Cactus Wireless Remote Shutter Release
When doing long exposure shots or when working closely with your subject, a remote shutter release for you camera can prove invaluable. It used to be that wired remotes ruled the market. These days, wireless remotes are becoming very affordable. But how good is a wireless switch when compared to a wired one?
This week we picked up a Cactus wireless remote for my particular camera (Canon EOS 30D). I have used many different wired triggers/remotes in the pas, but this is my first for the EOS 30D. My particular model is the Cactus C3 for most of the Canon series of cameras. They also make C1, N1, N3, SON and OLY models for different cameras.
The product arrived in a small green and black box with 4 basic items inside… the transmitter, the receiver, the battery and an instruction sheet. I must say, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. You put the battery in, plug the receiver into the camera’s remote port, turn on the receiver… turn on the receiver… turn – on – the – receiver… ok, this was the only small hitch. And in this case, it was purely operator error.
You see, as simple as a product may seem, there are little things you have to watch for. In this case, it is making sure that the battery makes contact with the connectors in the receiver. Can anyone see the issue in the photo here?
Yes, that is a very clear protective film over the batter. And if you don’t remove it, the unit surprisingly don’t work! DUH! But in my defense, the studio was dark and I was quick to set this unit up. O.K., lets move on.
This is a radio-triggered wireless remote, which is different from the infrared remote controls out there, as it can work as half-pressed button. In other words, you may let the camera auto-focus before taking your shot.
There are 4 switches on the transmitter and the receiver. This means that you can shoot within range of 15 others with the same remotes without conflict! I doubt you will run into this situation often, but you never know. Anyway, the toggles just need to match on both the transmitter and the receiver and you are ready to go.
The transmitter has a small antenna to presumably lengthen its range, but I was able to get 20+ feet away, the maximum range in my studio, with no problem connecting. I later did a range test and was easily able to get 150+ feet away in direct line of site with no issue.
The transmitter has a two stage shutter switch, just like the camera, that allows you to let the camera focus and set up before shooting. This works quite well. I also noted that you can hold down the switch for a few short seconds and the remote will leave the shutter open for as long as you like (bulb mode), until you press the remote button again to finish the operation.
An interesting side benefit to this was when I tried this long shutter hold with a fast shutter speed. With my EOS 30D set to 1/1000 second shutter, this allowed me to shoot the photo from across the room by holding the button down for a few seconds. Then, I walked back to my camera and pushed the button again, which then finished the transaction and showed me the 3 second preview on my camera’s screen. I can see where this might prove beneficial.
All in all, the product worked absolutely flawlessly every single shot. I took some 100+ studio shots without a hitch, which speaks well for this product. The batteries are supposed to last for over 20,000 uses and well over a year of use without needing replacement. At around $35.oo plus shipping online, I would personally buy this product over a wired shutter release just for its flexibility, let alone the price.
â€¢ Wireless shutter release;
â€¢ Brand: Cactus
â€¢ 16 channels selectable;
â€¢ Supports autofocus and bulb mode (B-mode);
â€¢ Compatible models: Canon EOS 30D, 20D, 20Da, 10D, 5D, 1Ds, 1Ds Mark II, 1D Mark II N, 1D Mark II, 1D, D60, D30, 1V, 3;
â€¢ Power Input of Transmitter: L1028 12V 23A small battery (included for testing purpose only);
â€¢ Power Input of Receiver: CR2 3V Alkaline battery (included for testing purpose only);
â€¢ Tested maximum effective area: 15m (open area without interference);
â€¢ Radio working frequency: 433MHz;
â€¢ Net Weight: 24g (transmitter) and 24g (trigger).