Replacing a simple and inexpensive remote cable release for your camera with Raspberry Pi may seem like a classic case of over-engineering, but using the tiny machine to control the camera opens up a whole new world of photographic opportunities. Using a simple Python script, you can turn Raspberry Pi into a powerful and flexible intervalometer or trigger the shutter using sensors connected to the computer. Add to Raspberry Pi a Python-based web app, and you can control your camera from any computer or mobile device.
As with any DIY electronics project, there is always a risk of damaging your camera, so proceed with caution. If you are not sure what you are doing, don’t proceed at all.
This project provides brief instructions on how to build a Raspberry Pi-based cable shutter release and deploy a simple web app that can be used to control it. The setup uses a Sony NEX-3N camera, but any Sony camera compatible with the RM-VPR1 cable release should work fine. And with a few minor tweaks, you can adapt the setup to work with many other camera models.
- RM-VPR1 remote cable release (you can buy a compatible unit cheaply on eBay)
- 2x 1K resistors
- 2x 2N2222 NPN transistors
- A breadboard and handful of jump wires
First, disassemble the remote cable release. The release has three wires: focusing wire (yellow), trigger wire (red), and ground wire (white). The wire colors may vary depending on the unit you use. The way the cable release works is very simple: when it mechanically shorts (i.e., closes the circuit) the focusing and ground wires, the camera obtains focus. With the focusing and ground wires still shorted, the release then shorts the trigger and ground wires, which triggers the camera’s shutter.
from time import sleep
import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
For more detail: Build a Raspberry Pi-Based Cable Shutter Release for Sony Cameras