Make a DIY Remote Shutter Release Using a Cable and a Soda Can Tab


Remote shutter release cables are extremely simple devices, but they can cost quite a bit if you buy the official accessories sold by major camera manufacturers. Instructables user nk dtk has an awesome makeshift alternative that’s dirt cheap: all you’ll need is a cable and a can of soda!

The cable needs to be a 2.5mm male to male cable. Any soda can should do as long as it has a generic tab on top. A pair of pliers is also helpful.


First, you bend the soda can tab into roughly a 90-degree angle. This is where the pliers can come in handy, but feel free to bend the tab with whatever method or tool you’d like, as long as it comes out looking like the example above.

You’ll need to bend the little strip of metal inside the tab’s hole as well, to make it fit snugly around your cable’s metal tip.


Stick your cable’s 2.5mm connector through the tab’s hole, wrapping the strip of metal around your connector tip.

That’s pretty much it. Plug the other end of the cable into your DSLR, and then touch the tab’s top to the end of the connector whenever you’d like to snap a photo:


The makeshift shutter release works by completing the circuit and triggering the camera’s shutter operation. nk dtk has tested this shutter release using his Canon T4i/650D and found that it works perfectly. He carries it around in his camera bag in case his main shutter release breaks or is lost.

We’re not sure which other DSLR makes and models this thrifty piece of gear might work with, but it’s so cheap that it won’t hurt to give it a shot if your camera uses the same 2.5mm jack. Good luck!

Image credits: Photographs by nk dtk/Instructables

  • Leonardo Abreu


  • Jonathan Maniago

    You’re better off splicing the other end and attaching the wires to some generic switch that you could buy from any hardware store. It’s more reliable and a hell of a lot more convenient for long exposures.

    I made one of these for my 600D and it’s handy when taking high angle shots with a fisheye and monopod.

  • rtfe

    smearing non-fat mayonnaise inside the battery terminal strengthens the shutter speed

  • Amy Byrd Thompson

    Somewhere McGyver is involved in this….:)

  • Adrian Staicu

    This works perfectly for all low end Canon DSLR. I think all triple digit models, that use a simple micro-jack Others have the 3 pin special connector, but you may be able to find it extremely cheap around 5$.

  • Arsalan Baloch


  • William Zhang

    Dear author, do you know that you can buy a cheap Chinese shutter cable for any type of camera for $3? Maybe your time is too cheap

  • Phil Grainger

    my remote shutter was $3.99 off ebay

  • nate parker

    I used to just use a cigarette but and a rubber band on the shutter button- wicked ghetto but whatever! Merry christmas fellas.

  • Mansgame

    I don’t make negative comments on here because I’m a negative person. Some of these ideas are just so dumb. Go to ebay or hell, use any wire.

  • artisticspin

    If you can afford to enter the DSLR market then you can afford to buy a release cable instead of mucking around making that thing.

    I’ve seen other posts on here making DIY things and cork coverings for your camera body, why not go shoot stuff and edit your work flow rather than making cheap crap lol

    This article is filed under “slow news day”

  • Nanang Kusuma

    will try this one, it’s really cheap shutter release

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Aye. Cheap crap it may be, but for shooters who happen to be engineers, this is a stepping stone for other stuff such as audio and motion sensor triggers.

  • artisticspin

    I don’t mind people tinkering around making things and more power to them but this is a photo site not a DIY site.

    Sometimes no news is good news lol

  • Nithin Prabhakar

    use ML ….software !!!!

  • dragunr1

    so this is my last present this year!

  • Inaweofingenuity

    That’s really clever and being resourceful. This is a particularly good idea for those of us that might be miles from a store when things go wrong.
    Thank you for posting this article!

  • Sally Gordon

    This is neat, and the pull-taps on the soda cans have open space, and where to find those old pull-tabs that does have thumb print place ?

  • TW

    This is awesome. Love seeing simple solutions to things. For those saying to just buy one, it goes such a long way to figure out how to make things out of everyday items for when you are on a shoot and something goes wrong. Or the night before when you are packing last minute for a shoot and realize you left a piece of gear somewhere. Everyone gets in jams sometimes and has to McGyver something. This sort of thing helps exercise the mind to think creatively.

  • Lucas

    Does it work for Nikon?


    Oh, whoa! I wasn’t really following along with the tutorial, to be honest, but the end really brought it home. This is amazing!