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Old Mar 4, 2010, 4:23 PM   #1
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Default What is smallest camera with wireless remote control option? Any non-dSLRs w/ remote?

I'm looking to buy a camera with the capacity to take pictures remotely, via wireless remote control. (NOT controlled by a laptop nor using a USB cable or whatever, but using a standalone wireless remote controller I can hold in my hand to activate the shutter on the camera.)

I know that many high-end and mid-range dSLRS have this capability, but I have been unable to find any point-and-shoot or pocket-sized cameras with this wireless remote feature.

I'd like to be able to do things like: set up a camera-on-a-tripod in my yard to get wildlife shots which I can take remotely from my window which overlooks the yard (without scaring away the animals); attach the camera to a short kite for aerial shots; attach the camera to a pole for from-above unusual angle shots; take pictures of myself doing specific tasks in my workshop without interrupting the flow of what I'm doing by having to get up and fiddle with the delay-timer; and so on.

Because the camera will be used in some rough-and-tumble situations, I don't want to invest $2,000+ in some fancy dSLR that's too heavy for a kite anyway, and too fragile in case it falls a few feet to the lawn, etc. -- which is why I want a kickabout point-and-shoot that's small and lightweight.

(I'm looking, of course, for cameras made by known and reputable manufacturers; I've seen some cruddy low-end remote control "spy cameras" that take grainy horrible 1-megapixel pictures, made by this-or-that fly-by-night non-camera company, and I DON'T want one of those. I'm talking about a decent camera with [at a minimum] 3 megapixels, though the higher-quality, the better, obviously.)

Questions: Are there ANY point-and-shoot digital cameras on the market with this feature? If so, which is the smallest/lightest? If not, and if ONLY dSLRs have this capability, then which is the smallest and lightest dSLR with a wireless remote control option?
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 4:45 PM   #2
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I just found that the Pentax Optio W90 (http://www.pentaximaging.com/digital...tio_W90_Black/) which will be released in a couple months, is a point-and-shoot with "Infrared remote control compatibility." However, I would assume that this would require a direct line of sight between the controller and the front of the camera, just like any infrared-using TV remote control, and the situations I'm thinking of (like being on a kite, etc.) would make that not very useful, because the camera will be at all sorts of crazy angles, bobbing around. So, I guess I should amend my question to exclude those kind of infrared remotes that require a direct line of sight to the front of the camera (unless I'm misaapprehending this, and infrared doesn't require direct line-of-sight).
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 8:25 PM   #3
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Default check out the samsung wb550/hz15

the wb550/hz15 by samsung has an optional remote control that need to be bought separately... but allows you to take pics remotely.
It is not a tiny small camera... about 225g without battery and card... but it is definitely not huge. It has a 10x zoom and is 12MP and takes decent shots. See the thread A Quick Look at the Samsung HZ-15W the last page has photos taken with the hz15.
Also the thread - HZ15W vs TL-320 has samples from the HZ15/WB550
Good luck
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 3:05 PM   #4
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nech770:
Thanks for the suggestion of the Samsung HZ15W, but after a long search on the Web I seem to have discovered that it too works with an infrared remote, which requires the shooter to have a clear line of sight to the front of the camera (see this page for example). That's the same problem as with the Pentax I mentioned above.

Anybody know of ANY pocket-sized or non-dSLR cameras that have a remote control option that doesn't utilize infrared or require direct line-of-sight to the front of the camera?
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 4:22 PM   #5
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Wireless remote control has been around with some DSLR's for quite a while. It's an option with my present camera, the Nikon D2x, and that machine is obsolete...

Dave
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 4:53 PM   #6
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Chato:
That's true -- sorta. Actually, according to this interview and other info I've seen about the Nikon wireless transmitters, you can only operate the Nikon dSLRs remotely by using Nikon's custom software "Nikon Capture 4 (version 4.2)" while sitting at your computer. In other words, there is still no way to operate the Nikons wirelessly with just a small hand-held remote control, which is what I'm looking to do. And, of course, the Nikon D2x (and its dSLR successors) are way too huge for my requirements -- I'm looking for something as small as possible. (And still haven't found it!)

It's kind of amazing that what I thought would be a commonly-requested and simple-to-implement camera feature still hasn't made an appearance on the market! Everything's going wireless these days. Why can't they make a camera that can be operated wirelessly (without requiring the presence of a computer or direct line-of-sight to the front of the camera)?
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 5:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
Chato:
That's true -- sorta. Actually, according to this interview and other info I've seen about the Nikon wireless transmitters, you can only operate the Nikon dSLRs remotely by using Nikon's custom software "Nikon Capture 4 (version 4.2)" while sitting at your computer. In other words, there is still no way to operate the Nikons wirelessly with just a small hand-held remote control, which is what I'm looking to do. And, of course, the Nikon D2x (and its dSLR successors) are way too huge for my requirements -- I'm looking for something as small as possible. (And still haven't found it!)

It's kind of amazing that what I thought would be a commonly-requested and simple-to-implement camera feature still hasn't made an appearance on the market! Everything's going wireless these days. Why can't they make a camera that can be operated wirelessly (without requiring the presence of a computer or direct line-of-sight to the front of the camera)?
Since you would only want to control the camera remotely when you didn't have the camera in your hands, then almost by definition some sort of computer is necessary. What after all is the point of controlling the camera if you're holding the camera?

The D2x comes out of the box with a little gadget that allows you to remotely press the shutter. But that's not controlling the camera.

Dave
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 5:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
Everything's going wireless these days. Why can't they make a camera that can be operated wirelessly (without requiring the presence of a computer or direct line-of-sight to the front of the camera)?
I'm on the hunt myself.... What we are looking for is a release that operates using RF (radio frequency) rather than IR (infrared).

Snoop around the Canon site and see what you might find.

I concur with Chato also.... operating a shutter is one thing, controlling the camera may be asking too much at this stage.

I'll check back if I come up with something interesting. Good Luck and do keep us ( me ) posted....

Couple examples...
http://www.camcorderbatteryshop.co.uk/index1.html

Last edited by Strobe; Mar 6, 2010 at 6:00 PM.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 5:59 PM   #9
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I'm on the hunt myself.... What we are looking for is a release that operates using RF (radio frequency) rather than IR (infrared).

Snoop around the Canon site and see what you might find.

I concur with Chato also.... operating a shutter is one thing, controlling the camera may be asking too much at this stage.

I'll check back if I come up with something interesting. Good Luck and do keep us ( me ) posted....
I don't get it. True control over the camera would require a fairly sophisticated gadget. There is so much to control!

What would such a gadget consist of? Hmm? A computer!!! Yup, you need a computer to control such a sophisticated gadget.

Ok, ok, will a manufacturer, sell you a dedicated computer? $500? $600? Probably more since there will be such a limited buying base. May I suggest that using your own computer, already existing, makes more sense? And if such is the case, wouldn't you need software for your computer?

Ok, ok, what about building such a computer directly into the camera? I would imagine that this would be a mass of complex circuitry. You do buy a camera for it's IQ and other photographic factors?

Well, no doubt it could be done. I wonder how much you guys make a year?

Dave
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 6:29 PM   #10
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Chato & Strobe:

OK, I see that I didn't completely express myself as clearly as I should have.

When I say "remote control," I'm not talking about some device to fully control every possible aspect and function of the camera. I'm just talking about basic shutter pressing. So I wouldn't need a complicated, sophisticated mini-computer as my handheld remote control. All I want to do is simply have the capacity to "take a picture" -- i.e. press the shutter button -- without having to touch the camera. I'm not talking about adjusting the white balance or the f-Stop or any detailed photographic controls.

As far as the remote control's capabilities, I imagine all it needs at maximum is two functions/buttons: One to "press the shutter," and possibly another button to "turn the camera on and off" -- i.e. a power button. This second capability might be necessary because most cameras have an automatic "turn themselves off" time limit, so that if I put the camera in place and then wait an hour for an animal to wander by, by that point that camera will be "off." So I'd press the remote control's "power" button to turn the camera on, and then once it's on, press the "shutter" button to take a basic picture.

Most cameras now "remember" settings from session to session, so all I'd have to do is fiddle with the controls ahead of time to get the settings I want, and next time when the camera is turned on and I take a picture remotely, I'll already have the settings I want. And in my particular instance, I don't need special settings anyway, and can just set the camera to "Auto" and just take a remote snapshot, letting the camera adjust automatically for exposure, etc. -- just like most point-and-shoot digital cameras already do.

As to the radio frequency-vs-infrared issue that Strobe brought up: Yes, that's correct, RF is probably what I'm looking for. What about Wi-Fi (such as what Nikon uses) -- does that count as "radio frequency," or is it an entirely separate category of wireless communication? And then there's Bluetooth -- could that theoretically be used for a basic controller?

So, to further refine the question:

I'm looking for a camera with a simple remote control that has the capacity to press the camera's shutter remotely, and possibly turn the camera on/off, but nothing really beyond that limited basic functionality. I'd like the camera to be as small and light as possible -- light enough to be attached to a kite without weighing it down too much. DSLRs are all way too heavy and delicate for that. And I'd need the remote control to use either radio frequency (RF), and/or Wi-Fi, and/or Bluetooth -- and not infrared, which would present too many problems.

So far, some nice responses and interest, but no one has yet found such a camera! I'm very surprised -- I thought there would be plenty of them.
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