Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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Are there universal IF or RF remote triggers for digital cameras? Should be able to work with MLU for cameras supporting that feature.

Presently I own two IR remotes that work with three of my cameras. Now I have a D600 for which none of the remotes work. I do not want to buy something specific because the camera is not mine, plus other cameras constantly coming and going.

I've been living without something universal for years but as camera resolution keeps going higher, they get more and more susceptible to shake and MLU is not so effective if you have to press the shutter manually :(

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Just as an aside: the Nikon IR remote is a "dumb" remote; the ML-L3 that worked with the D1 & D70 is still the current version, and it doesn't give you access to all of the camera's triggering modes. It isn't compatible with MLU on the D7000, and since the D600 seems to have pretty much the same control setup, you might need to use a wired remote with it to get MLU as well. Since the PocketWizard (and similar) uses the wired remote port, that might be an answer. –  user2719 Oct 6 '12 at 6:38
    
Hmm... I wonder if something like the harmony remotes from Logitech would work. They're for home entertainment, but they're universal IR remote devices that can be programmed. –  John Cavan Oct 6 '12 at 12:11
    
@StanRogers - Not compatible of MLU? What happens then when the drive mode is set to MLU? –  Itai Oct 6 '12 at 12:54
    
Canon is releasing a remote app for EOS 6D canon.ca/inetCA/… . So maybe that is where the future of remote triggers are heading: smartphone apps. Which would make life easier for most of us. –  Vivek Oct 10 '12 at 0:01
    
@Vivek - Yes. I agree that is the way to go and think it will get more common quickly. I blogged about this trend when the EOS 6D was unveiled. –  Itai Oct 10 '12 at 0:54
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I could be wrong, but garage door openers work on RF and not IR and they have to be configured to work with your garage door (they won't work with any garage door out of the box). Similarly, while the IR beam may be the same, different cameras may respond to them differently or require different patterns to operate. I'm not too savvy on IR spec's, but I see a similarity to how we all have mouths and ears, but we don't all speak the same language.

Now, for universal-ness you could look at the smartphone apps that control DSLRs. I believe there is one that instead of using a cable you can make your own IR transmitter and then the app should know how to interface with the camera and should be more flexible (and update-able).

The other alternative is if you get one of the pocket wizard type things, some come with ports that let you connect a short cable to the camera which allows for remote triggering even if the camera doesn't have IR.

Pocket wizard feature demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYiPXnWfuzo

DSLR app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.dslrremote

... and hardware http://bitshift.bi.funpic.de/en/dslr-remote/hardware.php

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Sorry, it shows that I know about garage doors :( ...Removed that comment from my question. –  Itai Oct 6 '12 at 12:48
    
Those are great links. Seems like there are only two types of IR triggers there. Do they operate differently for each camera? In other words, does the App to control it need to know which camera it is controlling? –  Itai Oct 6 '12 at 12:49
    
It only asks for the brand of camera so you may run into the same issues. However, if you can use the passive IR the cost to explore this option is pretty minimal. The two types of IR triggers has to do with the phone and not the camera. Some phones don't output enough power to use the passive IR so the active IR has a battery included and what the phone outputs is essentially triggering the trigger at that point. –  tenmiles Oct 6 '12 at 13:34
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