RoboCam small 2

Want to control multiple Panasonic GH4 cameras from a laptop via wifi? If the answer is yes, then you might be interested in checking out Robocam. Basically, this $40 program allows you to scan a wifi network for Panasonic cameras, then remote control them the same way you would when using Panasonic’s image app on your Android or iOS device. While this seems to be (at least partially) based on the user-created free version found here, Robocam seems a bit more refined, so I opted to spend $40 to test it out.

Hootoo Titan (1 of 2)

To test out Robocam, I picked up a HooToo Tripmate TITAN. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Tripmate TITAN is basically a battery powered wifi router that’s ruffly the size of a bottle of Tylenol. With it, I can set up a portable wifi network almost anywhere. While any home wifi network will due, early tests with Robocam on my home network proved to be unstable. This is probably due to the number of wifi devices connected to the network. While the Tripmate TITAN isn’t necessarily a requirement, having an un cluttered wifi network seemed to improve results. 

Robocam (1 of 1)

Testing so far has been pretty basic. I set up a mobile network and password on the Tripmate TITAN, then connected both the Panasonic GH4 and LX100 via wifi. From there, I simply logged in via my laptop and start Robocam.

Camera detection Robocam

Robocam automatically detects both the Panasonic GH4 and LX100. After that, it is just a matter of clicking “connect camera” and you’re up and running.

robocam small

Once you are up and running, you basically have full control over your supported Panasonic cameras. Menus provide most of the things you’d want to change in camera, battery monitoring is spot on, and click to focus works about 75% of the time.  I’d like to say that Robocam is worth every penny, but in reality, it’s not perfect.

While testing, I could get both cameras to start recording at the same time on every try, but on several tests, I couldn’t get them to stop recording via the software control. AF seemed to work almost all of the time on the Panasonic GH4, but would sometimes cause the LX100 to zoom in rather than focus on a point. Some menu controls don’t actually do anything on either camera and sometimes a settings change via Robocam will cause the software to freeze for several seconds while the camera tries to respond.

Hootoo Titan  (2 of 2)

Don’t get me wrong, Robocam does work, but it isn’t something I would take out on any kind of paying job. There’s some great potential here, they just need to work out the bugs. I would love to see a tested working list of routers and some optimum configurations recommendations. The demo videos make Robocam look great, but so far I would put this in the beta category. Hopefully, they’ll get some of these bugs worked out in the next release. Until then, I don’t think $40 is really worth it.

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