Bluetooth Remote Camera Trigger With An iPhone

Zesty Accessories is a company out of Japan that makes bluetooth dongles that attach to your camera for remote triggering with an iPhone.

I have been putting the trigger through tests and am happy to share that the ZGR-2a which I tested has been working flawlessly.

Before I get into my tests and results, check out this preview video I recorded when I first received the device.

As you can see, the dongle connects to the camera through some type of connect. On my Nikon D800, it connects using the 10-pin connector that Nikon’s cable release would use. However, on different brands and models, the USB port would likely be used.

Features

  • The combination of SmartShutter & the dongle means you can use your iPhone’s GPS to geotag your photographs
  • The app contains single shot shutter release and a hold switch for long exposures
  • The app also has a timer feature so you can set your desired shutter speed
  • There is an ability to turn on/off shake and volume button shutter triggers
  • There is also a compass and sunrise feature in the app

Now that you have the rundown on the device and app, let’s talk about my one and only complaint about the system and then get into my testing and final review.

Complaint

As you can see in the photograph below (courtesy of Zesty Accessories), the dongle does stick out quite a bit from the camera. It cannot be turned and what this means is that if you have a L bracket on your camera, it runs the risk of getting in the way of portrait crop framing.

bluetooth-remote-camera-trigger-iphone

 

Testing

My initial testing, while sitting in my office, went very smooth. The app and dongle performed perfectly. However, I wanted to test his in the field so I brought the dongle ZGR-2a to Boston with me during my recent trip there.

I knew I would be shooting in large rooms full of debris, brick and metal. So I figured it would be the perfect place to test the range and reliability of the bluetooth device. As it turned out, it triggered every time.

So my next test was to see what would happen when doing long exposures and leaving the app to check email or send a text message. I was not expecting the result. The app kept the time going while I had it closed and was doing other things on my iPhone. It handled the timed exposure perfectly and still geotagged the photographs.

The dongle angle causes it to stick out on the left of the camera (photographer’s left, not subject left). That is the same side that L brackets sit. So with the dongle in place, I could not use the L bracket. However, when using my Nikon 70-200, this was not an issue since the lens gets mounted on the tripod instead of the camera.

Review

Zesty Accessories makes SmartShutter compatible devices for Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony and Pentax cameras. With them, you can wirelessly trigger your camera, do long exposures and geotag your photographs. The device connects to your iPhone through bluetooth and uses its data and GPS service.

I am a huge fan of this device. However, I cannot get over the angle of the ZGR-2a. It just gets in the way with the L bracket.

If you are considering this device, go for it if you do not use a L bracket. I know I would!

In the end, I would give this a score of 83% because the inability to use my L bracket seriously hurts.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I haven’t found anything more full featured and price competitive than a Cam Ranger. That thing just rocks with iOS.

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