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Most modern digital cameras don't appear to have a screw-hole where you can insert an old-fashioned cable-release. Some of them have an Infra-red remote but that can be problematic - you have to stand in front of the camera, not off to one side or behind it. And it's affected by other IR sources (such
as the sun!).
But there's an easy solution! These self-same digital cameras generally have a command mode over the USB interface... so I propose a cable which is basically a longer USB cable, with a small controller on one end that generates the appropriate command to the camera to take the picture.
Actually it doesn't have to be a USB cable - any make/break wire would do, with the USB controller at the camera end rather than the photographer end.
And for die-hards who really want to keep their old equipment, there could be a version which is just the controller and a short cable to the camera, with the controller having a screw-in socket for an old-fashioned cable release.
Trivially easy to build, hopefully no-one has thought of it yet so this should bust any patent :-)
If it turns out that different cameras need different USB commands - no problem, just make it multi-personality like a universal TV remote.
The fancy version would give easy access to all the remote USB commands, not just the one to take a picture. (eg turning on motor-drive, enabling the flash, etc)
Baked for some Fuji cameras
[DrCurry, Jun 02 2007]
How to make a USB shutter release for a Canon EOS
Maybe you could generalize this? [DrCurry, Jun 02 2007]
Wireless to IR hack [gtoal, Jun 04 2007]
universal wireless remote for digital cameras
Finally fully baked. [gtoal, Dec 15 2007]
||Good idea, if you can make it universal. (It's been done for some camera brands.)
||This is something I'd really like for my Canon S1 IS. At the moment I can achieve almost the same effect, apart from small size, with a laptop attached to the camera by the USB cable...hmmm.
||Cosh: if your Canon S1 has an infra-red remote, you might try the solution I've just posted in the links under the title "Wireless extender" (which is what gave me the idea for the above adaptor)
||The cable release allows you to avoid vibration from your hands. I have not looked at many SLR digitals, but I am surprised this is not included.(+)
||//I have not looked at many SLR digitals// I'd be astonished if any DSLR didn't have a remote shutter release. My own has a simple switch-closure shutter release socket, based on a 2.5mm stereo jack, similar to the one linked by [DrCurry].
Having said that, it is sod-all use for operating the aperture release on my bellows.
I think the idea refers to point-and-shoot cameras.
There was a product a few years ago that went back to the original pneumatic bulb release, and consisted of a tiny inflatable bag on a velcro band that fitted around the camera. Pressing the bulb inflated the bag and pressed the shutter release button.
||I don't think I have ever seen a cable release socket on a point and shoot. Only on SLR.
||I don't understand, the last link which was posted by gtoal, says "Finally fully baked." to an infra-red remote, but in the idea he was complaining about the problems of infra-red remotes.
||It's not ideal for every situation, but I overcome this problem by setting up for a long exposure on a tripod and then using the timer so the shutter doesn't open until I'm well out of the way.