I’d been thinking about getting a remote trigger for the Canon 5D Mark III, but having doen some research, decided that the actual Canon one was a wee bit expensive for what it does, so I was going to make do with the very basic infra-red remote I had for the Mark II. But then I found out about this rather nice thing. It comprises two interesting black lumps and a couple of cables.
One of the black lumps is a radio receiver which can be parked in the camera’s hot shoe, or placed nearby if that’s in use. It connects with the supplied cable to the camera’s remote control socket, and that’s about all it does.
The other bit is much cleverer. With your camera set to the correct shooting mode (single shot, continuous shooting, bulb…), you can use it to either take single shots without having to be in contact with the camera, and without having to be in more or less line of sight as you have to with the basic IR remote. The shutter release does the “half press to focus” thing, so it’s pretty much what you’d want from a remote release. Ideal for tripod shots where you want to avoid vibrating the camera.
But there’s more! You can also set it up to take a sequence of pictures at set intervals, or even repeat a sequence with a set interval between runs. This is pretty good if you want to take a timelapse sequence.
And with the camera in B for bulb mode, it will open the shutter on the first press and close it on the second. Again, this is pretty much essential if you want to avoid vibrating the camera – with the added use of mirror lock-up, you should be getting pictures as steady as your tripod will allow.
More cleverness is included. If you don’t need the wireless function, the sender can be connected to the same cable used by the receiver, and can work as a very fancy wired remote. And while I haven’t tested this to confirm it, I understand that if you set up a sequence program, this is then stored on the receiver (assuming you’re using wireless), which means you can switch off the transmitter or take it away with you, leaving the receiver to take your photographs for you.
The transmitter uses the ubiquitous CR2032 lithium battery (available for very little money in big packs), which has a claimed life of oooh, ages. The receiver uses the larger CR2 battery, which is a wee bit more expensive, but also widely available. I’ve heard that newer stocks of the device use the even more ubiquitous AAA size batteries, which would be even more convenient.
I’ve only had a brief play with the device, but so far I’m satisfied that it does exactly what it claims. Shop around a bit, it’s available for £60 or less. There are also versions for Nikon and various other camera makes.