Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shutter Release Cable for Canon Cameras

Some weird coincidence got me into buying a Canon DSLR years ago. The EOS-350D, aka Digital Rebel XT, was top notch at that time... I still love it today.
Today, I am happily choosing Canon cameras for CHDK, Magic Lantern and BaclyardEOS, but this an entirely different story.

Luck had it, that Canon made it very easy to build a remote shutter release cable. The internet is full of decent descriptions. Yet again, I would like to share my solution with you.

First of all, the materials I used where all in my possession, nothing needed to be bought. Actually, all the stuff was lying about since years, unused, and you will see why in the next few lines.

When you search the internet for shutter release cables, you will come across many square of rectangular boxes, which not only look DIY, but also look not following latest ergonomics standards.
About 20 years ago, I bought an analogue joystick for my PC. I really never got into gaming ever, the thing just went into a box and was moved about only when I changed cities.

The same can be said about a pair of headphones, that once came with a first generation digital camera having an MP3 player. What where people thinking?! An MP3 player in a camera?! The player was crap, the camera, for the time, was OK. The developers of this great design had a brain-wave, why not preventing people from using their decent headphones (having a 3.5mm TRS jack)? Hence, the developers added a 2.5mm TRS jack to that particular MP3-player-camera-gadget, just what I needed for the Canon cameras.

And here we have it, 2 useless gadgets can be put together into 1 useful accessory.

the parts, taken apart, and the complex schematics diagram
I used a of perforated PCB to create a stable transition between the flimsy headphone cable and the very sturdy joystick cabling. A knot reduces the length of the latter.
It might be somewhat obvious, I used the blue cables for focus and the white ones for exposure.
In order to prevent the flimsy cable from being pulled off the PCB (not shown), another know secures the external cable to one of the posts of the joystick.

Although I took a picture of the 'not yet closed but functioning' device, I wont post it here, due to the potentially offending shape of said object.

Concluding, a remote shutter release which feels like being built to be held in a fist (actually the joystick is) is a great addition to my bag.
Needless to say that this device works great with either of the two cameras, the EOS-350D and the PowerShot G15.

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