Making Better Remote for DSLR

object715As I said before, I just bought the Canon 5D Mk II camera. I love the camera both for full sensor photography and full HD 1080p video it provides. I have put together a shoulder rig for the camera, along with things like the HDMI based video screen, digital audio recorder, etc.

One thing about the shoulder rig is that it’s not easy to access the button to start the video recording, specially the way I have it set up. So, I figure there is a solution to control the button. Easy, right?

I found out that it’s not that easy. There is a remote that is for the camera that controls the shutter button at the top but it won’t work with the button for the video. There is a solution that allows you to control the button but it’s Infrared based controller and the receiver for the signal is in front of the camera. So, how to access this function from the back?

I came up with an idea that I tried out and it works great. I purchased Canon’s RC-1 remote controller on eBay for less than $20. I then took one of the optical audio cables you find at most store. I had an extra one so that worked.

I cut the cable in the middle, about 12 inch length. It’s important that you get a cable with fairly thin insulation. Then I removed the insulation from one end and pulled the inside part out about 1/4” so the other end, you have 1/4” of extra insulation.

If you look at the top of the RC-1, you see a little LED that shows. What you need to do is to carefully put a knife between the LED and the bottom part of RC-1 just a bit to open it up. Then shove in the insulation over the LED. This is the hard part, just be careful not to break anything but make sure you are far in.

Once it’s in, put a bit of hot glue around the area where the RC-1 meets the cable and let it cool. That’s it.

I used the plastic ties to secure it on my handle of the rig. I am going to use some wires to point the other end towards the Infrared receiver on the camera. I tried it manually and it works great.

Next shoot, I will try this out but it’s a cheap way to control the video button on those DSLRs.

Update: This thing turned out better than I expected. Here are some pictures with the rig I use with my 5D mk ii.

I had to use gaffer tape to tape the cable to the rig but I hope to find something that works better than that. Otherwise, I am good to go.

On September 8, 2010, posted in: Crafts by
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