If you are indeed part of our target audience (single, millennial, tech-savvy, moderate disposable income, based in the U.S.), you’re really going to resonate with this article. We’re going to discuss what a smartphone camera remote is, why you need one, and how it will change your Instagram feed forever.
What’s a Camera Remote (Remote Camera Shutter)?
They have a few different names – camera remote, remote shutter, remote clicker, magic-button-make-camera-go-click-click.
It’s a little remote you connect to your phone, usually via Bluetooth, and it activates the shutter button for you. Simple, right? There are universal camera remotes, camera remotes for iPhone, and camera remotes for Android phones of course.
If you’re not immediately seeing the enormous potential benefits, let me spell them out for you over the next few minutes.
Screen Tapping Causes Vibrations
If you’re aiming to do some serious photography with your smartphone, a camera remote is a no-brainer. The most common way to take a picture is by tapping the screen – and then you’ve already made a mistake.
Tapping the screen, no matter how carefully you do it, causes vibrations. These vibrations will affect the shot. In most instances, they’ll slightly affect the focus (since you’re moving the camera). In particularly bad cases you’ll get a blurred image from the movement of the camera!
Photographers using traditional cameras are spared this hardship. Their button press introduces no vibration (and most nice cameras have motion dampening technology anyway). Our curse (and our boon) is that smartphones are so light even a tap will move them.
That’s where the remote camera shutter comes in.
Since you’re not even touching the phone, there’s no room for error (barring earthquakes of course, but what are you gonna do about that?). Of course, a camera remote works best in tandem with a smartphone tripod or some other stand.
Heck, some smartphone tripods come WITH a camera remote shutter for less than $20!
A Whole New World of Selfies
Believe it or not, the selfie didn’t originate with the camera phone.
Nope, those ancient devices called “disposable cameras” saw plenty of selfies. So did the non-disposable variety of camera, all the way back to their inception.
Smartphones DID change the selfie game when they came up with the novel idea of placing cameras on both sides. Rear-facing cameras are kinda hard to take a selfie with, but front-facing cameras – that’s the stuff.
That was a revolution in the world of selfies… and when camera remotes become popular for smartphones that will be the second glorious revolution.
Think about it. You can take that annoying, awkward, and embarrassing arm out of the corner of all your photos. Not only does that lead to better photo composition, but it also opens you up to a whole new world of selfie poses.
When was the last time you saw a classic “sexy look over the shoulder” pose in selfie form? Never? Just one time, but they totally had a drone? Yeah. Now it’s easy.
Take Group Photos… with the Whole Group
You know what I’m talking about. Whenever you’re at the annual family reunion some (lucky) person has to take the picture. They’re absent from the photo, just like they’re absent from your life the rest of the year.
Not anymore! It used to be that you’d have to use the family photographer – that guy who is 30 and still lives with his parents but shoots only high school graduation photos. This was his only contribution to the family, and now it’s gone because anyone can do it!
Sure, it’s possible to do take a whole group photo without a remote camera shutter. Every family-comedy movie ends with a scene of the whole family posing while dad sets a timer on the camera and then runs to join the others.
Notice how there’s always some shenanigans going on in that picture? Little Timmy is doing bunny ears behind his sister’s head, or the baby vomits. That kind of low-brow humor to get a last chuckle out of an audience that’s already checked out of the movie.
In real life, though, you can use a camera remote for your phone to ensure that there’s plenty of time to smack Timmy upside the head or to leave the baby in a bush so you can finally have some goddamn peace and quiet.
Uh, yeah, where were we?
Phone Pranks – Take Remote Pictures with Your Friends’ Phone
Some people leave their Bluetooth on all the time. I don’t know how they do that. My battery would die in like an hour if I tried.
But, if any of those people are your friends, you might be able to link your camera remote to their phone by entering it into pairing mode. That’s when the fun begins.
Sure, you can take pictures of the inside of their pants pocket. Some camera remotes, however, can do more than snap pics. Taking a video, for example, grants you audio.
Now you can practice being the world’s greatest spy.
Take Photos of Yourself so People Think You Have Friends
Really, this whole section is self-explanatory but if I don’t reach an arbitrary word count Google will ignore this article and my boss will get mad.
While this idea is similar in principle to taking selfies, it’s a different kind of image. You’ll need a tripod, probably one of those ones that can grip various surfaces with their tentacles (that one in the picture is above is the best, but here are more since you can’t be satisfied).
Go out to a place that you would normally go with friends – the movies, a restaurant, a concert, the bow of a sinking ship, etc. Attach the tripod to a surface that’s about chest height. That’s the important part. Taking the picture from that perspective will imply that it’s another human taking the photo.
Then, use your handy-dandy notebook — camera remote, I mean. Snap a picture while you’re laughing in an exaggerated fashion. That’ll obscure the fact that you’re crying a little from loneliness.
Bonus points if you’re doing an activity clearly meant for couples. Go ice skating or have a picnic. Can you convincingly stare at your phone as if it’s the eyes of your soulmate? That’s an Oscar-worthy performance.
It might help you find a real significant other, even. People who (appear to be) in a relationship are more attractive to potential mates. Science says so.
The Best Smartphone Camera Remote Shutters
Now that we’ve got you all buttered up, it wouldn’t be polite to just leave you hanging. I know you’re salivating for a quality remote shutter, and I’m equally excited to get you one.
While it’s extremely possible to get a camera shutter button as a perk while purchasing a tripod or some such, I wouldn’t recommend using it as your go to. They can be unreliable or difficult to use and it would be a tragedy if you lost a good photo because you were wrangling some $2 piece of Chinese junk.
Here are the top camera remote shutters for Android and iPhone:
Despite the atrocious brand name, this remote shutter is one of the best on the market. It’s affordable, it’s effective, and it’s simple. What more could you ask for?
It’s got an effective range of 30 ft, which is way further than you’d ever need. One of the best reasons to pick up this remote is that the Bluetooth technology is the focus of this remote, and therefore, much better than the tacked-on Bluetooth capabilities of many similar tools. It’s not one of those things where you sit around waiting 5 minutes for the pairing to inevitably fail.
Note that this particular remote may or may not support apps beyond your native camera app. If you’ve got one of these awesome photo apps you might wanna give it a pass. It also doesn’t do burst shot, sorry.
This particular product also comes in a few (actually rather appealing) colors, and there are listings where it comes with a matching tripod (which honestly isn’t a great one, grab one of these).
This is about as cheap as you can go without having an awful, terrible experience using a remote shutter. For a $5 price point, however, the Bestshoot is a pretty damn good deal. Don’t believe me? Check out the other customer reviews.
It’s fairly bare-bones. It takes pictures when you push the button. Some people had trouble pairing it with their iPhone or Android respectively, but that’s mostly user error. The large upper button pairs and takes photos on iOS. The smaller, lower button pairs and takes pictures on Android.
The manufacturer probably could have included instructions, but such is life.
This remote also only supports the native camera apps, or the Google Camera 360 app.
The Mooni remote is very similar to the Selfie World remote in every way except appearance (although that blue color is suspiciously familiar…). It has the same range, the same advanced Bluetooth technology and the same universal compatibility.
Like the other remote, it also requests that you don’t use third party photo apps as they may not sync correctly with the remote.
The main advantage of this remote is that it is spherical and disc-like, instead of looking like some Listerine mouth spray you’d keep on a key chain in your purse. Now that I think about it, though, the color is pretty reminiscent of mouthwash.
Anyway, this remote is a few bucks cheaper than the Selfie World one. It’s worth a look.