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remote control of cameras


  • remote control of your camera may provide the following capabilities depending on your camera & controller:
    • remote triggering of exposure:
      • this helps reduce camera shake in critical situations such as astrophotography
      • enables you to shoot without being in contact with the camera:
        • camera mounted in difficult to access situations eg. mounted high above you
      • this can be achieved in a variety of ways:
        • NB. the old mechanical cable release used by film SLRs is no longer used in digital cameras.
        • electric cable release
        • computerised cable release with additional controls
        • infra-red wireless remote - may also allow zooming and start-stop for Bulb exposures
        • WiFi wireless remote
          • most cameras now have WiFi built-in and can be controlled by their smartphone app
    • intervalometer:
      • enables the taking of a sequence of photos at a given frequency eg. every 5 minutes
      • this can be very handy for automating photos of sunsets with one camera whilst you operate another camera, this is even better if it can be combined with AE bracketing and mirror lockup
      • most cameras now have WiFi built-in and can be controlled by their smartphone app
    • auto-sequencer:
      • a more advanced form of intervalometer that additionally allows creating a programmed sequence of differing ISO, shutter speed and aperture, and potentially focus, exposure bracketing
    • direct transfer of image to external device (“tethered shooting”):
      • this can be handy in the studio during a long shoot
      • this requires either:
        • Eye-Fi memory card and a iPad or computer with WiFi software to receive the images
        • most cameras now have WiFi built-in and can be controlled by their smartphone app 
    • tethered imaging with live preview on remote device:
  • in addition, some cameras can output live preview to an external video monitor:
    • most cameras now have WiFi built-in and can be controlled by their smartphone app

WiFi transfer of images from camera - wireless tethering

  • most cameras now have this built in and is generally used with a smartphone app but it can be slow
  • some older cameras without WiFi built in may be compatible with a Eye-Fi memory card
  • Tether Tools Air Direct Wireless Tethering System
    • introduced in 2019, this sits in the camera hotshoe and connects to the camera via its USB cable (USB-C - you may need a special cable for your camera's port) and is powered by a LP-E6/N Battery or DC input
    • 802.11AC Wi-Fi connection. Internet access not required.
    • offers 5x faster transfers than many in-camera WiFi and has a range up to 60m
    • also has a smartphone app for remote control of Canon and Nikon cameras
    • $AU559

high speed photography triggers


  • credit card size device which mounts in camera hotshoe and triggers by attaching by cable to camera &/or flash
  • can be programmed remotely via smartphone apps via Bluetooth 4.0
  • has sensors for light, laser, sound
  • can be used for capturing lightning, bullets, smashing objects, etc
  • $US239 plus cable for specific camera $20


iPad or iPhone apps

camera manufacturer apps

  • most new cameras have built-in WiFi and come with specific smartphone apps which allow the smartphone to be tethered by WiFi to the camera and control the camera in various ways:
    • automatic transfer of images when they are taken
    • live view of the camera's view with ability to select a subject to AF on and then trigger the shutter remotely
    • change camera settings remotely

Arsenal AI intelligent radio remote

  • sits in hotshoe and connects to camera via USB
  • battery lasts 4-5hrs but can be charged in use via a compatible micro-USB power source, and this may also be able to charge the camera at the same time if it supports USB charging (eg. some Sony cameras)
  • remote control on smartphone up to 100' away with Live View and tap to focus
  • analyses scene to provide optimal control of exposures etc incl. focus stacking, HDR, timelapse, etc
  • live histogram and night focus has been added
  • WiFi image tethering to smartphone - can view camera images on memory card from phone and save to phone
  • can be used with camera hand held without control from the smartphone but this mode must be started from the smartphone and there is loss of functionality on dSLRs in optical viewfinder mirror down mode
  • unfortunately not weathersealed so not for storm work
  • likely to work with most newer cameras which have Live View but at present only officially supporting Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony but they believe by the time it is available in early Feb they will have tested it on Olympus, Pansonic and Pentax
  • NB. v1 and vii Sony mirrorless cameras connect via Sony Playmemories Smart Remote App via the camera's WiFi as there are issues with the USB connection

Cascable 3 iOS WiFi app

Alpine Labs Pulse Bluetooth remote

  • plugs into camera's USB port then allows extensive control of camera via WiFi on an iPhone
  • designed mainly for Canon and Nikon dSLRs, and Panasonic GH4 but NOT compatible with Canon EOS M cameras nor Sony cameras as Sony does not allow taking photos and saving them via USB
  • available mid 2016

iUSBport WiFi remote

  • for most Canon and Nikon dSLRs
  • sits in hotshoe and cable connect into camera USB port
  • enables WiFi tethering, image transfer and remote control to most smartphones including iPhone, iPad
  • does not need computer network to be present
  • also can connect to a USB hard drive to transfer data to a smartphone
  • also can act as a extra battery for some smartphones
  • $US199


  • small WiFi device connects to camera's external control plug and can be mounted on hotshoe
  • iPhone or Android app allows WiFi control of camera including viewing image in Live View or Playback
  • currently only for the latest Canon or Nikon dSLRs


  • TriggerTrap company no longer exists but has released dongle as open source
  • allows iOS device (iPhone, iPod, iPad) to be cabled to a camera and the iOS app can then control the camera:
    • Timelapse
      • 10-10,000 frames over 1min - 1 week
    • Eased timelapse
      • in the assembled time-lapse video, it appears as if time speeds up at the beginning of the video, and slows back down at the end
    • Sound sensor
      • set sound threshold in app, when exceeded, shutter will fire
    • Shock & Vibration sensor
      • very sensitive vibration trigger
    • Metal & magnetism sensor
    • Facial recognition
      • set how many faces to detect before triggering
    • HDR mode
      • set camera to Bulb, manual exposure, in app set shutter speed (fastest 1/10th sec), number exposures, and EV difference between exposures
      • shutter speed limitation is an issue but at least you could do 3,5,7,..19 shots up to 2EV apart
    • HDR Timelapse mode
    • Distance-lapse mode
      • for timelapse movie generation whilst travelling in car, set distance interval in app 10m-1.5km
    • Motion detection mode
      • best on tripod mount, sample scene, set % change of scene to trigger
    • Cable Release mode
      • Program mode - camera controls shooting settings, app does single shot
      • BULB mode - set camera to Bulb, press start and release will end exposure
      • Timed BULB mode - set camera to BULB, press start, press again to stop
      • Manual mode- set camera to BULB, select shutter speed in app (1 sec - 60min)
    • Star trail mode
      • set camera to BULB, take x number shots at a given exposure with a given gap between shots
  • 3 Different Shutter Channels
  • supports two different devices – usually configured as the focus and shutter
  • can trigger just a camera, a camera and a flash separately, or even two independent flashes
  • Lag-o-meter built in, which is designed to measure the shutter lag on your camer
  • customisable ‘shutter pulse length’ – or the duration of the signal sent to the channel. For a flash, this can be very short (typically 20 ms), for a camera shutter, this needs to be a little bit longer (typically 150ms), and it can be configured to be much longer, to give the camera connected to the Triggertrap Mobile App enough time to focus.
  • partly compatible with Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera according to my testing with May 22nd 2012 iPhone app version:
    • must set iPhone Settings Music volume limit to 100%
    • cable release mode:
      • P mode works well and will trigger AF as well as shutter if that is selected
      • B and M modes do not seem to work even with camera set to BULB as instructed
      • T mode (Triggertrap Timed Bulb mode) does not trigger shutter start as it should although I need to further test this in case it is related to AF (you can start exposure with camera release button)and the app will terminate exposure.
    • shutter lag test does not trigger camera although I need to further test this with AF priority off
    • Bang, Seismic, distance and timelapse all trigger camera AF and shutter


  • allows iOS device (iPhone, iPod, iPad) to be cabled to a camera (only some models supported eg. Canon N3 ioShutter release cable $69.95 here) and the iOS app can then control the camera:
    • long exposure timer for 20 or 60sec exposures
    • BULB mode timer for 60, 90, 120sec exposures
    • interval timer
    • trigger exposure via sound or shaking the device
    • combine above functionalities with the PRO app ($9.99)

DSLR Remote

  • allows WiFi remote camera control for compatible Canon and Nikon dSLRs
  • free version only allows remote triggering of camera, full version ($20 iPhone version or $50 for HD iPad version) gives Live Preview, remote control of camera settings, intervalometer, etc.
  • requires dSLR connected via USB cable to WiFi connected computer running the free server software


  • allows WiFi transfer of images from your camera to your iPad as they are taken
  • allows resizing, Geotagging and watermarking photos before secondary WiFi transfer to internet services such as Flickr, DropBox, etc
  • requires either:
    • Eye-Fi memory card, or,
    • WiFi FTP transmitter device for your camera

Phase One Capture Pilot

Leaf Capture Remote Application

EZ Cam

Satechi BT Smart Trigger

  • iOS Bluetooth 4.0 shutter release app (Android version also coming)
  • requires BT Smart Trigger device to sit in camera hotshoe and allows remote shutter release from up to 50 feet away
  • current only compatible with certain Canon cameras

Olympus dSLRs:

  • all new Oly dSLRs have live preview (E410, E510, E330, and the E-3)
  • via a PC or laptop:
  • via a remote cable:
    • Olympus RM-CB1 remote cable:
      • only compatible with E-1 & E-300 (with battery holder), C8080 & C5060 (with battery holder), E-10, E-20N
    • Olympus RM-UC1 remote cable:
      • connects to camera's USB connection 
      • compatible with SP-510 UZ\SP-550 UZ\E-410\E-510 (and ? other E dSLRs)
  • via infrared remote control:
    • Olympus RM-1 multifunction IR remote control:
      • allows triggering of exposure (and terminating of a Bulb exposure), and zooming of lens.
      • compatible with all E dSLRs and most other Olympus digital cameras (see here)
  • live viewing via external video output:
    • any analogue PAL or NTSC video device that can accept the analogue video feed via the AV/USB cable - remember to set PAL or NTSC in the camera menu for video out.
      • live preview image from E330 at 10x magnification in indoor lighting is not easy to focus on a plasma TV though as quite pixelated - presumably it sends the same image output as the camera LCD ie. approx. 535×400 which then gets interpolated up to your TV's resolution
    • Olympus Studio v2 can view live video feed but only when camera set to CAMERA SHOOTING - it gets turned off when set to PC SHOOTING so cannot use this software to live preview then trigger the exposure.
  • live viewing via external sensor plus remote control
    • Hahnel Inspire Wireless LiveView Remote Control
      • live view derived either from camera AV output or via built-in CMOS sensor which images the optical viewfinder of the camera
      • remote trigger via cable connection to compatible dSLRs
      • radio transmission of live view and remote trigger

Canon dSLRs:

  • NB. the Canon 1D Mark III, 40D & 450D and later models have live preview.
  • via a PC or laptop:
    • wireless control:
      • Canon 1D Mark III when coupled with its WiFi wireless adapter WFT-E2A (~$A2099) :
        • can be used tethered wirelessly from a laptop with live preview images as well as remote control of the camera.
        • direct WiFi transfer of images to laptop or a web server via internet FTP protocol
    • via USB cable:
      • Canon remote control software:
        • allows live preview on the PC with the Canon 1D Mark III and manual focus but no AF control.
        • long exposures limited to 30secs on most Canon dSLRs - hence astrophotographers use N3 based remote control.
      • third party remote control software:
    • via third party N3 plug or standard 2.5mm plug remote cables to connect to serial ports:
  • via a remote cable:
  • via a wireless remote:
    • Canon LC-4 radio wireless controller:
      • $A929
      • Canon LC-4R wireless receiver:
        • $A499
      • Canon LC-4T wireless transmitter:
        • $A489
    • Canon LC-5 radio wireless controller:
      • $A929
      • range ~100m line of sight; introduced in 2005;
      • attaches to a compatible camera's accessory shoe or can be separately attached to a supplied bracket and connected to the camera's three-pronged N3 Remote socket with the supplied 15-inch receiver cable. The unit is triggered with a pocket-sized transmitter that sends an infrared pulse-modulated strobe signal to the receiver. Powered by 4 AA alkaline batteries.
      • 4 control  modes:
        • Single-Shot mode which captures one shot each time the transmitter button is pressed
          • this is improved & now allows pre-setting of focus and waiting for the shot, then a full press will wake the camera and take the shot. In other modes, you need to half-press to focus first.
        • Continuous mode which signals the receiver to keep firing the camera (until the transmitter button is pressed again or until the camera's buffer memory limit or maximum storage card capacity is reached); 
        • Test mode, which illuminates a red LED on the receiver to confirm that the unit is operating properly before shooting;
        • Delay mode, which fires a single shot approximately 3.5 seconds after the transmitter button is pressed.
      • three channel settings to avoid setting off other controllers.
      • compatible with 10D, 20D, 30D, 5D, 1D series, 1Ds series, EOS-3, EOS-1v film & presumably all EOS dSLRs with N3 sockets BUT this excludes Dig. Rebels and XTs.
    • old remotes:
      • Canon RC-1 infrared remote:
      • Canon LC-1 radio wireless remote for EOS film cameras; 60m range
      • Canon LC-2 IR wireless remote for EOS film with T3 socket but also via Remote Switch Adapter N3 to N3 cameras; 5m range; 
      • Canon LC-3 radio wireless remote for EOS & T series film cameras with 3-pin T3 sockets but also via Remote Switch Adapter N3 to N3 cameras; 100m range;
  • viewing via external video output:
    • presumably this is only possible with live preview cameras such as 1D Mark III


Nikon dSLRs:

  • via a PC or laptop:
    • wireless control:
      • Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-3a does not allow wireless control of the camera but it does allow WiFi transmission of images to a PC or server.
    • via USB cable:
    • via third party cables to allow Bulb exposures remotely with D40, D80, D70, D50 series of Nikon dSLRs:
  • via a remote cable:
    • NB. not all Nikon dSLRs have a port for a remote cable and you will be restricted to using an IR remote device
    • Nikon MC-36 multi-function remote cord
    • Nikon MC-22 motor remote cord
      • Blue, yellow and black banana plug terminals to connect to a shutter triggering device
      • remote control via sound or signal is possible
  • via wireless remote:
  • viewing via external video output:
    • only on playback of images eg. via EG-D100 video cable

Comparison of wireless remotes:

modelQuantum FW10WCanon LC-5Canon WFT-E2ANikon ML-3Olympus RM-1PocketWizard  
typeradioradio? IR? 100m line of sightWiFi radioIR line of sightIR line of sightradio  
shutter releasemost dSLR cameras (plus Bronica/OM with motor drives)EOS dSLR with N3 (ie. not XT)1DMarkIII with PCNikon dSLRsOlympus dSLRs, C8080many film and dSLRs  
end BULB exposure NY Y (not all dSLRs) Y?  
continuous shutter firing YY only if set on cameraY?  
delay option Y 3.5sec? only if set on camera 
camera wakeupdSLRsY? N? some dSLRs  
shutter half-pressdSLRsY?   some dSLRs  
wireless flash triggerQuantum receiverNNNN PW/FlexTT5 receivers  
wireless flash TTLQuantum receiver connected to Quantum flash and Nikon/Canon dSLRNNNN FlexTT5 receivers + compatible flash Canon or Nikon systems only  
channels 3n/aNN 
flash zones NNNN 3
movement detection firingNNNYN 
control zoom lens focal lengthNN?NY some camerasN 
intervalometerNN (via remote cord though)YNN Multimax   
flash cycling (sequential shots with different units)NNNNN 3 zones
hypersync flash + HSS/FP flashNNNNN Y
remote power output studio flashes NNNNN compatible flashes
photo/remotecontrol.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/02 21:23 by gary1

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