Tuesday, 22 May 2012

ioShutter Camera Remote


ioShutter™ is a new device from the Enlight Photo the makers of the Orbis Ring Flash & Frio Cold Show which allows you to add extra functionality to a wide range of DSLR and compact cameras. It comprises software designed to run on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and a cable which connects the two.

Image courtesy Enlight Photo


The basic ioShutter™Lite app is free from the Apple App Store, with the Pro version being a very reasonable £6.99 in UK or $9.99 elsewhere.

For me this cable is going to be an asset as I have a Canon Powershot G12 from which Canon dropped tethered remote shooting capability (without telling too many people) thus making the camera useless for time lapse shooting and long B exposures, until now. With the ioShutter™ cable and app connected to the camera I'm able to create time lapse movies, control long B exposures and activate the camera remotely by sound or the motion of the iPhone.

Image courtesy Enlight Photo

There are 2 versions of the ioShutter™ cable available now, E3 covering Canon, Pentax, Contax, Samsung and Hasselblad i.e. those cameras with a 2.5 mm stereo jack plug remote connection; the N3 covering those Canon DSLR cameras with the 3 pin remote plug. Cables for Nikon will be available for 10 pin & DC2 later in the year. For a compatibility list click here and select the About tab. The cable is provided with a blue drawstring back for storage, as if you're like me it will end up lost in a camera bag somewhere!


When you enter the ioShutter™ app the screen you see is well designed, uncluttered and accessible. In the centre of the screen is the Shutter Release; above this are icons to indicate which functions are activated. Under the Shutter Release is a numeric display to indicate the count down for timed B exposures or when using the TimeLapse function. All the screen images in this article are direct grabs from ioShutter™ Pro on an Apple iPhone 4.


Touching the button on the left opens a drawer revealing the five functions; Timer, Bulb, Lapse, Sound and Shake.



The Timer function allows you to programme a delay between your camera shutter firing or another ioShutter™ function activating, with the Pro version allowing you to schedule events using the devices built-in Calendar. The Timer function may be used with Bulb, Lapse, Sound and Shake functions.
Lite 20 and 60 seconds only
Pro total control



Bulb allows you to set exposure times longer than those available within your cameras shutter speed range. When shooting long exposures vibration is a danger so triggering your camera with ioShutter™ negates the need for a separate remote release cable. The Bulb function may be used with Timer, Sound and Shake functions but not Lapse.
Lite 60, 90 & 120 seconds only
Pro fully programable



TimeLapse has to be my favourite function as it allows me to expose a series of frames that are then be edited to make a time lapse movie or even a stop motion animation. You can see more about making time lapse movies on my blog. On the TimeLapse screen "Shutter Interval" tab sets the interval between each frame and "Duration" tab the length of time of your total time-lapse sequence.
Lite you'll need to register to receive ioShutter™ updates and special offers*! Then functionality is limited to Every 5 seconds for 5 minutes or 10 minutes and every 30 seconds for 10 minutes.
Pro total control over interval between frames up to 13 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds.



Sound will trigger your camera by your voice or any other sound. This is a sophisticated facility in that it allows you to set the level of the sound to trigger; the delay between the sound and trigger activation; the duration that the sound exceeds the trigger level. There is a "No Repeat for" function to prevent unwanted audio re-triggering.
Lite Clap to Snap™
Pro Trigger level from 0.0 dB to 1.0 dB. Delay up to 50 seconds. Sound duration up to 10 seconds. No sound repeat for up to 5 seconds.

To give you an idea of the sensitivity of the the Sound trigger, whilst I conducted my initial tests at my home studio, with the Sound level set below 0.3 dB a neighbours lawn mower kept triggering the camera!



Shake activates your camera with movement of the iPhone etc. The iPhone inbuilt vibration signal appears not to activate the ioShutter™ Shake. The "Intensity" of the shake can be set, as can the "Delay" between movement and triggering the camera. With an "Intensity" of 1.0 a deflection of about 2cm or 1 inch is required to trigger the camera; the greater the number on the "Intensity" scale, the more movement required to trigger the camera.
Lite Shake to Take™
Pro choice of direction or axis x, y or z. Intensity from 1.0 to 10.0 and Delay to trigger.

Both Shake & Sound will also activate the Movie function allowing you to trigger the camera by voice or other sound. And if you do get lost you can always go to the "?" Help button at the bottom of each screen for an explanation of what to do!

ioShutter in action. See short time lapse movie below
Photo Copyright 2012 Abi Pack



I'm reliably informed that ioShutter™ will work with all iPhones from 3 onwards and gen4 iPads onwards.

There are any number of cable and wireless remote triggers available on the market; you can buy a cheapie for the Canon Powershot G12 on Ebay for  £5.00 GBP or the Canon branded RS60-E3 for about £15.00 GBP but with none of the ioShutter™ functionality. ioShutter™ retails for around $70.00 US and £59.99 GBP. If you were to buy a branded Canon timer remote for your EOS 5D Mk II the TC-80N3 model would set you back in the region of £100.00 to  £130.00 GBP

James Madelin and the Enlight Photo team have once again created a well thought through, innovative and useful product - the ioShutter™ is the must have accessory for anyone who is serious about their photography. Also, being a software app driven product you will benefit from new features and upgrades as they become available automatically via the App Store.

All I need to do now is get a N3 ioShutter™ cable for my EOS bodies!

Pack's rating 5 stars * * * * *

ioShutter™ is available worldwide direct from Authorised ioShutter™ Resellers.

* You are able to opt out of receiving ioShutter™ updates etc.













Sunday, 6 May 2012

Wedding Photography Challenge

There are loads of people selling themselves as wedding photographers, so let's see who can really hack it. Back in the days before roll film or even 35 mm, photographers attended a wedding with the intention of creating a record for their customer or client, the Bride and Groom with limited resources, normally in the form of a sheet film bellows camera, a bit like Ansel Adams used to create his stunning landscapes - there was nothing else!


Here's the challenge: you only have a 5" x 4" sheet film camera and five double dark slides, that's ten sheets of film in total, what would be your choice of the key/must have shots at a wedding to capture the essence or spirit of the day? To help, you have an assistant/VAL (Voice Activated Lightstand), reflectors and one manual (not TTL) off camera flash.


And don't forget that you have no auto focus, or auto anything, so all the images have to be created/directed with this in mind! No prizes,but would be good to see your shot list on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ian.pack.39