[workaround] Android raw transfer over WiFi for Pana cameras without official app

ibd

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
578
Hi all

Having recently acquired a Panasonic GM5 camera, I was dissatisfied that the official Panasonic "Image App" cannot transfer raw images to my phone. I would like to do that for example to quickly change a photo from B&W to color, or to brighten a missed exposure, all while on-the-go.
Combined with the fact that the GM5 offers no in-camera raw editing like later cameras, this meant no flexible image editing after the image was shot! Or I would need to have with me yet another piece of hardware like a SD card dongle...

This is not the first time someone has run into this problem. By googling, one can find threads on DPReview, Flickr, and even our own forum: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/can-not-transfer-raw-file-through-panasonic-imaging-app.78614/

I realized that the GM5 only supports sending raws to a PC, as their own manual clearly shows in a table:
sending_images_compatible_formats.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Then, I figured out that Panasonic cameras connect to PCs via the SMB protocol, which originates from Microsoft but has compatible implementations for Mac OS, Linux, and smartphones as the "Samba" protocol. Because such software exists for all platforms, I was wondering if we could trick the camera into thinking my smartphone is really a PC file server, and thus sending the raws. After many failed attempts with different apps, and a lot of head shaking at Panasonic's clumsy networking implementation, I got it working! This is a guide sharing the steps to achieve that. I personally have an Android phone, but hopefully, a similar procedure should work for iOS.

Part 1: Server setup on Android
We will need two installations: Servers Ultimate, and Servers Ultimate Pack B, which contains the Samba server.
photo_2021-07-05_14-27-25.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-27-22.jpg

Opening the Servers Ultimate app, you'll want to set up a new "SMB Native Server". The regular "SMB Server" does not work. Go to "Servers", then click on the plus "+" to add a new server and choose the correct type.
photo_2021-07-05_14-27-18.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-27-16.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-27-13.jpg

In the "General" tab, you'll want to disable "Use root for internal port forwarding". In the "Specific" tab, make note of the "Netbios Name", as we will enter it later on the Panasonic camera when connecting. In my case, it is "HD1903". It is recommended to change this to a short and easy name to save time typing it in in the camera.
photo_2021-07-05_14-27-10.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-27-08.jpg

In the "Roots" tab, create the directory where the camera should save the downloaded images. Again, click on the plus "+" to do so. Enter any name. Browse for the directory on your phone, creating a new one if desired.
photo_2021-07-05_14-27-06.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-27-04.jpg

In the "Users" tab, make sure to add an user (you guessed it, with the plus "+"). Panasonic cameras do not seem to support guest or unauthorized access for some reason.
I created a very simple user here, username "pana", password "pana". Again, the easier your naming choice, the more time you'll save later on the camera side.
photo_2021-07-05_14-27-01.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-59.jpg

Click on the floppy disk icon a couple of times to save everything and go back to the servers overview. You should see your server similar to here, not started yet:
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-38.jpg
 

ibd

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
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Messages
578
2. Connecting the camera to the smartphone
On your camera, go to Setup -> Wi-Fi -> Wi-Fi Function -> New Connection -> Send Images Stored in the Camera -> PC- > Direct -> Manual Connection. The camera will open a local WiFi hotspot for your phone to connect to, and show the SSID and Password. If you've previously connected your smartphone to the camera with Panasonic's own "Image App", for example by QR code, then your smartphone might already know the network from before.
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-56.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-54.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-52.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-50.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-47.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-43.jpg


On your smartphone, enable WiFi and connect to the local network that the camera created.
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-41.jpg

Once you've connected, switch back to the Ultimate Servers app and start the Samba server that you set up before by clicking on the "play" button.
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-36.jpg


Once your smartphone connected to the Wifi, the camera will go into "Searching...". You can cancel that immediately as it will not work. It will then show "Select the PC". Tap on "Manual input" (or use the central button on the camera to activate it).
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-33.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-31.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-28.jpg

Enter the netbios name that you've set up (and hopefully noted :wink:) in step one.
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-26.jpg

If everything went well, you should see a choice of directories that you've set up in step one under "roots". In my case, I named it "pana". Select it.
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-23.jpg

Enter the user name and password as set up before.
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-18.jpg

If everything went well, you should be connected now! Congrats! For "file format", make sure you select "raw" or "raw + JPEG".
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-16.jpg
 
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ibd

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
578
3. Sending Photos (Success!)
You can now select single or multiple photos for sending to your smartphone. The camera will say sending a single photo takes 4 minutes! However, rest assured that the real time it takes is more like 10 seconds per photo. After hitting "yes" to proceed and waiting for the transfer to complete, you should see the satisfying "Transfer completed" message.
photo_2021-07-05_14-26-14.jpg photo_2021-07-05_14-26-11.jpg photo_2021-07-05_15-28-27.jpg

The photo should now be on your smartphone at the destination directory that you've set up in step one, nested inside a subfolder corresponding to the current date that the Panasonic camera automatically creates. It's ready for further processing in your favorite raw editor! Did you know that the basic Lightroom mobile is free and comes with full lens corrections for m4/3 lenses?
photo_2021-07-05_14-25-50.jpg

Bonus: The same setup will also for for sending images while shooting, providing kind of a mobile tethered solution! The camera will stay fully functional, but will show a "still sending images over WiFi" message on the screen with the number of remaining photos to be transferred. Again, it takes about 10 seconds for it to clear one frame from that buffer.
photo_2021-07-05_15-24-12.jpg

After your connection is working, you can save some typing the next time by saving the connection to your favorites. You can do so by clicking the "WiFi" function function button while the connection is active, and choosing "save to favorite", or by going to the WiFi menu again, going to "Select a destination from History", and choosing "Register to Favorite".
photo_2021-07-05_15-38-38.jpg
 
Last edited:

ibd

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
578
When setting up a second Lumix camera like this, I only got a connection working after re-enabling "Use root for internal port forwarding". This would be a bit limiting since most people won't have their Android phone rooted. But I'm not sure if this was a connection fluke or a true requirement for the method to work.

If anyone is willing to try this method, it would be helpful to know if they require the "Use root for internal port forwarding" option or not!

Anyway, it's working really well for me after saving to favorites! I don't even have to type the shared folder, username, "PC" name, etc., anymore -- it just connects!
 

DGoakill

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Sep 21, 2019
Messages
116
Location
Philadelphia Suburbs
Thanks for this! I'm going to hopefully give this a try sometime this week. I can never get the Panny software to work when I need it. At home, no problem. But out at an event when I really need to send some files it never seems to work. Hopefully this will be more reliable.
 

emudojo

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
92
This is.... Perfect, creating a bookmark for this
 

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