My Canon 5D MkIII To iPhone Social Media Workflow At Volume Music Festival

I used both of my Canon 5D MkIII DSLR cameras to photograph nine bands at five different venues for the Inlander during the newspaper’s Volume Music Festival in Spokane, Wash. I wanted to upload photos from my camera to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook during or immediately after each band’s performance. So, I transferred my DSLR photos to my iPhone and uploaded. I’ve done various mobile workflows before. But, this one feels the most intuitive to me.

I could have taken my laptop. But with busy venues, having the least amount of gear was the best way to go. I decided that transferring photos to my iPhone and then uploading to my social media accounts was the best way to go. I could take photos on my iPhone and upload but I wanted to use the much higher quality photos from my Canon 5D MkIII. Also, photographing movement on a DSLR camera is much more predictable and responsive than on an iPhone, where the shutter delay can cause you to miss the peak movement, especially in dark music venues.

I had wireless options, but I used a SD Card to lightning cable to transfer photos from my Canon 5D MkIII to the iPhone’s Photos app. With wireless, you have to create a wireless network from your camera or from the portable wireless device you are using. The Canon 5D MkIII also doesn’t have built in wireless. Portable wireless isn’t always reliable. Connections easily get dropped. You also have to connect with the wireless network each time you want to connect with the camera or wireless device on your phone. Then, you have to switch wireless networks to connect to the internet. I have never been completely happy with in-camera, from my Canon 6D, or portable wireless devices. So, I ended up going hard-wired using the SD Card to lightning cable.

One productivity killing problem with using the Photos app to import is that you see all of the many photos on your card as small previews in the import screen. These previews also can’t be enlarged so that you can make sure the photo you have selected is actually the photo you want to import. You also don’t see any filenames. It’s a big productivity killer if you have taken many photos, like at a music festival. So, I utilized both card slots, CF and SD, in the Canon 5D MkIII.

I shot all of the photos onto the CF Card as JPEGs. If you shoot in RAW, I recommend doing an in-camera conversion to JPEG before transferring to the iPhone as the phone doesn’t do a great job of handling RAW files. I then used the image copy feature in the camera’s playback menu to copy select photos from the CF card to the SD card. I used SD card to copy my select photos to the iPhone. It is much easier to work with one or two photos than the dozens, hundreds by the end of the night, on the iPhone. I then selected the photos and and clicked on the import button, which copies the photos from the SD card onto the iPhone Photo app Camera Roll.

An important thing to consider is that I never deleted any photos from the SD card while on covering the music festival. Why? It is too easy to accidentally photos from the wrong card. After doing my computer backups of my photos later in at night, I then formatted both the CF and SD cards I used.

From there, it was simple. I could have done the edits in Instagram. But, I decided to use Photogene, which has more intuitive editing tools, like sharpening and curves. I have a sharpening preset that I have used for a couple of years in Photogene. So, it is a automatically applied. I then use the curves tool to brighten the image and crop where needed.

One other thing I created was a default description in the Notes app for the event which included the event name, city and a series of hashtags I wanted to use for each photo. I copied the cutline in the Notes app. I then opened in Instagram, opening the photo I wanted to post and going directly to the share screen and pasting the description info and then shared. I did the same in Facebook, minus hashtags, and then to twitter with minimal hashtags because of the character count limits.

This workflow literally took one minute and I was able to easily use it all night. There was a little battery drain. After nine shows and checking social media every once in a while, I was down to half power on the iPhone.

UPDATE: Photogene will reduce the file size of the photo opened and saved from the Camera Roll on the iPhone to about a maximum of 2172 px on the long side, which didn’t matter to me as I was only posting for social media that night. But, if you want to have a high resolution file size  when opening and saving from the Camera Roll, then open the photo in the Camera Roll from File Browser or some other file handling app to Photogene on the iPhone. It is usually an “Open In” link or button in most iPhone apps. Photogene will open a resolution file and allow you to save with a maximum 5616 px on the long side of the photo.

UPDATE 2: In case you didn’t know it, an edit done in the Photos app on the iPhone from a DSLR or other external camera won’t show in any other app. Built in phone camera photo edits will, but not one imported from the SD card to Lightning reader or the USB Camera to Lightning reader.


6 thoughts on “My Canon 5D MkIII To iPhone Social Media Workflow At Volume Music Festival

  1. Jesse Tinsley

    We’ve talked about this and we both have opinions about what’s the smoothest way of editing pics and getting them uploaded. I use both the CamRanger and an EyeFi card, depending on the camera I’m using. These have been working well for me because the CamRanger displays file names in the app so you can choose the right file that you’ve already seen in the camera. The EyeFi card goes a step further and allows you to enlarge each frame and get a better look at it before you download it to the phone.

    1. Young Kwak Post author

      I think the biggest drawback for me is connecting to a wireless network each time on my portable wireless device or camera and then switching back to get back on the internet. I have timed it and it actually takes just a little longer with a wireless workflow because I have to switch my phone to the device’s wireless network. It hasn’t always been as smooth as I would like, because dropped networks and the device taking a lot of time to show up on my phone. The actual transfer time difference once connected between wireless network and hard wired is very minimal though. I am sure newer technologies down the road will make the workflow smoother.

      1. Jesse Tinsley

        I don’t understand cell phone technology very well, but I have the same problem with the CamRanger work flow. But the Eyefi allows me to connect to it, do my acquisition and editing, then send stuff out to social media without manually disconnecting from the card itself. Dunno why one works and another doesn’t.

      2. Young Kwak Post author

        I think if the wireless technology were the reverse of the way it is now, it would be better. So, instead of the phone trying to connect to the wireless network device, have the device connect to the phone’s personal hotspot and have the device save the login info so that it can automatically log on. I have never had a personal hotspot from the phone drop when connecting to my mac or other device. Maybe somebody can come up with that down the road.

  2. Young Kwak Post author

    I made an update to the blog post about maximum file sizes on the iPhone between the Camera Roll and Photogene. It is at the bottom of the post.

  3. Young Kwak Post author

    Also, an update about the quirky relationship between the iPhone Photos app edits on photos imported from an external camera and social media apps.


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