Introduction: Dirt Cheap Canon DSLR Remote

So essentially this instructable covers how to make a DSLR wired remote from a soda can tab and a 2.5mm male to male cable. This remote is just a very simple switch made from recycled trash and common items i already owned. I first made this switch as an emergency when i broke my actual remote, and from then on i carry it in my camera bag incase my remote dies again. 
1. Pliers or similar tool
2. 2.5mm male to male cable
3. soda can tab

Step 1: Step One- Bending the Tab

Using pliers or a similar tool bend the soda can tab in half. A flat surface can help give you leverage with the pliers if needed.

Step 2: Step Two- Bending the Tab(continued)

Use the pliers to bend the inner part of the tab(the part that holds it to the can) and make the opening smaller.

Step 3: Step Three- Finish Up

Slide the tab over the end of the end of the 2.5mm connector and make sure it fits tight. when you apply pressure to the top of the tab with your thumb, it completes the circuit and commands the shutter operation. I can comfirm this works with my Canon T4i(650D). A better way to do this would be to cut off one of the 2.5mm cable ends and attach a momentary switch to the open connections. With heatshrink tubing and a store bought switch, the switch could look clean and professional, however, this instructable was made to show how i used the resources around me to rig together a make shift switch as an emergency. 


Krayzi99 made it! (author)2013-01-01

I would have never thought of that... Very good use of recycled can top... thing... whatever its called. I'm not as genius as you are.

Iridium7 made it! (author)2012-12-22

That is so simple you probably angered a couple DSLR remote makers. Seriously, this i genius.

Kiteman made it! (author)2012-12-22

Hey, that's a really neat trick!

SMHLonWlf made it! (author)2013-01-23

This is a good alternative to buying the 'official' release switch for these cameras, and I suggest replacing the pop-tab with a n.o. pushbutton that you'd find in various electronics.

Hope you found my comment to be constructive, I haven't logged on in ages

bratmamma made it! (author)2012-12-30


spyder461 made it! (author)2012-12-27

Thanks for the information. I never would have though that the remote would be a simple switch. Back to the good old days where things are done simply so these kind of emergency solutions are possible. Well done.

nk dtk made it! (author)2012-12-26

Wow i didnt expect this to get over 20k views in just a few days. Heres more of a background story: During a shoot i was doing on the roof of an apartment complex i dropped my wireless remote and managed to step on it. Using just the materials i had in my bag i threw this together. I dont mean to advertise but if anyone wants to see the pictures i took with this contraption, you can see on my tumblr at .

adrenalynn made it! (author)2012-12-23


Wish the prosumer bodies were as simple as an 1/8" plug. Anyone with a Canon 1V, 1D, 1D Mark II, 1Ds, 1Ds Mark III, 5D, 5D Mark II, 7D, 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, D30, D60, ... would be disappointed. We're stuck with a proprietary plug.

ArtisanEclectic made it! (author)ArtisanEclectic2012-12-23

Yep. You're right. It won't work on my 60D.

adrenalynn made it! (author)adrenalynn2012-12-23

One can find a Pro/Prosumer plug to 1/8" plug adapter cable on fleabay for about $5 from China. Then the remainder of this 'ible (ie. soda tab release) can be followed.

I used the cable, put a mating headphone jack, and a 'PI to build a motion/light trigger/wifi trigger for my 50D. Same plug fits your 60D (and my 20D, 5DmkII, and 7D).

Search fleabay for:

canon shutter release plug

and you should be gold.

ArtisanEclectic made it! (author)ArtisanEclectic2012-12-24

Actually I found a "Genuine" Canon wireless remote for only 6 bucks from China the last time I was on feebay. It certainly looked genuine (Box, case, instructions) and it worked fine until I lost the tiny little bugger. I know it's around here somewhere and I will find it one day. (sigh.....wanders off to turn apartment upside down again)

adrenalynn made it! (author)adrenalynn2012-12-24

Sure, there's lots of cheapies on there (great batteries. Only way to fly!), but if you want to Make something, having the correct little plug with a convenient "headphone plug" on the other end is a steal for $5.

onemoroni1 made it! (author)2012-12-23

Thanks for sharing your ingenuity. My wife just bought a T3. I haven't looked at the remote release socket, but I bet it is the same and If it is I would like to do the upgrade you suggested. Beats laying out money for such a simple trip circuit device.

chasebockman made it! (author)2012-12-23


jessyratfink made it! (author)2012-12-23

This is amazing! You're awesome. I just got a DLSR and this is perfect for me. :D

hasha2000 made it! (author)2012-12-23

Definitely using this.... Just tried it, works great!

obviousgenius made it! (author)2012-12-23

The simplest things are the best. Exceptional observation on your part. I did something similar in terms of simplicity. Check my Instructable.

tankmom made it! (author)2012-12-23


darksb3r made it! (author)2012-12-23

Great idea - thanks!

Green Silver made it! (author)2012-12-23

This is pure genius, I've just bought a 4 pack of lager so I can make one for my EOS550D. I love to use the bulb setting for night time shots, and generally have to take 10+ photos to get a blur free shot.
Many thanks for this! 12 out of 10 for this indble!

stackerjack made it! (author)2012-12-23

Wel done. A simple solution to a problem. Not everything in the world has to be sooooo complicated that you cannot/don't want to/ don't know how to/ daren't use it.
"Merry Christmas"

AdamVanMeter made it! (author)2012-12-23

This is like an instructables haiku. Beautiful, minimal, simple.

yoyology made it! (author)2012-12-23

Love this!

HeavyC made it! (author)2012-12-22

I use this trick all the time! It's very clever. It's the same principle as firing a flash with a sync cord and a pen knife. MacGuyvering is the first technique every photographer should embrace.

Tomdf made it! (author)2012-12-22

Absolutely brilliant in its simplicity.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love Cameras and working with anything involving wires, cables, or small parts.
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