Lightroom: Tether Capture Keeps Failing (Canon 5DI and II)

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Lightroom tether capture continually stops working, especially after you take any sort of break. This is happening on both my Canon 5DI and II. I’m on a mac but i know windows users are having the same problem. The USB ports stop recognizing lightroom. This has been an issue for a few months. How long is it going to take Adobe to come up with a fix to tether capture? This was your big selling point for v3 and you’re not even supporting it. It’s a total embarrassment to be working on a shoot and have a room full of creatives behind you as you’re having to restart lightroom every 3rd shot. This is a totally amatuer product at this point. It can’t be relied on. I’ve read Adobe’s suggestion of reverting back to an outdated version of OSX but this is happening in windows XP too, so it’s an Adobe problem.
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bob bobman

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Posted 7 years ago

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ben

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I have the exact same problem and same embarrassment when shooting with a client over my shoulder. Not having an explanation for the images not downloading and having to restart the laptop is crazy... I have commented on a another thread

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

I have resorted to using the Canon software to tether and using auto import on LR. This works fine but I am going to try Capture One as an alternative...
As the Canon software works OK I can only presume its a Adobe issue...
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Bob mentions that he's using Windows XP. Are you also using XP, Ben? And what version of Lightroom are you each using? And I assume you've gone through all the troubleshooting steps here? http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/894/cpsid_89...

Thanks,
Ben
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Frederick Moor

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Benjamin,

Here are some details:
Environment
OSX 10.6.8
2.4 Ghz Intel Core Duo 2 White MacBook
4Gb Ram
LR 3.4.1
Camera Raw 6.4.1
Canon 1Ds MkIII

Use Case
I wanted to tether to shoot the bracket shots required to calibrate my Sekonic L758-DR light meter using the Sekonic Exposure Target II. (The process is described in the Digital Transfer Software Instructions found here: http://www.sekonic.com/Products/L-758...)

The process is to take one reference one -3EV and one 3EV exposure for each ISO setting. I configured my camera for 3 bracket shots and set the bracket for 3EV. I wanted to stop and start tethering between each ISO so that I could specify the ISO in the capture file name.

I couldn't even get through 3 iterations of just 3 images before the whole setup -- camera and computer -- had to be restarted. As others have mentioned elsewhere, it seems like LR is leaving the USB port(s) in some sort of wait state and the only way to change that is to restart the computer. Restarting LR is not enough. Until I restart the computer, my camera flashes "BUSY".

I can repeat this on demand. I've been doing meter configuration shots the past two weekends. Outside. In Phoenix. Nothing worse than being in 108 degrees in the shade and having to restart my computer and camera several times.

In the end, i decided to not start and stop tethering and not put the ISO in the image file name. When I exported the images for use in DTS, I included the ISO in the export file name, which worked well. Because I didn't stop and start tethering, i was able to get through a complete series of images (51) without having to restart.

As much as I would love to tether, and really need to, while on client shoots, I've just not been willing to take the risk. Hope this helps. If you need any further details, please don't hesitate to ask. This is an important capability that I really would like to use day in and day out.

Thanks in advance,
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Frederick,

Thanks for the info. We've been doing a lot of work on these tether problems, and hope to provide a solution in the not too distant future. In the meantime, it is probably not necessary for you to actually restart your computer. I would suggest that you try two (much faster) things than restarting:

1. Unplug the camera from the USB port, turn it off, plug it back in, turn it back on. Unplugging the camera from the USB port should get rid of the "busy" status on the camera.

and/or

2. After quitting Lightroom, launch Activity Monitor and look for a process called "tether_canon". If that's still running, quit it (using the "Quit Process" button in Activity Monitor), then relaunch Lightroom.

Thanks,
Ben
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Frederick Moor

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Ben,

Thank you for the prompt response! I've tried #1 a couple of times. While it clears the camera, when I press the button on LR to take a snap, nothing happens. Even after stopping and starting LR, no happiness.

I'm doing a shoot tomorrow night and will try #2. Could be a convenient work around.

If you need an alpha/beta tester, let me know. Happy to help.

FM
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Kevin Tieskoetter

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Official Response
There was a tethering problem introduced in Mac OS 10.6.8 and 10.7 when the USB libraries were updated. We have a fix for it that'll be in the next dot release version of Lightroom.
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Frederick Moor

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Kevin,

Thanks for the update! Looking forward to the next release.

FM
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steve fischer

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Will Adobe offer refunds for those of us forced to buy another program to do what Lightroom can't do, but advertised that it could do? It's great you found a solution but it's worthless to me as a user unless you give me the fix. To be honest I've already purchased Capture One Pro since this epic failure by lightroom and I would really like my money back from my Lightroom 3 purchase. Will Adobe stand behind it's advertising and marketing? I think we have given ample time for Adobe to release a fix. I just want my money back because it's not a reliable product and certainly not what you advertised.
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Chris Cox

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You might want to ask that of your OS vendor who changed the USB libraries after the application had been shipping for quite some time.
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steve fischer

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Apple doesn't advertise that it's compatible with Lightroom, but Lightroom advertises that it's compatible with OSX. This isn't a issue new to Lion, I'm still on Snow Leopard and Adobe still hasn't supplied a fix to a months old problem. Adobe has also changed the lightroom system requirements to only Mac OSX 10.6.6 or 10.6.7. This was backdated on August 10th to no longer support OSX after 10.6.7 but there was no notice of this besides a change on the website. And the support and FAQ's still give instruction on using Lightroom with 10.6.8 and 10.7 If you build a software program and you choose to sell it to work on OS then you also commit to updating your software as the OS changes. A lapse of a few days I can understand (although you should have a developer copy well in advance) but to have a known major issue like this unresolved for months shows a severe lack of ability by the Adobe engineers or a severe lack of giving a damn about the paying customers by the entire company. So I wish to go with a provider that does support their product and would just like my money back since you don't support the OS that you said you did.
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Chris Cox

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Lightroom was compatible with OS X when it shipped. But OS X changed something that wasn't supposed to change.

And it takes a lot more than a few days to debug a problem like this, find the cause, come up with a fix, test the fix, build an updater, test the updater, etc.
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steve fischer

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even if it takes more than a few days Adobe has said they have a fix for it and it will be in the next dot release. That's not fair. If you have a fix it should be released the second you developed the fix. Waiting for the next dot release? Should I tell my clients to postpone their ad campaigns, lookbooks, line sheets, editorials etc. until Adobe releases their next dot release? You know as well as I do that art directors on set demand tether on set. This is an emergency situation and it's really not that hard to release an update.
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Chris Cox

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And have you asked Apple when they plan to fix the problem that they introduced in their OS update?

Adobe is working on it - but dot releases take time.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Official Response
We have made available the Lightroom 3.5 release candidate, which we believe fixes the problems with tether. You can download the release candidate here:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/li...

Please try it out and let me know how it goes for you. Also, standard disclaimer: the 3.5 is a release candidate which means that although it has been well tested internally, it is beta software it is NOT final. Use at your own risk. You should carefully back up your system (including all photos and your Lightroom catalog) before trying the 3.5 release candidate.

Thanks,
Ben
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Urs Meyer

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We shot in therered mode for fashion, using Mac, OSX Leopard, Lightroom 3.4.1, Camera RAW 6.4.1 and Canon EOS 5D Cameras. The EOS Utility is NOT installed due to intereferrences with Lightroom.

On the set, we first shoot a small video and then the pictures. Therefore, we disconnect the USB-connection for video and re-connect after to Lightroom for continuing thetered shooting.

After a while of working, the re-connection with Lightroom heavily slows down, leaving us with the red light on the Canon camera blinking, telling us, the camera is "working on something" (not the saving of the shot images, that goes like a charm, but something different, whatever the Camera is doing).

The longer we shoot, the longer it takes upon re-connection via USB.

Since time is a big issue on the shootings, we should be able to switch from video mode (no USB connection) to photo-shooting mode (re-establishing the USB connection) fast, easy and reliable.

Now, we end up desperate in closing the thetered-menu in Lightroom, closing the app completely, restarting the Mac and more...

Important is, that everything worked well and with no problems some weeks ago. But we haven't changed anything in the workflow or in gear.

Under suspicion are:
- Lightroom in general
- 32GB SanDisk Extreme cards

For me, it looks like the camera is trying to prepare something in advance, before giving Lightroom the "go" for the connection...

Can anybody help?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom Thetered Connection Problem.
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jerry liu

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I can't use tethered shooting after update my computer(from leopard to lion),my camera is canon 5D,what should i do??

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
canon 5d can not use tethered shooting in mac os x lion.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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The Lightroom 3.5 release candidate is now available, including some Lion tethering bug fixes. You can download it here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/li... with the warning that it's a release candidate, so it's been well tested but it's not officially final yet.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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See the link at the top of the page for 3.5 RC.
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Craig Curtis

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jerry, I have this exact problem. But NOTHING works (I think its something Apple broke, not adobe - no other tethering software works, including canon's own dos utility)
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David Wiegold

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Tethering Canon 5D on my MacBook Pro Lion 10.7.1 to Lightroom 3.5 RC does not work. Apple's Image Capture works like a charm though. I tether using image capture and use auto import to get the files into Lightroom. Not the best solution. If Apples Image Capture can work why not Lightroom?
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Kevin Tieskoetter

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What happens when you connect your 5D? Does it show up at all in the tether bar?

Did Lightroom 3.4 work with this camera?
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi David,

Can you be more specific than "does not work?"

Thanks,
Ben
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Hi David, can you please confirm whether you were able to tether ok in 10.6.7 or earlier? And are you in PC Connect mode on your camera?
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David Wiegold

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PC Connect, Yes. Tethering worked for me with slight hiccups in 10.6.7, nothing a restart of the computer would not fix. After updating to 10.7.1 the tethering tool bar would recognize my camera but not the settings. Usually when I tether it shows f-stop, shutter speed, iso, and wb. Now when the tool bar comes up it shows -- under each except wb displays Auto even though I have my camera set to daylight, custom, etc. It does show EOS 5D 1 as the connected camera, I snap a photo on the camera and nothing shows up in Lightroom, when I click the toolbar button it reacts by turning darker but no photo is taken.
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David Wiegold

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Thank you for looking into this.
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David Wiegold

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FYI my backup boot drive runs Mac OS 10.6.6 and Lightroom 3.3 tethering to the same Canon 5D mk1 without any problems.
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Kevin Tieskoetter

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From the testing I've been able to do here, it appears that the 5D's tethering is indeed incompatible with Mac OS 10.7. There seems to be compatibility issues between the Canon libraries we use for tethering and the operating system; I've also noticed that Canon's latest versions of EOS Utility do not run on 10.7. We are waiting to hear back from Canon about this issue and whether they plan to release an update for it.

Please note, this is only an issue for the 5D and other Canon cameras of the same era (20D, 1D, 1Ds, 1DMk2, 1DsMk2, and Rebel XT), not any of the newer Canon cameras.

Image Capture probably still works because they use a different protocol in communicating with the camera; they are not using Canon's libraries in this case.
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David Wiegold

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Where does this leave me? To keep on using the camera that I have I can't use Lightroom? Down grade the OS? These don't seem like a very good solutions to me. Downloading a demo of Capture One Pro now to see if it has the same problem that Lightroom has.

Thank you for taking the time to figure this out. Please let me know if Canon has anything to add.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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I haven't tried it myself, so I'd be interested to hear your results, but my understanding is that Capture One has removed support for the 5D from their latest version.

-Ben
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Kevin Tieskoetter

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I gave Ben some incorrect info there; Capture One has not completely removed support for the 5D, but they do not _provide_ support for it any more - which means, if it doesn't work, too bad. I just tested it on both 10.6 and 10.7, and the 5D support works for CO on 10.6, but not on 10.7, just like Lightroom. This is as I would expect, as they use the same libraries from Canon as we do.

That said, I'm not trying to discourage you from trying it yourself; I just needed to run the test here so I knew what was going on. :-)
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Craig Curtis

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the image capture / auto import method is all that seems to work
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Frederick Moor

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Benjamin,

Thanks for the candidate release. I'll give it a try this week.

BTW, I had a go as I said I would with trying to tether and then use the second option that you mentioned above. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, trying to fix it in the middle of a shoot was poor planning on my part. Had to pull the plug and keep going. Sorry.

Frederick
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steve fischer

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3.5 candidate release does not work for me. It sees the camera but can't read any of the settings and doesn't import any photos. Still not of any help to me on a 5D
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Kevin Tieskoetter

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Hi Steve, as I mentioned in a reply to another post in this thread, support on the 5D isn't looking good. It appears that the Canon libraries are failing on OS 10.7, and unless we get an update from them, there's not much we can do. I don't know what the chances are that they'll release a new version of this (very old) library.

FWIW, it appears that Capture One is in the same position, but they've stopped providing support for the 5D at least a version ago.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Steve,

There were two issues with tether. The first is that in 10.6.8 and later, Apple changed USB port behavior so that if a camera were idle too long, it would lose the connection (presumably this was a change made for the sake of power savings, though I have no idea). The second is that Canon's tether libraries for older cameras, such as the 5D, do not work in 10.7 (see the various posts above).

We expect that 3.5 fixes the first issue. I assume that you're using 10.7? If so, then you're encountering the later problem. We're still waiting to find out if Canon is planning on updating their libraries to support tethering with older cameras in 10.7.

If you use a newer camera (such as the 5D MkII) in 10.7 or earlier, I would expect it to work in 3.5. If you use an older camera (such as the 5D) in 10.6.8 or earlier, I would expect it to work in 3.5. If either of these are not the case for you, please let me know.

If you use an older camera, such as the 5D, in 10.7, I would not expect it to work. I'll keep you posted as we get additional info about this.

Thanks,
Ben
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steve fischer

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Well I'm not looking to argue for the sake of argument, I'm just trying to get a solution because to be honest i started having problems with Capture One Pro as well.
I just talked to my Canon rep and he had a good point, I've never installed the canon EOS utility on my tether machine so there are no "libraries" installed from canon that are not working. He said that if Canon libraries are failing it must be libraries that Lightroom creates for the Canon product, and those are not updated properly...

So I don't know. I did download the 30 day trial of Aperture III and the tether works perfectly on that, but I hate to get in bed with Apple on Pro Apps because they're not the best of the best and they pull stuff like they recently did with Final Cut Pro X
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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I should let Kevin, the engineer who actually implemented this, speak to this point. But I believe I can safely say that the Canon rep you spoke to is incorrect. The libraries we are using are provide to us by Canon. Capture One uses the same libraries, also provided to them by Canon, which is why you're having problems with Capture One as well.

If you're looking for an immediate solution, and you want to use Lightroom, and you don't want to buy a 5D Mk II (what, no extra $2,500 lying around?) is to use 10.6.8.

-Ben
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Kevin Tieskoetter

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Honestly, I'd love to be able to fix the Canon 5D tethering in Lightroom. I have a 5D myself, and am pretty bummed that the OS support for it broke in Lion. I'd certainly fix it if I could.
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Craig Curtis

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thing I don't get is that Aperture 3 seems to shoot tethered fine (although I didn't extensively test it beyond a few test captures). So could it be something that Apple isn't making privy to other developers?
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r l

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I'm having the same problem:

Canon 5DMII
OSX 10.6.8

Downloaded Lightroom 3.5C as instructed, but it hasn't fixed the issue.
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kinte taylor

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I am still currently having the issue

Nikon D90
OSX 10.6.8
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Parker Smith

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After upgrading to Lion (Mac OS) I was bummed to find that EOS Utility was not compatible. My Canon 5D was never able to connect with any of the Lightroom 3 updates, but somehow, magically, it did connect and I was able to shoot tethered for several hours.

That was last week. Today, I tried LR tether again and it did not work. Nor did Capture One. Thanks to David above, I was able to shoot with Apple's Image Capture to fire the camera, which is up on a 12 foot boom for shooting rugs.

How is it that Image Capture can fire the camera and import the image flawlessly, but these uber apps can't do it? All the "libraries" blah blah blah sounds like excuse making to me. Just fix the damn thing.
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Parker Smith

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One thing I must add for clarity is that LR3 never tethered properly for me in either OSX.6 or in OSX.7. Every time I downloaded an update, I'd try it again and it never worked. I was always forced to use EOS Utility. Not horrible, but why sell the tethering feature if I does not work with anything approaching reliability? You have no idea how embarrassing it is to be on site with a client expecting results and getting none.

I was delighted when tether started working last week. I thought "FINALLY!" Alas, it was not to be. I had to use a free Mac app!
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Craig Curtis

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that exact thing happened to me not long after I installed 10.7, but then wouldn't work after that (although, I never had a problem with LR3 before the upgrade to 10.7). I'm with you though - I don't buy into the "changed libraries" argument as the Apple software doesn't seem to have a problem (not sure if you tried it, but Aperture seems to connect to 5D fine and I have to use it on a daily basis for my older 5D).
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Kevin Tieskoetter

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Believe whatever you like, but I've been completely honest here. Lightroom and Capture One both use Canon's libraries. Aperture and Image Capture use a different method of tethering through the Image Capture APIs. In order for Lightroom to support the 5D going forward, we'd have to write a completely new tethering interface for it, and the 5D and the 20D would be the only cameras that it would gain with that effort. We have limited resources, and we've not had time to do this work for a 6 1/2 year old camera that even Canon no longer supports. Capture One has made the same decision; they also no longer claim to support the 5D for tethering on the Mac.
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Parker Smith

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Sorry if I sound a little miffed, but Adobe claims to support the 5D in LR3. It has never worked. Why not disappoint people on the front end with the news that Canon's libraries are incompatible, rather than claim to support the camera and it not work?

As I said, this isn't just because I upgraded to Lion, it never worked at all, ever.
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Craig Curtis

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I dunno - original 5D worked for me with LR3 and 10.6 (usually), just not with 10.7... Although to be honest I generally prefer tethering to capture one, but maintaining images in LR3. I only bought Aperture because LR3 and C1pro quit working in 10.7 (well, I also made photo books in aperture, which LR3 didn't support although can't wait to try that part in LR4!).

I shoot a lot of e-commerce and C1 works waaaaay better and faster for naming files at time of capture, so Kevin, that would probably be my biggest feature request going forward for tethered captures! That, and maybe use the apple libraries so tethering doesn't break with every OS update? Is that possible?
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steve fischer

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The thing that has pissed me off throughout this whole ordeal is that Adobe can't even get there story straight on who to blame, besides not taking blame themselves.

Right off the bat it was Apples fault according to Adobe. In this thread there are comments from Adobe employee Kevin who said "There was a tethering problem introduced in Mac OS 10.6.8 and 10.7 when the USB libraries were updated." and even replied to one of my posts in this thread clearly laying blame squarely on Apple. he said "
And have you asked Apple when they plan to fix the problem that they introduced in their OS update?

Adobe is working on it - but dot releases take time."

Then the blame seemed to shift to Canon because Kevin left this message in the same thread " It appears that the Canon libraries are failing on OS 10.7, and unless we get an update from them, there's not much we can do. I don't know what the chances are that they'll release a new version of this (very old) library."

Then it became both canon and apples fault when Kevin said "There were two issues with tether. The first is that in 10.6.8 and later, Apple changed USB port behavior so that if a camera were idle too long, it would lose the connection (presumably this was a change made for the sake of power savings, though I have no idea). The second is that Canon's tether libraries for older cameras, such as the 5D, do not work in 10.7 (see the various posts above). "

Throughout the months of trying to get this resolved I heard from other posters and Adobe employees alike that I essentially brought these problems on myself because I rushed out and upgraded to Lion. Apple is the OS and Adobe claimed to support the OS. The OS has no obligation to Adobe, but Adobe does have an obligation to it's customers to continue to change or modify their existing code to remain compatible with the OS that they claim, on the product packaging, to be compatible with. If you're going to write software to ride the coattails of a OS so you can sell software to the OS's customer base then you take on that responsibility and the challenges it may bring to update your software to remain compatible as the OS evolves. Instead Adobe took on an attitude of "hey it worked at one point, then Apple upgraded their OS". OS's never stand still, they are in a constant state of evolution. to bad the same couldn't be said for Adobe Lightroom.

Hopefully everyone will remember Adobe's own advice of not being a fool and upgrading software versions when Adobe hits you up to upgrade to Lightroom 4 which is in public Beta now. If you upgrade and you have problems it's your own fault for upgrading, so says Adobe.

I've moved on to Aperture and have been very happy and haven't had a single issue since doing so, but since Adobe wouldn't honor refunds for claiming to support a product that it turns out they only partially support, so i will stick around here and other forums to get my moneys worth.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Steve,

You'll be pleased to know that there is no need for you to be pissed off. Those were two separate problems. Apple did indeed make USB changes in 10.6.8 which broke tethering in Lightroom, to one degree or another, for ALL cameras. That problem has been fixed by Lightroom update 3.6.

The problem with the Canon 5D (and 20D) is a completely separate issue, which has not been fixed, and is not likely to be fixed, for reasons which Kevin and Chris have already explained at great length.

Thanks,
Ben