It has been a while since I posted anything on here. There is good reason for this, I have been busy building a DIY Remote control for my Canon 700D DSLR. Sure I could have bought one off the shelf, I could have bought one with an intervalometer. Deciding against this option, I decided to do some searching on google for such a project. Sure enough, many many sites, videos and posts on Forums later, I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and set out to build my own.
There is a point to this particular project, in fact there are a number of good points to this project.
- Actually have a wired remote for the camera, always handy to have.
- Make good use of the wired remote for Bulb exposures.
- Gain insight to the wiring to use with an Arduino.
With all that in mind, along with reading the various posts and watching various videos, I am now faced with another set of questions. How do I switch the Shutter on and off using an Arduino? Can I use a transistor as a switch? That is, can the transistor act exactly like a conventional mechanical switch? So watching a number of videos, reading what information I could find, leaves me more confused than ever. There are a number of options, Solid State relays or conventional Relay as a worse case scenario. However, I am not giving up on the old transistors as my means to controlling my DSLR remotely.
The web site that I went with and found to be the most helpful can be found here: http://www.doc-diy.net/photo/eos_wired_remote/
The information provided from www.doc-diy.net should allow you to decide on an all electronic switching option, or the manual option illustrated from the image below – NB: This is Not my Image and is copyright to the Website/Author.
The above image clearly shows the connections required to operate the Canon 700D and any other Canon that uses the 2.5mm socket, please note that not all Canons use the 2.5mm socket, so you should ensure that before embarking on this project, that you can source the correct plug for your camera. Another thing to note is that you can use this method on any other DSLR that uses this method for remotely controlling Focus, Shutter and the obvious need for remote BULB exposure modes. Another thing to note is that whilst this is a DIY project, you must first understand that anything you do outside the realm of an off the shelf connection/accessories to any device, runs the risk of damaging the device. It is AT YOUR OWN RISK.
‘If in doubt, then don’t do it…’ is always a great way to protect that which is of value (including life). As this has been widely used and in many different techniques, I decided to go ahead and start the project. With only a few components required, some cable and the correct 2.5mm Stereo Jack Plug.
The list of components and tools is as follows and in no particular order;
- 2m of 4 or 3 core cable – your choice (for the cable from camera to project box)
- 1 x small momentary NO Push button switch
- 1 x medium sized momentary NO Puch button switch
- 1 x medium sized push to make/push to break switch
- 2.5mm Stereo Jack Plug
- Project box/case of your choosing.
- about a 1m of multi coloured cable (there will be a lot left over for other projects so not a waste in the grand scheme of things)
- Soldering iron – 20 – 40 watt (soldering station or standard no preference for either)
- wire cutters
- Solder – your choice of what you normally use (Lead or no lead – plus flux as required)
- Drill – preferable Cordless
- Selection of Drill bits or a Tapered Drill bit to suit switches mounting dimensions
- Helping Hands – always useful when soldering cables and plugs etc
- Last but not least, A multimeter.
The main thing to note is take your time, always use tools in a safe well lit area and secure manner.
Wiring the switches is relatively easy, as long as you use 1 side of all three switches as the common or ground part of the circuit. The other 3 connections are split into two areas.
- Bulb and remote shutter control.
I used 2 switches for the Shutter control, one acts like the standard Shutter control/button on the camera itself, the 2nd switch is used for Bulb or timed exposures(Push to Make and Push to break). The remaining switch is the momentary NO (Normally Open), which is used to keep the camera active and use for activating the focus/metering logic on the DSLR – similar to the half push on the Camera Shutter control, the extra push(when using just the Camera), obviously activates the Shutter logic circuits on the DSLR.
So in simpler terms;
- Button One – small momentary NO is the Focus/Metering control
- Button Two – Medium Momentary NO is the Normal Shutter control
- Button Three – Medium On/Off Switch for timed/bulb exposures
So the remaining connections you need to make are the two medium switches and the small switch for the focus/metering function.
In short (no pun intended), the two medium switches are wired in parallel whilst the smaller of the two is on its own circuit. as shown in the diagram above. That’s all there is to it. Once all the connections are soldered together correctly, check the wiring and functionality by testing with a Multimeter. This is to ensure you have everything connected correctly, also ensure that you know that nothing is set to ‘On’ when you plug this into your Camera.
If everything is working on the Multimeter as expected, you can take the next step and connect to the camera. Once connected, switch the camera on and select Manual control. Using the controls on the camera, select ‘Bulb’ Try the metering control button first on your newly created remote and you should see some reading appear in the viewfinder and on the screen depending on how you have your camera setup for normal operation. By default, I always use the Screen. If your camera responds and displays a reading, then you know that your control is working, now try the Shutter, either of the two medium controls, momentary or the On/Off button. Your camera shutter should activate depending on what time mode you selected and which button you used on the remote. If the momentary was used and the shutter is not set to bulb, it should stay open then close for the time it was set to on the camera eg: 1/50th should give you just that. If you have continuous Shutter mode on, it will keep taking pictures until you release the button on the remote. It will also continue to take pictures if you used the On/Off button until you press the button to the off position.
Once you are happy that everything is as it should be, secure any loose cables, tidy up the project and complete the build by closing the box and consider yourself done with this project if that is all you wish to accomplish. For me, not so much. I need to work on a circuit and control via the Arduino. More on this, as and when I get close to a resolve to the questions and answers that keep me looking on the net.