Shutterbug Remotes Are Here
I’ve been looking for something to use as a remote trigger for my Canon 5D. It occurred to me that controlling it with my phone would be a great feature, and I was amazed to find out that there was nothing out there that could do it. I found infrared controllers, USB controllers, Wi-Fi controllers, and a plethora of cheap Chinese knockoffs of the Canon and Nikon release cables. After a bit of research, I decided to make my own.
I started by studying the BluetoothLE protocol that is now standard in all of the new “smart” devices. My iPhone had it, as did the new iPads, iPod Touches, and a bunch of Android devices. After getting the radio hardware working properly to trigger my SLR, I moved on to developing the iOS app. Luckily, I’ve done quite a bite of Cocoa programming in OS X and transitioning to iOS was smooth as can be. Apple really did a wonderful job with this framework and the new IDE. The last development step involved optimizing the hardware for power. I wanted to power everything from a watch battery, and it needed to last long enough to do decent time lapse sequences. Moreover, I didn’t want any switches or buttons to turn it on and off – just another thing to break and complicate the form factor. I ended up designing a circuit to detect mechanical insertion of the shutter release cable and then activate the onboard switching power supply (optimized for efficiency.) Here is the final design with a custom enclosure and beautiful domed artwork:
The app is a free download on the Apple App store.