Shoot images without touching your camera

Canon
Remote releases are used to take photos without moving the camera, ideal for sharp shots when shooting close-up or for long exposures (Image credit: Brian Worley)

How can you take photos without touching or moving the camera? There are several ways to shoot without using the shutter button. Some cameras are capable of using one or more methods, but what are they?

The first method is the self-timer, which you set in the camera’s drive settings, where you will generally find a choice of a ten-second or two-second delay. Cameras beep or flash an indicator, which becomes more urgent when the shutter is about to release. 

The next option is some form of camera remote release (opens in new tab), which can either be wired or wireless remotes. For wired remotes, cameras use either the N3 or E3 types of connector. The N3 connector is usually found on the more advanced cameras, and the E3 for most of the rest. There are simple remote switches for both N3 and E3 connections, along with timer controllers that can be programmed for extended delays, taking time-lapses and long exposures.

About Canon Pro: Brian Worley

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(Image credit: Brian Worley)

Brian is a freelance photographer and photo tutor, based in Oxfordshire. He has unrivaled EOS DSLR knowledge, after working for Canon for over 15 years, and is on hand to answer all the EOS and photographic queries in Canon-centric magazine PhotoPlus (opens in new tab).
Visit Brian's website (opens in new tab)

There are also wireless remotes (opens in new tab), which either employ a simple infrared beam to release the shutter or a more modern Bluetooth signal. Infrared requires line of sight in order to be received by the camera, while Bluetooth can trip the shutter even when there are not facing each other (or are impeded by obstructions).

Most cameras these days can be controlled using a companion app for your smart device, which pairs with your camera via local Wi-Fi connection. And unlike the other options here, these apps transmit the Live View from your camera and enable you to make changes to your exposure, focus, and sometimes even enable you to zoom in and out. 

Remote Speedlite flashes can be configured to release the camera shutter over longer distances (Image credit: Brian Worley)
PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)

PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab) is the world's only monthly newsstand title that's 100% devoted to Canon, so you can be sure the magazine is completely relevant to your system. Every issue comes with downloadable video tutorials too. 


You might also like the best Canon lenses (opens in new tab) and the Canon EOS R10 review (opens in new tab).

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Brian Worley

Brian is a freelance photographer and photo tutor, based in Oxfordshire. He has unrivaled EOS DSLR knowledge, after working for Canon for over 15 years, and is on hand to answer all the EOS and photographic queries in Canon-centric magazine PhotoPlus (opens in new tab).