Review of ShutterBug Remote: Bluetooth LE camera remote control with a range of 300 feet

5/06/2014 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Are you into architecture, light-painting,  food or landscape photography? If so, this is a perfect remote controller.  It lets you work alone and it drastically outperforms infrared remote controllers. Over the past month I had a chance to become very familiar with ShutterBug Remote, and these are my impressions. Here is how I used my ShutterBug Remote…

The ShutterBug Remote Tested
ShutterBug Remote (website) is perfect tool for self and family portraits and as a photographer and industry professional I typically only purchase products that I think are important, and that I consider “rentable” products. ShutterBug Remote is a perfect compliment to any professional grade photography package. It’s so easy - you can be in another room holding a light-stand with a flash or moving around your food lighting setup and take a picture with your iPhone. ShutterBug Remote has a wireless range of almost 300 feet. Amazing!

The ShutterBug Team is currently in early states of a partnership with EyeFi for live preview and they are working on that feature now - then we can use only one app for everything. I was able to test this upcoming feature with an EyeFi Wireless SD Card in the second slot of my camera while connected with my iPad. You can instantly review the images in full size. 

Free App

This combination of EyeFi & ShutterBug Remote compliments any professional workflow. Maybe the most important, my clients are surprised when I am in another room while taking a picture with my iPhone and they can see the images on my iPad or Android tablet. 

Photo taked with the ShutterBug Remote | © ISO1200
The feature that I like the most is HDR mode or what Mike and Ryan (ShutterBug Team) call HDR-LE. It is a concept that can confuse you on a first use, but it’s incredibly powerful. High Dynamic Range Long Exposure allows you to capture multiple images of varying long exposures in a sequence. They explained two key things to keep in mind about HDR mode:

1. Your camera must be in BULB mode. ShutterBug Remote can only control exposure times in Bulb mode across the board.

2. In Bulb mode, most cameras have a limit on the FASTEST possible exposure of around 1/50s.  So now, imagine you set up an HDR shot for 1/60 and +/- 2EV.  This would be 1/15, 1/60, 1/250.  You can see that the last 2 exposures would both be stuck at 1/50 due to the limit of the camera.  On some cameras, I've seen down to 1/60 and faster.  On others like Nikon, the limit might be 1/10. Each one is different and the manufacturers don't specify the limit.

  1. Runs independently of your phone or tablet.  Once you set it up and tell it to take a photo, you can shut your phone off and walk away.  It will continue to run for months doing whatever you asked of it.
  2. Wireless range up to 300 feet, line of sight NOT required.  Works through walls, ceiling, trees, etc.
  3. Amazingly small and light.  Only 1.4 x 2.75 x 0.7 inches and weighing a mere 0.77 oz with the battery!
  4. Connects using the shutter release port (no USB connection, no proprietary camera protocol, no hot-shoe contact.)  This makes it widely compatible with nearly every digital SLR on the market released within the last 15+ years.
  5. Basic camera controls: Focus, Shutter, and Bulb
  6. Advanced controls: Delay, Interval, Long Exposure, Ramp, and Mirror Lockup
  7. Status monitoring any time you reconnect to the Shutterbug Remote.  See what it is up to and how many shots are remaining in that long time-lapse you started last week!
  8. The only professional camera remote with open source hardware and software.  The Shutterbug API, schematic, and source code are all available online.  Expect to see plenty of cool new apps and mods made by third party developers.
  9. Designed, manufactured, and distributed in the U.S.A.