Canon WFT-E1 / WFT-E2 and WFT-E3 Wireless Tranmitters
These units enable the transfer of image data from EOS digital SLR cameras through a wireless or wired network to an ftp server.
WFT-E1/E1A is compatible with EOS-1Ds Mark II, EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS 5D and EOS 30D. (EOS-1D Mark II and EOS 20D may require firmware update to enable Wireless LAN functionality).
WFT-E2/E2A is dedicated to the EOS-1D Mark III and gets its power from the camera and the antenna is embedded. The result is a decrease in weight from 165g to 75g and a similar decrease in size.
WFT-E3/E3A is dedicated to the EOS-40D
How easy are they to setup?
Wireless networking is relatively simple providing you have a good knowledge of IT and networking. The manuals and software that comes from the manufacturer are very good but you have to know what you're doing. If you have little or no knowledge of routers, FTP, Mac addresses and IP Configuration then it will be a learning curve and you may struggle.
Free Wireless Setup of your Equipment
We at System Insight provide help and advice on wireless equipment purchased from us and can provide this on a chargable basis for equipment purchased elsewhere.
The WFT-E1/WFT-E1A can be mounted either to the tripod socket on the base of a camera or used separate from it.
USB and FireWire
The WFT-E1/WFT-E1A communicates with the camera via the USB port of the EOS 20D or the FireWire port of the EOS-1D Mark II and EOS-1Ds Mark II. There are separate USB (Type A) and FireWire (6-pin) ports on the top of the unit, next to the antenna.
The device can transmit over both the slower 802.11b and faster 802.11g wireless transmission protocols, with extensive support for common schemes designed to secure access to both the wireless network and the pictures being sent across it. The system security and authentication/encryption features includes WEP, TKIP, MAC address filtering and SSID support for access to closed networks. It can connect in either infrastructure mode (to link to a wireless base station) or ad hoc mode (to link wirelessly to a computer, PocketPC handheld or similar device).
Wired Ethernet (Tethered)
A standard RJ-45 Ethernet port on the side of the unit enables it to connect to a wired router, the Ethernet port of a computer or other 100Base-T-compatible networking device.
Battery and AC power
The WFT-E1/WFT-E1A isn't powered by the camera it's connected to. Instead, it uses its own power. Canon has found yet another use for the ubiquitous 7.4V Lithium Ion pack that supplies juice to numerous Canon products, including the EOS 20D and its predecessors. In fact, the WFT-E1/WFT-E1A will accept the BP-511, BP-511A, BP-512 and BP-514 packs for use in the field, and the AC Adapter Kit ACK-E2 with DR-400 DC Coupler for use when near household power. Either the battery or the DC Coupler fit into a compartment on the device's side (the compartment is in the lower right corner of the photo above). Canon specifications suggest the device can transmit photos continuously for up to 3 hours wirelessly per charge, and 4.5 hours when the wired Ethernet port is used. These specifications don't note the model of battery pack. (The WFT-E1/WFT-E1A doesn't include a battery, charger or AC adapter; these items must be purchased separately).
Network configuration options are similar to those found on a modern Windows XP or Mac OS X computer with Wi-Fi capability. TCP/IP settings include the option of manually entering the configuration information, or obtaining it automatically from a DHCP server. Configurations that use a proxy server are possible. Wireless LAN settings include SSID, the selection of a connection method (Infrastructure or Ad hoc), channel (when applicable) and authentication and encryption options.
As with any wireless networking system, once the wireless link is established, another protocol is invoked to actually transfer data across the link. Canon has opted for FTP. Both anonymous and login/password protected FTP server access is possible, while FTP options include the ability to choose the port number, switch between passive and active transfer modes as well as specify a particular folder on the server to transmit photos to. It's also possible to have the WFT-E1/WFT-E1A overwrite an existing file of the same name already on the server, if desired. Canon has hinted that an easier-to-configure method for transferring pictures is in the works, one that will not replace FTP but be in addition to it.
The camera can be configured to automatically transmit photos as they're taken, or photos can be selected individually for transfer later in a batch. Browsing photos in a special image selection mode, then pressing the SELECT (EOS-1D Mark II, EOS-1Ds Mark II) or SET (EOS 20D) button places a small checkmark on the photo, indicating it's queued for transmission. When shooting RAW+JPEG, the camera can be configured to transmit just the JPEG, just the RAW file or both. An Image Transfer History screen shows the number of pictures to be transmitted, the number of pictures already sent and the number of pictures that failed to transmit on the card or in a certain folder.
All of the wireless-related settings are found in the Image transfer (LAN) settings menu, which is under Setup menu 2 in the EOS-1D Mark II and EOS-1Ds Mark II (presumably, this menu appears only when the transmitter is attached). Within the submenus under this menu, it's possible, among many other things, to configure up to 5 different wireless configuration sets, named Set 1 through Set 5. Each set can be adjusted from scratch using options in the menus, right down to entering an IP address and all other information specific to your network and FTP server. A more civilized option is to use the included Windows 2000/XP and Mac OS X application, called WFT-E1 Utility, for creating WFT-E1/WFT-E1A configuration files on the computer, which can then be saved to a memory card and loaded into a wireless configuration set in the camera.
Canon File Transmission Utility
Also included with the WFT-E1/WFT-E1A is a program called Canon File Transmission Utility. This software, which we think is for both Mac OS X and Windows 2000/XP, will watch a folder on the destination FTP server and automatically forward pictures that arrive there to another FTP server or a shared folder. It apparently can attach an incoming photo to an email message and send it out as well. We don't have any other information on this program, but it sounds like it could be a useful workflow tool.
Status and Error Feedback
The WFT-E1/WFT-E1A has a small LCD status screen that displays the wired or wireless LAN connection status, wireless signal strength, link speed in Mbps, camera connection status, battery life and any connection error codes. The graphics below give an idea of what the LCD panel will show when the device is performing its wireless and wired transmission duties.
Standard and Extended Range Antennas
The WFT-E1/WFT-E1A ships with Normal Antenna NA-E1, which is removable. The range of the device is specified to be 60 m/197 ft with the NA-E1 attached, subject to the usual caveats about walls and various forms of wireless voodoo impacting the maximum range. An optional accessory antenna, called Extended Range Antenna ERA-E1, boosts the working range to 150 m/492 ft.
The firmware in the WFT-E1/WFT-E1A is designed to be user-updateable.
Dimensions The WFT-E1/WFT-E1A's dimensions are 140 x 26.3 x 65mm (5.5 x 1.0 x 2.6 in.).
Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2/E2A
The new accessory dedicated Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2/E2A allows wireless transfer and backup, as well as remote control of the camera in Live View mode. The new transmitter is much smaller and lighter than its predecessor and more affordable as well. The WFT-E2/E2A has many useful capabilities besides wireless transmission of digital photos. In addition to supporting the EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR's Remote Live View functions, it can also be connected to various Hi-Speed USB 2.0 external storage devices such as high-capacity hard drives or convenient flash drives with much larger storage capacity than the memory cards in the camera, for instant backup as images are captured. Whats more, the WFT-E2/E2A can be connected to portable GPS devices to record GPS information (longitude, latitude, altitude, UTC) which is added to file metadata and displayed on the camera's LCD screen below the histogram.
The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2/E2A is a speedier, handier and more flexible evolution of the WFT-E1/E1A.
Three Communication Modes FTP, PTP and HTTP.
Wired and Wireless Networking
It supports IEEE 802.11 b/g and 100 BASE-TX LANs, both wired and wireless. Image transmissionis faster than with the previous unit. Its dust- and water- resistance performance is about the same,despite the addition of an extra port. Wireless transmission incorporates a security function.
The WFT-E2/E2A is equipped with a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed host interface so that it can be connected to an external medium (such as a USB flash drive, a self-powered portable HDD or a photo storage device) to store images, or, very usefully, to a GPS receiver.
Transmission of select images is now possible with the SET button.
Embedded Antenna & Camera Powered
The new unit is dedicated to the EOS-1D Mark III and gets its power from the camera and the antenna is embedded. The result is a decrease in weight from 165g to 75g and a similar decrease in size. There is an improved connection wizard and the WFT-E2/E2A features easier setting than WFT-E1/E1A.