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EOS 6D Mark II - Bluetooth and WiFi confusion




I am a little baffled by the Bluetooth and WiFi functionality on the EOS 6D Mark II. I am linking it to my Android-based smartphone.


I've managed to get the remote functionality through WiFi working once. It seems every time I want to re-connect to my phone, I have to delete all the settings and forget the pairing and start from scratch. My phone seems to connect to other devices without having to do anything once paired: my car, my speakers, my watch, but not my EOS.


What can I do with just a Bluetooth connection? All that seems to be possible is to activate a WiFi connection.


There are separate enable settings for Bluetooth and WiFi. If WiFi is needed to do anything, why are the separate? Why have Bluetooth at all?


The WiFi User Guide is only marginally helpful. I think I need to get my head around some of the workflow concepts to make sense of this. Can anyone give me an Idiot's Guide type of overview? Is there a tutorial somewhere that goes through this?



I use an iPad, so the Canon Camera Connect applicaion may work a little differently for me.  


The first time I ran the CCC application, it went through an initial, onetime, startup  sequence, which established a connection.  As I recall, the startup prompted me through all of the settings and menus in the camera.  It told to enable Wi-Fi, and then it told when to enable Bluetooth, if I wished to use Bluetooth.

It then told to me go into the Bluetooth menu and enable “pairing”, the camera responded by asking me to select a network to connect to.  I saw my home wireless LAN, but I also saw the Bluetooth for the camera, and I selected that.  From there everything fell into place.


When I run the CCC app, I get two prompts:  “Start” and “Connect to a Network”, i think it is called.  I always select start, because I have already established a connection with the camera, and they find each other automatically.  I can view photos on the camera, or enable Live View Remote shooting, which is how I use it.  It’s great for manual focusing.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


“There are separate enable settings for Bluetooth and WiFi. If WiFi is needed to do anything, why are the separate? Why have Bluetooth at all?”


The biggest difference seems to be speed and bandwidth.  


Bluetooth is slower, and has a shorter range.  It is great for use as a means to remotely control the camera, when you do not want to touch the camera, or if the camera is not conveniently mounted.  I like to use to manually focus with the larger display on my iPad.  While I can view photos on the camera’s memory card.


Wi-Fi is faster, and is typically used to connect to wireless access point.  Once connected, you either use the EOS utility for Remote Shooting with a computer that is connected to the same access point.  Or, you should be able to upload JPEG, images to the Canon Gateway.  In addition, you should be able to use the EOS Utility to download RAW and JPEG photos to your computer, something which I do not think I can do via Bluetooth.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Just got a Mark II and connected to my iphoneX.  I was a bit confused, but it appears to me that it doesn’t use Bluetooth for data transfer.  It seems to use nearfield (NFC) feature of Bluetooth to detect the iPhone and then fire off the WiFi connection with minimal user involvement.  


Jim in Boulder 

Bluetooth is a very low-power point-to-point radio.  It hardly uses any battery power.  But it's low bandwidth means it really isn't suitable for remove live-view.  I don't use it.  I think you technically *can* transfer images via Bluetooth, but it would be slow.  Most bluetooth specs also severely limit distance (about 30') although newer specs (such as Bluetooth 5.0) have more range and speed.


Wi-Fi is MUCH faster and MUCH higher range.  You can do live-view over Wi-Fi and files transfers are much faster.  It will eat more battery power.  But while Wi-Fi can be used as a simple point-to-point connection, it was meant for networking across multiple devices and the setup is a little more complicated because the spec includes support for routeable networks (e.g. the ability to use IP networking and reach the Internet).  This means the setup is a bit more involved.


I _really_ like how Apple implemented their device to device communication and wish Canon would do something similar.  In the Apple world, if I want to let me laptop connect to an Apple TV to project a video... the two devices don't initially need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.  All you have to do is get them near each other.  They'll put themselves into a Bluetooth discovery mode and establish a Bluetoth connection ... and then they use the low-speed Bluetooth network to negotiate a high-speed Wi-Fi connections ... then they switch to using that.


The end-user experience is ... you just had to get the two devices to be initially near each other... and then the Wi-Fi network "just starts working" by creating an ad-hoc network with no hassle on the part of the user.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Hi Tim, It would appear that Canon has mirrored your thoughts in their latest generation of WiFi implementations including the 6D Mark II. So far, it appears the Mark II uses NFC/Bluetooth to quickly connect then immediately sets up the WiFi connection. Much more seamless than with my 6D which was often a bit awkward. The Mark II even automatically switches from whatever network the iPhone is connected to and direct connects to the camera without intervention. Seems pretty nice!

Jim in Boulder

PS: I take it that you are an Astrophotographer with your 6Da. I have done a lot with my in-modified 6D connected to Celestron CPC-1100. Looking forward to taking my new Mark II to the Texas Star Party next week.

I have the same issue with Bluetooth. I would like to use my pixel 2 phone as a remote live view when I am shooting landscapes. I am not able to connect just Bluetooth, it seems to always want a wifi connect

Yep, I think the Bluetooth is only to quickly establish a connection and setup the higher speed direct WiFi connection. No image or camera control is done by Bluetooth. Kinda clever actually.


So here is what I'm starting to think:


If there is a common Wi-Fi network available (say a home network), camera and device (phone) can connect using that.


If there is NO Wi-Fi network available, Bluetooth is used to "make contact" between the devices (camera <-> phone) and allow them to negotiage a direct Wi-Fi connection. Although, looking at the "Wi-Fi Function Instruction Manual", it appears that a Wi-Fi network (or access point) is not specifially required. The connection can be made strictly using Wi-Fi.



Going forward, I'm going to assume that Bluetooth is only for establishing Wi-Fi and has no other facility. Never mind that you can have Bluetooth enabled and Wi-Fi disabled (or vice-versa).


I'm sure it make perfect sense to the Canon engineers, but I sure wish there was a clearer explanation. A nice one-page flowchart or some sort of overview would help.


Still hoping for a crystal clear explanaton for all of this.

WiFi is a complex process, both in concept and in implementation. Unless you're pretty familiar with how computer networks work, it can be daunting to understand. Camera manufacturers' attempts to hide WiFi's complexity behind a veneer of simplicity have not been particularly helpful, IMO.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA