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Thread: Mechanical shutter release for E-PL1 and other cameras (poor design)

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    Thumbs down Mechanical shutter release for E-PL1 and other cameras (poor design)

    One of the design decisions that Olympus made in the E-PL1 camera was to drop the support for the wired shutter release (RM-UC1). I believe this was a matter of reserving a few features for the higher end body (E-P2 at the time of this posting). In terms of classical 4/3rds bodies, the E-500 and E-330 bodies also did not support a wired shutter release, and the E-300 only supported it if you bought the portrait grip. So on these cameras, if you want to do a wired shutter release, you need to adapt a film mechanical shutter release to the camera.

    When I'm doing tripod and camera on a pole work, I almost always use a wired shutter release. I previously used a RM-1 infrared shutter release on my C-2100UZ, but once I got to cameras that supported the wired shutter release, I switched to that.

    Even on cameras that do support a wired shutter release, there might be times when using an old fashioned film mechanical shutter release:

    • For some time now, I've had this project to disguise my E-P2 as an older view camera (see http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/showthread.php?t=57111). In the Kodak Pony 5x7 Premo body, the only way I could get the camera to fit was to have it along the right side of the Kodak body, and I couldn't use the RM-UC1 wired shutter release clone that I normally would use without drilling a hole in the Kodak body. I cobbled up a home made mechanical shutter release that worked ok, but I wanted to rework it somewhat so that it would fit better.
    • Another place where a mechanical shutter release is useful is if you want to use the VGA out feature of the camera and a shutter release. In the Olympus consumer cameras, there is a combined port for USB, audio/visual out, and shutter release. If you are doing camera on a pole you often times want to have A/V at a distance and remotely fire shutter. I do this at renaissance faires, by having my camera mounted on my walking staff, and in cases I would like A/V out and shutter release. Unfortunately, Olympus does not make a combined cable for A/V out and shutter release. You can make your own cable if desired (http://www.nolonemo.com/files/E520Cable/E520Cable.htm), but so far I haven't gone that route.


    Over at dpreview.com, somebody pointed me to an ebay auction by John-Camera-Store that had a cheap mechanical shutter release that would allow you to use it on cameras that don't support a wired shutter release (or in the cases I ran into):


    So, I just got the unit yesterday, and thought I would share some initial pictures. In terms of setup, the vertical pole unscrews from the base, so you need to make sure it is screwed in tight. I found I needed to have the base slightly off center so that I could properly position the plunger to hit on the shutter, and allow access to the data ports and no block the neck strap. As with my home-made solution, you need to be gentle in plunging down the shutter release. I like the little plastic cap on the end of the plunger, as I noticed when I took the pictures that the shutter button was starting to get nicked from the metal shutter release I previously used.

    My album with pictures of how I've been pimping my E-P2 is at: http://www.the-meissners.org/2010-la...ex.html#tripod

    [edit]
    I should mention there were two other pre-made mechanical shutter release setups that I was aware of:

    • Adorama sells a shutter release with a velcro strap (http://www.adorama.com/CZCRAS.html). Note, it doesn't come with the actual shutter release, which you have to get as a separate item. However, I just couldn't see paying $35 for a piece of velcro (tm) with a socket attached. I probably spent $1-2 at the hardware store for the same setup. Note, in my setup, I had to trim the velcro strap so that I could press the buttons on the camera.
    • Adorama sells a somewhat better engineered solution that would allow you to better place the shutter cable, which again you have to buy separately (http://www.adorama.com/VXCRB.html).

    I paid $26 including shipping for the mechanical shutter releas, and the unit is now somewhat cheaper.

    [see my follow up on the poor design]
    Last edited by Michael Meissner; 10-14-2010 at 09:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Mechanical shutter release for E-PL1 and other cameras

    Michael,

    Thank you for posting this. I just ordered one from John. Exactly what I was looking for to use with my EPL-1.
    Otto...

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    Cool Re: Mechanical shutter release for E-PL1 and other cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto View Post
    Michael,

    Thank you for posting this. I just ordered one from John. Exactly what I was looking for to use with my EPL-1.
    You are welcome, glad to be of help.

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    Thumbs down Followup: Poor design

    I don't know what world this shutter release was designed for, but it wasn't my world. The end where you press the shutter release has a little screw on cap for you to press down on. In my limited use this cap keeps coming off.

    I found the cap the first couple of times it fell off, but last weekend when I was using at a renaissance faire with the E-P2 disguised as a Kodak Pony Premo from 1915, I lost the cap somewhere in the faire. I had to spend the rest of the day pushing the shutter release without a cap on, and my thumb had lots of indentation marks by the end of the day.

    For the E-P2, I discovered that I had to mount the unit cock-eyed in order to get the unit to hit the shutter. For my setup it was fine, but I could other cases with it might not be. Where I had to mount the post, also made it harder to use my quick release, but that is an issue of my setup and not the design. The cap coming off and the unit not being flexible enough for wider cameras is however poor design.

    I looked in a hardware store and could not find a nut small enough that would screw onto the end of cable where you press. I did find I could drill a 1/8" hole into a piece of wood dowel and it wouldn't be so painful to press the shutter release. I need to glue the wood to the shutter release, so it doesn't disappear either. Given I already had a home made shutter release for the camera, and I only bought this one because it was more finished, I feel I wasted $26. Oh well.
    Last edited by Michael Meissner; 10-14-2010 at 09:46 AM.

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    Cool Nanguan NG-40L appears to be no longer for sale

    I was going to order a new shutter release (this time gluing on the top), but it appears that it is no longer available for sale. I've done global searches for the Nanguan NG-40L and Nanguan NG-70L, which is the product name, and I can't find it in stock any where.

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    Default Re: Nanguan NG-40L appears to be no longer for sale

    So much for my plans to get a wired shutter release! Foiled again!

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    Cool Re: Nanguan NG-40L appears to be no longer for sale

    Quote Originally Posted by teepee12 View Post
    So much for my plans to get a wired shutter release! Foiled again!
    Nah, all you need to do is get standard film wired shutter release, and position it with wood or plastic over the shutter, and hold it down with velcro. You might want to coat the end of the shutter release so it doesn't scratch your shutter button (or not).

    Here is pictures of the setup I used before I got the nanguan NG-40L, and now use afterward I lost the cap (while I have an E-P2 and normally used a RM-UC1 or clone, I use this when I can't use the RM-UC1, such as when I have the camera disguised inside of a Kodak Pony Premo 5x7 body and there is no room to attach the cable, or before I got the Yongnuo live view and remote shutter release that I just posted a review for and wanted live view via a remote device):


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    Default Re: Mechanical shutter release for E-PL1 and other cameras (poor design)

    Hello,

    it was really surprising to find out, that E-PL1 has no remote control possibility. In case somebody is searching for solution, I made one in 2 hours with just few nuts and lego.









    I made also small video. Sorry for poor quality.
    http://www.driller-vocabulary.com/pr...er/shutter.MOV

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    Cool Re: Mechanical shutter release for E-PL1 and other cameras (poor design)

    Quote Originally Posted by luwi View Post
    Hello,

    it was really surprising to find out, that E-PL1 has no remote control possibility. In case somebody is searching for solution, I made one in 2 hours with just few nuts and lego.

    I made also small video. Sorry for poor quality.
    http://www.driller-vocabulary.com/pr...er/shutter.MOV
    Nice. I've seen such things on ebay for the Sigma DP1/DP2 which also seems to lack a shutter release. Personally I don't want to give up the hot-shoe and accessory port, so I went with the over the camera strap.

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