DSLR accessories

DSLR remote controls

Written by Gail Bjork

DSLR remote controls allow you to trigger the shutter button at a distance from the camera. It helps prevent camera shake when taking long exposures.

Wireless remote controlRemote controls, available for digital single lens reflex cameras and some compacts, allow you to take pictures away from the camera. This is useful for portrait or group shots were the photographer wishes to be in the picture. It is also useful when using the camera on a tripod for shots where vibrations, which cause camera shake, needs\ to be avoided at all costs.

There are two types of remotes available for digital single lens reflex cameras, wired and wireless.

Wired remote controls

Wired remotes have been available for single lens reflex cameras for a long time. Almost all digital single lens reflex cameras have a socket to accept a wired remote.

The purpose of a remote is to trigger the shutter while limiting vibrations, which can be useful for long exposures.

Remotes also allow the shutter to remain open on Bulb mode without holding the shutter button depressed. In Bulb mode you can keep the shutter open as long as desired so you are in complete control of the exposure time.

Wireless remote

Wireless remotes are newer and allow the shutter to be activated from a greater distance than using a wired remote.

Many DSLRs have an infrared port in front and at the back of the camera to allow remote operations from almost every angle.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.

7 Comments

  • photog,
    The pocket wizard description is confusing, seems to be all about flash control, which is not my problem. Is there any clear description which features (zoom,AF,shutter…?) of which camera can be controlled and how?

  • thank you photog, an interesting link.

    Can you provide a link to one of them
    As far as I remember, Gail,  it was a Sony LANC interface, but I may confuse this with another application.
    I am astonished that such a simple thing as a remote wire switch on digital cameras is nearly impossible to find, despite the obvious limitations of infrared.
    Lots of people must have my problem and cannot use IR:  anybody needing to cross some walls, pilots triggering cameras from the cockpit (my application), alarm sensors triggering a high resolution camera (near or far) and so on.

  • axel, You’ve raised my curiosity. Were the wire controls you mention made for digital cameras? Can you provide a link to one of them As for which camera, many DSLRs can take a wired remotes. I’d go with a name brand camera such as Nikon, Olympus, Canon, Pentax, etc. I think your best bet is to contact a place like B&H Photo. They are one of the largest camera and video stores in the world and carry every imaginable accessory for cameras. If they don’t have it, it’s probably not available. They should be able to provide the information you need at the price you can afford.

  • What doesn’t make sense is a 2 foot “remote” control. At that distance you better work with IR. I am not an expert on Canon, but some time ago I worked with wire controls that were simple switches and could be extended some 100m without problem.
    Which digital camera would you recommend, when remote wire control is a requirement? Simple shutter control would be sufficient, but remote view through video interface and zoom control would be very interesting.
    Example applications: aerial photography with cockpit control, camera switched by alarm sensor.
    Thank you for your response.

  • “Wireless remotes … allow the shutter to be activated from a greater distance than using a wired remote.”
    I guess that is an error: the contrary is true. Or do you know a wireles remote control covering some 100m distance?