(Right-click and select ‘View image’ to see a larger photo.
Quarter and AA shown for scale.)
Nothing beats being able to take a photo when you’re not even in the room. But to do that, you’re going to need a wireless shutter. B&H sells a Vivitar unit for $49+shipping, or you could hit up eBay and buy a unit that looks exactly like it for about $15 (free shipping). Being obsessed as I am with Chinese stuff, I couldn’t resist the latter.
I ordered the JYC JY-110 specifically for the Nikon D90 (make sure you get the right one for your camera). Within less than two weeks, the package made it from Hong Kong to my door. (Well, actually the mailbox. More on this later.)
The unit came without a manual, “Engrish” or otherwise, and that was fine by me: it’s simple enough to operate w/o the need for instructions.
- Install the included batteries (a 3v CR-2 in the receiver and a 23A 12v in the transmitter)
- Mount the receiver in your flash’s hotshoe (optional), and plug the cable into your camera’s port (On the Nikon D90, the port is labeled “GPS”)
- Select your mode and press the transmitter’s shutter button 1/2 way to focus, all the way to take the picture.
The receiver has a simple on/off button. Turn the unit on, and a red LED lets you know it’s ready to receive a 433MHz signal on one of 16 channels.
The transmitter has a shutter button as well as a switch that lets you chose between two modes: you can push it up to select “multi-exposure/bulb mode” or push it down to select “timer mode”.
- Multi/Bulb Mode – Use this mode to do continuous exposures as well as long exposures. Hold the transmitter’s shutter button down for approximately 3 seconds and the camera’s shutter stays open until you press the shutter button 1/2 way to end the exposure. (NOTE: If you press the button all the way, it won’t end the exposure. You have to press it 1/2 way.)
- Timer Mode – When using this mode, the camera waits a couple of seconds before taking the picture.
The ad on eBay said it was good for “about 100 meters”. I figured that should translate to about 20 feet in the real world. Maybe 25 if I was lucky. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could go out to my mailbox, about 150 feet from my front door, and still operate my camera while it was inside my house. That’s a lot closer to 300′ than I expected! I haven’t tested it to find its full range, but with that kind of distance, I’m ok.
All in all, I’d have to say I’m pretty impressed with this little unit. Construction is acceptably decent, but I wouldn’t call it ‘rugged’. For just $15 or so, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with the JYC JY-110.
Whether using it to take photos of animals feeding or using it in a studio so you can concentrate on your subject, the JYC wireless shutter gives you freedom to move about and not stay behind the view-finder.
And that can help you take photos worth framing.