Remote (IR) Shutter Release - Nikon D50

Hi All,

First post so please be patient with me!!

I was wondering if I could check a few things other with the pool of knowledge that reside in these forums, long story short i'm mixing my urges to make cool things and my upcoming wedding.

Rather than dish out a ridiculous amount of money on a photo booth, I've decided to make my own, hopefully incorporating arduino and a Nikon D50 via the shutter release port. I'm sure it CAN be done as i've seen plenty of videos doing far more advanced things, I'm after more of a simple approach.

The core function, I need to press a button, whether it be on an IR remote, or a big red button that says PRESS ME that via the ardiuno, triggers the camera to take the picture after 3 seconds (to allow for ridiculous drunk poses).

I've found a nice button that people have put on a simple button relay on arduino before ( so that part seems straight forward. The main guidance I need is to pick the right board/equipment and how to pass on the triggering to the camera itself. I've never bought my own arduino equipment but have played with my old man's so am familiar.

As the other 1/2 is a photographer by trade, I can take advantage of the software packages she has to show the pictures to guests in real time on an outward facing iPad we have mounted in a simple wooden box (Where the red button is mounted).

There are so many neat ideas that I have rushing around my head that I guess I should accomplish the basic triggering of the camera before doing the mad things!

I hope that explains it! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Well first off, you don't need an Arduino if you are willing to use 2 second or 5 second timeouts. Just go into self timer mode or delayed remote mode (page 22) and then select the timeout period (page 100). Either use the shutter button or the remote.

Now, if you do want to use the Arduino, you can download the code here that handles most cameras with an IR shutter release:

It should be a simple matter to put a button, when it is pressed, delay for 3 seconds, and tell the library to fire the camera. Or have an IR reader instead of a wired button.

Hi Michael,

I think I wanted to use Arduino purely out of intrigue!

I've decided to cable my own button onto the end of a Nikon Shutter release cable. I've got the SLR dumping the images onto a laptop and displayed (wirelessley) via an iPad that i've fixed into a mount.

Keeps things v.simple!

All I need to do now is work out the wiring required to attach the button onto

Cheers for the advice.

Hi Michael,

I think I wanted to use Arduino purely out of intrigue!

Cool. I have an over the top shutter release project that I’ve been thinking about. But every so often I run into people who just want to get the job done, and don’t really want to put the time into learning the Arduino, hence my original reply. I didn’t want to go down the rabbit hole of what I’m thinking about in that case.

I’ve decided to cable my own button onto the end of a Nikon Shutter release cable. I’ve got the SLR dumping the images onto a laptop and displayed (wirelessley) via an iPad that i’ve fixed into a mount.

Keeps things v.simple!

All I need to do now is work out the wiring required to attach the

button onto

Cheers for the advice.

When I was doing the original reply, I looked up the specs of the Nikon D50 (I’m an Olympus guy myself) to see if it supported a wired shutter release like you mentioned, and it didn’t seem to. It looked like it only supported the infra-red shutter release. So you would need to use an IR light on the Arduino and the shutter release library I had mentioned to fire the camera. It would have been simpler if your camera supported a wired shutter release.

The other alternative is to have an Arduino to move a servo up an down to press the button. I’ve played with this a little, but I need to fashion up a mounting for the servo, so it can press the button. To make it more wacky, there was this kickstarter project (now closed) that offered laser cut wood and servos to make a robot arm, and I bought two fingers using servos that eventually I hope to get one of the fingers to press the shutter button ( to use it to fire cameras that don’t take a shutter release cable or infra-red shutter release.

Here is one of many hacks to the Staples easy button, that shows it being opened up:

I imagine you would need to find where the two wires that the button makes contact and hook them into the Arduino. You would need to join the grounds of the Arduino and the Easy button. If you want to remove the sound effect, you could just make it into a normal button. I would suggest doing the initial Arduino work with one of the standard momentary push buttons, and once you get it working, go and modify it to use the easy button.

In terms of my project, I’m into steampunk which is an attempt to use the external trappings of an earlier age with modern stuff modified to look like something people of the era could have been created. Many steampunks use the Victorian era (1837-1901) as the basis for their costumes. Mine is set a little further ahead in the timeline, to the 1930’s and if you want to be picky it would be called dieselpunk instead of steampunk. My original concept was to stick my Olympus E-P2 inside of the body of a camera from the era, and eventually I put it in a Kodak Pony Premo 5x7 body. Then for various reasons, I wanted to amp it up, and I to put my Olympus E-3 (now E-5) DSLR into a frame that it looks like a press photographer from the 1930’s with a Speed Graphics 4x5 camera, and flash. Then I started adding the finger puppets, and I moved from strict recreating to the more silly side. Over time, it has evolved where I’m trying to add everything in a modern smart phone into the box. This is all pre-arduino.

Here is the setup I used most recently at the Steampunk Industrial Revolution in Nashua, NH. The camera on the right is the E-P2 inside of the Kodak Pony Premo. The middle camera is now about the 6th generation of box, holding my E-5. The left camera is a pocket camera (Olympus VG-120) that I made a simple frame for.

The VG-120 was meant to be a lighter camera to carry around when I want to put the main ones down. I haven’t spent much time on the VG-120, and unfortunately it isn’t that good of a camera indoors.

In the lower left hand side, one of the many things in the setup is a telegraph key. Now, originally, it was just a bit stuck on, and part of the spiel I would give folks about the system. I would say it was a CEL system, where you could Chat with the telegraph, Envision with the camera, and Locate yourself with the compass, sextant and sometimes pocket watch.

However, enough people asked about firing the camera with the telegraph key, that I decided to do it. I originally hooked the telegraph key straight to the wired shutter release, putting a wire from one terminal to the shutter release’s ground wire, and the other wire from the telegraph key to the other two wires in the shutter release (focus and shoot). Unfortunately, my E-5 is not that fast at auto focusing in live view mode, and I wanted to make sure the camera was focused before doing the fire action, normally via 1/2 press of the shutter. So, a quick hack was to put the shutter release under the telegraph key and not connect it electrically. What I want to do with the Arduino is when the telegraph key is pressed, it would connect the ground and focus wires in the shutter release. After the key is pressed and then released, I would then connect the ground, focus, and shoot wires for a pre-determined time to actually take the picture.

My ultimate grand scheme is a little more elaborate. I have a handheld MP-4 player that I can route the live view output through, and I just ordered a Video Experimenter shield that will allow me to overlay text on an analog video screen, and I want to use that as the display, and put some buttons on it. I would have alternate shutter release buttons to the telegraph key, and two other buttons, that would tell the arduino to control a servo to zoom the lens in and out.

hahaha, that is incredible!

I should have corrected myself in my 2nd post, I'm now using a Nikon D200 which has the cable capabilities. I've found the wiring info here ;

It's the MC30 connection.

I'm trying to find some information regarding how to wire the button onto termination as there are Auto Focus possibilities etc..

My Dad has actually popped together a circuit diagram for use in Arduino that is the middle ground between the button and the camera which controls the delay/the autofocus and the taking of the picture.

I'll see if I can work out the wiring of the button > MC30, then if we have time include the Arduino config.

rawretc: I'll see if I can work out the wiring of the button > MC30, then if we have time include the Arduino config.

Shutter release cables have 3 wires (ground, focus, and shoot). When the ground and focus are connected it does the 1/2 press shutter action (usually focus lock), and when all 3 are connected it does the full press shutter action (normally fire).

Here is a site that tries to document all of the different shutter release cables, and which pins are which:

What you typically want to do is put an opto-isoloator between the arduino and the camera (two of them, one for focus, and one for shoot, or if you don't care about having a separate pre-focus step, wire both the focus and shoot wires together. A typical opto-isolator is a 4N25. I happen to have 4N26JP from Jim-pak. Here is a picture of my setup using LEDs. I haven't gotten to the step of hooking up the camera but I should soon:

Here is a tutorial for doing high speed photography for balloon popping shots, that also describes the opto-isolators. The guy is from, which provides arduino shields and pre-made setups for cameras.

In terms of the shutter release cable, you can either buy and hack up a cheap clone cable like you have, or you can buy cables meant for the pixel shutter releases, which have a 2.5mm phono cable on one end, and camera specific bits on the other.

The Nikon D50 does not have an external shutter release port. You can onlu use the regular manual shutter button, or, an IR fob.