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Reader Comment: “what do people use to activate the shutter without touching the camera?” for Fujifilm GFX100S

re: remote release

Tony B writes:

Sony RMT-P1BT Wireless Remote Commander

I was out with my GFX100II yesterday and (as a landscape photographer, using the camera on a tripod) I found myself wondering what people use to activate the shutter without touching the camera.  As I see it there are three options, although there may be more I'm unaware of:

  1. Self timer
  2. Cable release
  3. Fujifilm's phone app

I have been using the phone app, but it's a pain.  It keeps crashing and generating warnings on my Android phone, strongly suggesting I put the app to sleep.  The app constantly wants to re-establish a connection with the camera, which has me standing for minutes at a time waiting for the "remote" option to become enabled.  In addition, it tries to copy camera images to my phone - which only has a limited amount of storage.

This made me consider the cable release option.  I believe going from the GFX100s (which I never owned) to the GFX 100 II, Fujifilm shifted the cable release port from one side of the camera to the other.  I'd have much preferred if they'd left it where it was.  Then I think they changed from a 2.5mm to a 3.5mm port, presumably to accommodate microphones - which I never use. 

I believe Fujifilm's cable releases all use a 2.5mm jack, although having never bought one, I can't confirm this.  The manual seems to suggest we just live with it and buy some form of adapter, described as "readily available".  Ideally I would prefer an L shaped male 3.5mm socket at the camera end and a 2.5mm female socket at some short distance away - especially given that opening the access door on the side of the camera is made difficult by the L bracket I use.  I have not been able to find a cable fitting this description, although they may be readily available in Japan for all I know.

Somehow using the self timer seems to be admitting defeat, although I may resort to it after all.

DIGLLOYD: good summary!

Cable releases are problematic in that most “solutions” are crap.

Cable releases

Cable releases have to be physically attached. The mechanics of this mean constantly attaching and detaching, eventually wearing out or gunking up or otherwise damating the port. You have to carry it too, it’s one more thing to not forget, and sooner or later it falls out of a pocket and it’s gone. And being attached to the camera physically, it now becomes a risk itself in transmitting jiggle to the camera precisely when you can least afford it. Plus wind blowing on it. There may be exceptions (eg studio use), but I consider them useless for my work outdoors.

Phone apps

All of the above issues noted (connectivity, warnings, etc) make an app dead on arrival for practical in-the-field use. Then, digging a phone out of a pocket (and the reverse) is a constant headache. As is having to stare at a phone instead of the subject and conditions. Meanwhile, I might have to shade the front lens element from the sun, and maybe while balanced precariously. I now look down at my phone to use the phone app, and my dead body is found a week later. Phone-apps are an anti-solution devised by morons. Again, there might be situations (eg studio) where it could make sense.

Ideal solution — RF remote

The ideal solution which “pro” cameras like the Fujifilm GFX100S and siblings fail to offer is a compact and lightweight RF remote. By that metric alone they should be booted out of the “pro” designation. Then again the PhaseOne IQ4 has the same issue... whatever. Unbelievable.

The best solution is an RF remote release (infrared ones suck but are better than nothing). Sony has a good one, the Sony RMT-P1BT Wireless Remote Commander. Nikon’s suck, I am not sure about Canon, Fujifilm jackass designers apparently didn’t even consider the idea.

See: Summarizing Remote Release For Exposures.

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