Remote camera triggers are considered "must-have" photography accessories, and they are indeed useful. But there's more to the story than that.
It’s no surprise that these are popular accessories, especially for landscape and nature photographers. And, on the face of it, remote releases – e.g., a way to capture photos without pressing the camera’s own shutter button – seems like a logical idea.
Opinion about them is quite diverse, not all photographers need a remote release, including a lot of landscape photographers. And other photographers may need one even if they’ve never considered such an accessory before.
Remote shutter release
A remote shutter release is an easy and inexpensive way to immediately improve the quality of our images. Additionally, the remote shutter release allows for more compositional freedom.
A remote shutter is something you may have heard repeatedly that you need to purchase, especially if you’re into landscape photography. One of the main uses of a remote shutter is to minimize the vibration when taking an image to get a sharper result.
Benefits of a remote shutter release
- Pressing the shutter button on a remote does not move or shake your camera, while the same cannot be said of the camera’s own shutter button.
- Remote releases let you shoot ultra-long “bulb” exposures with practically no upper limit on shutter speed.
- Some remote releases – wireless ones – allow you to stand farther away from your camera while taking a picture.
- Some remote releases have additional options like intervalometer, lightning trigger, remote control of camera settings, and so on.
On-camera delayed shutter
Most digital cameras have a delayed shutter function. In fact, even smartphones have it. A delayed shutter is, in simple words, a function that tells the camera to wait a few seconds after you push the shutter before it takes the picture. This allows you to either run in front of the camera and take a selfie or reduce the amount of vibration.
This function is especially useful when you’re using a slow shutter speed and have your camera mounted on a tripod. If you use a shutter speed of 0.5 seconds and press the shutter, you’ll see that the image will come out less sharp than if you use a delayed shutter.
Cons of the delayed shutter
- It’s not flexible.
- If you’re photographing something with motion, it’s hard to time the shutter release perfectly and you might miss the shot.
- In some cameras, the function is found deep in the menu.
If you are into landscape photography, a remote shutter is recommended. On many occasions, it won´t be possible to wait the extra two or three seconds before the image is taken, as the moment is gone by then. Capturing the image at the exact moment you will want, will be possible through a remote shutter, such as MIOPS Smart+ or Remote Plus.
By removing the need for you to physically press and hold—in the cases of long exposures—the shutter button on your camera, you eliminate the possibility of your wavering hands from causing unwanted vibrations during the shot.
Manuel Delgado is an award-winning photographer with a specialization in travel and documentary photography. He writes for Contrastly and is a Mentor for NGO Photographers Alliance, having led workshops in Africa with a focus on ethical and humanitarian photography. His work has been exhibited in Europe and the Americas.
Driven by an innate curiosity for his surroundings, Manuel´s process is mainly focused on capturing people in their natural environment; translating through his lens the subtle threads of daily life that are shared across cultures, borders, and races. Depicting people from diverse backgrounds, his work is united by a shared aesthetic that serves to tell each individual’s story. Manuel is currently living in Düsseldorf, Germany.