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A Tether Cable Bargain

January 17, 2012

We recently did an interesting test here at the studio.  I almost always shoot tethered directly into Lightroom, which means I have my camera connected via USB to my computer, and as I shoot the images are automatically imported into Lightroom and show up on my monitor, nice and big!

This requires a very high quality USB cable to transfer all the data and keep things flowing so Lightroom doesn’t hang up or crash.  I like to use the longest possible cable (15ft) so I can move around and not trip over the cable.  In the past, I have purchased these cables from photo supply sources for upwards of $65!  Students are always inquiring where to get tether cables, and I always resent having to recommend such an expensive item.

So, in the interest of saving everyone money, I went in search of a cheaper alternative.  I came across a 15ft USB cable on the Monoprice website that seemed way too good to be true.  Same specs as the expensive cables, but at a ridiculously low price…. so I purchased one to test.  Much to my surprise, when we tested the cable (using a Canon 5DMKII tethered to my iMac running Lightroom 3), the transfer times were exactly the same as the expensive cables!  We were so surprised that we ran the tests a few times just to be sure…. and no problem.  A single Raw file transfers in around 4 seconds, and we can fire a full burst of 16 shots before the buffer fills, and all the files transfer in around 45 seconds… same as with the expensive cable!

So now you want to know…. where and how much???!?

Here’s a link to the specific cable we used:

For only $1.76 each when QTY 50+ purchased – 15ft USB 2.0 A Male to Mini-B 5pin Male 28/24AWG Cable w/ Ferrite Core (Gold Plated) | USB 2.0 Cables – Mini-B 5pin Type

And the price? $2.09 !!  Shipping to Canada costs around $6, so the total cost is less than $10.  Quite a bargain compared to the $65 I have been paying.

I’ve been using the cable with no problems for over a month now, though I don’t know how well it will hold up long-term, but at that price, order a few of them!

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