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Topic: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release (Read 6666 times) previous topic - next topic


Oct 29, 2011, 02:24 pm Last Edit: Oct 29, 2011, 02:26 pm by wfarid Reason: 1
I have been working on a project that involves setting up a manual camera on tripod and taking pictures of objects/people. One of the restrictions that I have for this project is that I have to be near the camera constantly in order to take the picture. I have wanted to create a wireless manual camera shutter release for some time now. Basically a tool that allows me to take pictures remotely with a manual film camera. The only problem is that no one makes them! So I wanted to create a small tool using the expansive adruino system to do just that. There are shutter releases, that can 'extend' the shutter button (the button that snaps the picture). One is pictured below courtesy of glaringnotebook.com

As you can when you press the button a small rod appears out of the tip. I want a linear actuator (or something equivalent) to press the shutter release (so my hand doesnt have to) and then quickly depress it. It also has to be controlled through a wireless remote (maybe I could even connect it to a ipod or my phone). It has to have enough torq and speed to simulate a quick thumb press.  Its really important that as soon as I want to take a picture I can, and there is no lag in the mechanics.

I was looking at the "Firgelli Technologies PQ12 Actuator 20mm, 30:1, 12V" but I wasn't sure if that actuator would fit my specifications.  Any thoughts and suggestions? Also what other components would I need to make this possible?

For those of you who aren't too familiar with manual film cameras, the shutter release  gets screwed into the shutter button of a manual camera (all manual cameras have them). Below is an diagram of the setup

Coding Badly

Two things...

1. I know it may be difficult but a definition of "quickly" may get you better / more responses.  What are the objects/people doing?  Racecar traveling at 220 miles per hour?  Possum hanging in a tree?  Old farts playing checkers?  Australian Terrier chasing a rat?

2. Were I in your shoes, at least initially, I would try to include some sort of buffer in the actuator like a spring or rubber pad.  Your thumb includes a feedback mechanism so you know when you reach the limit of the trigger.  Your thumb's padding and feedback allow you to operate the trigger without damaging the camera.


It's been a while but I got some great advice from someone about how to do this -- a solenoid. I would just need to measure the amount of push power req'd in order to get the right solenoid(easiest way to measure this would be to get a spring, measure the compression, and then compress the spring over a scale the same amount). Then I would attach the solenoid to a wireless transmitter and have it push the shutter button directly. Very simple, although I haven't gotten around to doing it. Thanks for response though.


It may also be possible to mount a small servo pressing the button. If you slowly increase the angle of the servo until the camera takes a picture you can use that angle in programming to take pictures. To be safe you could mount the servo in such way that it only results in taking a picture when the servo is fully swung.

Must say I've only operated electronic camera's lately,  but wouldn't a small barrier underneath the button also be enough to prevent damage ?


Did you ever build this? I'm about to build something similar for my 4x5 and 8x10 film cameras. I'm basically using a solenoid and an RF remote from Adafruit.

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