App Review: DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition for iPhone
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Zooming in on photo is limited
- Must have computer to use
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