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Nikontrol 3K is a free remote control PC software for Nikon DSLRs *updated*

Update: a new version of the program got released today. Please note that this software doesn't work with RAW (NEF) files (yet).

I have been a big fan and supporter of free software for Nikon DSLRs, created based on Nikon's SDK (Software Development Kit). The latest addition is Nikontrol 3K that can be downloaded for free here. The idea is that the official Nikon's Camera Control Pro doesn't support some of the latest consumer level DSLRs, not to mention its price tag of $150. The software works by connecting a Nikon D3000, D40 or a D90 via the USB cable to a PC and can:

  • remote control the camera from a computer
  • preview the last photographs taken
  • save images from your camera, with the possibility of keeping or deleting them from your device
  • transfer images to a FTP server
  • support time-lapse shooting

The current Beta version is a bit buggy, but this could be because I was trying to connect a D300s which is not on the list of supported models (I was still able to trigger the D300s shutter from the PC). I talked to the developers and they are currently working on fixing and expanding the software with additional functionality.

Make sure you read the supported documentation on how to install and use the software.

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  • Duncan

    I hope they work on a mac version soon!

  • Adde

    I can recommend sofortbild [FREE] for the mac.

    http://www.sofortbildapp.com/

    • Funduro

      Thanks for the link.

  • Bruno

    Does it work with the D5000?

  • Global

    Any idea if D700 works with this?

    Can these remote controlers hurt the camera in anyway by firing inner mechanics out of synch or crossing commands in a way detrimental to the camera?

    It never alters the cameras existing programming, does it?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      maybe the developers will stop by here to answer some question

    • Jarle

      Using Nikon’s own SDK (software development kit), there’s nothing to worry about. Communication with your camera is handled by the SDK, so it’s really Nikon software. The third party stuff (“program”) is really just a graphical interface.

  • DaveB

    I also tried it with a D300s. It will fire the shutter, but it doesn’t seem to want to download the files. It might have something to do with choosing between two cards.

  • http://eleventhphotograph.com elph

    Are there any other popular software programs for Nikon out there? Wouldn’t mind seeing a selection/list.

  • Steve

    I tried it. It installed with an error message. The desktop shortcut couldn’t find the program without my help. The program couldn’t find my camera (D3100) even though Windows XP SP3 could. I had Net 4 already installed and followed all the instructions carefully.

    • Goose

      Same experience

      • Goose

        the software had troubles finding the D90…anyone tried it yet w/ the D90?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      Yes, same here – you have to manually locate the executable, but the D300s was discovered. Probably the D3100 is too new – it is not listed in the list of supported cameras.

  • Abe

    anyone know if this works with the D70s ?

  • http://www.savy.ro Savy

    Hello guys, sorry for not answering you questions faster (time zone):
    - Being based on WIA, this software should work with any Nikon camera
    - I found the problem with the executable file after installing, will solve that today.
    - This software does not harm your camera, we are testing it with D3000 for a few months now and everything it’s ok. It does not affect the camera software, it’s just sending commands as the camera controls does.
    - I received feedback that the software works on D90. We will try to find some more Nikon cameras for a quick test (also a d3100)
    @Abe, give it a try, you have nothing to lose (except a few minutes).

    Thank you all for your feedback, I’ll watch this thread permanently. For any other questions feel free to contact us at contact@savy.ro

    • Steve

      Do we need to have ViewNX or any Nikon driver installed ?

      I’d love to get time lapse and remote for my D3100 so thanks very much for writing this software and offering it for free !

      Also, the software seems to put a noticeable drag on the system. I’d like to be able to use it with a netbook but that doesn’t seem like that would be an enjoyable experience at present.

      Anyway, thanks again !

  • http://www.savy.ro Savy

    Oh, also, the list of supported cameras is based on the feedback we receive.

  • http://www.savy.ro Savy

    For a few hours the download link is not available. This evening we will release a new version with some addition (and fix the installation bug).

    • Fishnose

      Savy, cool! As soon as it’s up I’ll try it with my D90.

  • http://www.vivesa.pl Fotograf Kielce

    I am waiting for free unofficial AF adiustment software for Nikon :)

  • Mike Gunter

    Looks great!

    Do you have any information or like to this at Dpreview.com or wish a like posted there?

    My best,

    Mike

    • http://www.savy.ro Savy

      We are very determined to develop this software for as long as we can and we are grateful for all the help we get. A mention on dpreview.com would be great.
      In a couple of hours we will release a new version, with the installer bug removed and some additional feature(s). And… perhaps I should make the article on my site in English, since I have a lot of requests outside my country.

      Thank you all so much, you are great!

      PS: I keep saying “we”. To be clear, by “we” I mean me and my girlfriend (the programmer) :)

  • http://www.savy.ro Savy

    The download is back and we’ve added a small feature. Enjoy

  • Tadashi

    Same results as Steve, above, but with D7000. It did not recognize the camera.

    I have Windows XP SP3 and Dot Net 4 already installed (and maybe that’s the reason). But I tried to install the 3.5 available from the link on their site anyway, same result.

    Congratulations for them for the initiative !

    • Adrian

      It’s working fine with my D7000 (v1.01 firmware) and Window 7.

      Without the camera connected the software connects to my Samsung Multiprinter over ethernet, when both are connected (and the app is restarted) I get to choose which device to connect to. I don’t know whether this is a feature of the software or Windows 7.

      • Adrian

        Correction: The software runs on Windows 7 and I’m able to take one or many pictures but I can’t recall whether the image was displayed or not (I will take a look tonight). I didn’t try pulling the images back.

        No luck with my Windows XP laptop though. The laptop can ‘see’ the Nikon and asks which application to start, but the Nikontrol doesn’t display any details of the camera.

        • http://www.savy.ro Savy

          If your camera is set to take jpeg pictures, I’m sure that the image is displayed.

  • http://www.savy.ro Savy

    Up until now it seems that D3100 and D7000 are not recognized. I think I might be able to test Nikontrol with D3100 this weekend.

  • Aeac

    Hi! I’ve just tested with a Nikon D50.
    Works with no problem, obviously live view it’s not possible.
    Everything elese is great.

  • Eric Lam

    Thanks for the fantastic software!!
    I will give a quick description of my tests and hope that might help some of you.

    I am only testing on what I need the program to suit my needs so there is a bit of disclaimer here.
    I want to utilise my spare cameras D40 and or D70 to take time lapse and spare shutter count off my D90. So what I need a program to do is to take set number of images at a certain interval and have the images saved to card.
    I dont need them transferred to comp as this slows the shooting down as seen in LR3, or camera control Pro which forces transfer to comp rather than save on camera.
    Interval timers for IR controlled timers are difficult to find if not available at all so..
    for that, this software is fantastic.. albeit dependent on laptop’s battery life.

    Testing systems: 1) Netbook running windows 7 starter and 2) Laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit.
    Both works on all counts of what I have needed on all D40, D70 and D90

    ***Note: The very impt thing I found for D40 and D70 is to SET THE USB CONNECTION TO MTP/PTP mode
    and NOT USB Mass Storage transfer mode.
    The D90 doesnt have this mode selection and I believe it goes straight to MTP/PTP mode :D

    Firing up the program, I also find that it is MOST reliable to set to “take picture and save local” mode. 100% working. If I play with “Just take picture” I had problems with D40 and D70… not so with the D90 though.

    Time lapse setting has been successful for all 3 bodies.
    I have tried times as follows:
    [21sec/3sec] Will take 1st image after 3sec, and miss image at last 3sec so = 6images taken
    and
    [9sec/1sec] Will take 8 images

    For intervalometer time lapse stuff, the program will work for both NEF (RAW) and/or Jpeg files. Only if you want it transfer to comp, then you have to set to Jpeg.
    Cons during transfer: Program will rename and re transfer ALL available jpegs. It will not discriminate those that you have already transferred in earlier. So do take note.

    Also I have to refresh (Search Device) everytime I reconnect or change a body :D

    Future Hopes:
    PORT THIS TO ANDROID TABLETs please!!!!!!!!!!!!! so that I can use say a galaxy tab’s USB port to run my camera on the go :D

    Hope this helps :D
    Regards,
    Eric
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluemonkey08/

    • alex

      WIA is windows only

  • http://aradilon.wordpress.com Koen Miseur

    tested, it works on a D90 but as said before, only in jpeg. So for now this is only usefull for timelapse, for the normal tethering i’ll use my lightroom 3.

  • Ion Ion

    So now you have a vague idea why this is free and Nikon software is over 100$. Keep it up, and you might find more things.

    • http://www.savy.ro Savy

      Nikontrol 3K is still at it’s beginnings, don’t expect to much from it right now. Keep in mind that we’re giving it for free although it requires a fair amount of time and effort. I’m not hoping for this to be such a big success as Camera Control Pro from Nikon is, I’m just a Nikon user who wanted something more for his camera, and wanted to share with other Nikon users. This project will continue as started, with enthusiasm and hard work.
      We thank you all for your feedback, replies, comments.

      • Jim

        I was able to download this today on my Acer Netbook/Windows Starter/IE browser and all is working fine. BTW I am using a Nikon D300 and learning my way around this program and don’t know too much abt downloading but my question is can images taken while on this program be directly sent to Picasa?

        • http://www.savy.ro Savy

          Not for now, but we are considering developing more ftp upload modes (picasa, flickr and other popular image sharing srvices). It’s just a matter of time, to figure all out and implement.

  • Michael Smith

    Meant to say earlier, the ControlTL items on Ebay are CE, and might not be compatible with the units that are shipping to retailers here in the USA. Best case, buyer beware.

  • http://www.savy.ro Savy

    As a small request, can someone with a D3/D300/D300s can send me a picture taken with their camera? I need it for determining the focal points coordinates so we can implement this in Nikontrol. contact@savy.ro
    Thank you

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      I just sent you one

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