Inspire Wireless LiveView Remote Control
What abysmal weather we seem to be having lately. Another free weekend that I cannot go out shooting because of the rain and poor light. Oh well.
I came across an interesting gadget in town today and just had to buy one. A 'Hahnel Inspire Wireless LiveView Remote Control'. A while ago I was considering purchasing Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 so that I could rig my camera up outside my front door and get shots of the birds near the feeders when sat at my computer working. I decided against it however.
Looking round Southampton today after my usual trip to the coffee shop and my father started looking at what I had previously dismissed as just another ZigView live-view rip off. I never use live view. The viewfinder is all I need and its far more reliable than an LCD screen regardless of how high resolution it is. Anyway upon closer inspection I realised it was a wireless live view with a remote shutter control built in. I had to buy it for £180. I couldn't say no. I was intrigued.
At this point I didn't realise that the unit had its own built in camera in the transmitted module that sits on the camera. So that's handy for a number of reasons. The transmitter also has support for video input from your cameras AV output and combined with your D-SLR's LiveView mode, (providing it has one), It can transmit the live view video image to the hand held receiver so not only can you see what the transmitter sees, but what the camera sees as well.
Now this is pretty handy and I can already envisage a number of situations where it will be useful with wildlife photography.
- Wireless remote shutters have been around a while but you have no idea what the camera sees and it involves a certain amount of pot luck, and numerous wasted shots from holding down the shutter button when you think something might be in focus and in front of the camera. Now you can actually SEE what's in front of the camera and what the live view sees before you trigger the shutter. There's still going to be a bit of guess work but at least you can be sure for slower moving subjects before taking shots.
- Because its a remote shutter that works up to 60 metres away and because of the live view, i'll be able to get wide angle shots of timid wildlife that wouldn't of been possible before if I was present with the camera. I'm thinking squirrels and the likes here that can be quite difficult to approach, and getting close enough with a 10mm lens would be impossible except in a zoo or somewhere with extremely tame squirrels. Not just squirrels though but certain types of birds etc.
- Wide angle shots of birds landing on a branch near a well positioned feeding station
- Closer shots of more wild birds, including waders. Sticking the camera low down in the water and hiding somewhere to take the shots when something drifts in front of the camera without disturbing the subject or getting wet could be quite handy.
Ok so its not going to be used a great deal but its going to come in handy in some situations,(namely those above).
Using this sort of technique obviously requires presetting of exposure and composition and predicting where the subject will be when you trip the shutter, but that's been the case since remote shutters were invented. The unit allows autofocus but I can already see that pre focusing is probably going to be a big requirement in most scenarios. The delay in the received image although marginal, plus the time it takes for the camera to switch from LiveView to taking the actual shot means that adding af time could severely hinder your success.
Anyway hopefully i'll get a chance to use it sometime soon providing this blasted weather sorts itself out! Here's a pic of the transmitter mounted to my Nikon D300+200-400mm f4 VR, and the wireless receiver unit.Its a bad photo as it was taken in my room on my HTC Desire but you get the idea. I'll put a better picture up tomorrow when i'm outside somewhere.
Stay tuned for some pics from this new setup when the weathers better!