Oct 26, 2011 (Updated Oct 26, 2011)
Review by Alan Lake
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Cons:Questionable durability and not very ergonomic.
The Bottom Line: An essential accessory for slow shutter speeds when using your SLR digital camera.
One of the first things I did with my new Nikon D5100 was zoom into some houses on the hill top and set the camera for a long exposure. I used a tripod but that wasn’t enough because I had a zoom lens. Well there was movement from my hand hitting the shutter release button. The lights on the house streaked across the digital photo, like a marker would make if you were drawing a picture inside a moving school bus. I sort of expected this because I was using a 300mm zoom lens. I knew I needed a remote. I was used to a corded remote with my Nikon F100 but I quickly noticed that my Nikon D5100 had 2 infrared sensors. One in the front and one on the back. A wired remote was no longer the only option. The product I am reviewing is an infrared (IR) remote. I use it to remotely control my Nikon D5100 digital SLR. It is just like a television remote control except it has one button and one signal.
The reason you want a remote is to trigger the shutter without touching the camera. This can be done on my Nikon D5100 while you are in front of the camera taking a family picture (because it has a front facing IR sensor). You will move the camera slightly if you press the shutter release button (like I stated above).
A tripod is essential for most high quality photographs. But some tripods are not 100% wiggle proof. Mine sure isn’t.
Ergonomics are pretty much non-existent. It is just a thin rectangle with one button and an infrared transmitter. The only thing it has is a few ridges on the bottom and four ridges up top, which are designed to add friction.
I really am not sure of the durability since I have only had it for 3 months. It feels solid with some slight give due to it being plastic. But I am concerned enough about it that I put it in a special pouch in my camera bag so it is protected. And since it is small, this is a great place so I can easily find it. Putting something this small in an open pouch is not wise due to its small size.
And I have not had any problems with it. Every time I pressed the button I got a shutter response. No lag and it works every time.
This is semi-unrelated but a good rule of thumb (given to me years ago) for knowing if you should use a tripod or not. If the shutter speed is the same or higher than the mm listed on your lens, then you usually don’t need a tripod. If it is lower then you do. This is the rule I follow and it has worked for me. Some people may recommend a higher shutter speed and I like to have a shutter speed just to play it safe.
Do I recommend this remote? Absolutely. It is a must for anyone that takes pictures at a slow shutter speed. It is also a nice accessory if you take family portraits with yourself included. Another reason I like it is the remote can be found at a fair price and does not require a cable to the camera. Not having a cable limiting you is very nice.
Now this does not help you get better pictures of fast moving objects. This just eliminates the movement caused by your finger pushing on the shutter button.
Before buying this, make sure your camera accepts infrared (IR) signals. My Nikon D5100 does but my older Nikon F100 does not. And none of my digital point and shoot cameras has an Infrared receiver.
Range Not sure on the maximum range at the moment. I walked 90 feet to the back of my yard and it still worked. 90 feet is more than most of us will need. I did this at night.
Changing out the battery Man is this a pain. The port is a slide out holder (like a CD drive) that can only be pulled out when you slide a really small slider over. The slider is spring loaded and you have to put a lot of pressure to get it to unlock. I finally got it open to record the battery number but it took me over 2 minutes of twisting my fingers around to get it open. And my thumb still hurts as I write this. Lol.
Options You have a couple of other options. You can buy other third party IR remotes (one that is half the price listed on Amazon) and there is a corded remote (that is more expensive on Amazon) made by Nikon. I’ve had no problems with this IR remote so I see no need to get a corded model.
Weight and dimensions Weight: 3/8 oz Length: 2 3/8 inches Width: 1 3/32 inch Height: 3/16 inch Capacity: 1 3V CR2025 watch style battery