I'd like to embark on a self portrait photo-a-day project with my Rebel XSi & 50mm f/1.8 lens. The problem is that the built-in timer won't work for this - the AF kicks in when you press the shutter button, rather than when the timer reaches zero. At that point I'm not in the frame and the photo turns out blurry.

I've tried manually focusing on the spot where I intend to stand, but it's awfully hit-or-miss.

What I'd like to do is compose the shot and manually select the AF point, then step into the frame and release the shutter remotely. Is there a remote which is capable of triggering the AF mechanism like this? It's not clear to me that this is even possible.

3 Answers 3


Any canon remote switch can do this.

Manually select your AF point, step into the frame, and half-press the shutter release on your remote switch to trigger AF (assuming you have AF bound to shutter [it's the default]). When you hear the beep, fully press the shutter release down.

If you find that the trigger is in the shot, combine this with self-timer to give you a few seconds to place the trigger down.

You can also try connecting your Rebel to your laptop and try tethered shooting.

  • I bought an RC-6, I'll edit after I see how it works.
    – ieure
    Nov 2, 2010 at 23:58
  • The RC-6 works quite well. Thank you for the information.
    – ieure
    Nov 4, 2010 at 23:12

A more expensive option is a remote trigger like the wireless pocket wizards and the cable for your camera. I have them and love how they work. But I also use them to slave strobes too so that helps offset the cost/need some.


I am very happy with the Phottix Plato it is a wireless solution that is cost effective. I use it not just for the self-portrait projects like you have outlined, but also very useful for things such as using for "bulb" or long duration shots. I also very much like the feature of being able to have a 2 second delay between when you press the button on the remote and when it takes the picture.

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