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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:32 am 
Being extremely annoyed to pay US$ 500 for the remote switch LC-5 from Canon I decided to give the Chinese brands a try and got myself a Aputure AP-WR3C Radio Frequency Remote Switch from eBay. It costed US$ 20,00 plus US$ 5,00 shipping to Brazil.
I have to say I didn't expect much for the price, but hey! If it would shoot my camera when I press the button, that would me more than enough.

With very low expectations I opened the box and got myself a very pleasant surprise: The equipment is reasonably well finished and even the batteries are included.
Now, what's in the box:

- Aputure remote switch
- Aputure receiver
- 2 AAA batteries for the receiver
- 1 12v small battery ( :shock: ) for the switch
- Instruction manual

Image

I have no idea of why the switch needs a 12V battery, but my guess is that it needs all that power to hit the 30 meters range announced by the manual. While I didn't test that distance yet, I did test inside a building (Reinforced Concrete floor) and were able to go three floors down while still being able to operate my camera. :shock:

The operation is very simple and forward. You put the batteries on, plug the receiver in the Remote Control port of your camera, set the frequency , turn it on and you're good to go.
Now, each in the switch and the receiver you have 4 small keys to set the frequency. You just have to put the same combination on both for it to work. It permits up to 16 photographers work together with the same brand/model switches without interfering between themselves.

Image

The button on the switch is a two stage button just like the 40D one. When you half press the button, the camera will focus and the LEDs (one on the switch and one on the receiver) will turn GREEN. Then you push it fully and the LEDs will turn RED and the camera will shoot. (see the red LEDs on the image above).

The kind of shooting will depend on how you set your camera Drive:
- For single shot, if you press the button it will take one shot and stop
- For burst, if you hold the button, it will keep on shooting (*more on that in a moment)
- You can even start the timer shooter with it.

Now, one interesting thing is that you can use BULB mode with it! You press the button for 3 seconds and the remote "locks" pressed keeping the shooter opened. Then you press it again after some time and it will "unlock" closing the shooter.
While this is fun, it can lead to an issue while in burst mode. Let's say you want to make a burst of 4 seconds. You set the camera for Hight Speed Burst and hold the button for 4 seconds. It will lock and your camera will keep on shooting until you press the button again to unlock. It's easy to walk around this, but it can get you by surprise if you don't expect it.

VEREDICT

For 22 times less money you get a pretty similar item to the Canon's LC5. It's not as well finished and does look MUCH cheaper, but works flawlessly and solves most of the shooting problems for the price of a wired remote.
I think this is worthy and would highly recommend this for anyone needing a remote switch. I can't say much about durability, but it's so cheap that if it breaks, you can just get yourself another one :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:18 pm 
Thanks for the review! Very informative. I've been eying the wireless remote from Phottix, of which has 3 versions. The original base model, which runs for $26 on ebay, the Cleon which is newer and allows you to use the receiver end as a batteryless wired shooting cable if so desired, and the Mega Cleon which features a bigger transmitter (better range???). The last two are both $33.90.

As a side not, that ebay store that sells the Aputure remotes has a websiteyou can order directly from, and it has wired remotes for even cheaper! $6.99, with only $3-$5 shipping! Cheapest wired and wireless remotes I've ever seen! They also have a wired remote with intervalometer/timer setting, featuring an LCD for a remarkable $42.99. Very impressive. What's nice about yours though, is that the remote at least takes AAA. Most don't take standard batteries.

EDIT: After quickly browsing ebay, I saw several off-brand wireless remotes out there, but Phottix and Aputure appear to be the top two out there.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:57 pm 
Hey, csrussell!
I saw the Phottix one when shopping for mine. It indeed seems good and I specially liked the flash shoe support (mine stays hanged on the cord, what's pretty strange to look at :D ) and you have more functionality like the 2s timer and the shooting holder that Aputure's lack.

I just ended up choosing Aputure because of the range. It was the smaller one with the longest range (but I still doubt it can take 30m), what's good for me since I love shooting birds.


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