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I own a Canon Rebel T3i and on the accessories page on Canon website there is a Remote Switch (Cable Switch) and Remote Control. What is the difference between both (they are the same price) and if I got one do I really need the other one?

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If you want a wired remote control for the shutter and auto-focus, there are many third party products that are much, much cheaper than the Canon part. I bought a number of them from assorted vendors. The one I like the best is flashzebra.com/products/0218/index.shtml because it uses a standard 2.5 stereo headphone cord. You can get extensions to any length you want. I found that the remotes with fixed length cables were too short for self portrait work. –  Pat Farrell Jan 30 '13 at 16:05

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The remote switch (RS-60E3) is a wired shutter release switch that allows for the activation of the shutter via a cabled interface. Your location is limited by the length of the cable.

The remote control (RC-6) is an infra-red shutter release device that allows the shutter to be activated using an infrared signal. Because the RC-6 uses infra-red to communicate with the camera and the sensor is on the front of the camera, this means the remote must be in front of the camera to trigger it, with a direct line-of-sight to the receiving sensor. It is possible to reach over the camera and trigger it whilst standing behind it. The RC-6 also offers a 2 second timer.

They perform the same function with the difference being wired vs. infra-red.

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Same function but perhaps different purpose. Don't know about the T3i but I bought the wired shutter release switch for my T1i because the salesman said it can be used behind the camera. He said the wireless switch had to be used from in front of the T1i. I wanted an external shutter switch for steadier time exposures of e.g. lightning, not pictures with me in them. –  Mark Jerde Dec 6 '11 at 16:01
    
@MarkJerde I don't know if this is true for T3i but sounds like a valid reason cause the remote control receiver is in the forehead of the camera –  akram Dec 6 '11 at 16:21
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These are not really the same thing at all, the shutter cable essentially gives the same functionality as the shutter release button including half press it to focus and meter. The wireless remote control activates a two second timer based release on the camera same as activating the two second timer when the shutter release is pressed. So not the same function at all. –  Paul Round Dec 6 '11 at 16:53

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