Affordable Bluetooth Trigger Turns Your iPhone Into a Remote and Intervalometer


Here’s another option for DSLR-toting photogs who want to control their gear wirelessly from a distance without spending a fortune. It doesn’t have the range of the CamRanger or the ability to send over a live view like, say, the built-in wireless on the Canon 6D; however, it’s less than one sixth the price of the first, and you won’t have to upgrade your camera to get it.

It’s the Satechi Bluetooth Smart Trigger, and it comes in three versions that are compatible with a range of Canon and Nikon DSLRs (plus a couple of Pentax options) for only $45.


The module itself mounts on your camera’s hot shoe and connects via USB. Then, using Bluetooth 4.0 technology, you can take advantage of Regular, Manual and Time Shot modes to trigger your DSLR in whatever way you see fit.

Here’s a look at the modes and the functions each offer:




Because of the Bluetooth 4.0 technology, the Satechi Smart Triggers all offer 50 feet of wireless range and a supposed 2 to 10 years of idle battery life. You can pick up the unit that’s compatible with your camera over on Satechi’s website or Amazon.

For now, compatibility on the mobile front only extends to (most) iOS devices, but Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2 compatibility is reportedly coming later this month.

(via TechCrunch)

  • falvesjr

    I’ve seen posts about this device on several sites now, but what no one mentions, including Satechi, is if you need to maintain a Bluetooth connection for the duration of the shot or if the iPhone just acts as a programmer to the receiver. Obviously, for manual shooting or timed exposure of a few minutes this doesn’t matter, but for intervalometer shots, which could be hours, days, or even months, keeping a connection is, at best, impractical, at worse, impossible.

  • Kevin Wilkinson

    “For now, compatibility on the mobile front only extends to (most) iOS devices, but Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2 compatibility is reportedly coming later this month.” … Sounds like it is using BLE then, same problem that Android phones have with other devices like the ones from FitBit & other vendors. :(

  • Swade

    How would you maintain connection if you shut off bluetooth?

  • Zos Xavius

    My phone has bluetooth on constantly. It doesn’t dran the battery hardly at all.

  • falvesjr

    My concern isn’t with Bluetooth or battery life, I see it as a physical problem. Unless you have an iPhone dedicated to the task and leave it plugged in nearby, I can’t imagine anyone can be within 50 feet of the receiver with their phone for three months doing an extended time-lapse shot…

  • lidocaineus

    This is pretty cool; I like products that take advantage of Bluetooth’s strengths (low power, easy connectivity). I can see it working in a number of situations that need an intervalometer. For those that need something slightly different that might work better in certain situation, the Magic Lantern firmware for Canon bodies has one built in, plus it’s free, but this is a nice option, especially when you can’t flash the firmware.

  • Mansgame

    You can find third party brand ones for $30 that are just as reliable and don’t require your phone so you can walk away while the camera works. Also, many have it built in the cameras.

  • iowapipe

    have you used any of these and could you provide a name or two of the ones you are thinking about? (to expedite my search)

  • cnavey

    it’s a great idea but if you’re using a pocket wizard you would have to tape the wizard to the side of the camera in order to take advantage of both your wireless strobes and remote shooting. kinda junky. what happens if you get a phone call while shooting? of course you can decline the call but does that interrupt your connection?

  • charrison

    This is great! I already ordered mine from Amazon.

  • GlenF

    My guess is that like every other wireless device it sends a command to the camera to take the shot when it wants to take the shot. This means if you want to take a shot every ten minutes for 24 hours, it will send a command “take shot” every ten minutes for 24 hours – it has to be there. As there is no intervalometer in the camera it has to be this way. The big gadget on the hotshoe will control the shutter on/off. The interesting thing is that it can do focus – this implies it can drive the lens then it means that it is using the camera’s programming interface (API). This again means that it would just needs to send a command to say “take a 4 second shot”. I may be giving it too much credit here – but the APIs are available and other devices use them (e.g. TriggerTrap?) – if this device is dumber then the hotshoe brick would just be fancy actuator (switch)

  • Ryan Palmer

    If they add the ability to do extensive bracketting (seems easy via the bulb option), then I know a lot of people shooting HDR (including myself) would jump on this in a second. MY Sony SLR only does 3 brackets at a max of +/- 0.7ev