Remote Controls for Your Camera

remote controlI had the idea to inform myself (and you) about this camera accessories because I felt the need of a remote control while shooting night Christmas scenes. To explain better, my Nikon D40x, like many other cameras, can not make an exposure longer than 30 seconds without a remote – at least that’s what the manual says. I did managed to get to “bulb” option on manul mode, but, for that, I needed to keep my finger on the sutter, fact which causes the camera to shake and the picture gets blurry. Therefor, I’ll start with pointing out the advantages of a remote control and then I’ll give you a list of remote controls to choose from according to your camera.
A remote switch is a cable with a switch on the end – just as simple as that. It duplicates the action of the shutter button − half pressure activates the exposure metering and focus while full pressure fires the shutter. The units differ simply in the length of the cable and the type of connecter plug used to attach the cable to the camera.
A remote switch will allow you to fire your camera without the need to touch it. This is very useful when the camera is fixed to a tripod or supported on a wall. It eliminates the movement that can be transmitted to the camera as the shutter button is pressed.
One of the question you might have is “why are some cables longer than others? why is lenght important?”.
The answer is that when you are further away from the camera, you have more chances to remain unnoticed by the photographed subject – speaking of wildlife photography. Extension cables are suitable for such situations.
So let’s go back to the situation I mentioned at the begining: I want to make a long exposure using a remote controler. With a remote release, once you have pressed the button you can lock it down by sliding the button forward. Now the shutter will stay open without you having to keep pressure on the button. This ‘running lock means you are free to work with very long exposures, limited only by your cameras battery life. To close the camera shutter, simply slide the remote switch button back and let go.
remote controlSo war I’ve been talking about the traditional way of remote picturing, but, the’s a new and more effective way these days: A wireless controller not only acts like your television remote controller, but it also works in the same way − by infrared. More than that, a friend of mine has an universal remote controller which is his TV controller and camera controller in the same device. A wireless controller has a transmitter and a receiver. The receiver is connected to the remote plug on the camera, and an extension cable can be attached if you need to be even further away.

Question: How long can this exposure be?
Answer: Digital cameras need power when the shutter is open to keep the CMOS sensor active. This means their maximum exposure time is likely to be shorter than that for film cameras.
IMPORTANT TIP FOR LONG EXPOSURES: If you are interested in shooting star trails, you will reduce the noise levels in the images by shooting on cold winter nights rather than warm summer evenings.

For Canon users:

RS-80N3: 80mm cable with N3 connector for professional and mid-range digital EOS cameras
RS-60E3: 60mm cable with E3 connector for entry-level digital EOS cameras
RS-60T3: 60cm cable with T3 connector for early EOS models
Wireless Controller LC-5

More complex remote controler like the TC-80N3 have a few extra features over and above other remote switches: a built-in self-timer, interval timer and long exposure timer, which can all be set in one second increments from one second to 99 hours. It also features an exposure count setting.
As for the connectors, take a look at E3 and N3 in the firts place, but note that there is no adaptor that allows you to use a N3 remote switch with an E3-compatible camera. This means that it not possible to use a TC-80N3 with any of the E3-compatible cameras, such as the EOS 350D or 400D.

For Nikon users:

NIKON MC30 and MC-36 Remotes (designed for use with Nikon SLR cameras equipped with a 10-pin remote terminal) are compatible with Nikon D300, D200, D100 (with MB-D100 grip attached), D3, D2H, D2Hs, D2x, D1, D1H, D1x, F100, F6, F5, F90X and F90.
Nikon MC-DC1 Remote Cord is for Nikon D70S & D80 Digital SLR Cameras.
Nikon ML-3 Compact Modulite Remote Control is mostly useful for wildlife photography up to 8m. Can Also Fire The Camera Remotely When A Subject Moves Between The Transmitter And Receiver
Opteka Wireless Radio Remote Release for Nikon D300, D200, D100, & D2x SLR Digital Cameras – 100m range, and it can activate auto focus, release shutter, activate continuous drive mode or keep the shutter open for bulb photography as well.



I started photography as a hobby in 2005, during college. My passion slowly became a more important part of my life since 2008. Because of using a combination of my photographic knowledge, with those of internet marketing, I like to call myself a "photomarketer".

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