on in Preferences -> Interface -> Increase Live View brightness.

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Q: Troubleshooting guide

- Make sure no other camera related software is running. On Mac / Android / Windows XP running any other program at the same time as Helicon Remote (while the camera is connected) will cause trouble up to system-wide freezes and lock-ups. Windows 7 and 8 can tolerate this problem to some extent.
- Pay attention to programs that open up automatically when you connect the camera (autoplay menu, image import tool etc.) and close them prior to starting Remote. That means you should generally connect the camera first, close all pop-ups and only then start Remote.
- Turn the camera off and back on. Be mindful of the aforementioned pitfalls: when you turn the camera while Remote is running, there's a high chance of camera-related tools starting up. Autoplay menu on Windows 7/8 and image import tool on Mac usually cause no trouble if you close them fast, but on Windows XP a lock-up is certain.
- Check USB connections (make sure there's no loose contact). Replace the USB cable if you can. Make sure the total length of cable between the camera and computer is less than 5 meters. In practice, even 3m cables often induce communication problems (probably due to low cable quality, since USB standard permits up to 5m length).
- If nothing else helps, reboot the system.

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If you have general or Helicon Remote related questions, please check the Purchase, Download, Activation or FAQ - Helicon Focus pages.

If you don't find the answer there, please feel free to contact us.