Traditionally, pocket wizards have been the pro choice for triggering a camera remotely. They don't come cheap though, in fact I believe the connection cable alone costs about as much as one of these JJC Wireless controller kits. A wireless controller, such as this is ideal for wildlife photographers, who wish to photograph timid animals close up, and any other application you can think of where you can't physically stay behind the camera, such as behind the goal at a football game, or simply to take your Myspace portrait from a distance.
- Pentax: K100D, K110D, K10D, *ist Ds 2, *ist Ds, *ist D, *ist, *ist DL, *ist DL 2 MZ-6, ZX-L, MZ-L
- Contax: 645, N, N1, NX, NDigital
- Samsung: GX-1L, GX-1S, GX-10
- Canon: EOS30, EOS33, EOS50, EOS50e, EOS300, EOS300v, EOS300D, EOS350D, EOS3000, EOS500, EOS55, EOS500n, EOS300x, EOS Kiss, EOS New Kiss, EOS Kiss 7, EOS Kiss III, EOS7, EOS7s, EOS400D, EOS Digital Rebel, EOS Digital Rebel XT, EOS Digital Rebel XTi, Kiss Digital, Kiss Digital N, ELAN 7N, ELAN II, ELAN DATE, ELAN 7, ELAN 7NE, ELAN 7N, ELAN IIE, Rebel 2000, Rebel G, Rebel T2, Rebel Ti, Rebel X, Rebel XS
Units that are compatible with all major camera systems are available, including Nikon, Sony, Olympus etc and other Canon cameras.
JJC Wireless Controller WR-100: Features
The unit comes in four parts, the remote controller, the receiver, USA-fit charging lead and a travel adapter to convert the charging lead to a UK plug. Before the unit can be used, the Lithium battery contained within the receiver needs to be charged. The unit doesn't appear to function correctly when connected to the mains, needing to be charged and unplugged before use. This shouldn't pose a problem for most wireless applications though.
The receiver connects to the camera in the same way as a standard OEM remote, which in this case is via a small headphone like plug into the side of the camera. A switch is provided to choose between 'off' and one of the two functions. The instructions provided are typical of eastern imported photographic goods and the English used is quite poor. I had to read it a couple of times before I could figure out exactly what I needed to do.
'W' mode is the standard wireless mode, which allows you to focus and fire the camera using the two buttons on the transmitter, one is for focusing, the other focuses, then fires the shutter. A small retractable antenna can be pulled out of the top of the unit, which should help to increase the range of the device. 'O' mode turns the receiver off and 'L' mode allows for Bulb exposures for as long as the button is held pressed, so long as the camera is set for a bulb exposure. Overall, once I had gotten my head around the instructions, the unit was very easy to set up and use.
JJC Wireless Controller WR-100: Build quality
For a budget item, the build quality isn't bad at all, there are obviously better built items available, but these cost much, much more.
The cables used for connection all appear to be good quality and are insulated in the kind of material that does not tangle easily when packed away. The controls themselves feel a little plasticcy and unresponsive, but not overly so. My only niggles are with the antenna, which would bend very easily as it is so slim. If this happened it would make it very difficult to retract it into the unit. The only other thing I find I don't like is the battery compartment on the transmitter.
The battery door comes off very easily and isn't tethered to the unit, so I could see this disappearing into the bottom of a kit bag at some point in the future. Also the tiny 12voly E23 battery is located quite far into the unit, which would make it difficult to change in the field if it ran out of juice. My first battery did just that, and yes it was very difficult to change with cold hands and without something to lever the old battery out with. Many manufacturers use a ribbon, or a piece of plastic to help ease this issue.
JJC Wireless Controller WR-100: Performance
To test the device I used a Canon EOS 450D in a built-up city-centre area. When in the same room as the receiver, the device focuses and fires the camera reliably each and every time. With obstacles in the way, such as partition walls and windows, the device still managed to fire reliably up to distances of around 25 metres after that it would only fire intermittently. I was very impressed by this, as in open space with no obstructions, the distance could easily be tripled or quadrupled.
JJC Wireless Controller WR-100: Verdict
Those who wish to experiment with triggering their camera remotely, but aren't sure their experiments warrant the outlay of a few hundred pounds on shiny new Pocket Wizards, should definitely take a look at the JJC remotes, especially if your needs do not require the build quality of the more expensive options.
I was certainly very impressed by the range and performance of the device, and even though there is the odd quirk with the build, and the instructions aren't the most user friendly, I still tink they represent good value for money.
JJC Wireless Controller WR-100: Plus points
Easy to set up
Easy to use
Great range for such an inexpensive device
JJC Wireless Controller WR-100: Minus points
Build quality could be better
Minor design could be addressed
Not as durable as more expensive equivalents
A JJC Wireless Controller WR-100 costs £44.95 and is available from thewildlifestudio