After years of tweaking and improvement, ioShutter is finally here. ioShutter is a simple cable that connects your iPhone to your camera and allows you to control it using an app. Remote shooting, time-lapse sequences and even photos triggered by sound can all be programmed in easily using the free companion app. And best of all, no fancy dock connectors are required: ioShutter connects through the headphone jack.
ioShutter comes from James Madelin, the clever fellow behind the Orbis ringflash adapter. I met up with him when he was passing through Barcelona a few weeks ago and took a look at the ioShutter and the app.
It’s very simple to use. We went up to my roof terrace and hooked the cable up between an iPod touch and James’ Nikon DSLR. We quickly ran through the functions of the pro app ($10, but there’s a free version too), and it has come on a long way since the first betas I tested. And while it looks gorgeous — all rich Corinthian leather and brushed metal — it is also easy to use.
My favorite parts are the Sound and Shake panels, which allow you to trigger the shutter by sound or movement. The threshold level for the sound can be adjusted, so it can be used in noisy or quiet locations, and the shake feature can be adjusted for sensitivity, direction (!), and also repeat delay (this stops the vibration of the camera itself from triggering the shutter and putting itself into an endless loop).
Up on the roof we quickly set up a time-lapse to film the sun going down. James set his iPod touch to snap a photo every couple seconds, but you can also set a delayed start to catch, say, a sunrise while you remain tucked up in bed.
It’s a little weird to have the camera clicking away as you watch the sunset and sip a beer, and The Lady kept running past so as not to get in the way of the shot. Later, you can keep the sequence or use other software to stitch it onto a very high-res movie.
My favorite story from James was about a photographer who heard that he could use the ioShutter to fire a camera placed close-in to a Space Shuttle or rocket launch (triggered by sound). “There’s no way I’d leave my iPhone so close to a rocket,” he said. James pointed out that he was happily leaving several grand’s worth of camera gear out there already.
The ioShutter will probably sell a lot of iPod touches.
The hardware will cost you $70, and will work with pretty much any Canon camera (there are two versions, so check to see which model you need). A Nikon version will follow soon (it is currently in the final testing stage, and works just fine already). And whichever one you buy, it comes with a neat little bag to hang it from your tripod — a nice touch.
If you own an iDevice and a camera, you should probably think about one of these — after all, it’s cheaper than Canon and Nikon’s own dumb, shutter-release-only remotes.