App Review: DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition for iPhone

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DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition App Forum Review by llofte. For more Forum Reviews, see the TiPb iPhone App Store Forum Review Index!

DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition [$19.99 - iTunes link] is a "the next-generation cable release" for your Canon or Nikon DSLR camera. With it you can trigger the shutter as well as change multiple settings, see through your camera's viewfinder, and view images directly on your iPhone.

To use DSLR Camera Remote, you will need a computer, a USB cable that connects your camera to your computer, a Wi-Fi network (internet connection not required), and onOne's free DSLR Camera Remote Server software installed on your computer.

The home screen has a big window that displays a photo or live view and your camera's current settings. The six settings in the center are the ones you can remotely change: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, quality, and exposure compensation. Just tap the setting you want to change and list of available options appear. Below these you will see what focus and exposure mode your camera is set to (you cannot change these remotely). If you are using a mode that is partially automatic, then you will not be able to adjust all settings. For example, in the screenshot above, you can see that I'm shooting with aperture priority, so the shutter speed is grayed out. In the center of the bottom toolbar, you will see how much hard drive space is available on your computer. The bottom right corner is the fire button to trigger to shutter and the bottom left corner is where you go to access more options.

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Before I used DSLR Camera Remote, I was concerned that there was going to be a bit of a delay between tapping fire and my camera actually snapping the shot as this would be a major problem when shooting subjects like children or pets. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is no noticeable delay. This is of course only true when not using LiveView mode. There is a significant delay when utilizing LiveView because your camera must first exit LiveView before taking the shot - not a fault of the app.

In situations where instantaneous shutter releases aren't necessary, LiveView is awesome. From the home screen, the app displays exactly what you'd see by looking through your camera's viewfinder; rotate to landscape for a larger view. After taking the shot, the app will display the photo for a few seconds before going back to LiveView. There is not a setting to change how long you see the preview for. If you have your camera set to autofocus, tapping the LiveView screen will focus. (Note that LiveView is only available on cameras that support it).

With LiveView disabled, you can swipe through all the photos saved in the chosen folder on your computer. Double tapping the photo will zoom in. Zooming in is nice in theory, but isn't implemented well. It zooms in quite a bit and there isn't a way to pan around the photo or change the magnification percentage. It's easier to walk over to the computer and view the image there. You can zoom while in portrait or landscape, but you can only delete a photo from landscape - just tap and hold. Also from landscape you can trigger the shutter and access options.

Options

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The intervalometer lets you take up to 999 shots anywhere from 1 second to 1 day apart. After choosing the desired interval and number of shots, just tap start

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DSLR Camera Remote makes it easy to auto bracket. You can choose an exposure increment of ⅓ or a full stop and a total range between ⅓ and 5 stops above and below your current exposure. DSLR Camera Remote does the math for you and tells you how many shots will be included in your bracket given your chosen settings. You can also choose to lock shutter speed, aperture, or ISO speed and the delay between shots from 0 to 5 seconds. Once you're ready to shoot your bracket, tap start.

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Burst Mode lets you shoot 1 to 12 shots at your camera's fastest rapid fire speed.

When turning on Live Preview, you will be given focusing options to choose from. Your choices depend on which camera you're using. Refer your camera's user manual if you aren't sure what the options mean.

Conclusion

DSLR Camera Remote really is the "next generation cable release". It's biggest drawback is that you must have your camera connected to a computer. Since an actual internet connection is not required, you can create an ad-hoc network with your computer and communicate with your iPhone that way. This is a great workaround to the Wi-Fi requirement, but still needs a computer. I did see a glimmer of hope on onOne's website about utilizing 3.0 to increase functionality:

Several people have asked if they can plug their iPhone directly into the camera's USB port and control it this way. This is something we are actively investigating, but until the iPhone 3.0 update, third party developers like us don't have any way to communicate through the iPod dock connector. In the future we hope to be able to add this support, we will keep you posted. They haven't said anything more since 3.0 was released in June, so I hope that this is something they are still actively pursuing.

Regardless, DSLR Camera Remote is an excellent application as is and well worth the $19.99.

Pros

  • Remotely control many settings and shutter release
  • Immediately see photo taken
  • Look through your camera's viewfinder with LiveView
  • Supports 16 Canon and 9 Nikon models
  • Intervalometer and auto bracketting

Cons

  • Zooming in on photo is limited
  • Must have computer to use

TiPb Review Rating

TiPb Forums Review: 5 Star App

Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Reader comments

App Review: DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition for iPhone

17 Comments

i tried some software like this for the desktop which would upload the pics straight to the screen and have remote control, but as you have the computer there anyway it seems like having the app for the sake of having the app. cant see it selling much, at least not at that price.
Nice review though, thanks.

Why don't they just include a bluetooth chip in the camera and you could do this without your computer. It seem like apps making proprietary use of bluetooth is allowed in AppStore, so that should pose no problem.

I purchased it in June, about a month after the Canon T1i came out, hoping it would be supported soon. Three months later and it still doesn't support it. They said they are at the mercy of Canon's SDK. I have a Windows app that supports the T1i since July, but the Mac SDK may not be available yet.

I use the EOS Utility software that came with my camera for remote shooting. Why add another remote connection? Nice review

This app seems a bit pointless. I have a Canon DSLR, and rarely do I take photos sitting right next to my PC. If this app worked via a cable from my iPhone directly to the camera, well then it might be worth buying. In it's current state, it's pretty much a useless app.
If I'm going to go take photos somewhere and need a remote, which is usually utilized so that the camera isn't moved when pressing the button, then I'll just use a regular camera remote. That's a much better solution than lugging around a laptop and wireless router.

I have this for my Nikon d300.
The concept of being able to plug your camera into a laptop (USB cable so there can be a long distance) and then sit even further away with the iPhone to take the picture (think: Wildlife are easily scared) or to be somewhere well away from the camera (think Wedding/party etc with a second camera) seems good to me.
It works for me.
Nikons remote system software is over £160, I got this for £12.

@Matt74:

This app seems a bit pointless. I have a Canon DSLR, and rarely do I take photos sitting right next to my PC.

That is the first thing that came to my mind. By the time you lug all the gear, tripod, laptops, power cords, and set up, you have lost interst, light, and subject.
A regular remote seems far more useful. And the starting prices of IR remote controls is under @25 for many brands.
This seems like a "Because We Can" app.

icebike and matt74 - just so you know, an app like this would work beautifully for architectural photography...

Really we need the camera installed with bluetooth, otherwise unless you are a pro with all the equipment with you or in a studio, it's unlikely this would that practicable an app!

@DomArch:

icebike and matt74 – just so you know, an app like this would work beautifully for architectural photography…

Because with Architecture, you have a reason to be somewhere other than Behind the Camera?

@icebike Yes. Like when the tripod is jammed into a corner or is blocking a door. Being able to compose and take shots remotely while adjusting remote strobes or lighting modifiers would be a nice feature.
I just wish I had a live view compatible camera. My 5d is too "old."

There are plenty of situations where having a remote (even when attached to a computer) would be beneficial. Indoor studio photography for example, especially of children and pets. Having the remote allows the photographer to closely interact with the subject while staying out of frame. Then there's self portraits - should be obvious how the app would be perfect for that. There's situations like Ian mentioned where you need to put your camera in a difficult position that doesn't allow looking through the view finder. Just a few examples of how this app could be useful.
Obviously the app isn't ideal because you often times don't have a computer around and have no interest in bringing one along. But if you look up the prices of remotes, $20 is a very fair price. I would love to see a bluetooth accessory to attach to the camera - that would be perfect.

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well, for in studio model shoots, where the camera is still, it could be useful, or for yearbook pictures, and of course to look cool!

Hi
this is a great app. In studio environment it fits perfectly and as someone mentioned here, it's a tenth of the price of Nikon's camera control software.
The fact that you can see the picture in the phone directly is also great.
However, you mention that it is possible to use adhoc network if no wifi network is available. Could you explain how to do that? I dont succeed in making it work.
thank
Francois