Most cameras can be fired with the self timer, maybe by menu settings, and remotely either using a
remote control, and these can operate by radio or by infrared similar to a
TV remote control. In this article we are looking just at remote controls.
Nikon D300 and ML3 remote control receiver
fitted, it rotates on the accessory
shoe but can also work off of it.
Each camera manufacturer produces a remote
control or several, often with different remotes for different camera ranges,
with the Nikon range there are two.
The amateur Nikon models, such as the D40, D40X,
D50, D60, D70, D80 and D90 use a low cost very small remote control, all
being the same and on the same channel, so if any remote is pushed then all
that are set to receive would go off. In order to avoid a problem, due to
this, you have to set a maximum watching time for the remote, so that when
remote mode is activated, it is on for only a limited time before turning
itself off again. It works with infra red and is picked up by a
at the front of the camera, so it only works outside when fired at the camera
from in front and relatively close by, this makes it of limited value for wildlife and such
applications and really only practical to use for applications where you
could have used a remote cable plus taking your own photo instead of using
the self timer. The ML-L3 is priced around £15, an unbranded substitute is
available on eBay from Hong Kong at under £3 including postage, and Nikon
originals from around £11 including postage (03/2009).
The professional Nikon models including the D100,
D200, D300, D2H, D2X, D3, D3X, D700 all have a 10 pin socket and one of the
accessories that can be connected to this, is the ML3 remote receiver, the
other part of the ML3 is the transmitter. It is said that this can be
used with other Nikon cameras without a 10 pin socket using a Nikon MC25
cable. Transmitters and receiver can be
switched between two channels, and if you use two receivers you can, by
switching the remote transmitter, control them both, but only one at a time.
This is the arrangement that I have allowing two cameras to be set up, for
wildlife or other uses, and then to be able to choose which one to remotely
fire. The transmitter also allows you to switch between single shot and
continuous firing, a motor drive burst. As an alternative means of operation
you can set up the transmitter and receiver as a beam and when something goes
through the beam the photograph is taken. The range is around 8 metres. The
ML3 RRP is £246, the second receiver is not listed but can be obtained as
a spare part. The receiver can sit on top of the camera or just hang down as
it is on a cable, it can be pointed to receive a signal from any direction.
Both receiver and transmitter also have threads for mounting on to a tripod.
The receiver can be put on to an extension cable, so that the beam can be set
up away from the camera. Price around £168 in the UK, from £110 from Hong
Kong on eBay including postage.
ML3, case, receiver
also shown at the
top of the page on a D300
Substitutes by other manufactures include:
Seculine Twin-1 R3
There are a number of versions, for different
cameras and depending on what connections the cameras have, with models
covering Nikon and Canon, Sony and Minolta cameras and a universal
version. The range is 1000 metres on those with dedicated sockets, such as the
Nikon 10 pin connections and 50metres for others. The receiver on the 10 pin
version is l shaped, so that the receiver is probably, on most models, sticking up
above the camera probably giving all around reception. Price around £60 for
the 10 pin and similar versions, £25 for the version without a receiver.
This is a later special version for those with
Nikon cameras having a 10 pin socket, with a range of 100metres. The
receiver is very small and connects directly on to the 10 pin socket,
probably making it only able to receive signals from in front of the camera.
This version has two channels. Priced around £40
Hahnel RF Pro Remote
This uses radio with a range of around 80 metres,
and line of sight is not required to operate it. It has 16 channels. There
are a number of models for different makes of camera, and the sales
information says that it has connector cables for every model by manufacturer in the kit. I
can see from illustrations that with the Nikon kit this
includes the 10 pin socket, but if you want to use it with a camera without
a 10 pin socket you would need to check that it can connect to your specific
camera. It is priced at around £50. Hahnel also produce a new remote
control, again with kits by manufacturer and priced at around £20, I am not
sure what this is, I think its a form of cable release.
There are others, when I searched for
Nikon remote control on eBay I got 531 items, many were substitutes for the
ML-L3 but there were also a small range off substitutes for the ML3 as well.
Canon make a RC-1 infra-red controller
for the EOS 300S, 350D, 400D, 10/100/30/5-+e this fires the shutter from a
range of 5 metres. Priced around £20.
Prices quoted on this page were taken 03/2009.
Photix - Hector