Jump to content
kidflash

Voom Wifi package and DSLR cameras

Recommended Posts

I apologize if this topic has already been discussed but I would like to know if anyone has been able to 'tether' a non smart device (WiFi) to a primary registered device on an RCCL ship?

I want to purchase a single device unlimited Voom internet package and trust me, I am not trying to cheat or beat the system, however I have a high-end Canon DSLR camera with built-in WiFi transmitter (802.11b/g) typically used by professional sports photographers for magazines. The issue is that it has a multi-function screen (OS, firmware, camera functionality, network, etc) which allows for entering IP addresses, username, password and ftp server IP values for simplified yet direct internet connectivity however, it does not have a full web browser like typical mainstream smart devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops). 

If I am not mistaken, RCCL's Voom requires the use of a device with a web browser in order to log in (like hotels offer) so it sounds like at a  minimum, I would first need a smartphone to make the connection to the on-board welcome page but then my question is, if I want to use my DSLR to upload .jpeg and Raw digital pictures to my ftp server back home, can I then tether to the camera to do ftp uploads? (again the DSLR isn't as advanced in that it has no web browser, just basic WiFi/network interface) or is that considered "two" internet devices requiring a two device internet package purchase?

Canon 7D.jpg

Edited by kidflash
bad spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would need a smartphone that allows simultaneously being logged in to a wifi network and sharing its wifi as a hotspot. There are only a very few varieties of Android phone that support this, and no iPhones can do this. It was discussed here a while back, but I haven't been able to find the thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our resident Voom expert, @twangster has written a post on what you need here.  Basically, Voom is sold on a per-seat license (you can use any number of devices to access the service, one at a time - assuming you buy a 1 device package) that is activated through an actual browser connection.  So the 5D MkIV with BG-E20 can't connect directly with Voom, but the router can. Caveat: to set up the travel router, you'll need a smartphone, tablet, or laptop for initial setup.  The camera won't connect directly with Voom, but once you get the router configured, it can stay online as a middleman and you can connect the 5D to it.

I have the same setup as you but will take a laptop instead of the router and upload to the laptop.

Edited by 4ensic
Replaced word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, kidflash said:

@4ensic So you're recommending that I abandon the headaches and just dump the photos straight to a laptop. (and thanks for the link to the previous post) 👍

Personally, I think it's easier.  But I do mostly stage photography and the talent likes to see photos while still onboard - so I run them through Lightroom before uploading to my website while still on the cruise.

 

What's your favorite type  of photographic subject?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@4ensic I am former military, now FAA so I like covering airshows however being that I am also an avid sports lover (Philadelphia 76's, Eagles and Phillies) I try to cover sporting events whenever I can. Onboard, I like capturing all things engineering (ship technology, etc)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

L 100-400 or 70-200 zoom?  I just graduated from an 80D to the 5D and lost 60% of my length due to crop factor.  If you have press access and started with the long lens, you have avoided that problem.  I have the 70-200 2.8 (indoors with theatre light and need the extra light gathering).  Wanted to dodge buying another big white lens, so I cheaped out and got the 2X adaptor.

Family went to a lot of local airshows back in the day at SAFB and around St. Louis back in the 1970s.  Even with the 135mm lens, just got small black dots with exhaust trails.

The back-end photography on the ship (engine room, et al.) seems pretty shielded from us passengers.  The bridge tour is OK, but you need to be Diamond+ (or know one and use her/his ticket) for that.

Are you on the President's Cruise by chance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As offered you need to get around the captive portal to log into Voom.  Assuming you can by using a hotspot or travel router, I would caution that Voom upload speeds will be nothing like at home, plus expect latency of 700ms or more which itself can wreak havoc on some FTP transfers.  

Voom is over satellite and it is not simply raw internet fed to the ship through the sky.  All satellite internet providers have a lot of electronics at the earth stations that massage traffic to suit the primary consumer use of web browsing, chat and voice/video calling (RTP streams).  In Royal's case, Speedcast is the ISP.  

Once you venture away from the main stream applications things like FTP become secondary and will likely not function as they do on land.   

Assuming you shoot RAW those very large files will take a long time to transfer and I expect many will time out trying to upload.  I typically shoot 2,000+ images on a cruise, all in RAW.  I couldn't imagine trying to upload those over Voom.  The images I do upload to live blog on this site are re-sized to 900 px wide with a cap of 150k per file in Lightroom.  Those take a few seconds each to upload over Voom and even those falter at times.

I could be wrong and I look forward to hearing how this worked for you.

PS - I always travel with a laptop and a 4TB USB drive to backup my photos that goes into the safe.  That's my backup plan should my camera disappear or fall into the ocean.  My Alaskan cruise last week measured 52GB and 2,246 files.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@4ensic EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM (purchased used from a reputable shop in Manhattan). Otherwise, my toolbox is limited in that my other two lenses (new) are a 70-300 and a 28-135. I freelance for a small newspaper in NJ.

Not on the President's cruise and I have a ways to go before diamond. 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, kidflash said:

@JLMoran Joe, thanks a million. I recently purchased a Samsung S9+ which I "think" may allow me to do what you're suggesting but I'm not 100% sure. But what you're saying sounds reasonable. 

Try it on dry land before you go.  Head over to a McDonald's or someplace with a free captive wifi portal and see if you can connect your phone and get it to share the connection with your camera.  Otherwise, order a travel router if you want direct connectivity.

That said, you should be able to use the S9+ to pull images off the camera and shrink & upload them that way.  Connect it with a USB-C to USB-A "OTG" adapter and the phone will be able to read files off the camera.  It's a bit tedious, but if you're only sending up a few images & don't feel like bringing a laptop, it'll work.

19 hours ago, kidflash said:

@4ensic So you're recommending that while it is doable, I should save myself the headaches and just dump the photos straight to a laptop. (and thanks for the link to the previous post) 👍

A laptop's going to give you the most flexibility & is probably your best bet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 @twangster@JLMoran @4ensic @Orange Crush

On 9/11/2018 at 11:26 AM, Orange Crush said:

Try it on dry land before you go.  Head over to a McDonald's or someplace with a free captive wifi portal and see if you can connect your phone and get it to share the connection with your camera.  Otherwise, order a travel router if you want direct connectivity.

That said, you should be able to use the S9+ to pull images off the camera and shrink & upload them that way.  Connect it with a USB-C to USB-A "OTG" adapter and the phone will be able to read files off the camera.  It's a bit tedious, but if you're only sending up a few images & don't feel like bringing a laptop, it'll work.

A laptop's going to give you the most flexibility & is probably your best bet.

Orange Crush, Joe, I'm already on the same page. I discovered that the new Samsung S9+ (Android 8.0 "oreo") has the "Wi-Fi sharing" feature which they began offering under "Nougat" (Android 7.0). So I tested it in a Starbucks (careful to make sure the AT&T mobile network was disabled). After turning it on and connecting to the store's Wi-Fi, I was then able to connect the camera (already pointing to my FTP server's ip address) to the Samsung's "Wi-Fi extender". Stepped outside and fired off some DSLR shots. When I got home, I checked the FTP server/directory path and voila`, the pictures were there.

The part that I'm nervous about though is: if I proceed on this little adventure on my upcoming 7 day Bermuda cruise and I purchase a "one" device package, will the ship's VOOM detect the camera as a second device and then I'm slammed with an "up-charge" on my bill?  Twangster has already cautioned me on the inherent latency issues, step-downs, etc.

The military weapons systems engineer in me says "damn the torpedoes" and push the envelope (for curiosity sake) but the practical side of me says that you, twangster and 4ensic are smarter than the average bear and that I should leave sleeping dogs lie.

"Curiosity killed the cat" 😅

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, kidflash said:

The part that I'm nervous about though is: if I proceed on this little adventure on my upcoming 7 day Bermuda cruise and I purchase a "one" device package, will the ship's VOOM detect the camera as a second device and then I'm slammed with an "up-charge" on my bill?  Twangster has already cautioned me on the inherent latency issues, step-downs, etc.

If I'm understanding the way the wi-fi sharing on the S9+ is working, then the S9+ is essentially becoming a portable travel router and would behave no differently than any other travel router used per @twangster's earlier instructions on that thread. So the only risk at that point would be if Royal is starting to crack down on travel routers in general and taking active steps to block them or detect their use.

I do think that trying to use it in that way for large photo uploads is going to be problematic, even on a ship with the faster VOOM. I can't tell you the number of times I tried posting to my live blog from the ship, just with a bunch of reduced-size photos, and the connection died on me and my entire post ended up lost. If you can bring a laptop, I'd seriously advise just doing that, putting the photos on there and making your edits (including copies at smaller size for easier transmission), then logging onto VOOM with the laptop and uploading from there. At least then if something goes wrong, you have an easier time re-doing the upload from the laptop than from the camera's controls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, kidflash said:

 

The military weapons systems engineer in me says "damn the torpedoes" and push the envelope (for curiosity sake) but the practical side of me says that you, twangster and 4ensic are smarter than the average bear and that I should leave sleeping dogs lie.

"Curiosity killed the cat" 😅

If you've confirmed that the sharing works with a captive portal, you're good to go.  I shared my logon code with cabinmates.  The worst that ever happened is that one of us either couldn't log on, or were logged off.  I've never been hit with a double charge even though both of us were trying to log onto the RCI portal at once with different devices.

Your 5D would only try to access your phone, not the public RCI site, so there's no way it could even know you'd be using a middleman.  Royal isn't about punishing anyone for using their service.

JLM is right on. Just because you can use the smartphone doesn't mean it's the best solution.  Being able to process your work and upload just the best photos on Voom allows editorial decisions, initial backup (Secondary too if you bring USB drives) and not just bulk uploading.  The laptop adds a lot of value in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, kidflash said:

@twangster@JLMoran@4ensic@Orange Crush

 

The part that I'm nervous about though is: if I proceed on this little adventure on my upcoming 7 day Bermuda cruise and I purchase a "one" device package, will the ship's VOOM detect the camera as a second device and then I'm slammed with an "up-charge" on my bill?  Twangster has already cautioned me on the inherent latency issues, step-downs, etc. 

It's neither expressly allowed nor expressly forbidden, and ethically I think it falls well within "reasonable use."  There's no indication Royal Caribbean has a problem with it or they're making any effort to prevent this sort of thing.  There's about zero chance they'd decide to hit you with an upcharge without communicating a policy change in writing well beforehand.  You should be fine.  Worst case, your camera just won't connect to the FTP server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/12/2018 at 4:17 PM, kidflash said:

 The part that I'm nervous about though is: if I proceed on this little adventure on my upcoming 7 day Bermuda cruise and I purchase a "one" device package, will the ship's VOOM detect the camera as a second device and then I'm slammed with an "up-charge" on my bill?  Twangster has already cautioned me on the inherent latency issues, step-downs, etc.

Android phones capable of acting like a travel router hide the additional device.  If it didn't, the other device would not work.  Regardless, they won't add surprise charges.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...