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Also coming soon: new Nikon WT-5 wireless transmitter

The current Nikon WT-4A wireless transmitter

I expect Nikon to announce a new WT-5 wireless transmitter with their upcoming D800 or D4 DSLR cameras - add this to the list of upcoming products. The new unit will be mountable on the camera and will be very compact. I do not have any more details at that point. I believe the current Nikon WT-4A wireless transmitter ($699) was announced back in 2007.

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  • http://linus.fi Linus

    Nikon’s pricing policy with the wireless transmitters are totally unacceptable! Imagine that mobile phones for a 100€ include wlan and what not! For 650€ you can have a fantastic multi core laptop with a lot of memory. Nikon, open up your protocols so that experts can do it better and cheaper.

    • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

      thats like saying: nikon open your protocol so other companies can make profit except you.

      • Calibrator

        If the device is well-made and competitively priced – like a lot of Nikon glass or certain bodies like the D7000 – they *will* sell well.
        If is way too expensive, like many Nikon accessoires (GP-1 GPS unit, batteries etc.), then potential customers will try to get a better product.

        • Dark Lord

          I find your lack of faith…disturbing…

      • http://linus.fi Linus

        Harold Ellis, no. If the customers get happier with Nikon (being able to pimp the gear easily) Nikon will be selling the products they are good at – at better volumes.

        Instead of wasting a lot of development resources on something they don’t do too well (nor efficiently) they could open up things for others to improve the overall Nikon experience.

        Calibrator is right, the GPS is another example. I mean, seriously, Nikon is only telling us that they also rip us when they sell other products as well.

        I don’t like many companies that get too greedy. It will affect their general sales eventually. Open up and bring the eco system on.

      • Melvin

        It is called building up your ecosystem so that people buy more cameras.

    • Mark

      Seems to me that with the exponential advances in wireless tech these days, that this equipment will be virtually obsolete in 4 years. Though Nikon does seem to embrace the proprietary concept (to its detriment in my opinion) one need only go on eBay to find all kinds of gadgets and gizmos that work well with existing products.

      What keeps these products viable is the quality of construction, not necessarily their compatibility. Once Chinese manufacturers begin offering higher quality alternative products with higher QC standards (we’ve seen this lately with wireless triggers and flashes) then Nikon may have to drop their prices or offer prosumer alternatives of their own.

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      …first off, full featured, current smart-phones don’t cost 100€. The iphone 4 and galaxy S cost more like 400-600€ to purchase as a stand alone unit. The prices are artificially low when you buy them with a contract from a carrier, because they are making up the rest of the cost over the course of your contract period with overpriced service.

      $80+ per month for a year is why they’re so “cheap”. They’ve made up the cost of the phone halfway through your contract period and made a profit on it well before your contract is up.

      However, wifi is cheap! My PDA from 2004 was less than $400 and included wifi and a full featured micro computer with a larger screen with the same or better resolution than a D3.

      N-standard has been out since 2008. Wireless N packages small enough to be incorporated or packed into a much smaller unit aren’t new either and are CHEAP (see: http://amzn.com/B002RCKDEC )

      I can see why Nikon has done thing the way they have with wifi, but I can also see it for the utter lack of forward thinking that it is.

      • http://linus.fi Linus

        Micah, you forget that Iphone 4 is one expensive sucker that has a lot of margin in the price not worthy the cost by no means, if you don’t dig the Apple-captivity.

        Take this smartphone for just $93 Nokia C3-00 for instance. It has has most features including IEEE 802.11b/g (wlan) and bluetooth.

        $93 … that’s just 69€ and without a carrier! =)

        • http://micahmedia.com Micah

          Cost of production is one thing, and I can’t do anything but agree that the electronics in an iPhone are cheaply made on slave labor and marked up horrifically. However, Apple is a bloated company and the price probably does reflect the crazy marketing and R&D costs to make an artsy glass sammich with a custom OS that runs well on last week’s hardware. There are many hidden costs to the iPhone that go beyond the cheap production.

          Still, I linked to a $13 wireless N module to point out and agree, the WT-5 is overpriced from a purely hardware and component standpoint.

          If they do actually put a hardware lan port in the newer cameras the way the 1dx has, I’m sure someone will come up with a cheaper and more effective solution for wireless shooting.

          That’s a win/win for Nikon. They don’t have to spend further R&D on something and they can still sell the WT-5 at a profit, to whoever is foolish enough to buy it.

      • Michael Houghton

        They basically do. Take this capable brand new model as an example (OK so it’s €130 but that’s close enough to support Linus’s argument).

        http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/mobile-phones/orange-san-francisco-2-review-50006360/

        ZTE and Huawei make quite a few that come in between £100 and €100. And Micah, these are unsubsidised, off-the-shelf prices (OK so I think you have to buy a £10 top-up with the Orange phone, which is PAYG).

        With the Eye-Fi card and their Android app, and a camera with a second slot, there’s a very cheap and useful alternative solution, so it’s fair to say the price for the WT-5 should really be judged on utter simplicity, absolutely consistent throughput and excellent build quality.

        If it doesn’t have those things, it’s likely to be too expensive if it’s more than about €200, and even pros will consider buying an Eye-Fi card and pressing their smartphone into service.

    • bob

      @Linus–Nikon’s wireless transmitters are aimed at working pros, which obviously from your crying you are not. It is a business expense, pricing is secondary–function and reliability are primary.

      Consumers want cheap. Professionals, while low pricing is a boon, are willing to pay more for function and dependability. Hence the D3100 and D300s. Stop whining like a little boy, Linus (or get your blanket from Snoopy).

  • Tarepanda

    They finally noticed that the Wireless N? I just think Nikon still not yet discover it from wiki and try it on their product…………

    Come on, the speedlight is still on the light-transmitting method. It’s already 2011 and 2012 is coming. Even our cell phone has the wireless N. Could somebody tell Nikon that the wireless N is here and very reliable?

  • RK

    Lets hope this isn’t just a crappy file transfer wifi and that it allows full remote control and live view, that at least would only put nikon a couple of years behind the trend for mobile connectivity.

    Lets also put on my insanely optimistic hat and hope that it gets released with a compatible ios/android app for that remote control and live view.

    • Paul H.

      I’m afraid that many people on this thread misunderstand the niche that this product is intended to fill. It isn’t meant to be a do-all remote but rather a basic transfer device. For working pros in a competitive environment, they simply need a reliable transmission of files to a remote location (like a partner on a laptop who will process that image and submit it quickly to the editor…before the other guy shooting next to me at the event does so).

      Ever wonder how ESPN.com can have images of a live event up in a couple minutes, especially when the shooters are literally embedded in a crowd? Or the press sites that have fresh images of an important speech (not extracted stills from video)? Competition drives the necessity for such a simple and overpriced device because getting the shots to the editor first means getting paid.

      Any job/event that is time sensitive for publication will require this sort of tech to be employed in order for the shooter’s work to be viable. That means thousands of working pros worldwide daily require this and it’s gotta do one simple thing correctly (over a span of sometimes hundreds of feet).

      • http://www.robertash.com Robert Ash

        Paul,
        This is very useful insight. Thank you.

      • http://www.modifiedphotographics.com Jason

        I’ve been to a few sporting events in the last year where their was a guy sitting way at the top of the stadium with a Macbook Pro laptop and several WiFi antennas attached to the screen. Although he was in the back row so I couldn’t tell exactly what he was doing, it did look a lot like he was editing and uploading files coming from photographer/s down on the field.

        Clearly the market for this isn’t consumers or prosumers but almost entirely the pro-only market who need to instantly get files to the editor, regardless of the cost.

      • RK

        True but I can also hope that Nikon could profitably produce both a
        heavy duty simplistic sports/news model and a prosumer mobile connectivity model. As has been pointed out, bought in bulk, the actual wifi circuitry is dirt cheap on a per unit basis and the software for ios/android could be written for 200k in my less than professional estimation. Surely that makes economic sense.

  • JH

    This is so stupid… just add WLAN modules to the cameras themselves!! Every fucking phone has WLAN, its just hilarious you need to buy an external transmitter for a 5000$ camera!!

    • Spooky

      Agreed. 100%. The first big camera company who acts quicker and implements modern standards in cameras and also opens up programming interfaces will get a lot of attention and a lot more customers, there is no doubt.

      One (of many) reasons why I never buy Sony. They try to protect everything, to close everything down, to force people to buy more and just from them. That’s bad behavior, and customers do not like this!

      • Calibrator

        The new Sony fixed-mirror SLRs at least feature built-in GPS.
        I’m not advocating buying them (I use a D7000, too) but Nikon should clearly be on the watch!

  • http://Www.shortfingerphoto.com Nubz

    At this point, the cameras themselves should have this feature built in, especially the pro bodies.

  • Arnstein

    I can only hope, that the D400 has built in WLAN with Camera Control as an iPad App.

  • http://kittle.ca Don

    Totally agree with everyone here – I’d love one of these for my studio work rather than shooting tethered by a USB cable. But the price for what you get is ridiculous.

  • MJr

    NikonRumors should have a continually updated page with the ‘list of upcoming products’. Like the Buying Guides on certain other rumor sites.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnlsl/ john

    First, with all the high end camera they should have WIFI build in!!!

    Second, god dam let all the future WIFI enable camera Have can have a live View remote control mode through smart phone so we can still do compose when the camera is far away from our head. I believe there is nothing difficult and expensive in this with current tech

  • simplythebest

    Eye-fi Wifi – cheaper and better

    • Spooky

      Except that it doesn’t work always reliable, sometimes files get corrupted and you can only receive images, not preview or send anything (like + F-Stops commands, etc…)

      • JorPet

        Yep, I love my Eye-Fi cards, but would really like better range, useable by pro bodies, more reliability, etc.

        For what it does the Eye-Fi is amazing and people are awed by it’s ability to send images instantly to my iPad, but I would like more capability all the way around.

  • http://www.dwijadas.com DwiSha

    I should be able to get 10 unit of Toshiba FlasAIR. hope the model has a SD lot. dont care, WT-5

  • http://www.simonjacobs.com Simon Jacobs

    Just build the damn thing in the camera.
    ‘Wireless” means no wires. Unlike the current piece ‘o crap.

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

    Nikon is definitely preparing for the Olympics with that product.

  • Don

    Stupid! No other word for it. It doesn’t even make sense as a business/profit decision. They will not get camera sales that they would have gotten if they had integrated WiFi.
    Makes less sense than a wire out the side of the camera going to a card writter. That’s how stupid it is.

  • David

    I would argue that it is not stupid. WiFi can take a lot of battery. You know how rapidly EyeFi cards can drain a camera battery.

    What you get with this (from the pics) is a decent battery compartment, a big aerial (so you can get good connectivity) and enough electronic magic to sort decent connections. It is an industrial strength item for professional photographers, not a nice toy for hobbyists like the EyeFi.

    I’d hope they have a decent two way communication so it will act as a remote trigger and controller as well.

    • Don

      Simple. Its called on off in the menu, and newer tech does require a large antenna, and its so cheap to add the cost is less than the packageing for the wt5.

      • Don

        Not require a large antenna

  • Mike

    Just as some people bemoan having “fill in the blank” feature that they don’t use, having built in wifi will garner the same response from people who don’t want/need it but have to pay the premium to get te camera.

    I’m sure if Nikon could have somehow made an accessory that allows a still camera to shoot video they would have kept it separate and sold it at a premium as an add on device. Just like they sold a CF card writing device to record camera settings for film shooting with the F6. External wifi transmitter is another revenue source since having it built in is not imperative to camera operation. As consumers, sure we don’t like it, but from a business perspective it’s a good thing. How many of you sell prints still vs simply putting images on a disk? In this digital age it’s very easy to put all the images onto disk and “every photographer should be able to do it”, but it’s still a revenue stream for many photogs, much to the disdain of customers. But it makes business sense.

    Nikon makes business decisions based on what the market will bare. If you can afford a $5000 + camera, another $700 won’t break the bank. And if you “need it”, it’s a jusifiable business expense that you can write off.

  • Jabs

    The inherent problem with built-in Wi-Fi is now you need several different models of each camera for different countries and if you travel, then what?

    Be careful as to what you wish for – as you might get it and then it kills you.

    Make Wi-Fi external on Pro bodies!

    • FX DX

      I traveled to Japan and Europe earlier this year and WiFi on my iPhone worked everywhere. Why would it be any different for cameras? WiFi is just WiFi. As far as Nikon is using one of the standard published protocols 802.11 a/b/g/n, it should just work.

      • Jabs

        You make a common mistake that most smartphone or laptop users make. They fail to realize that hardly anyone would use a camera to laptop or server with an unencrypted connection PLUS Wi-Fi spectrum and standards are different world wide, so Nikon and others would have to make different bodies for different markets.

        Look here:
        Quote – ‘Spectrum assignments and operational limitations are not consistent worldwide: most of Europe allows for an additional two channels beyond those permitted in the US for the 2.4 GHz band (1–13 vs. 1–11), while Japan has one more on top of that (1–14). Europe, as of 2007, was essentially homogeneous in this respect.

        A Wi-Fi signal occupies five channels in the 2.4 GHz band; any two channels whose channel numbers differ by five or more, such as 2 and 7, do not overlap. The oft-repeated adage that channels 1, 6, and 11 are the only non-overlapping channels is, therefore, not accurate; channels 1, 6, and 11 do, however, comprise the only group of three non-overlapping channels in the U.S.’

        Moral:
        Some person would sit in range and swipe all your pictures coming from your digital camera before you uploaded them, if you used an unencrypted connection or maybe someone would break into your network and steal all of your data and files. Therefore Wi-Fi is not the same worldwide. Encrypted connections are also easy to break into, but at least you have some protection.

        With an external unit, you can sell one specifically for each market.

  • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

    My D200 finally gave up the ghost yesterday. While it was time to put it out to pasture, it also means that the very pricey, never could get it to work worth a dam WT-3A is now useless too. I I think I paid $700+ CDN for that piece of crap, never mind Camera Control Pro. I had hoped that some day, when I had a third body, I could deploy the D200 as a wireless remote camera. Like others on here, I want that functionality built into the D4, as well as future flashes for wireless triggering.

  • http://queenbathurst.tumblr.com Drew

    Nope! The D4 will have cell/wifi/bluetooth all built-in.

    • Pho Srs

      troll troll troll your boat.

  • PJS

    A wireless transmitter with wires. What will they think of next????

  • Bullsnot

    Wifi transmitters/recievers are getting so small and inexpensive there’s no reason not to offer them in the higher end bodies (D7k and up maybe?).

    If working pros need a reliable long distance single purpose transmitter that tethers to the camera, well, why not make the WT-X that the photog wears on his belt, downloads data from the camera over wifi and then transmits it?

    This solution would make most people happy. Studio and/or ordinary photogs would then have wifi connectivity and event photogs would get their (truly) wireless transmission capabilities without a stupid module attached to their already large and heavy camera.

    Agree that there’s no excuse for camera bodies to be so technologically out of date. The camera companies are going to dig their own graves by not offering the customer what they want in this day and age.

    • T.I.M

      I want my camera to stay a camera, not being transform in a office, telephone or internet toy.
      NEVER download directly from your camera, always use the card reader, it’s the best way to avoid viruses in your DSLR (don’t forget to format your card before taking pictures).

  • T.I.M

    @Peter,
    So, do you still think that the D800 pictures you showed us few weeks ago are the real ones ?
    It’s weird that we don’t see any other pictures being so close to the release date. (January ?)

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

      Of course they are real :)

      • http://micahmedia.com Micah

        …what about pics from the camera you said you had? Or are you waiting until it’s released so as not to foul up someone’s NDA? Those images would really help some of us decide what to purchase…

        And looking over your buyers guide, it could really use some updating. Doesn’t reflect some products launched or some of your predictions.

      • ninpou

        PMA 2012 is the same time as CES 2012 in January.

  • Don

    I want a phone in my camera so telemarketers can call my camera during a shoot.

    • D7000 Fan

      +1!

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      …I want a phone in my camera so telemarketers can call when I’m on the toilet.

      • T.I.M

        @Micah
        Not an issue for me, I don’t have a cellphone, neither a facebook account or an Ipad.

        I already spend most of my time building and fixing computers (reason why I’m on NR 24/24), I try to stay away from useless technology.

        I enjoy going in a trip with my wife, my 3 daughters, and of course, my Nikon.
        :)

    • ninpou

      I also want the haptic feedbsck to kick in with vibrat mode so it helps my AF work better ;)

  • FX DX

    If something like this is $699 in 2012, Nikon should rename it to WTF.

    • silmasan

      :D

  • http://www.modifiedphotographics.com Jason

    So many gripes about the price…. But when it’s all said and done, 99.95% of us DO NOT need this.

    Although I think it would be nice if Nikon would just include WiFi functions in the camera itself, it would likely increase cost and reduce battery life for something that many of us honestly don’t need.

    I do think controlling the camera over WiFi, including file/live view/video streaming would be nice, but unlikely for awhile yet.

  • Caribou

    Hopefully Nikon gets a clue and has built in wireless in all its cameras. Its what everyone wants and can use. In this day and age of cloud computing and iPhones it would be ridiculous not to have it. The technology is cheap enough, the protocols exist and are widely used, the programs exist so just do it Nikon. It shouldn’t even be a question. We are paying through the nose already for Nikon products, its about time they give us something for the money to make the thing truly useful. And for those who complain they don’t want it…..get a card reader and enjoy.

  • Elton

    I don’t mind it being external, but $100 is a reasonable price for this.

  • Jabs

    There is one really significant item concerning Wi-Fi that no one here discusses and that is how do you put a high gain antenna in a sealed Pro Nikon body and get a signal. Where do you put this (these) antenna (antennae)?

    Remember the iPhone 4 and what happened with that?
    How are we going to now hold this camera or embed multiple antennae into a body made of magnesium designed to protect sensitive circuits and also allow an antenna or antennae to pick up and transmit signals?

    What happens when you turn to camera for a vertical shot plus what happens when you are in a building with lots of steel that blocks Wi-Fi signals?

    People call for things but fail to look at the Engineering challenges involved – sorry but it is not simply putting a cheap Wi-Fi module into the body and be done with it! What is going to now power this module and its’ interface?

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      Answer: you don’t! Yeah, mag-alloy body never struck me as ideal for radio transmission. Which is one reason you don’t see Eye-Fi for CF–all the bodies that use CF anymore have lots of metal in em.

      The other reason is that CF has metal plates on either side by design.

  • mikey

    ok everything that everyone has to say makes a point, in my case I have a d700,Im not blowing 700.00 for the wt-4, with the d700 the eye-fi card will not work, so I went and built my own wifi for around 50.00. the dependable range on this gadget run around 25-30 feet, a uncompressed net large file hits the laptop and viewable within 5 secs…. is it secure, good enough for me, for a full-time pro that every shot counts perhaps not. But it does what I need for it to do. If anybody is curious its using a cables unlimited wireless receiver and transmitter kit. A 4 cell aa battery back from radio shack, a short usb cord. and thats it. Oh yeah a little bit of soldering…..

  • http://lestermultimedia.com/ Lester

    I’d be really interested in getting a WT5, if it isn’t to expensive.
    Kinda surprised that it hasn’t been reversed engineered by the Chinese.

  • http://www.wnphotography.org Weston Neuschafer

    I was just researching this today and I am so glad I found this article. I hope this version has a faster data transfer rate. This would be helpful with Raw photos. Thank You for the post.

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