Wireless Shutter Releases

Wireless Shutter Releases

(Hank Pennington) #1

This is an example to show why I think “Accessories” deserves a section of its own, or at least a subheading under the Gear discussion threads.

I suspect most of us have cable releases of some sort in our kits, whether we use them or not. I’m actually on my third MC-36A Multi-Function Remote Cord in two years. I seldom need all the extra controls, but use it anyway as a simple release because it’s in the bag. That’s three of them in two years at $159.95 each!!! The problem is the skinny little camera fitting and what appears to be a poor connection to the cord. You barely have to hang the cord up on anything or tug it from the wrong direction to damage the fitting or part the cord.

Enter the devilishly simple Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control (Infrared) at only $17.95. It’s tiny and cheap. It works like a champ. Heck, I suspect even the replacement battery lasts longer than the life span of my MC-36A.

Only a couple of setup tricks are needed, both in your camera manual or the online manual. As a first step you have to tell your camera to respond to the release. Second step is to adjust the time the camera stays sensitive to the unit if it goes to sleep. Default is for it to revert back to the shutter the moment the camera is idle long enough to go into sleep mode. You can reset that it to 15 minutes.

I love this little thing! Even when it’s active you can still use the normal release on your camera body. But at times when you’re shooting a static subject but need to move away from the camera, it goes right with you and is ready for action with the flick of a finger.

(Dennis Plank) #2

Wow, Hank. They actually priced it reasonably. Is that legal? You’re right. My simple little cable release for my Canons costs far more than that and has no fancy functions at all. I bought an after market IR release and even it cost a lot more than that.

(Bob Falcone) #3

Canon users who are using wifi or bluetooth enabled cameras can use the Canon Connect app (free) on their smartphones and remotely use the “live view” feature and to fire the camera. Comes in handy on cold days when your camera is on a tripod and you’re in your nice warm car.
You can also wirelessly copy images to your phone if you want to e-mail or message them to someone.
If you don’t want to go that direction, many Canon’s use the RC-6 remote, which sells for about $20.

(Sandy Richards-Brown) #4

Good info, Hank - thanks!
I’m also on my 3rd MC-36A in 6 years, so a cheaper alternative is most welcome.
I also agree that an “Accessory” deserves it’s own category. maybe that will be considered in a future update.

(Sandy Richards-Brown) #5

PS with EBates at Walmart.com, it’s $14.15

(Hank Pennington) #6

Huh… Never occurred to me that Walmart would have such a thing.

Have to do some outdoor shooting to make it relevant for NPN and worthy of a thread, but another arena for my wireless quest is flash. It’s really handy not to string cords to remote flashes, so it should be easy as pie to use them outdoors. My latest “contribution” to the culture comes via a $20 selfie stick with a flash on it. It’s worked so well for my tabletop project, I can’t wait to get it outdoors. “News at noon” as they say.

(Dennis Plank) #7

Thanks @Bob_Falcone. Somehow I’d never run across the RC-6. I’ll be ordering one asap.

(Hank Pennington) #8

It’s worth reporting an extension of that I witnessed while visiting a former pro-shooting tech and colleague. He used an iPad the same way, watching its comparatively large screen in a low light setting while directing his techs to move and direct fill lights shot by shot.

It was a brilliant display of the capabilities of wireless gear. When you’re young enough to understand it all and take advantage, that is! :rofl: His camera was also wirelessly tethered to his laptop, and each of his shots was backed up to the cloud as it was also captured on dupe chips in the camera.

Quite the demo, and part of the reason he gets paid dollars large for commercial shoots on location. He spent a few minutes texting his client far away in Europe, who was watching the photos as they went up on the cloud to his account, giving reactions and making suggestions. By the end of the shoot, my bud had already finished his submission to a very happy client and he was free to move on to his next scheduled shoot with another client. Amazing… And lucrative!

(Anil Rao) #9

Hi Dennis,

I am using the Canon RC-6 remote with my Canon 5DsR. I like the ease of use that comes with the device being wireless.

Something that is worth mentioning, however, is that it works reliably only if the unit is held in front of the camea. It needs line of sight with the IR sensor on the camera body. This is not an issue for me since I am typically standing next to the camera but if you plan to trigger the shutter while standing some distance behind the camera it may not serve the purpose.

(Bob Falcone) #10

I have found that if you’re shooting from behind the camera, you can bounce the IR off of your hand, or something similar. Often, I’m using the remote when doing macro work in the field, and I bounce the IR beam of my diffuser or other light modifier I’m working with.

(Dennis Plank) #11

Thanks for the warning, Anil. That’s a significant limitation for some conditions, but it should still come in handy for the situations where I usually use the wired release.

(Dennis Plank) #12

Sounds easy enough to rig something like a bicycle mirror if there’s a good reason to be behind the camera.

(Bob Falcone) #13

The IR sensor is on the front of body on the grip (the little dark red dot). So, anything that will bounce it towards there will work. It doesn’t have to be very precise at all, since the bounce also scatters the beam a bit, making aiming not so important. My hand is usually all I need to get the beam to the right place.
I also leash the RC-6 to my tripod, so it’s always attached to what I’m going to be using it with anyways.

(Hank Pennington) #14

Slaved lights rather than your Canon’s, but this was effective for me on outdoor commercial shoots in the past: Use gaffers tape and a little tab of aluminum foil or white poster board to fashion a reflector and position it to direct a beam or signal onto the camera (or array of lights in my case). I used it to slave lights at considerable distances in light and shade.

Hadn’t realized that the Canon had the sensor only on the front. My Nikon has them front and back for triggering from almost any angle. Not a dig, rather a suggestion that you could position a small reflector (again, foil or white board) to direct a signal from behind to reach the front sensor.

(David Schoen) #15

I actually had a considerably better experience with my MC-36 multifunction remote cord. Mine lasted over 10 years but as soon as I realized there was an issue at the head, I coated the head and the end of the cord with a melted plastic glue stick. That fix lasted at least five years. However I am ready to get a new one as I repaired it again and failed.

With respect to the wireless remote control infrared for Nikon, it only works with Nikon’s that have infrared sensors which leaves out the D 500 and the D 850.

(Hank Pennington) #16

Good to know. I’m working with some 7200’s right now, but have been considering full frame for some aspects of the current work. Guess I better take a closer look at the details for the various models.

(Bill Leggett) #17

This is an interesting discussion gang, and glad I saw it. These days there are all manner of innovations with wi-fi, Blu-ray and such, but I like to keep it simple. Several years ago I had a little IR “hockey puck” for the Olympus E cameras. So I wanted to go wireless for my 7D II, and I can say that the Canon RC-6 (about $22 at B&H) was a fine choice for me. I have a wired version but despise being tethered to cumbersome accouterments, so the Canon remote was a good fit for my macro work. While not being capable of blazing burst rates or other such fancy tricks, it does great for me with only around 1/4 second response time. @Anil_Rao, I’ve read your comment about the need to be in front of the camera for the IR sensor. The RC-6 instructions advised that, so I had the same concerns. But with the 7D II I can actuate it from the RHS behind the camera around 135 degrees from the sensor. So far I’m really pleased, and it takes the same battery as my car key.

(Hank Pennington) #18

Yeah. I thought it was just a case of me being out of date following my 5 year retirement, but I’m forming the impression that lots of active nature shooters are also unfamiliar. Current indoor tabletop work is kinda stretching my mind with the new potential I see for outdoor applications.

Your experience and insights should be very useful to folks with both Canon and Olympus.

(FritzImages) #19

I am a Nikon Shooter. Over the years I have gone thru various wired and wireless releases.

Since 2014, I am thrilled my days of using the after-market 3rd party accessories are over, my only issue now is looking at all the mothballed gear that I purchased.

If you own a Nikon DSLR that is compatible with the Nikon WR-R10/WR-T10/WR-A10 then consider making thepurchase.

You can use the device to prefocus, then focus. You can program one button for most anything. You can use to Atmos protocol HDMI wireless trigger for video. Finally, the SB5000 speed light can be wirelessly triggered which for me is huge in off-camera work. (no more cords at all).

It is an expensive system to get into ($200), then the other stuff out there. However, my investment is now only $45/yr. I actually have two, so I can actually set up two complete DLSR systems and compose and shoot separately.

If you do any type of macro work, low to ground photography this device makes firing the trigger fun again. I usually set my camera for a 2sec delay to reduce any type of camera movement.

It is ultralight | portable | saves space in backpacks, etc |. It is made by Nikon and FW is updated to allow usage with new cameras, flashes etc

(Hank Pennington) #20

Can’t say about other Nikon models, but on the D7200 at least, there’s one addtional setting to make along with the trigger. You will want to adjust c5 Remote On Duration (ML-3) under C Timers/AE Lock in the Custom Setting Menu.

It’s set to 1 minute out of the box, which means your camera goes to sleep after a minute, and you have to “wake it up” again before a wireless trigger can operate. Really, really frustrating to have everything set to go, but the camera not respond to the wireless remote.

When you go to c5, you’re offered the choice of 1, 5, 10 and 15 minute remote durations. I’ve set mine at 15 minutes only because it doesn’t offer 30 minutes. And it will stay there! :smiley: