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A cable that screws into the camera (on film camera bodies usually into the shutter release, on digital bodies elsewhere) so the shutter can be fired remotely with minimal shake. Some have a lock so that the shutter can be held open on the B setting.
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A button that's usually found on the right-hand side of the camera that you press to take a picture. Most cameras have a two stage release. The first pressure activates the camera's autofocus and metering modes and the second fires the shutter. Some older cameras have a thread in the centre that you would screw a cable release in to. Some may have a collar around the edge that you turn to lock the shutter to prevent it being fired accidentally.