Different Types of Camera Remote Controls

Types of camera remote controls

Efficient and creative photography requires the right gear. In some specific and crucial phases of photography, camera remote controls play a very important role.

This article is going to discuss several things about the remote controls, their utility, types, and whether you need them or not. Asking such questions to yourself becomes very important if you are approaching perfection. 

Why you should use camera remote controls?

This is the most significant thing that you should care about. The utility of remote control or any other equipment is highly dependent on your style of photography. There are several situations when the use of remote controls becomes very important.

If you enjoy shooting photos of landscapes, you want your camera glued to the tripod for a perfect shot. However pressing the shutter always has the possibility to shake your camera (no matter how little that movement is).

When you want to shoot long exposure photography, you don’t want any limitation on the shutter speed of the camera. In a situation like this, the use of remote control becomes very important. Photography is quite a challenging task.

There are some moments when you are holding something in your hand and DSLR is not so easy to be used by one hand. If you have a remote control at that moment, you will put the camera somewhere and the remote control will take care of the shutter button. 

The camera remote controls play a very important role whenever you want to take a shot while standing farther away from the camera. Using the timer feature will not be a wise decision in that case. However when there is a remote control in your hand, you can decide the exact time of taking the photograph. 

Bluetooth camera remote controls by Canon

Bluetooth camera remote control

Major types of camera remote controls

Now that you are aware of the benefits that you will get by using the remote control, it is time to know something about the types. Different types of remote control have different functions.

This is the reason why you should do some research before making your final decision. Here are some of the most popular types of remote controls that you can get in the market right now. 

Cabled camera remote controls

These are the most common and widely used remote controls available in the market. As you can guess by the name, these controllers come with a cable that needs to be plugged into your camera in order to control the shutter.

Most of these remote controls come with a cable of about 12-13 inches however you can buy one with a different length too. This type of remote control is used by a large number of photographers because it is one of the most reliable and cheap options that you can get. 

Multi-functional camera triggers

These triggers are also called smart camera triggers or specialised triggers. Such a name has been given to these triggers because they perform several functions. Unlike most camera remote controls in the market, smart triggers can trigger your external flash, act as an intervalometer, etc.

These remote controllers can be of great utility if you are shooting a time-lapse. Based on the brand and model you choose you can do a lot of things with these controllers.

Based on your choice, you can buy a cabled or wireless version. If you go for a cabled version of it or any cabled camera remote control, there is a crucial benefit associated with it. Most of the cabled camera triggers work via a cable that is detachable from both sides.

In case you want to use that remote with a different camera, only a new cable is needed. So, the compatibility of these controllers is wide as compared to the wireless versions. 

Wireless camera remotes

These are another major type of control that you can buy today. The only thing that makes these remotes different from others is their ability to work without wires. Some conditions demand a detached way to control your camera and a wireless remote is the best solution in that case.

However it comes with some limitations too. The biggest issue with these remotes is about the power. As the wireless devices are powered by a source within, you need to either charge the battery or replace it. 

There are two types of wireless controllers that you can buy. The first one is an Infra-red wireless controller while the other is a radio signal-based wireless trigger. Triggers that work via IR (infra-red signals) are cheap and convenient to use as most DSLRs have in-built IR receivers.

However these controllers have a very short range. The camera remote controllers that operate through radio signals have a high range however they are costly. And there are some compatibility issues with a lot of camera models. 

A large number of photographers prefer these remote controls because they just want to avoid the cables while working. If you too have that kind of style and mindset, you can go for a wireless camera remote control.

However there is another big problem with these remote controls. They are not compatible with all cameras. In case, you use more than one camera that a lot of people do, you will have to buy a remote controller for each of them. 

Smartphone camera remote control app

Smartphone camera remote control app (Source)

Smartphone-based camera remote controls

This type of remote control for DSLR is quite new to the market. With the advancements in the field of smartphone applications, these remote controls came into play.

This type of controller don’t exist as a physical device like the ones we have already talked about. Here, you have to install a particular application on your phone and then you can trigger several functions of your camera using the phone.

Smartphone-based triggers are very popular nowadays, as you can work with almost any camera by just switching to the specified mobile application. However this feature is supported only by those cameras that have Wi-Fi. 


Buying the remote controller is solely based on your analysis of the requirements. In case, you are not a very serious photographer then, you can use the inbuilt features of the camera to take perfect shots. There is no such thing that great photos can be shot only with the camera remote controllers.

About the Author

Andrew Conway is an amateur photographer and keen writer. Andrew is in his last year of his Journalism degree in University.