Free Wireless Remote Shutter Release
Self portraits are harder if you don't have a remote.
I’ve been doing product photography for my new Etsy.com shop. So I bought a wireless remote shutter release. You know, to do self portraits while I wear adorably edgy necklaces and such. But the remote crapped out on me after one use. Figures. I spend money on something and it fails immediately. Anyway, I’ve been looking for a cheap alternative. I think I’ve found it.
If you have a universal remote for your TV, you have everything you need to fire your digital camera from a distance. And no, you won’t have to destroy your remote control, or your camera. Yes, the remote will still work for your TV. I would never get between you and your TV. That’s dangerous.
The tutorial is from ExtreemTech.com but the original article has three pages of how infrared light and remote signaling works before it gets to the ‘how to’ part. You don’t need to know all that to get this camera hack to work. I trimmed the tutorial down to the meaty goodness so you can try programing your TV remote for your camera immediately. I’m a huge fan of instant gratification if you didn’t know.
How to Program a Universal TV Remote to Control Your Camera Shutter Release
What you need:
- A camera with an infrared sensor- If you can use a wireless remote shutter release with your camera, you can probably use a universal remote control.
- A universal remote control- It’s got to be programmable. If it’s the dedicated remote that came with your TV, I don’t think this will work. But the good news is that you can get a cheap universal remote for like $5 or $10. Universal remotes usually have at least three device options (TV, VCR, Cable). So once it’sÂ programmed for your camera you could use it as a backup TV remote too. I mean, remotes are important, right?
- The remote manual- Not all universal remotes are programed the same way, so if you have the manual for your remote control it might save you some frustration. If you don’t have it, try this Google search for Universal Remote Instructions. Refine the results by adding your remote’s brand/model.
- The camera manual- *Not necessary*, but it will keep you from stumbling around when it’s time to set an option. Try a Google search for your camera brand/model + instructions. You can sometimes find a digital version of the manual online.
How to Do It:
These are the original instructions from the ExtremeTech.com article. I threw in a few points of my own in italics.
“I will explain the concept of this section using the Magnavox REM100 and the Canon EOS IX as examples. Keep in mind that this concept will work with most remote controls and most cameras that support an infrared wireless remote.
- Turn your camera on and set it to accept remote trigger, if necessary. This is where your camera’s manual comes in handy.
- On your universal remote, hold down the SET button until the LED stays on.
- Press the equipment button (TV, VCR, or CBL) that you want to associate to your camera. Pick one you’re not using for something else b/c that button is only gonna work for your camera now. In other words, if you pick TV, it won’t work for your TV anymore so choose wisely.
- Keep pressing the POWER button at one-second intervals, until the camera triggers (see Figure 5-6) . That is the code that works with your camera. Figure 5-6 is the picture the camera took when the author of the article found the right code for his camera. You don’t need it to understand the instructions.
- Press the ENTER button to set the code.”
Once it’s set, you should just be able to use the device button you picked (TV, VCR, Cable, or whatever) to fire the camera.
I have to be honest though…I haven’t tried this yet.
I was too excited about the concept to wait to write about it. See, I told you, I need instant gratification. But I’m headed out right now to get a cheep universal remote and try it out. (Oh… yeah…. I don’t have a TV… so I don’t have a remote… please don’t hate me )
I’ll tell you all about how it goes. I’ll even write about my success/failure in a new post so if you’re subscribed to Pare and Focus you’ll get the update right to your RSS reader or inbox. And if you’re not subscribed, why aren’t you subscribed yet?
I guess I’ve got some ‘product testing’ to do. That sounds fancy. I like it!